fashion, lifestyle

Connecting with creative people | Instagram ‘Shadow banning’

Life’s felt ever so slightly overwhelming the last few weeks, in that ‘omg I have so much to do so I’m gonna make lists and not actually do any of it’ kind of way.  The best way to be overwhelmed – lots on my plate but life is good.  Turns out juggling a full time degree (and essentially teaching yourself) with blogging / keeping fit / spending quality time with people / maintaining sanity is actually quite the task.  My first year without a schedule has taught me lots, that’s for sure.  But that’s one for another post.  The drafts folder is overflowing, let me tell you!  I’ve been hopping on the train to Manchester a hell of a lot too, for blogging events, seeing friends and working with Manchester photographers to build my portfolio.  So yeah, busy bee round these parts.

I’ve mentioned before how I like having both creative and science loving sides to my personality, and one thing I can say for the creative side is that it makes SUCH a difference to be around creative people.  For someone who spends rather a lot of time doing maths alone, especially!  Hanging out with bloggers, photographers, artists, and just generally creative people gives you an inspo boost in a way that Pinterest never can.  Actual human interaction and all that!  Feeling very lucky to be constantly meeting more of these people.  This latest shoot was with the super talented Arran Critchley – I really enjoyed shooting such a casual style and we’re already planning another for summer!

Added bonus to not get kicked out by security this time too, as has become a running theme with test shoots.  All the places we asked in the Northern Quarter were happy for us to mess about taking photos and sit/climb/lie on their outdoor tables.  So that’s a win.

Whilst I’ll forever be a fan of talking to strangers and find it pretty easy to make conversation, it’s not like you’re gonna pop down the road and just bump into creative people on your wavelength by default.  Although I did unintentionally befriend a pair of photographers whilst in Lisbon, but that’s not exactly an everyday occurrence.  We all know that relationships of any kind – be it professional, friendships or romantic – often start online these days, which is one of the reasons social media is a blessing as well as a curse.  I’d be missing out on having a bunch of fabulous people in my life if it wasn’t for social media anyway!  You can sense pretty easily from someone’s social media whether they have a similar vibe to you, and I love the fact that a simple comment or DM slide can lead to cool collabs or friendships.

Finding like-minded people to connect with is one of the main reasons I wish social media platforms (mainly side-eyeing at you, Instagram) would stop tampering with their algorithms.  Seems like the sole purpose of such changes has switched from making money so simply being a pain in the backside tbh.  Every week seems to bring a new change, but this latest ‘shadow banning’ malarkey is incredibly annoying!  Instagram’s apparently now deciding which hashtag search results a photo will be shown in, and it’s not every one the photo’s tagged with.  Y’know, as would make sense.  So searching for something like #manchesterblogger – as I regularly do – seems a bit pointless when some photos tagged with this won’t show anyway.  Apparently the intention is to limit spam accounts, but the side effects are that regular accounts are getting ‘shadow banned’ too.  Not actually blocked or reported, but just not showing up.  Bye bye finding people to connect with!  I mean, I know there are still many ways to find people without hashtags, but hopefully Instagram will get its act together soon.  Stop messing with the bloody algorithms OK!

What are your thoughts on connecting with other creative people?  I’ve met some real good eggs both online and offline, and can only hope to expand my circles more and more.  Let’s hope social media continues to be a help not a hindrance!

lily kate x

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