As usual, I am the last one to the social media party. When I first started blogging, I thought I was merely producing an online record of my life for me...and maybe a few friends and family members. When I received my first email from a complete stranger, I was simultaneously shocked and elated that anyone would have any interest in the words of my days. The same was true of Instagram. I've used it for awhile now but mainly as an immediate edit for in-phone photos and never imagining the connections or inspiration the community at large would provide.
Well, consider me now on the Instagram bandwagon. I love it for it's micro-blogging platform - with just a picture or a brief caption you can pack a powerful punch of beauty or thought in seconds. If, like me, you move like an 8-bit Atari Mario Bros. in today's hi-speed, digital world, here are a few of my favorite IG-ers to get you started with a new, highly addictive obsession...
@joyprouty: I first heard of Joy through Yahoo's news documentary of her family's desire to simplify and their decision to take the family on the road for a year, living out of a road trailer. She has photographed celebrities' families, been featured in a myriad of impressive publications, but what I love most about her IG feed is the joy and beauty she sees in every day. Her blog, lifestyle, faith, and devotion to her family and craft are richly inspiring and, if I save enough of my photography pennies by next year, hers is the first workshop I am attending!
@fivechicksandfarmer: A Texan wife and mother with a desire to live a simpler life more connected to nature and their food, she is now a farm owner at Yonder Way Farms and raises nature-sustained cows, pigs, and chickens. Her feed is full of nature, animals, and peeks inside a home lovingly furnished with beauty and reminders to live by faith.
@kristyjcarlson: I could write an entire blog post on how this woman and her family have challenged me to live with more abandon and adventure. Her family lives in rural Burundi because of an absolute belief in the equality of all people and their need to earn fair wages. The family's mantra has me eager to write one of our own - a concrete challenge and purpose to how we live and what influences the choices we make. As a photographer and mother and honest chronicler of real life, her feed is a constant source of truth and the pursuit of the One who has chased her heart to the far reaches of Africa.
@airesxo: This is a soon-to-be (Sunday!) real life friend who somehow found me through IG and, by following the yellow brick road of likes and comments, I found her back! She posts travel and lifestyle photos and expresses her thoughts and heart in mini posts with stunning clarity and conviction. Though she's well on her way to becoming a lawyer, I'm trying to convince her to write more...maybe even as a guest blogger here! :)
@kelliandvanessa: I would be remiss if I didn't give credit where credit is due. This shared IG feed of Kelli and Vanessa is where I first discovered many of the beautiful and creative spirits that I now follow. This feed in particular highlights individual women who are living their lives with bold abandon in their specific spheres of influence and calling. So often it's easy to feel alone in your position or choices that we each have to make as women/mothers. Each one of the women I have "met" through @kelliandvanessa has awakened in me, not only the passion to continue pursuing creativity, but the divine permission to be who God has crafted each of us to be: mini creators with his eye for beauty and discovery.
These are my current fave five. From time to time I'll share others and new finds as I come across them. If you're on Instagram let me know in the comments where to find you and, if you're interested, you can find me @shadrachs_joy.