An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

Instagram Before and Afters: An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

This week I watched a great vlog from James Nord, the founder of blogging outreach programme Fohr Card, in which he talked about whether bloggers should delete old Instagram posts.

His advice was No, you shouldn’t (in terms of it being unnecessary and, I can see, a waste of time for no actual gain). In other words, it won’t harm your brand to have not-great quality Instagram images from years ago because to be honest, who’s going to sit and scroll through several years’ worth of Instagram posts? Definitely not brands, and that’s the only reason why you may be worried about what might be seen on (or associated with) your account.

Obviously if you have posts that are either embarrassing, bad taste or politically incorrect then yes, take them down. But poorer quality than what you’re showing now… who cares?! Plus, it shows just how far you’ve come and how much your photography has improved. Leave them, I say.



So in the spirit of sharing something every Friday for the #SaturdayShareLinkUp, I thought I’d scroll right back and show you some of my early Instagram photos for a giggle – and to prove that even someone with a photography degree had a pretty poor feed in the early days.


It was the days of heavy and unnatural filters, dark, saturated images, and borders… Remember all the borders? And fake sparkles and bokeh?!


This retrospective proves just how not-very-slick my Instagram account was in those days (a total mess, in fact), here are a few “then and nows” for your amusement… enjoy!


Instagram Before and Afters: An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

Looking back at 2013 (on the left) and comparing to this year (on the right) the difference couldn’t be more obvious. Back then I was using heavy filters, high saturation, fake bokeh and a decorative border… but then, weren’t we all? The recent barefaced image for a Nivea campaign has natural light and no retouching except for a small increase in brightness and contrast – that’s it.

Instagram Before and Afters: An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

Wow – what a mess of a picture! Again, super grainy (I’m so glad I stopped using my phone’s crappy camera), a thick border and high saturation, not to mention the messy room from my office days. Compare it to a shot from this summer which is light, bright and clean.

Instagram Before and Afters: An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

On the left: How to lose the subject of a picture (earrings) in an image… There’s everything but the kitchen sink in there. Border, bokeh, colour cast, filter, patterned background. On the right: Throw an accessory onto a pristine hotel bed in a room with great wallpaper – job done. The hat is still the star of the show (though that wallpaper is pretty amazing, there’s no denying that)!

Instagram Before and Afters: An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

Finally – what’s probably the craziest, most mind-bending selfie ever. WHAT is going on on the left?! Not only have I made my face yellow like a Simpson, but it’s high contrast and saturated beyond belief – then there’s the zoom effect around the edges. Thankfully now (right) I know to keep. It. Simple…!

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Instagram Before and Afters: An Amusing Look Back at My Old Instagram Posts

Above: too many here to comment on – I’ll let you peruse them in your own time and gasp at the lack of consistency and the general mess. I obviously wasn’t thinking about my feed as a whole in those days – it was a case of anything goes.


But I’m glad I haven’t deleted any of them – it was fun to go back right to the beginning and have a look at how different it all was back then… Makes you more proud of what you produce now 🙂



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  1. 7 September 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I am new to instagram (roughly 5 months). I do try to think hard about my photos and composition but I have zero photography training and I mostly use my phone camera. Also, as a parenting blogger, the majority of my shots are unstaged – just trying to capture life. But I thoroughly love it and I can already see how my photography has improved. I hope to keep learning! #brillblogposts

  2. 6 September 2017 / 10:44 pm

    Aw fab post but too late, I deleted my oldies ages ago xx

  3. 3 September 2017 / 10:26 am

    I don't be even go back and look at the crappy photos I used to post! I can't bear to look st old blog posts either. Though I won't delete them!

  4. 3 September 2017 / 2:08 am

    I actually enjoy scrolling WAY down on people's Instagram accounts. It's always fun to see the evolution and makes the account seem more "real." I recently started following a lot of food accounts (and checked them out a lot before following), and it's interesting to me how a lot of people changed certain things at a certain time… (2013 – 2014 many accounts had a certain look, and then they all changed in 2015 and again recently…). There are definitely trends on Instagram.

    At the same time, I am aware that I'm missing a bit of consistency on my own account… Definitely something to think about…


  5. 2 September 2017 / 7:44 pm

    I read a post last year that advised deleting photos with not many likes (usually old ones) because it lowers your overall engagement and like rate. I thought that was a bit OTT but I did scroll through my old posts and get rid of one that I didn't like. TBH I've never been a fan of the dark and grainy filters, I like to see the real deal. I don't stick to a theme other than I like colourful images. I'd probably gain a few more followers if I put in more effort but then it all becomes a bit false. I'd rather just post what I want…maybe that's another hashtag 😉

    Emma xxx

  6. 2 September 2017 / 5:04 pm

    As a shiny new follower of your blog I would encourage you to savor those old posts! They're representative of you in your journey and I think what they reveal as they are is priceless. In my view the new ones do not hold greater worth simply because they represent your current skills and sophistication within this medium. These photos are your history; you dear, darling, English woman and winner of awards!!! Tired of being "unknown" but resigned to that status for now, Jude

  7. 2 September 2017 / 4:50 pm

    I loved seeing your older posts, Catherine. And I confess that I love them! Hahaha. Just for the contrast, just for the keeping-it-real factor. I haven't deleted any old photos but I don't have many posts up there anyway. I'm glad I don't see my photos with a professional eye right now because I'd faint. Hahaha!! Thanks for the linkup.

  8. 2 September 2017 / 1:32 pm

    It only occured to me recently that people actually delete old posts. I was looking at an account thinking whaaat no way they could have 24k followers with only 200 posts! Then I thought, oh wait perhaps she deleted a bunch? Then I thought, blimey who has time for that nonsense? Then I though….or she bought her followers? Well that's a whole other can of worms right there hahahaha MT xx

  9. 2 September 2017 / 12:00 pm

    I need to go back and look at my old photos! I suspect a lot of mine look very similar to yours!

  10. 2 September 2017 / 9:22 am

    I was tempted many times to delete my old IG pictures. I didn't do it because I had started my account before I started blogging, and back then I had no idea how to "manage" my account. Anyway, my account shows that at the begining we all have started very poorly;). Great post Catherine. Renata xox

  11. 2 September 2017 / 9:02 am

    Love, love, love this! And so agree with James & you (and thank you for suggesting Fohr in the first place), that's where we were and this is now and everyone started poorly…… I still cringe at some of my posts from a few months ago, but that's because I'm obsessed with the flow! Thank you for sharing Catherine, awesome as ever. xx

  12. 2 September 2017 / 6:25 am

    I loved this post. It made me smile. Like Monika (above) I fancy checking out old posts now too! I think yours are really cool and fun. They show personality and I bet they were successful. I wonder what the Instagram style will be in another few years…? x

  13. 2 September 2017 / 4:17 am

    It's honestly never occurred to me to delete my old Instagram posts, dearest Catherine…or to scroll ALL the way to the beginning, for that matter!! But your trip down memory lane might just have inspired me to have a little look back in time, too!! P.S. Your old Insta-pics are adorable!! I think we all went a little filter and border crazy in the beginning…it was part of the fun!! XOXO

  14. 1 September 2017 / 9:15 pm

    I have always enjoyed your feed. Thanks for the tips! I'm going to be more aware in my future IG posts

  15. 1 September 2017 / 9:01 pm

    I truly enjoy your tips and guide post (even if they're not obvious ones). I hadn't even given deleting old IG posts a thought. Afterall, when isn't a trip down memory lane an enjoyable pastime?


  16. 1 September 2017 / 8:34 pm

    I must say that I like your grainy, inconsistent and "overdone" images Catherine!
    Very arty and very trendy at the time.
    Clean lines are in at the moment but maybe that will change soon enough?
    I'm getting a bit bored of all-white everything.
    More colour…and bubbly bits …How did you get the bubbly looks?
    I'm glad you didn't delete them, they're part of your history.
    My instagram is not the best.
    I know I should be more consistent but I tend to just like something and post it… regardless of themes or consistency of colours.
    Ah well….I'll never be a super-slick instagrammer :oP
    Love these old photos.
    Thank you for sharing.
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  17. 1 September 2017 / 8:09 pm

    This has prompted me to look at mine. Oh dear! I wouldn't delete them though. Like you say it's a good trip down memory lane, and a good laugh. Have a great weekend Catherine.

    • 1 September 2017 / 8:19 pm

      There's no real point in deleting them, is there Laurie (unless they include people you'd rather forget, THEN I can understand why some people delete theirs). But just in terms of thinking they look a bit rubbish – who cares??! x

  18. 1 September 2017 / 8:07 pm

    Well that makes me feel better. Thank you Catherine. I do like the blueness of them. My daughter hardly used IG and her tiles just going back a few swipes are these bluey filters. I wasn't on IG then but now see why her pics are like that. Thanks for enlightening me.

    • 1 September 2017 / 8:18 pm

      As you can see I used a lot of filters, Anna, with no consistency either. I just used whatever I fancied at the time for that particular image. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's wrong to use filters now or borders or anything – I just prefer the way my feed looks now and can see a huge improvement in the quality…! x

  19. 1 September 2017 / 8:01 pm

    I love looking at your old Insta photos, C! I have to admit that I ADORE the 'mind-bending selfie' one above. Sorry, but THAT is super cool! 🙂

    I for one would LOVE for Instagram to be as genuine as it used to be. Now it is so curated, so faffed with, so tweaked and over-cooked that it makes me love stumbling across accounts where no one worries about perfection. My own account is a bit of a hodge podge, and I'm not going to change it to be all black, white, grey, and pale pink to match the Millennial Moment. Bring back tacky borders! I wasn't on Insta when those were popular, unfortunately! xxx

    • 1 September 2017 / 8:16 pm

      Oh god I thought that last selfie was so awful, heehee!! But I think it wasn't genuine back then with all the filters and borders and sparkles… it's still like that now for some Instagrammers, but in a different way (black, white and pale pink as you say). So to me it kind of hasn't changed, it's still the same. But for myself I just prefer the clean look… less work to do too!!

      But BRING BACK CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER Instagram, ffs – everyone hates it, without exception…!!!!!!!!!

    • 1 September 2017 / 8:26 pm

      You are so spot on! I am not a very long term user of IG, but the pressure of perfection feels like a burden so often! I can imagine that as a fashion blogger, it's even worse. I run a sewing blog and thankfully, the sewing community is much more friendly and inclusive. But even for us amateur IGers, the competition is intense to produce 'pretty' content!

    • 2 September 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Snap! I was going to say that Lisa, psychodelic baybeeee!

  20. 1 September 2017 / 7:57 pm

    It's interesting to go back and look at your IG posts, Catherine. Although sometimes, I have to admit that I don't have a very distinguishing eye about the graininess and such. I guess I need more training.
    It also makes me think I need to work on my whole look on IG. Because mine are a little splattered here and there too. Of course, maybe that's because I'm like that—and it's my real life?? I have seen many that are amazing, and perfect, but I also like the "real" ones!!

    • 1 September 2017 / 8:13 pm

      I'm probably being harsh on myself because I studied photography, Jodie – so I'm shocked at how I didn't consider my feed as a whole, a bi like presenting a gallery of pictures: They've got to work together and have consistency – a style – which mine didn't back then!

      But I agree with you on the 'real' factor… I choose to show images that are more real, meaning, without all the filters and crazy fake colours and filters! x

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