Women Who Creatively Inspire Me

With my last blog post about my Instagram following, I mentioned that I was really grateful for some of the women I've been lucky enough to connect with on Instagram. These women not only inspire me, but they have been great sources of encouragement and inspiration and I attribute a large amount of my positive experience on Instagram to them. A lot of you may know who they are, but if you don't I'd love for you to have a look at their amazing work and follow along, or at very least, know that if you're just starting out, it's not impossible to get to know people with larger numbers. To all of you I'm about to mention, thank you, thank you, truly! Xo

(Also, each image shown on this post links directly to their image on their Instagram account!)

Kayla of @this.little.wandering

#lovelywanderings

#lovelywanderings

I'll never forget the first time Kayla  liked one of my photos - my heart jumped in my chest. I was a fan girl! What?! It sounds ridiculous, I know, but it's true. Not long after, she started following me and we began talking. And then I realized there was nothing scary about her! She's the sweetest, most thoughtful person I interact with in this little social space. She's a wealth of knowledge for me and she encourages me and gives me guidance when I ask. Also, she's just an awesome human. We talk about everyday things as well! Kayla, you are so lovely and I can't tell you how much our conversations mean to me. Thank you!

Kayla and her two daughters, Jessamyn and Ophelia

Kayla and her two daughters, Jessamyn and Ophelia

Kayla and her newborn (at the time) Ophelia

Kayla and her newborn (at the time) Ophelia

Alexandria of @alexandriaslens

#ourmagicumbrella

#ourmagicumbrella

Well isn't that just magical?! I connected with Alexandria only a month ago I think but from the beginning she's been really kind and inspiring! We chat every now and again about creativity and kiddos and she encourages my creative endeavors! She's another lovely soul that I highly suggest you check out and follow because you are certain to find magic every day on her feed! 

Self portrait - are you amazed? I am! I honestly can't wrap my head around it because I'm no good at self-portraits at all!

Self portrait - are you amazed? I am! I honestly can't wrap my head around it because I'm no good at self-portraits at all!

Her and babe are completely lovely and moody. He words are inspiring and magical in this photo on her IG account also!

Her and babe are completely lovely and moody. He words are inspiring and magical in this photo on her IG account also!

And finally but not lastly or least:

Barbora of @herinternest

#thisautumnlife 

#thisautumnlife 

I first discovered Barbora via Sara Tasker of @me_and_orla 's blog looking at her Bloom & Grow course. (Ps. I discovered Sara Tasker from Kayla of @this.little.wandering - you see how I love this community?) I completely fell in love with Barbora's delightful, squishy face and all the images on her feed! I followed her instantly and then later participated in her hashtag, #thisautumnlife that she created with Sarirah of @prettynotinc . Eventually she noticed one of my photos and started following along with me, as well! Since then Barb has become a mentor of sorts. She pushes ideas, challenges me, and offers insight into the world of Instagram and she also asks me to look within myself. Barb, thank you, thank you, for being wholeheartedly you and for branching out to help others! You are simply amazing! Xo

Really though, how great is that?

Really though, how great is that?

She has a few magical windows in her little home in Norway that make for the loveliest shadow play!

She has a few magical windows in her little home in Norway that make for the loveliest shadow play!

These are by no means the only amazing people on Instagram, they're just a few I'd like to specially mention and pay it forward. Again, thank you three for your kindness and support!

Xo

Ashley

Why I'm About to Lose a Lot of Instagram Followers, and Why I'm Okay with It

This goes without saying for some but not for all; we put a lot of time into curating our feeds and the content in which we put forth. We each have different motives and I'm not going to say what motives are right or wrong but I am here to say that I'm okay with the fact that I'm about to lose 100 followers on Instagram and I'll tell you why.

When I decided that I was going to start a blog and put more thought into the content I was producing, people invited me to "mom to mom follow loops" and pods via third party apps where there were hundreds, sometimes even thousands of members in the pods. I had no idea what these were but the people that ran these pods invited me on the notion that "it's how we beat the algorithm to get our content seen" and "it's to support each other," and I'm here to tell you that that's all bullshit, save a few people I didn't cull. 

I participated in a few of these "pods" for about two weeks before I realized enough was enough because nothing about it felt right. It was not authentic; nothing about it was authentic and it felt like cheating. So I quit participating, deleted the app, and focused on producing better content. What I didn't do however, was stop following many of those users. Partly because I was afraid of losing the numbers and partly because I felt bad. And then I realized that they don't care. They're scrolling past my content and not engaging as much as I'm scrolling past theirs and not engaging with theirs. 

As I focused more on my content and my images got better (and I strive to continue improving,) I started attracting the audience I wanted to: people that I inspired and people that inspired me! My people find me just as much as I find them. It's like an instant friendship almost. Currently, there are several women who totally and completely inspire and encourage me every single day and I'm saving a special thank you post for a few of those women, though I suspect a few of them may know who they are! I am so grateful to have this little community of creatives to push me and encourage me. I'm also happy to pay it forward to those who ask for advice! This is what this community should be about.

For me, this is not about competition - it's about creativity and inspiration. If we get collaborations out of it, that's great, but honestly, it's firstly about creative expression in my mind.

So tonight, I was scrolling and got fed up with seeing uninspiring images and seeing images from Instagram users that never interact with mine either so I decided it was time to cull, and just as I suspected, they're unfollowing right back which solidifies the fact that they don't care for my content, nor I theirs, so why keep pretending? This is why I'm okay with it. I'm okay with losing numbers to free up space for more lovely and inspiring feeds and for people that want to engage with me as well.

How's that for #hashtagauthentic ? If this blog post turns you off, I understand but I wanted to put in my two cents about follow loops and insane Instagram pods. They're not for me and they never will be again.

Please stay tuned for a new blog post on the women that totally inspire me coming soon! They are completely lovely and I couldn't thank them enough!

On that note, sweet dreams, loves.

Xo