Finding Time To Take Pictures For Instagram When You’re Busy AF

With a little forethought and planning you can create your art in stolen moments...

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DISCLAIMER: These days I have been hearing noises of disappointment on how posts have been performing on our favourite platform that is Instagram. I can empathise, I really do but if your joy is tied to the number of likes and followers then it’s quite fragile foundation for your creative energy. Over the last few months I’ve tried to keep a steady focus on gaining joy through play, the joy I get is from the creative process and not necessarily the outcome. I hope this post will help you make the most of your time so that you can enjoy journey too, especially when it feels like there’s not enough hours in the day!


When it comes to lack of time I think I’m qualified! Monday to Fridays I work full time. On Fridays I have minor respite as I get to work from home. Evenings are dominated by my child, dinner, bedtime routines and much needed catch ups with my other half. It’s a lot of energy and it can feel like the last thing I want to throw into the mix is taking pictures for Instagram and all that it entails... can you relate? Yup, I hear you! 

Think In Themes / Categories

As it turns out, when curating an IG feed on a tight schedule it’s massively helpful to have some themes and categories. This really helps when coming up with ideas to shoot and knowing what to share.

My broad themes are Playful Photography, Playful Living and Playful Connection. Underneath that I have categories of shots which I try to ensure are always aligned to any one of those themes.

In terms of categories they tend to be:

  • Portraits
  • Nature / floral
  • Coffee
  • Conceptual

Below I’ve scribbled a “P” over the shots that are aligned to the theme of Playful Photography , and a “L” for Playful Living so you can see how it works for me.

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When I come up with ideas I always try to put a spin on them so that they conform to my theme, and if the ideas don’t then I discard them! It’s a massive time saver and it means when I do get precious time to shoot I know it will always be part of my core message play.


The Bank of Ideas


Have you ever noticed that when people create for the Instagram #WHP you see a whole smorgasbord of wild and wonderful interpretations? I believe the constraint of a prompt is a great way of generating ideas. And as I was alluding to earlier with themes and categories, if you think of yours as your own set of prompts, you can then brainstorm all your ideas with them!

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Over the year or so I’ve noticed that I actually need more energy to generate the ideas than I do to physically pick up the camera to shoot them! If you’re going to invest some time, invest it drumming up as many ideas as you can aligned to your themes and categories. This bank of ideas is something you can withdraw at when it comes to your window of time to shoot your pictures.

I actually have my idea generating time in the car. If I’m not listening to the radio or a podcast I will just talk out aloud drawing inspiration from real life, and then playfully twist my musings in accordance with the themes and categories. Before I know it I’m asking “Siri” on my phone to create a note and I start to dictate the ideas. The bank of ideas is in credit!


In The Margins

There’s a wonderful quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic which I just have to share with you :

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I’m not sure I can ever be as eloquent as Lizzy Gilbert but this final point is just to say we all have constraints on our time, acknowledge them, honour them where you need to.... but if you love to create then that 20 minutes of golden hour you have left after you’ve put the kid to bed ? Snatch it. Raid your idea bank then snatch that time like a wish floating through the air. That is your stolen moment. Stolen away from the daily grind, and given to your wildly wonderful creative self, a gift just for you (nevermind the ‘gram)


I’d love to know your thoughts on this post and if there’s anything else you’d like me share please just let me know.