To partner along with the #2018MakeNine challenge I thought it would be fun to launch a mini photo challenge as well. A new year marks a new start for everything, so why not kick 2018 off with nine new projects and nine new photos for a more intentional instagram feed.
Instagram has really found its stride as a micro blogging platform for Creatives, making it so easy to share small posts without feeling like you’re making a big production out of it. I love blogging and I think I’ll always have a blog in some form or another but if I learned any lesson in 2017 about my sewing/knitting habits it’s I don’t have the same passion, aka patience, for standing in front of the camera as I used to. I actually made quite a few things for myself this past year, many hats, several t-shirts, and a few lounge pants if I’m thinking back, but I rarely blogged about any of them. What I do really love is writing and being behind a camera, and that is why I get a lot of enjoyment out of instagram.
So with that said, I’m launching a gentle photo challenge to help you create and curate a more meaningful instagram feed for yourself. After the nine days have passed you’ll have nine new photos that make up the landing page of your profile, which is a really nice way to softly reinvent yourself and your instagram account if that’s what your goals are. …or just have fun taking pics! That’s obviously the goal above everything else.
Here’s what’s important to know about this challenge:
First of all, like #2018MakeNine, this is a work-at-your-own-pace type of challenge. There are nine day’s worth of prompts but that doesn’t mean you have to start on the 1st and post every day until the 9th. There are no days to miss or get behind on! You don’t even have to post in the month of January at all if you don’t want to. You can save this challenge for a rainy day, or follow a few prompts here and there as the months go on. It’s up to you! Also, this is not a competition. There are no incentives or prizes. The Make Nine challenges are all about self-motivation, self-guidance, and doing things for the joy of it.
Use the hashtag #2018TakeNine on any days that you choose to share so we can get to know each other and see what we’re all making!
Side note: to encourage myself to take photos with more intent as the year goes on, I’d like to create seasonal Take Nine prompts, maybe every quarter, for you to join in on if you’d like!
There are a few ways you can approach this challenge:
1.) If your goal is to share more professional looking photos this year then take some time with the prompts and plan your pictures out in advance before you post. Again, this is not a challenge that you can fall behind on. You don’t have to start right on January 1st. So take as much time as you need and share your best work. Push yourself to learn different camera settings, find a photo editing app that you like, experiment with lighting and props, try flat-lays or posed photos etc.
If the above description fits your goals this year then check out The Fibre Company’s great post on how to take better photos with your phone.
2.) Now on the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe you’re bored of flat-lays or you feel like you think/care way too much about what to post. I feel like that every other week if I’m honest. Maybe your goals are to be a little more spontaneous, or just get more comfortable with the “stop, drop, and post” approach to sharing photos on instagram. Or, *gasp!* post a selfie every once in a while!?!
I myself am trying to get better at sharing more of my honest, “I woke up like this” self in my instagram stories, and sprinkle some more “raw” photos into my feed when it feels right. It’s more important to have a devoted… for lack of a better analogy, “tribe” or “fan base” than it is to have a million followers. So if you post something that’s a little personal and lose followers over it, that’s a GOOD thing. You don’t want people sticking around if they don’t believe in you or what you share. Don’t be afraid to share yourself as you are. (<— That’s a reminder for myself as well.)
As Dr. Seuss said best, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
3.) So the third approach to this challenge would be to do a bit of both. To share more honestly with less editing but also with your best, most professional foot forward. The instagram profiles I enjoy above all are ones who blend this concept really well, so without allowing myself to get sucked into the comparison trap (that’s super important to avoid!), I’m going to try to get better at this “honest professional” approach to my photos in 2018.
Now, on to the prompts!
Day One: This is me – Share some kind of portrait that represents you as your favorite self. We as humans are all works in progress. Every single face on earth is both unusual and beautiful in the same breath. “Selfies” shouldn’t be scary and your dedicated followers definitely want to know your face. So challenge yourself to post a selfie if your goal is to share more “you” in the new year. Get creative with your self-portrait! Caption this photo with a bit about yourself, your creative background, what you like, a unique fact about yourself or a hidden talent. Anything you’re comfortable sharing!
Day Two: What I do – What do you do for a living? What are your passions? Do you sew or knit or quilt or all of the above? Is your day job something you’re super proud of that has nothing to do with your creative hobbies? Maybe you’re working to start your own creative business and want to announce it and talk more about it? Tell us what you love to spend your time doing and why you love doing it.
Day Three: To Make is to Learn – Share a photo that represents a lesson you learned last year that’s driving your Make Nine choices for this year, or share a new-to-technique you want to learn this year! Did you learn something about yourself or your personal style? We want to know more.
Day Four: A signature thing – What’s your signature? Maybe you have a specific color that happens to be your most favorite, an outfit or signature look that really makes you feel amazing, a type of garment or accessory you can’t get enough of – Anything! Could be a place or a food that’s your signature thing.
Day Five: Work in progress – You can share one of your Make Nine projects you just started, or something totally unrelated to crafting. It could be an artwork, a home improvement project, or a personal milestone you’re working to reach. Share this journey with us.
Day Six: Tools and Materials – Take a photo of your tools and/or materials that make you feel something positive. Is there a backstory to share along with the photo? Coffee totally counts as a tool.
Day Seven: Sacred Space – Where is your favorite place to create? Is it your own dedicated room? A nook in a room? A favorite chair? A place on the couch? Maybe your most sacred space isn’t a place where you sit and physically create, but a place where you sit and think first about what you want to make.
Day Eight: Friends in Fiber – Who do you share your craft with? Have you made life-long friends because of Making? Do you have a local shop you want to give a shout-out to? Maybe your cat or dog is your best friend in fiber! Celebrate these friends.
Day Nine: Present and Future – Take a moment to reflect on where you are now and where you’d like to be. Do a little something every single day that will help bridge the gap between right now and what you’re working towards. Share a bit about this process and your plans.
I can’t wait to see everyone’s stories and photos! This Maker community is a really special one and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.
p.s. If you don’t have Instagram you could easily adapt each of these prompts into a separate blog post and have nine days worth of blog posts all planned out and ready to go! …I might actually do that!