Monday Postcard #35 – The Picture Perfect Reality
Before I started this webiste, I used to be really lazy when it came to taking pictures. When we did not have smartphones yet, carrying a camera was too much of a hassle for me and I always thought that taking a picture really destroyed the moment. However, looking back, I regret that I hardly have any pictures from my study times in China. Well, I do have a lot of party pictures but I do not have many showing everyday life in Beijing right before the Olympics in 2008. Running a website forces me to always think about taking pictures, document my travels and share what I see with you online.
The flip side is that it is very easy to get obsessed by the hunt for the perfect picture. When I started getting active on Instagram to promote my fitness app, I thought I have to play the game as well. I spent hours setting up food bowls, waiting for the perfect light and invested a lot of money in equipment and accessories for the perfect picture. As I never had any professional training in photography, my pictures looked really bad initially. But I gradually improved and trained my eye.
When I look at other travel and lifestyle accounts, all of the really successful ones have a beautiful and cohesive feed: the colours match, the light is perfect and every picture seems to be effortless. And this is the trick: they SEEM to be effortless but they are not. The more I got into the Insta-game the more I realized what is behind those pictures.
Most of those beautiful pictures are taken in places which are usually really crowded. But on the said pictures it is only the bloggers in front of a sight. For such a picture, you need to get up early and be there right after sunrise. Moreover, the perfect lighting also happens to be in the morning. If you also want to avoid showing your under-eye bags, you need to wake up at around 4 am, do your makeup and head out before sunrise. If you need to also stage the spot, probably even earlier. And the beautiful outfits which just seem to match the colours of the location are perfectly planned as well.
I admit that I also think those pictures look beautiful and I admire everyone who makes the effort for this perfect shot. However, I frequently ask myself: what is the perfect shot? Do people really think that anyone sits on the sidewalk of the canals of Venice with a glass of wine and a slice of pizza? Does my office always have to be tidied up to show that I actually work? And can I really enjoy a place and make travel experiences if I am obsessed with the perfect shot?
Over the last months, a lot of you got in touch with me because of this website. It made me realize that the reason why you are all reading my articles is not because you are looking for the polished and seemingly effortless life but because I share the real stuff. My mission is to encourage you all to live your dreams by sharing my life as an entrepreneur and traveler. But we can only live our dreams if we work hard. Most of the time, this means we are not picture ready for the perfect selfie. I think it is easy to get sucked into the Insta-game and only share the “perfect” sides of our lives. Sharing a bad day, an imperfect selfie or even a failure could make us weak. But we all know life is never perfect. So why would we all play this game?
For this reason, I would like to use this post as a call for action: Please share the topics you would like to read about here. Is there any piece of advice you need for your business or your career? What are you most interested in when it comes to startups? Are there concepts which are not clear to you? Or, do you want to read more travel stories?
You can send me an email or get in touch via Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin, I am really looking forward to hearing about what keeps you up at night and sharing more insights with you soon!
Have a great week ahead!