Instagram is about so much more than selfies, follow-for-follow, and puppies wearing hats
Our family is a little tragic when it comes to Instagram. No matter where we go, we’re always snapping photos individually or as a collective insta-huddle. Many parents – understandably – might see apps like Instagram as yet another virtual world that can suck their children in, and separate them from time spent with their family. For us though, we try to make it an opportunity to have fun together.
We’ve put together some tips and a short film that you might like to use as a guide to get your family taking great pictures together!
Our tips for family fun on Instagram
1. Be present to your kids on the app
First of all, you’ll all need to get an account. Learn to use it and know how the app works… be on top of things like direct messages and have a plan of action around who the kids can accept messages from. We only let our kids accept from people we know in real life. Decide together if you want the accounts to be private or open – there’s advantages and disadvantages to both. Be present to what is going on for your kids. While you’re not out to monitor every comment, it’s important to be aware of who they’re communicating with and generally what they’re talking about. If people leave a rude or mean comment, chat about it with them. Talk to them about the type of images they put up and the messages that sends. For example, let’s not put up a photo of you laying in your bikini on the sand… because generally speaking, you don’t want strangers looking at that!
2. Help each other take photos
Be in your kids shots… help them with photography tips. For example, let’s try to keep that horizon nice and level! Chat about which shot to choose from a bunch of great images. Chat about processing and ask their opinion on the shot they like the best. Share in the fun of filters and photography.
3. Stop the car sometimes
When driving past a flower field or something fun, make time to spontaneously jump out of the car and run around photographing things together. We are hilarious… on a recent trip to New Zealand we would all see some beautiful tree in front of a shining reflective lake at the same time and go sprinting toward it at once. The kids yelling and all of us wrestling for the best spot to photograph it. It was lots of fun! In the end we all got our shot of the tree – each slightly different to the others.
4. Not about the numbers
Remember that this is about fun and the joy of taking the type of photos you love to take. Lots of people get very caught up in the ‘follow-for-follow’ world or measuring their success only by their number of followers or how many likes a picture attracts. While having an audience to interact with is great, it is not the ultimate goal. Remember to take the photos YOU love to take. I like shots of my kids and nature and use my IG a bit like a diary of images. Andrew uses Instagram to share the type of work he loves… interesting architectural details and large sweeping landscapes. Zali uses instagram to keep in touch with her blogging friends and share artwork and crafting and yummy food. Poppy loves a bit of everything at this stage and we are encouraging her to continue to find the type of work she loves. Knowing the type of photos you enjoy best is an important first step in finding the part of the community that will inspire you and encourage you the most.
5. Can be a little addictive
Warning! You can sometimes get a little caught up in the fun of the app – whether it’s editing a photo, checking your latest comments or seeing what your friends have been up to – so do try to make sure that everyone puts their devices away sometimes and just enjoys the moment. Don’t forget to live and enjoy each other more than your photos!
Happy snapping – and if you’re on Instagram and want to see the finished results of some pics you see us shooting in the film, please check out:
We’re making a series of family videos that you might like to keep an eye out for. If you’re interested in seeing more, or have a suggestion for a family related film, please leave a comment below.