Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words: Why I Love Instagram

I've always been a visual person.  So it's no accident that I ended up studying visual arts in University and then went on to work in advertising.  I think I ended up almost exactly where I should have.  I say almost because lately my passions don't always match up with my job.  Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty cool job and I think I'm pretty lucky in that regards but sometimes my job can take over my life.  When I'm really busy, I usually go for days without even lacing up my shoes or hitting the gym.  Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day but I try to balance the two as best as I can.  Blogging and blog reading usually takes a back seat when my life is like this.

Enter the wonderful world of Instagram.

Through Instagram, I can live vicariously through all you folks on the interwebz...simply by looking at your pictures and vice versa.   Sometimes that's even better than reading or writing a blog post.  Especially in my case since I tend to be a bit wordy.  My job generally requires a lot of "hurry up and wait" so after all the hurrying is done and I'm standing around in say a farmers field waiting while the photographer is shooting, I can peruse instagram and check in with all my virtual pals.

Through this magical world of pictures, I can see what people are eating, how people are training, what people have seen and what people are wearing.  Yes folks, you can see it all on Instagram (I'm pretty sure that is very true...I haven't checked and I'm not sure I really want to...some people have no shame).  The people I follow are as diverse as my taste in music.  True to my artistic side, when I first got on instagram almost 3 years ago, I followed people who were clearly photographers.  Their images were (and still are) stunning and beautiful.  These are a few of the folks whose images appeal to my inner photographer.

Michael Schulz - @berlinstagram - His handle says it all.  He's in Berlin so that is his subject matter.  The best part - everything is shot on his iPhone 5.  Some of the other folks I follow shoot on regular DSLRS and import the images.  He's got a great eye for composition. 

Niall O'Leary @nialloleary - He is an art director at Millenium Images and documents images in his daily commute / life.  I feel like a bit of a voyeur when I look at his pics but I love them none the less.


VuTheara Kham  @vutheara  - A designer and photographer in Paris, France.  Another one whose images are all iPhone only.  Stunning shots of Paris. 

Dave in Toronto - @daveintoronto - Lover of the 3Rs - repetition, relfections and Rchitecture.  So says his profile.  Love the graphic nature of his shots.

Chris Gordaneer - @cgordaneer - I produced for Chris when I first started out at Westside.  He's an awesome photographer and a great guy.  His body of work is pretty freaking amazing.

Derek Shapton - @thunder_pino - I produce for Derek and his Instagram feed is always interesting and somewhat quirky.  It's the complete opposite of what he shoots commercially and I love that.

After a while I started to follow some fellow tweeps and bloggers.  Some of them foodies, some of them runners, some of them triathletes, all of them dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.   Now my feed is made up of all sorts of images.  A grab bag of eye candy so to speak.  Yes, reading a blog can give us all some insight into your life but sometimes a picture says it all.  Especially if you hashtag it like a boss.  I am going to be honest, sometimes I don't have the mental energy to read - I just want quick, simple and to the point - thus my love of Instagram.

These are some of my fave folks that I stalk follow on Instagram:

Christina  @the_athletarian - Christina is hilarious.  Her selfies are the best.  And she has the best workout clothes.   And her dog Princeton is pretty cute too. 

Emily @runemz - What can I say about Emz, that hasn't been said by a million people already.  She is your one stop inspiration station.  A running machine, a ray of sunshine and she can hashtag like no other.  

Kierston @candyfit - always positive, always stylish and her and her partner Super Fit are too cute for words.  They always look like they are having so much fun together.  And I totally love it when she busts out her FUFace.

Further Faster Forever @furtherfasterforever - A community of athletes inspiring other athletes.  Doesn't get much better than this.  Some of the folks I've seen on here have blown. my. mind.

The Balanced Bean Counter  @thebalancedbeancounter - Her food pics are great as are her recipes and I just love her attitude.  Even though we've never met, we go way back, ha ha.

Krysten @darwinianfail - Always lovely, always positive and always smiling no matter what life throws at her.  How could you not be inspired? 

Michelle @run_bake_blog - always great food pics and recipes especially if you're trying to go sugar or gluten free.  Every time she posts one of her muffin pics, all of a sudden I'm craving baked goods.  Definitely passionate about clean living and is a wealth of info. 

Pavement Runner @pavementrunner - Who DOESN'T follow Brian at Pavement Runner.  The dude is a social media icon.   Lots of great shots of San Francisco as well as token shoe shots, race bling, selfies and group shots.  He's got it all covered.  Makes me want to go back to San Fran sooner rather than later.  Such a great running ambassador too.

Truth to Being Fit @truth2beingfit - I've just recently started following this woman and good lord, I can only hope I look that good at her age (she's 55!).  She's got a great outlook and she definitely knows her way around a gym.

When I started posting on Instagram, I was mainly using it as a tool to take pretty pictures.  It's become so much more than that for me.  It's become a way to connect with and be inspired by other like minded folks.  It can also take the place of blogging for me when I'm super busy.   You'll know I'm busy because instead of pics of running shoes, healthy food, and finishers medals, you'll see pics of light stands, people hovering around computer screens and other random shots, all tagged with the hashtag #setlife.  Setlife= No life, ha ha.  

Instagram is my daily dose of inspiration.  It's another way for me to share and interact when I might not have the time for words.  Sometimes it's even better than words.  

With that I'll leave you with a few of my own favourite Instagram shots from the last year.

Are you on Instagram?  If so, who are some of your favourite people to follow?

The Pyramid at the Louvre, Paris, 2012

The MET, NYC 2012
Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, NY, 2013

CN Tower, Toronto, March 2013

Place Vendome, Paris 2012

Skyscrapers, NYC 2012

The Eiffel Tower, Paris, 2012



It was the best of times it was the worst of times....



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