Since December, Instagram and other social feeds have filled with mosaics of the best nine Instagram pictures. The ‘best nine’ trend only seems to grow as years go by. As I lack behind what comes to trends, I still haven’t found out my best nine Instagram shots. Not last year or any other year.
And I’m not going to do it this time, either. Instead, I thought it would be fun to find out my crappiest Instagram shots of 2017. The foundation of my relationship with Instagram is a rough combination of love and hate; approximately 15 % of love and 85 % of hate. I would lie if I said some of my crappiest shots didn’t deserve more hearts, but the almighty Instagram decided not to show them to anyone. So I’m showing them to you now.
I typed into Google “how to find my worst Instagram shots”, and to my surprise, I did find a website called worstnine that will help you to find out your worst Instagram shots of the year.
My crappiest Instagram shots of 2017
To be clear, the order of these pictures doesn’t have any higher meaning but smooth storytelling and the stream of my consciousness.
I did notice something interesting, though. Excluding one shot, I took each of my crappiest Instagram shots at a very memorable time or the photo itself has an essential place in my heart. What’s even more interesting, the blog posts behind my poorest-performing Instagram photos were among the most read blog posts in 2017. This is how Instagram supports blogging, right?
Welcome to my crappy Instagram year!
The glowing church of the Holy Cross
Unfortunately, my beloved hometown Rauma gets the dubious honour to start this list. It took years before I understood to lift my eyes up to our church tower after dark, and for years I haven’t been able to bring them back down.
What comes to Instagram, others didn’t much care about our glowing church tower.
By far the best working day of the summer
Let’s stay in Rauma for two more pictures. I understand that work-related photos might not be the sexiest ones, but this time the photo was taken on one of the best working days ever. It happened to be one of the scarce sunny and hot days in Rauma last summer, and on top of that, I got to spend it together with my neighbour in my favourite place in Rauma; Kylmäpihlaja Lighthouse Island.
This is the reason why I hardly ever post selfies; I don’t feel too Instagrammable, as three shots with me in them made their way to the list of my crappiest Instagram shots.
Aivan mieletön työpäivä takana ah, niin rakkaassa saaristossa. @kylmapihlaja ja Kuuskajaskari hellivät taas kerran helteellä ja mahtavilla seikkailuilla maailman ensteks parhaimman naapurin @kirsiheinoo kanssa! 💜 Enää pitäisi käydä läpi reilut 500 kuvaa, mitä muistikorteille päivän aikana tallentui! 🤔
Mushroom maniac’s therapy break
Let’s stick with remotely work-related photos for a while. I’m secretly hoping to find a smooth way of bringing my blog and my job as a freelance writer and content creator closer together, but it seems like pointing out the benefits of a flexible job isn’t appealing to my followers, at least not on Instagram.
Or perhaps the people on Instagram just don’t like mushrooms? That would explain the loss of followers last autumn, as that time of the year my feed is full of Finnish forests and wild mushrooms. On Facebook, my mushroom madness has gained some praises as well. I love going for wild mushrooms and berries, and I think it’s the best kind of therapy. Besides the free therapy session, you’ll get to fill up your cupboards with superfood free of charge.
Did you know that picking mushrooms is said to be a better workout for your brain than solving crossword puzzles? Think about that!
I remember this mushroom therapy trip that I took to break up my working day exceptionally well. I got my bag full of trumpet chantarelles in less than 15 minutes.
Instagram loves cute animals – or not
I’ve firmly believed Instagram can’t get enough of cute and fluffy animals. Well, I proved myself wrong when I posted a picture of these alpacas that were visiting the Tampere Super Fair last spring. Or perhaps the reason behind the lack of likes was me spoiling otherwise so adorable photo?
Oh yes, as you probably guessed, this was the only one of my nine crappiest Instagram shots without any deeper meaning.
The roughest lesson of 2017
For the next three photos, we need to switch the mode from sarcasm to serious. My summer started with heavy news from Spain; my ex-boss and a dear friend Brad passed away very suddenly. Only a couple of days earlier we had exchanged some emails about my plans to visit him and other ex-colleagues in San Pedro de Alcántara. I had just missed a great flight deal, and Brad’s last words to me were:
“I am sure that there will be plenty of other opportunities.”
The roughest lesson of 2017 was the one that echoes from the name of the blog and yet is too easy to forget. Don’t push your plans for too long for stupid reasons because you’ll never know when is your last chance.
Even if this selfie with Brad taken on the beaches of San Pedro more than five years ago didn’t appeal to Instagram, my tribute for Brad’s memory was one of the most read articles of 2017.
Today was a rough one. This morning, I faced a regret that I’ve never experienced before for not buying a flight ticket. A painful reminder, why you shouldn’t push your plans for anything but absolutely compulsory reasons. A bitter reminder, why you should love and live your life right now. This morning, I heard it’s too late. This morning, I found out I literally wasted my very last chance to see you. It makes me sad and angry. It makes me feel frustrated and guilty. But at the same time I feel thankful and honoured. I was priviledged to be one of the many who got to know you. You brought so much happiness, laughter and joy into so many people's lives. Thank you for letting me be one of them. Have a good, final journey, Brad. I wouldn't be what and where I am today without you. That's something I'll never forget. RIP dear Brad, the man with funny hair and an enormous, warm heart. You left too early, but your memory will live forever! 💕
Long-distance funeral philosophy
Only a couple of days after the picture and the tribute to Brad’s memory, all my friends and ex-colleagues from Spain gathered to San Pedro for Brad’s funeral. I was desperately looking for last-minute flights hoping to be present, but I was forced to stay at home. So I lighted up a candle on the rocks in my backyard and spent some time alone thinking of all the good times we had.
On the same day, some Insta-famous blogger was all over the news after getting caught for faking all her travel photos or something sensible like that. At the time I felt that the things that happened or didn’t happen on my Instagram account had very little meaning in life.
I wanted to tell this to Instagram, but Instagram didn’t care.
I don't know about you guys, but I've seen too many good people, dear friends and loved ones, leaving this place way too early. At the same time I read about people who fake their lives to become famous, earn money or whatever the reason is. Stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. And think. What is it that matters you the most? The shiny but fake image you show on your Instagram account to people you never have or will meet? Or the real life you spend with people that actually mean something to you? Make the days count. In real life.
The terrorist attack in Turku
In August the whole Finland went crazy for a moment. The unexpected happened in the middle of the year of Finland’s centenary celebration when a young man with a knife killed two and wounded eight people at the market square in Turku.
What happened in Turku on that sad day was only a part of the whole tragedy. What happened in social media during and after this awful event made me feel ashamed of being a Finn for a while.
I don’t normally write about events like this on my blog. This time it was difficult not to, so I wrote a Finnish post about the things I’m afraid of the most. I didn’t feel like I needed to translate it into English, so I only have a Finnish version of the post, but it also belongs to the list of most read articles of 2017.
Even if my Instagram post about the Turku attack was written in English, it didn’t get much noted.
Today was the day we never wanted to see. We had an awful reminder that even the safest country in the world isn't always safe. No matter what's the motive, these kinds of events shouldn't happen. Not in Finland, not anywhere. Even worse reminder this afternoon has been of the fact that people today are too messed up with their phones. Taking videos when someone is in need of help. Spreading rumours as facts to the whole world of social media without thinking twice. Normally, I don't comment on events like this. Today, it's difficult not to. I just hope people would hold their fingers before posting, keep their eyes open when walking on the streets and think of others when something tragical happens. My thoughts are with #Turku and with everyone in this beautiful city. Don't stay afraid but stay safe. 💙
Press trip where nothing went as planned
After the sad topics we can switch back to my speciality; silly mishaps that occur when travelling. People are often complaining about blog posts that are products of paid trips, just like press trips, and claiming there’s no authenticity whatsoever if a blogger hasn’t paid for his or her journey. At least this feels to be the growing attitude in Finland.
I’d like to correct this belief on my part. Last winter I participated in a press trip to Swedish Lapland that was filled with authenticity in its most genuine meaning. The schedule on this trip was as tight as they tend to be on press trips, but for my adventurous spirit it was a dream-come-true; HeliSki, snowboarding in Björkliden and Riksgränsen, snowmobile riding on the mountains…
Wanna know how it went?
A snowstorm had raged in Swedish Lapland for days and almost blocked the way to our base in Björkliden. Luckily, the roads were opened just on time, but we never got to Riksgränsen, the ski centre located on the border of Sweden and Norway. Four avalanches had blocked all roads and railways, and tourists were stuck in Riksgränsen for days. The only possibility for snowboarding was the small family slope in Björkliden – better than nothing, though.
Due to the snowstorm, the helicopter couldn’t take off. No HeliSki for us. For the same reason, we had to ride the snowmobiles only in the hotel premises as we had no access to the mountains. The only way to get to the mountains was the snowcat in the picture below. The ride was epic, but unfortunately, the reach of this Instagram shot wasn’t.
Lame lights on the Northern sky
The same press trip offered me some night sky action already on the first evening. Unfortunately, I hadn’t got the time to learn the tricks for Northern Lights photography. Instead, I just ran outside and started shooting randomly using a snowbrush as a camera stand.
I live in Southern Finland, so Northern Lights isn’t a common phenomenon to me, either. Of course, I had to post an aurora photo on Instagram as soon as possible, even if the shot was so crappy it didn’t earn much hearts from the peeps of Instagram. Instead, it made its way on this disrespectful list.
The picture lies. In reality, this Aurora was stunning and bright. But this photo made me learn my lesson and right after I was soaking up the tricks for more successful aurora photography.
+1 decent photo – thank you, the blue hole of Abisko!
Despite the snowstorm, the blue hole of Abisko didn’t let us down. No matter how bad the weather is in Swedish Lapland, this magical phenomenon tends to break the clouds above lake Torneträsk and show bright Northern Lights in ‘the blue hole of Abisko’. Even if our press trip wasn’t too successful, Swedish Lapland organised us the best kind of farewell.
This aurora shot gained some more likes on Instagram, too. I wonder if I should thank Rachel who helped me with forcing the aurora in the photo OR my new camera stand which this time was a snow shovel instead of a brush.
Actually, I’m planning another Northern-Lights-themed trip to Abisko for this winter. Before I get into it on this blog, I’d recommend you to read these 16 reasons why you should travel to Swedish Lapland.