Instagram started out with a relatively simple premise.
A picture tells a thousand words, so why not have a social media site that communicates with photographs?
In the humble beginnings of the platform, people would post grainy pictures of their breakfast (I partly blame the rubbish iPhone cameras at that point), nights out and maybe a new outfit they'd recently bought.
Well, I am speaking from experience.
But today, Instagram is a very different landscape.
People's 'feeds' are brand identities in their own right.
Users of the platform are only shown more of the content they've been engaging with, so gone are the days you could get a couple hundred likes on a grainy picture of a bowl of porridge.
Yep, also speaking from experience. Those were the days.
Today, Instagram feeds resemble digital art galleries. You choose your finest work to display. The highlights of your life.
Personally, I see my Instagram feed as a gallery of my creative expression. And so for the most part, I really do consider it art. But what if that online gallery could be brought to life. In real life?
Well this Christmas, I set myself a little project to start printing out more of my favourite images - both personal ones of family and friends, but also collaborations I'm proud of, images from trips that have wonderful memories attached and photographs I want to display IRL, as well as on Instagram.
Snapfish have helped me to turn those Instagram pictures into artwork. And I'm so excited to share this with you - because in less than a month, you'll see why I've decided to embark on this project. It's top secret at the moment, but when I'm able to reveal it, hopefully you'll be as excited as I am!
This post is in collaboration with Snapfish
Is Instagram Content Art?
As mentioned above Instagram is my gallery of creativity and I like to experiment with editing to bring out the colours in my photographs and transform them into something whimsical, magical and a little dreamy.
I want each photo to make a statement and while I totally appreciate a 'highlights reel' of photographs that are staged are not everyone's cup of tea, I try to balance a bit of magic with a realistic caption.
I aim to make people stop, smile or think with my imagery.
And in the past year, there have been some particular images that I've been really proud of. Whether those are collaborations I've done or places I've visited - I wanted to print them out and turn them into artwork that I could keep forever. Something tangible that I wouldn't have to log onto the online world to view.
And Snapfish had the perfect solution for this - a variety of personalised photo printing and gifting options for you to upload and design.
Initially I was going to opt for a canvas print, as we've got a couple of these printed up before and they are hanging up on the walls of our home. But I wanted something a little different for a new gallery wall that I am planning, and so I thought that a poster print would be the perfect solution.
The process took all of about five minutes, as I uploaded my images, plopped them onto the A3 designer to check they were framed correctly, and then in a snap - the order was put through.
I bought a couple of cheap frames from Amazon and then waited for them to arrive at my door.
I've still got a few more to frame, but the first few have turned out better than I imagined.
Some people might think it's a little odd to be framing tonnes of pictures of yourself, but these are going to be put up in my office at some point and will serve to remind me on days I doubt myself that I've achieved so much since I started this little blog of mine all those years ago (7, if you're counting).
I never imagined I'd work with some of the brands I have - Starbucks, Boohoo, Trek America, Qatar Airways. It's more than I ever could have dreamed.
Yet we all suffer from confidence issues, self doubt, comparison etc, so hopefully my gallery will be a reminder of all of my achievements thus far. Maybe they'll inspire creativity on a dull day. Who knows.
Or maybe when I'm old and grey, they'll be something I get out of the attic and show my grandchildren, as by then - I'm sure Instagram will be a thing of the past.
We'll have moved onto virtual reality feeds, or perhaps something else?
As well as turning my Instagram images into A3 size pieces of art, I've also been busy turning my friends and families favourite photographs into artwork too.
Snapfish offer a really easy, quick and affordable online service whereby you can upload your photographs directly to their website, pick a product and design your gift.
The A3 posters that I had printed are only £5.99 each, so once it has been delivered - all you need to do is frame and gift!
If you're buying for the person who has absolutely everything, you can be sure that this is something they don't yet have.
For something a little different, you can even add photo memories onto a water bottle, cushion cover or beach towel - for the ultimate personalised gift.