So late last year Hailey convinced me to sign up on Instagram (you might remember her post about Instagram). It wasn’t something that ever really appealed to me – not considering myself much of a photographer… eventually I decided I would though – mostly as a way to continue a series of café images I was diligently collecting with my children. It was customary to get a photo of Poppy’s Babycino (or Fluffy if you live in New Zealand!), and compare the crema on my long black (double espresso). Poppy likes to give her babycino’s a rating out of 5, and café owners watch out – she is unforgiving if she doesn’t get a marshmallow.

Anyway, my family and coffee were my sources of inspiration for many weeks – occasionally Earnest (our great dane) would make an appearance, but one day as we were waiting for our coffees to arrive at an outdoor cafe in the city I noticed an interesting pattern the morning sun made on a nearby office block. I snapped a picture and posted it. Another day we were location scouting at a historic school and I noticed that the columns made beautiful shadows on the old building. I continued with the normal ‘hey look at that cute bird’ and ‘look how tasty my breakfast looks’ shots for awhile, but I was noticing more and more beautiful details, textures and colours around me that I hadn’t seen before. I was taking shots of garage doors, concrete walls, cables on suspension bridges, petals on steel grates, and shadows from window ledges. I found a whole community of people on Instagram who took pictures of similar stuff. I followed them, they followed back. I was inspired. Every trip out of the house became not just an opportunity to find that elusive perfect coffee, but a chance to get excited by a tiny or enormous detail.

The point of all this is to say, hey, I’m grateful to have a little app on my iPhone that encourages me to seek beauty every day and record it to share with others. I’ve made so many Instafriends along the way too, from all over the world. It’s a great, supportive, loyal and friendly community to be part of.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll see if you follow me @surfistatomate ! (My screen name is another story…)