Instagram allows you to show off what you’re doing and seeing to your friends, family, distant acquaintances, and the creepy Arab guy that somehow manages to be the first like on every selfie you post.
It allows you to create. It allows you to highlight something that you find beautiful, amusing or clever. We may not be National Geographic photographers, but we still go to great lengths to get the perfect shot.
From the selfie photographer to the artistic photo composer to the jealousy-inducing vacation photojournalist - These are just some of the #problems serious Instagrammers face:
8 - Finding the HOLY GRAIL of Lighting… in a Very Public Place
It doesn’t matter how aesthetically pleasing your lunch is - if the lighting is bad, it’s not Instagram-worthy. So when you find a beam of natural light through a window, you’re going to take advantage of it!
It doesn’t matter if you’re surrounded by angry midwesterners at an airport or wasting your life away in line at the DMV - when you find that lighting, you use it!
7 - Trying to Combat Weird Lighting Using Filters
This is for those times when you didn’t find your beam of light. You didn’t make use of the daylight hours, it’s 9 PM, and all you’ve got is the overhead kitchen lighting to see you through.
Now your photo has a jaundiced glow, and you’ve got to steal some of it’s warmth and saturation.
6 - Taking 24 Pictures of the Same Thing
You don’t get the shot on the first try. Or usually the second, or third… I have to take at least 45 selfies before I’m ready to post one.
Even worse is when you ask someone else to take a photo of you, and then you have to ask them to try again, and again, and then you have to give them creative direction like, “THAT ANGLE IS GOING TO HIGHLIGHT ALL OF MY CHINS, STAND UP STRAIGHT AND TAKE THIS PICTURE LIKE A REAL MAN. IS THIS A GAME TO YOU, DAD?! ”
5 - When Someone Finds the “Extras”
Sometimes you forget to delete the rejects from your quest for the perfect selfie. And then your friend who is most likely to be a sociopath comes along and scrolls through your camera roll.
When this happens, just remember that Kim Kardashian made thousands upon thousands of dollars from a book filled with her "extra" selfies.
4 - Bending into Weird Positions to Make the Shot Better
If you stand over your chinese takeout, you cast a long shadow. If you move too far to the left, you can see the trash can in the background. So you settle for crouching on your chair at a 45 degree angle with your arms outstretched, hoping that you’ve centered on the lo mein.
3 - Posting Off-Peak
I have a friend who posts every morning at 9 AM. If you don’t have that level of discipline and foresight, you’re bound to post at a low-traffic time at least once - meaning your exquisite photo of the beach in Tulum, Mexico only gets 7 likes. (And then you have to commit Insta-sin, by deleting it and reposting the next day as if it never happened.)
2 - Cropping Out a Friend
If you’re lucky, it’s a simple compromise - One friend loses the top of his forehead, and another’s chin gets chopped off. Everyone is still identifiable and smiling.
Sometimes, you have to make a truly difficult decision and crop an entire person out of the group photo. No matter how many times you explain that it HAS to be square, feelings can get hurt and people can get "Instagrumpy."
1 - Second-hand Embarrassment About the Kelvin Filter
Instagram’s updates have removed Kelvin from the main lineup, but it’s still hiding in your “Manage Filters” folder like the shingles virus. Kelvin is only appropriate when you want to show what something would look like inside your microwave.
BONUS: In the quest for the perfect selfie, I once climbed up on my bathroom vanity to get closer to the lights over the sink. What I didn’t realize was that my curling wand was still on… So now I have a gnarly 2" scar on my knee and a terrible story to accompany it.
Did you know that you can follow me on Instagram right here? This is what dreams are made of.