Ok, so this last 12 months I spent a lot of money on camera gear – like way more than I should.

And I’ve put in the time to get better at taking pictures. Heck, people are even paying me to take their photos.

That’s awesome. Thank you, people!

And if you check out my Instagram (plug: @justinreves), you’ll see the quality of my pictures is pretty solid.

In fact, there’s been a big shift these last 12 months with people are stepping up their social media picture game.

It’s crazy to see tons of “social media celebrities” that just post fantastic-looking pictures of themselves and have tens of thousands of followers .

Now there’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but you know that lots of followers are envying these people’s lives and then trying to emulate the same thing on their feeds.

And there’s this bit of underlying pressure for everyone’s lives to look really glamorous when most of ours aren’t.

It’s ok to post a picture of yourself in bad lighting without your makeup done after having been up with 3 kids all night to simply say “being a mom is hard”. That’s a real-life story!

This is why I love Snapchat.

Snapchat has no crazy filters or the ability to upload your own fancy photos taken with an expensive camera like I do on Instagram.

Snapchat is only about 1-thing – telling raw stories.

You can’t cover a mediocre story with some top-shelf photos or videos on Snapchat.

Rather, when it’s done well, Snapchat is full of these real-life, 24-hour stories told in 10-second, low-resolution bytes.

For me, I’m still working on my story-telling.

Ultimately, the best content coming from people or brands is rich in story and everything else is just icing on the cake.

So that’s why I’ve been forcing myself to get into Snapchat. At first it was hard because I didn’t understand it and it felt limiting creatively.

But now I love it.

On Saturday, I had fun telling my story on Snapchat of going to Wal-Mart in sweats covered in spit-up because that was real life for me dealing with 3 kids 3 and under.

We shopped together, talked about if “colour-safe bleach” was a real thing, ate some Cobb’s bread, and hit up Brewed Awakening for a coffee.

None of it was glamorous. But it was a nice change.

And it’s got me thinking about this:

If you can tell good stories without all the fancy equipment and filters, think how much better you’ll be if you do add that layer.

Are you telling stories on Snapchat? I’d love to follow you! Drop your handle below or follow me: justinreves