Dear Instagram,

Yesterday I reached 50,000 followers on your app.

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I don’t want to focus too much on that number because what do social media numbers really mean, anyway? My large Instagram following has something to do with my photography, sure. But it also has a lot to do with luck and being in the right place at the right time. There are lots of great photographers with far fewer followers and lots of crappy photographers with more.

(Nonetheless, reaching 50,000 Instagram followers is pretty flipping cool. If I told you I wasn’t over-the-moon excited about it, I would be lying.)

But even before this 50k thing happened, I’ve been thinking lately about how much I love you. I’ve loved you ever since I uploaded that first fuzzy picture of my cat, shot with my iPad, more than three years and 1900 posts ago.

I Facebook as much as the next person, and I tweet because I have to. But you, Instagram, you I truly love. I wake up every morning excited to see you.

You introduced me to many of my closest friends. You improve my photography. You encourage me to explore. You’re always evolving, working to suit my needs better. You provide perpetual entertainment while I’m standing in long South African queues. You have advanced my career and helped me to make a better blog.

Sometimes I get tired of you, and complain about you, and feel frustrated by you. Sometimes I make fun of you and the people who take you too seriously (even though I often do that myself). Sometimes you make me feel jealous and insecure.

Beneath all that, Instagram, I love you.

Here are a few photos that I shot in Joburg yesterday, in honor of you.

Guy-on-bike

Man on a bike in Gandhi Square.

Jozi-citiyscape

Jozi streets.

Families

Family living in a building off Gandhi Square.

Faith-47-v1

Amazing graffiti off Gandhi Square by Cape Town artist Faith47.

Incidentally, in a few days I’m attending the first-ever South Africa National Instameet. Events like this are another example of what makes you cool, Instagram. Here’s a video about the Instameet.

That’s all for now, Instagram. Thanks again.

Love,
Heather (@2summers)

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