Wednesday, January 22, 2014

InstaLOVE

by Leigh


When I joined Instagram almost three years ago I expected a fun social media outlet where I could share photographs with like minded people, but a few things happened that I did not expect at all.  I began to develop new friendships not only with people online, but local instagrammers.  I became a part of the #treecultokc group photographing a lone tree in a field (more about the tree here ) I also found a new niche….iphoneography.  There are photographers doing amazing things with their phones in the world of photography and it is so inspiring.  And lastly I did not expect for instagram to bring together a 38 year old mother and her 11 year old son.  But that is exactly what has happened.  Now a little bit more about the world that has opened up to me thanks to Instagram.

Photo by Jack

I wasn't quite sure how to find people on Instagram, so I began to follow local instagrammers and to my surprise and delight they followed me back.  After while a community began to evolve through the #igerok tag and instameets were arranged.  What's an instameet you ask?  Well…it's a time and location announced to the local instagram community for a photo walk and meet up.  January 11th was deemed National Instameet Day on Instagram so local artist and photographer Eric Lyons (@i_like_boring_things) arranged for a meet up in the small town of Guthrie, Oklahoma.  Guthrie's downtown area is full of Victorian architecture, quaint shops, railroad tracks, brick lined streets, abandoned buildings and cool alleyways.  In other words…a photographers dream locale!  Sixty-eight people came together that Saturday to meet, greet and shoot together.  Through the tags #instameetguthrie and #instameetguthrieok we are sharing our photos from that day.  It really opens up your eyes to the realm of possibilities when you see the same subject photographed by 68 different people. It just shows you that creativity is unique with endless possibilities!  Everyone has a viewpoint and there is no right way to photograph something.  I find myself going through the photos in awe of the various perspectives and processing styles.  This was a group of 68 individuals of all different backgrounds, ages, races, etc…brought together by an app on their phone.  How crazy does that sound!

photo by Eric Lyons


My son was the youngest one there and people went out of their way to make him feel comfortable and important.  He wasn't ignored because of his age.  Instead he was included in the group for his point of view.  As we explored the back alleys of Guthrie, Jack would call out to me.."mom, come see this!  Climb up this ladder and take a photo looking down"  Or  "hey mom, you will love this.. check out our reflections in this broken window".  He explored.  I explored.  We explored together.  And it didn't end with the instameet.  We have started going on our own weekend photo adventures.  We follow a lot of the same people on Instagram and Jack will ask me if I saw the cool shot that @darrenisreal posted or check out the latest sunset ditch photo from @twharms.  We talk about our favorite editing apps and he always wants to show me his latest shot.



I savor this time...feeling very lucky that he still wants to hang out with me although I know it won't always be that way.  But right now I enjoy being known as the "mom with the cool Instagram" among him and his friends.  So thank you Instagram.  Thanks for the inspiration.  Thanks for the connections.  Thanks for spanning the ages and bringing together a mom and her son.

Some of Jack's favorite shots








16 comments:

Sarah Huizenga said...

What a great way to have adventures together. I tend to use my iPhone most when I am on vacation.

Carol said...

I have been following Darren and Eric since your first post about the tree, and I took part when they sent their photo box around the world ( btw-is it back?). I am jealous that you get such great turnouts for your meets. I have a great community here that did not start with IG, and I know what a terrific experience it is to shoot with others, so I'm glad you've found one. Of course, best of all is doing this together with your son! That is absolutely wonderful. You are right to treasure this time before he gets busy on his own, I'm sure he will eventually look back on it as much as you will. And it gives him a window into your soul as a person, not just Mom. That is a priceless gift! Happy for you ( teary happy for some reason!)
And -go Jack! Nice pictures!!

Carol said...

P.s. I love the bicycle shots- great composition-they almost look European.

Barbara said...

that was really cool Leigh that you and your son had that connection through instagram, so fun when friendships happen when you least expect them like this, makes them even more special. Yea to instragram and to Jack.

kelly said...

just love this leigh...all these wonderful memories made and captured. it's a wonderful thing to be able to share things with our kids.

terriporter said...

Such a wonderful story, Leigh! I love that you and Jack share the love of photography and are having fun with it together. We have a local group that does instameets but I haven't had a chance to attend one yet. The last one was a week before Christmas! What we're they thinking? But I am hoping to have the chance to attend one in the future. I have met several local people on Instagram, one of whom I have met and shot with a few times. My husband things it's strange when I say, "My friend so-and-so from such-and-such" and it's really no one I have ever met in person, just on Instagram, but I do feel like I know them and they are friends. I hope you and Jack have this to share for a long time to come. It is priceless.

Cathy H. said...

What wonderful you too will have together with your shared interest! I don't do Instagram...my phone doesn't even take pictures, but I know that online photography groups have very special people. I think it's cool that you meet up with some of them for photo walks!

Dotti said...

Being accepted as an equal in a group like this will give Jack a confidence boost that is over the moon. A grand experience for him as a budding photographer and certainly a very special memory for his mom. Great idea to take him along? Or did he take you along? And the photos are great.

gina said...

What a wonderful story! To be able to share a passion like photography with your son is very special, and you both got wonderful photos from your photo meet up. I will have to see if there are any local instagram groups here.

Susan said...

Beautiful story, and great photos!

Katie said...

what a wonderful thing to do with your boy!
and that darren---man, oh man, i love his feed!

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

More than cool! Instagram has opened new doors for me too.

GailO said...

I don't know why but tears just welled up as I read this:)

Kim Stevens said...

That just so great that you have that to share together, and you never know....both my kids have lots of friends, but prefer to stay home most of the time. It's always just been us four...no family around and I think that may be why. My boy is going to be 17 this summer and I still get a kiss goodnight and an "I Love You!"

susan said...

Talk about serendipity! After spending an hour with Terri yesterday on the phone…teaching me about instagram (yes, finally taking the plunge here into instagram land) and I come across your post! Cool how that happens. Love that you and Jack share this special bond of photography and that he enjoys time with 'mom'. That is so special!

Deanna said...

What a special thing you two share together...so heartwarming!!

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