August 19, 2014

Instagrammers You Should Follow: therealnancyo

Every time I get on Instagram there are certain 'grammers I look for. I love their pictures, I love the way they capture their lives and the beautiful, every-day things they are surrounded by. I love the way they capture their lives.

I wanted to share my favorite Instagrammers with you  so you can add them to your feed and enjoy the beauty and fun! Starting us off is therealnancyo.

Q: What images do you try to capture for Instagram?

My images are typically slice-of-life, oftentimes domestic and occasionally more exotic.

As a personal exercise this year I’m participating in Project 365, a flexible photo-per-day concept and I’m posting my daily pictures on Instagram. The benefit to me is that no matter how routine my day, I have at least one small moment of creativity. My followers can expect a fairly steady rate of Instagram posts but there are no guarantees what exactly will show up in my feed. Frequent subjects include my neighborhood park, my 2 dogs, any church that I happen to visit, and sights from my travels.

I recently saw this quote from Boris Pasternak about writing:
“It is not the object described that matters, but the light that falls on it.” This describes my approach to the Instagram photos I shoot. I’m much more interested in how something looks – a pattern of light, interesting shape, or unexpected composition - rather than what it is. I’m not taking a photo of a chair but of the way the sunlight casts shadows on the floor beneath it.

At the local park;this park is in our neighborhood and figures prominently in my instagram feed.

Q: Do you have any sort of plan or set of rules for how you use IG?

No, my approach to IG use has been pretty scattershot. I’m not organized enough to integrate my social media accounts, so I don’t promote my blog via Instagram, or my Instagram photos via Facebook. Also I’m a fairly private person and whole segments of our lives are conducted strictly offline. At the same time, my children and all of my siblings are on Instagram so we all get a kick out of using photos to keep up with each other’s daily activities (and pets).

Normandy church;this was a cool 12th century church we saw in Normandy last month - it was used as a medic station on D-Day and the following days of fighting in June 1944.

Q: Do you filter? If yes, which ones are your favorites?

Filters are fun! Most of the time I use one of the Instagram filters (Valencia and Rise are current favorites) but sometimes I edit the photos with an app called Aviary instead.

Q: Do you see IG as an evangelization tool and do you use it as such?

Yes, I think Instagram can be a great way to evangelize, and I follow some accounts that do an amazing job of presenting the Catholic Church in an appealing way. My feed isn’t solely religious but I hope that I weave in enough images to show the centrality of Catholicism in my everyday life. When I post photos related to my faith I am aware that these images will appear in the feeds of a wide variety of people. My Instagram followers come from several different contexts, and not all are Catholics, or even believers. There’s no way to predict how someone will be touched by a photo – and I may never know how those seeds I plant with a little trepidation may bear fruit.

During Lent my evangelization was a little more pronounced. I participated in two different photo-a-day projects, with a different assigned Lenten theme for each day. I was a little concerned that so many religious-themed photos might be off-putting to some of my non-Christian friends, and I tried to hit the balance of being direct but not preachy.

Rosary; this was one of this year's Lenten project photos and I love how the texture of the stool contrasts with the glitter of the rosary.  By my feed's modest standards, this was one of the most popular that I've posted.

You can find Nancy... 
on Twitter: @nancyo
on Instagram: @therealnancyo
and at her blog: And The Rough Places Plain


  1. I love Nancy's pictures. I also love her daughters' pictures which DO link back to a blog, which is an amazing account of urban renewal. I won't say more, in case that's one of the things Nancy prefers to keep private; I'll just say it's worth the sleuthing to find the blog.

  2. Ooh, I love the idea of this series, Bonnie! I love meeting new people on Instagram. Nancy's Instagram plan is very similar to my own. :)

  3. This is great - I am just getting started on Instagram this week (thanks to my 12 year old niece who still can't believe I'm not on it) so I am loving suggestions of people to follow.

  4. Thanks, Bonnie, for featuring me! As it happens, I'm on retreat in Canada this week, so all of my social media accounts are pretty quiet. I appreciate your comments, Cari. My daughter's house blog is: although she is so busy with her new bread business that she's not blogging as much these days. - nancyo