Keep It You

“Keep it honest. Keep it simple. Keep it You.”

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Oh Instagram, how I adore you and the way you let me share my life and photos instantly with my friends and followers! Those cute little squares that contain anything from puppies to food to white-space-filled compositions, I love them all! Yup, it’s officially my favorite social media.

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Lately though I’ve been feeling as if Instagram gives us all the dangerous opportunity to idealize our lives and our selves. I will admit I’ve fallen into the trap of craving a white-background-filled, carefully-composed everything in my feed, but I’ve realized that what I prefer to strive for is authenticity over perfection. Anyone can style their own perfect version of a still life or set-up scene if given the time, but what I find much more refreshing are the REAL moments. Snapshots that actually give me a small insight into that person’s life and goings on. THAT is why I’m following them after all, isn’t it? To cheer them on virtually, and rejoice in the sweet moments of their life, no matter how big or small? When you think about it that way, perfection seems overrated (…because it is).

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I think there needs to be a balance between real and really pretty, and I’m not discouraging either in the right amount. Only you can be the judge of the right amount. As a photographer, of course I consider the composition of a photo, it’s a habit and a side affect of my career choice (my inner nerd rejoices!). I also tend to post some images that I love from wedding days and sessions that happen to be from my camera, too. However, I’m making it my goal to be intentional with my posts, and working to achieve a balance of real and ideal. I’m me, and I’ve spent my lifetime figuring out just who that is (and still am discovering daily), and I want to share little snippets of myself with followers and virtual friends. I want my couples to feel like they know me – brides to feel like they can relate to my life and to me as a person, so that we can connect on a deeper level than just client and service provider. At the same time, I realize, along with other business owners and bloggers, that it’s important to infuse my brand into everything I do. That seems to come easiest when you make a conscious effort to live an authentic life! No one is perfect, but the closer we can get to living authentically, the better. Likewise, the more content we are with ourselves, the more we are able to see the admirable qualities of others instead of trying to imitate or compete with their ‘perfect’ life, as seen on social media. I don’t know about you, but I know I feel better when I encourage, rather than compete with, my fellow human beings!

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So go ahead and post that photo that you took of your honey snuggled up with your pup, even if it turns out slightly blurry. Take a photo when you get together with your girlfriends at your favorite restaurant. Your garden that you’ve worked so hard to make flourish. The dessert you baked that turned out (mostly) well (done) and you’re proud of it. Your latest read. The weekend adventure you had. Don’t be afraid to post images that aren’t exactly ‘perfect,’ and I promise I will be right there with you striving to do the same. Just remind yourself, authenticity over perfection! People will thinking highly of you for sharing what is real, and most importantly, you will know that you are staying true to yourself. Keep it you, friends :)

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Want to share your real and beautiful images with me? Feel free to follow me on Instagram or email me at laurelynsavannah(at)gmail(dot)com!

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