(All pics. snapped between 3/08/12 and 3/21/12 - using an iPhone and Instagram filters)
For about the first year that I was on Instagram, I used the app almost exclusively to edit phone snaps that might one day end up on Little Pretties.
I was perfectly content with having only my close friends, my kids, and a few of their friends as followers and followees - and had very little interest in exploring the site to see what other IGers were posting.
After randomly (and sporadically) tagging some of my pictures, whenever the sudden urge hit me - folks on IG who I did not know (but who had similar interests to mine) - found, looked at, and even "liked" some of my pics....a few of them even started following me.
In most cases, I was happy to return the favor - as I found a tremendous lot of inspiration in the unique and varied styles of the subject matter displayed in the galleries of my growing group of new IG friends.
Normally, I'm pretty stubborn about not letting other people's work influence my own (as an artist in general, not just as an Instagrammer), which I'm sure is close-minded, ignorant even - nontheless, I can't deny that I've got this thing about keeping my art as "pure" as I possibly can. I want it to always come completely from my imagination and experiences - it's almost as if I've intentionally worn blinders all this time, in order to avoid the temptation to swipe other people's ideas.
But in scrolling many times daily, through the amazing collections of images that my IG friends shared - I could no longer keep my eyes closed to what other photographers in this big, wide world were doing...
...and because of that - one aspect of my repertoire was (I believe) positively impacted - when I finally gave in, and let myself take a cue from certain IGers whose stuff I particularly admired.
Those of you who've followed "Little Pretties" for even a short amount of time - must certainly by now know of my obsession with abandoned buildings. But I wonder if any of you ever noticed how infrequently I (used to) capture the exterior of the crumbling structures to which I am hopelessly attracted.
It wasn't until I began looking at the fabulous photos that my fellow IGers were taking of the exteriors of ruins near to where they live - that it occurred to me that I myself focus almost entirely on documenting the rooms and the contents therein.
And on top of that (more times than not) the pictures those people produced were exquisitely haunting and well...just plain creepy...and I LOVED 'em!
It took a whole lot of experimenting with layering the various Instagram effects...
...before I finally started achieving the look that I wanted...
...a "look" that I never would've dreamed up for my phone snaps...