I tried a little experiment on my most recent trip: delete Instagram and not share anything about my trip ~at all~ on social media. What happened was so interesting. Suddenly I was in this space where I could be with my own thoughts, I wasn't constantly on the look out for what I thought other people wanted to see. I didn't need to have that offhand, improvisational quality with funny captions that Instastories requires. It wasn't driven by engagement or likes.
Instead I started taking photos for myself again and it reminded me of how it felt to shoot with a real camera and analog film all those years ago. Although I was using an iPhone, I was much more focused on composing the image. It was about capturing intimate and in-between moments and how a particular place feels. I had this yearning for my photos to have a more analog feel so I started experimenting with filters on VSCO. I went down the Fujifilm rabbit hole (Velvia!!) and was inspired by other people's imagery and styles. The space on that platform also felt more spare and allowed my images to breathe.
Since I've been back, I've been keeping the practice up. Street shooting, in the moment. If anything, it's so easy with an iPhone and way less fussy than having to tote a camera around. And I haven't missed Instagram at all.
Back at the beginning of 2019, I took a basic sewing class at the New York Sewing Center. I decided, once and for all, that I would learn how to sew. My grandmother was an expert seamstress (she worked in a sweatshop in Chinatown in the 80s) and my mom…