Fireworks, and seven other photos that are always disappointing on Instagram

It’s ok, we believe you. They looked better in real life.


It is one of life’s great injustices that fireworks photograph so badly.

Perhaps it is their way of reminding us all to live in the moment, appreciating their transient beauty for a few fleeting moments before it fades rather than selfishly trying to preserve them forever.

Or maybe it’s for the same reason your selfies never look quite as ravishing as you do in the mirror. Namely, life is cruel.

A photo posted by MariaGraziaSergi (@mariagrazia_s) on


A photo posted by Miz C Sayce (@mizsayce) on


Posh meals in dimly-lit restaurants

You’re spending £150 plus 12.5% service, we get it. And yes the dandelion foam probably is exquisite. But dude, even sous-vide spelt and amaranth risotto isn’t this grainy.

You know where DOES have lovely bright lighting for food photography? Pizza Express.    

A photo posted by İstanbul Eat (@istanbuleat) on



Junk shops

This isn’t junk, it’s history! Lovely, kitschy, eclectic bits of history. Mmm, smell the history. Feel the history. Take a photo of the history. Filter the history.

Kind of just looks like junk now, doesn’t it?


A photo posted by Hand Picked Treasures (@handpickedtreasures) on


A photo posted by Racheal Jay (@raysorad) on


See also: second-hand bookshops.


Bands on stage at gigs

It is one of science’s cruellest tricks that, no matter how much you paid for the ticket, people will always look a whole lot further away on stage than they do with your naked eyes.

And a whole lot less awesome, too.

A photo posted by Eva Garza (@eva_karlag) on


A photo posted by @jennyfair04 on


Parks on a beautiful day

Great filters are a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as… #parklife. But that still doesn’t mean your blissful day of sunshine and ice cream is going to translate as anything other than a generic patch of grass with some trees and a bin on it.

A photo posted by Una Nash (@unanash) on



A photo posted by @melaniface on



‘This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen’, you think. ‘It is nature in its most majestic, awe-inspiring glory. The colours! The form! I must share it! Behold!’ Maybe you even shed a little tear.

Then you pop it on Instagram and it looks like this.

Soz, Noah.  

A photo posted by Steve Hammond (@s7eve1983) on


A photo posted by ✨Annie✨ (@heyimannieee) on


Your own nail art

To the naked eye, they’re devastatingly elegant talons that took you an hour and a half to get perfect.

But before your camera lens, they suddenly become spodgily-laquered stubs with jagged cuticles and more hangnail than actual nail. Don’t hurry to Pinterest, now.

A photo posted by 넬리 ㅡ Nelly (@pinkieecat) on


City skylines

We all know that if you stroll along the South Bank and don’t take a wideshot of St Paul’s and the Gherkin you are basically a soulless monster who doesn’t deserve anything nice. Likewise New York from the top of the Rockefeller, or Birmingham from… whatever is tall in Birmingham. And naturally, all these photos need somewhere to go.

But deep down, we all know our city skyline photos will never look like professional city skyline photos, and in turn professional skyline photos will only ever look like a laminated poster one might buy from The 99p Store at best.

Nobody wins.

A photo posted by POHL’s_clik (@pohlandreea) on


A photo posted by Tiago Aleixo (@tiago7aleixo) on


A photo posted by laurenbravo (@laurenbravo) on


(Hey, the Walkie-Talkie called. He said your photo’s crap.)


Want to read more? We’ve chosen our 20 favourite coats and 16 favourite ankle boots to get ready for the winter weather.

If you’re more interested in getting a new camera than new clothes this season, you might be interested in these camera accessories for your iPhone, which beg the question: Do you need a camera if you own a camera phone?

Lauren Bravo