Why I quit Instagram

May 9, 2019

Kirstie Tweed/Orange Girl

If you've known me for a while you know I've started and quit instagram an embarrassing 4 times. Yikes! There are things I LOVE about instagram like getting to know my couples & their pets before their wedding day, seeing the excitement my couple's share when they are in the mountains, getting to see what my talented wedding colleagues are creating every week and sharing what I love about this beautiful place I get to call home and the inspiring weddings I am honoured to capture here. But for me instagram has a lot of negatives that I think are worth mentioning and are the reasons I've decided to step away from instagram. It was a VERY difficult choice to quit but definitely the right choice for me. 

  1. INSTAGRAM IS A TIME SUCK It's pretty easy to sit down to check in on instagram and suddenly look up to discover that an hour or hours have passed. I know I'm not alone in this. My top priority is always getting my couples their wedding photographs as fast as possible so anything that takes away from that has to be considered. I spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours editing wedding photos at my desk and it's important to me to spend my time away from my desk with intention.
  2. MY PHOTOS ARE OFTEN TAKEN WITHOUT MY PERMISSION Sharing my photos on instagram means I am opening myself up to having people & businesses repost my photos without my permission or photo credit. I often got messages from friends sending me screen shots of my wedding photos being used as "inspiration" by a photographer, wedding planner or blog who had absolutely nothing to do with that wedding. They repost my images without asking permission from me or my couples. When I've politely asked accounts to please not re-post my images I have received very angry responses back stating that if I don't want my images taken I shouldn't post them to instagram. I've seen my wedding photos being used to sell travel packages and that it is not something I ever give my permission to do. Quitting instagram means I cut down on people stealing my images.
  3. INSTAGRAM IS DESIGNED TO SELL YOU STUFF I noticed whenever I have not been on instagram my wallet is happier for it. :) There is always something tempting on instagram to buy. 
  4. UNINTENTIONAL HURT FEELINGS Instagram has the potential to create hurt feelings even when that is definitely not the intention. Choosing to follow or not follow someone or choosing what to post can create hurt feelings. 
  5. COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY I find instagram can make creative people feel badly about their work when they are constantly comparing their work and their experiences to others.
  6. PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE I found when I had time off it was too easy to feel compelled to bring out my phone to capture a video or photo to share on instastories because I was excited about our day but in reality I enjoy the day soooo much more without a phone in front of my face. 
  7. I PREFER BLOGGING For me a wedding is never about a single photograph, it's about a collection of photographs that tell the story of the day. I found trying to pick a single photo to share on instagram to sum up the day impossible and a frustrating experience. I love blogging because it allows me to share a collection of images.
  8. I HATE CAPTIONS There are times when I am super excited about a photograph but I can't think of a suitable caption so I just don't post anything. I'm not alone in this. I know some colleagues who don't post for weeks because they are struggling to caption a photo of their work they want to share. Some wedding photographers have found a way out by posting quotes about love under their photos but I find that a cheesy way to avoid writing a caption.
  9. INSTAGRAM KILLS CREATIVITY While it is easy to say that you won't pay attention to the amount of likes or comments a photo gets it is harder to put that into practise. What ends up happening is that you only want to post photos that will be "successful". That is a kind of negative training. It stops people from being creative, experimenting, and showing images that have meaning to them. Here in the mountains the only wedding photographs that I posted that would consistently get a lot of likes were photos of big mountain scenes and a tiny wedding couple. While I love those photos they are such a small part of what I love creating and the intimate personal photos that capture emotion and a moment are really what I want to share but those don't do well on instagram. I also adore black & white photos and I found those never do well on instagram so I stopped sharing them when in reality they are something I love creating.
  10. INSTAGRAM FILTERS It's always been important to me to edit wedding photographs in a way that is clean, true & timeless so my photos won't look terribly dated in the years ahead. I know brides spend a lot of time picking out the perfect colours and I want to capture them in a way that helps them remember their day. Instagram has that coffee stained grainy look and it's influenced the way people see photos. It has created a trend with photographers creating dark & moody brown stained photos. I know those dark & moody photos seen everywhere on instagram at the moment are going to look terribly dated in just a few years.
  11. DIRECT MESSAGES Because I live in the mountains I would get a lot of DMs from people asking me to help them plan their vacation here with everything from places to stay and where to eat. The people direct messaging me were not my clients or people interested in hiring me and supporting my family but strangers looking for free advice from a local. I used to spend a LOT of time sending people links to my blog posts that answer many of the questions they had for me and I would either get no response at all or a simple "THX" for my time. I LOVE sharing what I love about this place but because my time is limited I need to focus my time on my clients. My clients are my top priority and time that I spend talking to a stranger is time I could be spending helping one of my wedding couples make the most of their time in the mountains.
  12. EXPOSURE TO CRUELTY On the explore page of instagram I would be exposed to images of animal cruelty, negative politics or explicit content that I would never come across other than within instagram. There is a lot of hate & cruelty on instagram and without it I don't risk being exposed to it.
  13. INSTAGRAM CAN NEGATIVELY IMPACT YOUR DAY I, like most people, developed a habit of looking at instagram while drinking my morning coffee. As people have become comfortable using instagram for all of their communication it is not uncommon to read rants & complaints or really sad news in your morning feed. Reading those things can negativity impact the start to your day. For me I prefer to hear about news from people in person not read it on instagram.

Hello my name is Kirstie and I am a wedding photographer who specializes in photographing weddings & elopements in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise & Emerald Lake. I’ve been photographing mountain weddings since 2004 and feel very lucky to call this place home. I live in Canmore with my husband Kevin and our 2 rescue dogs Leroy & Mabel.