Art, craft and lifestyle workshops and classes on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

GUEST POST - Rare Pear Studio

Posted on August 17 2016

A guest post from the gorgeous Shani from Rare Pear Studios

Instagram Edited, Instagram Perfect, Instagram Love. 

Instagram oh Instagram. Place of wonders, place of beauty, place of sharing. Place of everything you could think of. 

About 3 (or is it 4?)years ago, I bought my first smartphone. Before that I had my hubby's cast off mobile. I never ever used it. I never ever charged it. It was like a little black brick I carried around in my bag, and the only calls I had were from hubby. The only message I had were from hubby. Saying, "Why isn't your phone on?"

A few years before that, I remember sitting in my sister's lounge room in Tassie  with her patiently giving me a lesson on how to text. She thought I was Neanderthal. A complete Luddite. 

So you can tell, I am not a gizmo new gadget loving tekno head. And phones were not high on my agenda.

It probably won't surprise you to know I left my first smartphone in its case (from sheer terror) for a week after I got it. This was kind of a result of what the friendly pimply faced salesmen had said to me when we bought it. I asked him how much better this new phone was than the old black brick. He looked at me and smiled, and said ...

 "You have just gone from driving a beaten up old Corolla to a shiny new Maserati!"

He laughed. I gulped. I gulped again. I thought, I think I might need a licence to use this precious thing. Scared.

I did start using it. Eventually. I did start falling in love with it (as soon as it started giving me directions in Sydney I kinda fell under its spell). I never realised it was going to be so much more than a phone. I never realised it was going to be a camera really, with a few other features.

Luddite camera, a Diana lomography camera, low-tech and lovely

And then I discovered Instagram. Another creative (now with 54.8K followers) told me I HAD TO get onto it. She told me about it being an App. So I downloaded (feeling very all over that shizz) and my journey began.

 

My first ever Instagram post!

I snapped and shared photos like a mad woman for a long time, with unbridled adoration and thrill.

I have a degree in photography (from a time when we used a darkroom and film) and it just opened up a whole world of sharing and connecting and it felt like a little exhibition everyday. I fell under its spell, and charms, very quickly. Especially when some lovely friend explained to me about hashtags.

 

One of the first posts - lo-fi filter love

I may have shared like mad, but I was careful about my shots. No editing, I just  used the Lo-Fi filter lots, and that's about it. 

 

one of my fave ever posts

Something happened though, something changed. I used to do a photo challenge, its feed full of beautiful images, and for the life of me could not understand how their images were all so lovely. They seemed so PERFECT. I went from being inspired to despairing. I felt like there was something essential I was missing. 

So I asked questions. And people responded. And SUDDENLY I discovered editing apps.

OHMYGAWD.REALLY?!

 

One of the first posts I did when I discovered how to edit

And suddenly the world changed. I had a way of fixing my photos so that they were light, and shiny... and even CROPPED. And I learnt about making things square. And how to add text. And how to make collages. And so much more.

 

Getting into collages!

Since then I have never stopped being thrilled by how much fun it is to edit. And I do feel Karma kicking me up the arse, me the once anti-editing art student, who thought that a photo played with was cheating somehow. Oh how the worm turns. 

So yes, I love editing. And I would happily Snapseed all day long. 

The other thing that changed, is that I discovered there world of FLATLAY. Oh how I love it. I love it I love it I love it. I am not sure why. But something about placing objects in a way that makes a picture look JUST RIGHT, is both a challenge and a joy. I edit and snap, and rearrange and try out ideas until I am happy. Sometimes it is  done quickly, sometimes it takes ages... and I still cannot get it quite right. No such thing as perfect.

 

A nice recent flatlay, of an illustration for a commission

As a result of this love of flatlay I have stockpiled a huge, HUGE amount of crap props for such flatlays. Feathers, nests, keys, dominos, papers, spoons, stationary, flowers, bugs, bottles.... I have them all, and more, in drawers, waiting to make an appearance. 

I look back at my first images posted on Instagram and cringe. I have deleted lots of them, but many I have kept to remind me of my own journey. 

 

One of my first flatlay attempts!

Not that my feed/gallery is perfect, my images are not perfect (no way) and not to everyone's taste. But they are mine. And they are an essential part of my business and my connecting, finding and networking. I have had lots of work, sales, jobs, and fabulous stuff happen because of it, including my win of the Kidspot thing. I would be lost without it, true. 

When people ask me how to use Instagram and say they do not get it at all... I show them, I help them, I explain to them. I never judge. 

 

A recent flatlay for my big cartel shop

 And things that seem so easy to me, I realise and remember when I did not know. I remember when I was the one unsure and had very little idea. And it makes me chuckle. Because I know that the dude who sold me my smartphone would be  so proud of how I have learnt to drive my Maserati. Yep, I think I have my licence to drive Instagram!

xx Shani
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