Reality Versus Altered Reality


There is room for us all.

I’m in this great supportive Instagram group called The Social Gathering and in there we have some amazing conversations.

A recent conversation was about reality versus altered images (images like mine that play with perspective or use Photoshop). While this discussion was a supportive conversation, I have caught rumblings on Instagram of people’s disapproval over these kinds of images over the more real photographic images, and my take on Bookstagram has certainly lost me a lot of booky followers, who clearly are appalled at how I am desecrating their flatlays (nothing wrong with a good flatlay, mind) .

Instagram is an odd beast and trends come and go for sure, but for me I wonder if this is not a new generation, a new vibe coming into Instagram. Instagram is a visual platform and is an amazing place for photographers to show their work and I look at the work of people like  Me and Orla, Her Internest and Monalogue in awe. However some people like me are not photographers, know nothing of shutter speeds and exposure and just want to create. Creating a beautiful photographic image for me is never going to happen, which is why altered reality is my saviour.

I think it also depends on what we want our account to be, do and make people feel. I want my account to make people feel like they are experiencing a book, like they are in a book and a flatlay will not do that. I also want to push myself to be unique and to stand out, I want Instagram to be the way I make money, they way I get the career I want and I won’t do that by following the crowd.

I also think that my environment has a lot to do with it too. I live in a rented house at University and my house at home is a small terrace. I don’t have an Instagram-friendly paradise, I don’t have huge ceilings and windows and I don’t have a swing in my front room, but I really want one and yes, Sara and Karen I swoon over your swings. I live in the centre of a town, although a beautiful one – but note again my outside shots would look more tourist than instagram, although I am working on that. I can’t just turn around and snap the beautiful Instagram image, it’s just not possible. Light is often bad, unsightly washing and plug sockets are everywhere and I can’t get far enough away from the wall to make something look good, oh and all my walls are white, which doesn’t really help if you want colour in your feed.

I think we need to stop having the conversation about real and altered pictures or photoshopped or non-photoshopped pictures, like one is better than the other; it’s not, they are just different. Both take the same amount of skill, knowledge, patience and creativity. I’m sometimes made to feel like a second class citizen because my photos are not “real” and I hear amazing photographers disheartened because they don’t want to follow this new trend.

Why don’t we all just do what we want, what we are good at, what we love and stop judging the work of others as bad, lesser than not real. It is personal preference and there is room for us all, I promise.