Some of my favorite videos that end up on my TikTok FYP are the camera roll recaps, sharing a montage of clips from happy moments in the user’s life. However, I can’t help but feel a little envious when I see others living their best life. Why doesn’t my everyday look as aesthetically pleasing as theirs? What am I missing out on?
The secret is, you need start living in the moment and noticing the little things. It’s time to romanticize your life.
Add photos to your camera roll like you pin posts to your Pinterest board. You save images that bring you joy, give you inspiration, or spark a feeling in you that you want to remember. Manifesting your life through Pinterest and mood boards is easy. Actively making the decision to change your way of thinking and loving the life you have is harder.
Romanticize your life by documenting it, the right way. Let your camera roll be a supercut of what you experience and what you want to remember. In doing that, your camera roll will become a mood board full of fond memories. And, without the added pressure of forcing every photo you take to be “aesthetically pleasing,” your photos may develop into the exact aesthetic you were once envious of. Keep reading for eight ways to make your camera roll look like a Pinterest board.
01. Look at it as a Documentation of Your Life
Your camera roll should be filled with the moments you want to remember. You can never have too many photos of the people you love and the people you miss.
Documenting your history allows you to look back one day and relive those moments. You will be able to see what changed and who you were “back then.”
When you go through your day, keep note of the things that bring you joy. For me, this approach usually turns into several pictures of my cappuccinos and my dog scattered throughout my phone. However, it can be a piece of art that really moved you or a little ladybug that landed on you. Pay attention to the things in life that make you unexpectedly smile, and snap a shot of it. When you start doing this, you will build a safe of memories you will be grateful for in the future.
02. Lay Off the Editing
As much as those VSCO filters are appealing, stay away. You may become attracted to the cohesive look the same filter can add to your feed, but it is easy to become blind to the inauthenticity of it after a while. With the exception of slight edits to light and color to optimize the quality of your photo, allow what you capture to be as it is. You want to remember the moment that way it was.
It turns out that your camera roll will look more attractive when you keep images in their OG format. It will look more like a storybook than an Instagram feed…which is what you want to go for here.
03. Lay Off the Selfies
Similarly, give the selfies a rest. You don’t want your kids to be flipping through the scrapbook from your young life to only see Snapchat filters plastered on you and your friends’ faces.
Take photos of your friends — you don’t have to be in every shot. When they can’t stop laughing across the table, record that second in time. Catch them off guard and capture your perspective through your physical lens. That being said, unapologetically ask them to take some pics of you. Most times than not, people are happy to (especially when you return the favor).
04. You Can Never Be Overdressed
When you stare at your closet each morning, what do you go to first? Do you filter through your options and style an outfit you are excited to walk out the door in? Or do you grab the same leggings and crewneck you wear every day?
Taking the extra effort to dress the way you want to dress each day can give you the confidence to take every opportunity and go anywhere you spontaneously want to go. If you are feeling self-conscious or unready, you are more likely to say no to impromptu chances.
My motto is you can always be underdressed, but you can never be overdressed. It is important to dress for yourself, consistently. By doing this, you will always be prepared for a photo opt.
05. Take Inspiration From Your Role Models
I used to scroll through the accounts of my favorite celebrities and my top influencers, jealous of the way they lived their lives. They always look like they are having the most fun, always going to the coolest places, always eating the best food. I would think to myself, “I want what they have?” Calm down Olivia Rodrigo…you can.
These Instagram pages with thousands and millions and billions of followers share their favorite things by simply taking photos of them. And yes, we know that social media does not always reveal reality, but oftentimes these accounts are a behind-the-scenes look into their lives. Why not give your followers a little BTS of yours?
Who do you take inspiration from? Do you admire Dua Lipa’s brilliance and mirror selfies? Does Lizzo’s TikTok make you laugh as much as it makes me, and does her openness inspire you as much? Do the Hadid sister’s spiritual encouragement and constant documentation of their way of life motivate you to keep dreaming? Look at their content and try to pinpoint what makes you feel certain ways. Then, keep that in mind when you are taking your own photos.
06. Delete Repeated Photos
I promise you don’t need 17 different angles of your smoothie bowl. You really only need to reproduce each moment once, and constantly trying to get the perfect shot can take up your time and take the joy out of it. It doesn’t have to be perfect because your life is not perfect. It should be real and an accurate depiction of that experience.
There is nothing wrong with snapping more than one photo when capturing a moment. Afterward, go through and keep the one you like the most…delete the rest.
(Pro tip: I love to use the burst feature on my phone when taking photos. I can then pick the best one and get rid of the others.)
07. Curate Your Dream Lifestyle
How do you want to live your life? Who do you want to be? The same way you scroll through Pinterest and add photos to your “manifestation” board, snap photos that showcase the life you are building for yourself. Your decisions and your actions are in your hands. Your camera roll should then be a portrayal of your journey to where you want to go.
If you are doing something that is contributing to your goals, take a snapshot. If you are feeling good in your favorite outfit, take a snapshot. If you are with people you want to be with forever, take a snapshot. Keep one eye on your future while truly living in the moment.
08. Stop Posting for Other People
Don’t take pictures for Instagram…use Instagram to share pictures you took.
If you are constantly trying to curate your pictures for an audience, you will never feel passionate about what you are creating. As a result, your photos will appear unauthentic. Take out your camera because you want to remember that moment. It is something you know you will miss and want to hold on to. If you then decide to, those photos are worth sharing and will be appreciated by the right people.
You are the main character in your own movie. When you start looking at your life that way, you will learn to appreciate the small things and your blessings will reveal themselves. Spontaneity and genuine happiness will follow. You are the author of your own story. What are you waiting for? Start creating the life you want to live.
While you can never have enough photos, it is crucial that you don’t forget to live in the moment. You don’t want to watch your life go by through your phone screen. Instead, try taking in a few minutes with your phone tucked away. After you do that, take the extra few seconds to snap the shot. Don’t waste the moment scrolling through TikTok or texting friends or snapping your streaks. You can live in the present and document it too…just be conscious of how you are spending your time and how you are looking at your life.
Featured photo by @jahaesy.