The last few weeks, in my haze of new mum-ness, I became aware of a lot of discussion and debate happening on Instagram about what constitutes a vignette, whether standards had slipped in 7 Vignettes entries and whether every previous winner had stuck to the “rules”. I must admit I found it all a bit negative and took it personally (this Instagram challenge is another of my babies after all). Sleep deprivation will do that to you too. But do you know what? I’m kind of happy people care enough to have that debate!
Next week, when 7 Vignettes should start on 1 July, it’s my birthday, my bestie is here visiting from the UK and, after 2.5 years, I want a breather. I’m using this time out to invite you all to send in your suggestions for creating a set of guidelines for the competition going forward. And to tell me what you do/don’t like directly.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Not everyone will always agree with who is picked as the winner. And the judge’s choice will always be subjective. But if a set of guidelines makes people happy then let’s do this! And who better to contribute than the people who take part? So if you’re one of those who have voiced your opinion on Instagram, please voice it directly to me here or by email and let’s have some constructive feedback.
Above all though, let’s not lose sight of this being something fun, a place to ‘meet’ like-minded people and build each other up with encouragement, support and praise of each others efforts. The ‘real life’ events and meet-ups will also continue when baby Sebastian is a bit older.
7 Vignettes will be back on 1 August with the themes announced towards the end of July. I hope we can all come back refreshed, enthused and positive!
Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Sonia Lewis says
Wow! Before even reading or even seeing any of the “debating”, I knew instantly why you were having a break! – I have been noticing this behaviour on other pages! Geez it seems that women are turning into quite the ‘A’ holes. I wonder if they can see that they are no different than the trolls who bully their children on social media- so disappointing 🙁 I actually have nothing to add re: how you should run your comps as they are awesome and are YOUR comps! Anywho, on a brighter note, I love your Insta & blog and enjoy your break x
I think you’ll find that discussion was actually quite healthy. There’s no need to be nasty about what’s been brought up.
Jen Bishop says
Hoping to be back with nothing but positivity next month! Jen
I think your Instagram Comp should be run the way you like it Jen. I haven’t always agreed with the judging, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Everyone has different tastes and each judge will be drawn to their individual tastes and styles.
And to suggest the standard is dropping is rediculous. I see a range of different skill levels, as there was is the beginning of #7vignettes. I would hate to think that there would be people too scared or intimated to join in because of too many rules and an assumed high standard. I actually really enjoy watching new vignetters develop and grow in ability over the months. I’m sure i’ve improved since i started….well I hope so! 🙂
You are so generous to allow input and suggestions from others regarding #7vignettes, but as you said, #7vignettes is your baby – I wouldn’t be letting anyone tell you how to raise your babies. Enjoy your break! And Happy Birthday for the 1st of July 🙂 Xx
Jen Bishop says
Thanks so much! I have been torn between running it how I like it and giving the community more input. I think I can have a mix of both! Thanks for the comment. Jen x
Nic D says
Sorry to hear this. Can imagine it’s upsetting, considering the intent of 7 vignettes as the majority of us implicitly understand it.
My 2 cents worth as someone who has joined in for the past few months and made a lot of lovely contacts since …
Don’t change a thing.
Judge’s decision is final.
Any more rules or guidelines than that and I probably wouldn’t be into it.
More importantly – enjoy the break!
Happy Birthday Jen for the 1st July enjoy the down time and that precious baby. It all goes too quickly. As for your other baby- 7 Vignettes, people will always complain it’s just life. You do what you see necessary, I love seeing all the pics regardless. I think you’re a Superwoman. Enjoy the break lovely x
To me a vignette should tell a story and I have to admit I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to “vignettes”. Kara Rosenlund is my pinup girl! That said I’ve been guilty of adding a pic to #7vignettes that isn’t a pure vignette. I participate because it’s my creative outlet and a place of encouragement, pure vignette or not.
The only “rule” I think every winner should have to meet is that they contribute a full 7 pics, 1 for each theme. I agree with redagapeblog that each judge has their own taste and style and that’s what makes it fun. Jen I would hate to see #7vignettes become too serious or full of terms and conditions. It’s your creation and I’ll play along no matter what.
Enjoy time with your familyand know that I, like many people, will be back in August full of enthusiasm and positivity!
Mary Bennetts says
Wow why do people have to get so thingy about everything. I am relatively new to 7 Vignettes. I participate now and then to improve myself and to make me think of different ways to take pics. I don’t join to win , sure it would be nice if I did, but seriously I don’t even think of that. I like to look at everyone else’s lovely entries . I joined a page on facebook for rural photography, just because I liked to look at everyone’s lovely photo’s and then I noticed all this debate about if a photo was classed as Rural or not ,and not in the rules etc , it just turned me off. For me if it becomes rule orinated I won’t be bothered. Why can’t people just enjoy the lovely forum you run for sharing without the need for it always being about who is better. I love your 7 Vignettes and think you do a wonderful job. Enjoy your break and Happy Birthday
Rachel Kareta says
It’s a shame that people take something lighthearted, creative & enjoyable to such poisonous lengths.
I only participated in my first 7 vignettes in June & had such a great time – I couldn’t believe how wonderful (most, it seems) the #7vignettes community is & how much love is shared between photos.
It’s a shame that the need has arisen to make changes to guidelines, as I noticed last month the diversity within this competition/community is staggeringly beautiful. Whilst there may be a definition of vignette, the way people interpret those themes through their own imagination, skillset & photographic skills is what makes this ever expanding community/competition so inviting to so many people.
In the end it should lay with the judges whom is deemed the winner & the reasoning behind those decisions is at their discretion – everyone that posts a beautiful image has spent their time to create something of meaning to them that fits with that theme & that is something that everyone holds with pride once they press that post button.
I hope that whatever changes are made that people still feel that their creative output & imagination doesn’t need to diminish.
I hope you have a lovely break with your bundle of joy & your bestie, you deserve to take the time to enjoy the precious moments in life after working so spiritedly on your endless projects.
I’m sure that these comments that people have made to you won’t get the best of you, but if they leave you a little down remember that there are many more people cheering you on than trying to pull you with negative force. Always gravitate towards the cheers! 🙂
I cannot wait until August for the vignette return, until then your blog will be my fix 🙂
all my happiness & wishes to you..
Oh gosh, that’s such a shame to hear. I first participated in 7 Vignettes only two months ago, and I have received only positive, kind, encouraging feedback, and would never dream of posting anything other than that on someone else’s images (or insinuating that someone didn’t deserve to win…?).
For me, that’s the great appeal of it. You don’t have to be a professional with a fancy camera or fancy props or a deep understanding of how to create a ‘visually correct vignette’ to participate…it’s about a simple, creative response to a brief, whatever you consider that to be (and having a bit of fun!!).
I love the way it is and I adore seeing everyone’s creativity shine. I think you have done a wonderful job in bringing together a supportive, kind, creative online community, it would be a real shame to see a few naysayers spoil it for everyone else.
Enjoy a well-deserved break and ultimately do what you think is right – but I wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂 xx
Lisa R says
Well, really Jen, I am only going to reiterate what some of the previous comments have stated….Number 1…Happy Birthday for the First of July….have a wonderful day and lots of fun enjoying your besties company and your bub
Number 2. I love 7 vignettes and was originally encouraged to join in when you wrote about not feeling intimidated by others photos….I think if there were too many rules and regulations I wouldn’t participate as I would think I wasn’t good enough
Number 3. It was your idea/baby and you should make the rules and if people aren’t happy with them, no one is forcing them to participate
Number 4. I love the photos of what others take….how boring would it be if we were all taking similar photos
I certainly agree that if we decided to participate, then it would be good to do so for the whole 7 days….but perhaps that isn’t possible for everyone….I too don’t join in because I am hoping to win, but do so to stretch my self and my ideas….thanks for listening to my rambling
Gosh I can’t believe it’s so competitive and nasty! It’s all about your own interpretation of the theme and I for one am no stylist or great photographer but I love to create these images to share with so many other instagrammers….who I might add have nothing but encouragement for each other and gives you a tingly good feeling! And so much inspiration – I’ve discovered other participants who have great feeds and ideas and this is the perfect platform. I look forward to August as it’s been a while since I participated and hopefully I can encourage and inspire others to take part too. Enjoy your birthday and the new man in your life Jen x
Gina @ STYLE CURATOR says
Hey Jen, sorry to hear about the comments getting you down! Like you say constructive feedback is always welcome but negative comments can just be hurtful. I’ve always loved your 7 Vignettes and will be joining you for the next one in August (when my house will hopefully be finished, YAY!). Personally I find the community really supportive and love what you’ve created with it… you’ve even posted some of my past entries which probably didn’t stick to the rules, ha ha, but I’m keen to get better 😉 Hope you and Sebastian are going great, xx
My goodness, this makes me really sad Jen. I have no background in anything creative and frankly had to google ‘vignette’ numerous times to even get an idea of what to do! The appeal of the competition is the encouragement for all people to explore their own creativity without rigid rules or needing to be an expert photographer or stylist.
To win last month was incredible and not even remotely something I expected. Knowing that people might feel that I didn’t follow the rules or think my images to be unworthy makes me not want to participate again.
To me the real prize from 7vignettes is meeting some wonderful, positive people and having a creative outlet. Since starting 7vignettes I’ve found that looking for a little more beauty each day and taking photos has helped me keep my sanity alongside my often sad and stressful job in a hospital.
I say structure your competition that way YOU want – after all, you are the one behind 2.5 years of success and over 60,000 posts! Have a wonderful birthday and break 🙂
Nikki Hernan says
Your collection was very worthy xx
Geez, I hope people don’t think the standard is dropping to much as I won March 2015 7 Vignettes. Gosh people, it’s just a light hearted competition, I think people have been over thinking it. Enjoy your time with your family and friends Jen xo
While I do agree that it is about fun and community and it is an exceptional environment that you have created, I think it only makes sense for what is technically a competition to have some ‘rules’. There are prizes involved and a lot of people put in a huge amount of effort – I can completely understand when the winner is perhaps not qualifying with what are the basic requirements of the competition – even if these aren’t written anywhere, but perhaps implied.
When I first started doing vignettes soon after you introduced it, I had no idea what a vignette was and I read about it right here on your website. There were 3 things mentioned that stuck with me that I tried to keep in mind when doing my vignettes:
1. It has to be a new photo, not a repost of an old photo.
2. All seven days need to be completed and before the end of the seventh day.
3. The vignette needs to be exactly that – not just any photo, a vignette. A collection of items that evoke the feeling or thought of a particular word.
I think these are pretty straight forward and really not overly restricting!
I haven’t played in a long time due to a change in job/bad time management and I have never won, but it is something I greatly miss doing!
I totally agree! The rules set out are clear and winners should have stuck to these. To me the ‘standard’ has always varied. There have been total pros, then people like me who aspire and try, but the fact is we all have fun.
(I meant to say: I can completely understand when the winner is perhaps not qualifying with what are the basic requirements of the competition – even if these aren’t written anywhere, but perhaps implied – that people might get upset with the result.)
Well happy freaking birthday beautiful lady! And a big welcome to the world to your little one!!
What you have created with 7vignettes is truely magical. You have a wonderful community of like minded souls all together to share their love of Instagram.
Maybe you can evolve your own definition of a vignette? What does it mean to you Jen?
When you explore what it personally means to you.. Those could possibly be the guidelines and they can be as loose and creative as you want.
For example purposes only – if it were me in your shoes… Vignettes to me personally are about capturing a moment that means something to me. I often have asked myself how does the theme of the day make me feel, what memories or stories does it trigger for me… and then I go about setting up a collection of objects, subjects or places even that mean the most to me. It is less about the technical composition of a vignette and more about the story the picture tells. So for me, I would have every vignette or photo taken come with a short one liner to share with the beautiful 7vignettes community their story behind their vignette of the day. Because for me the best part of 7vignettes is getting to know others, getting to be a part of something really special and making some beautiful friends along the way!
Enjoy your break Jen, laugh lots and soak up every wonderful moment.
Maree @rubyree_is_me says
WoW! This has been interesting to watch unfold and I’m glad you have taken the time to post your own opinion on what is essentially ‘your IG challenge’ Jen.
I have noticed over the last year or so, a regular number of people not playing with the IG 7V community spirit that they should, this is not a IG challenge that requires one to have a degree in styling or the like. It is after all about having fun and hopefully each of us developing our own style and making IG friends with like minded folk.
My only input if I may, would be – a winner must submit a pic for each prompt to be considered for the overall winner.
Happy Birthday for July 1st Jen, and enjoy the time w your BF & family!
Sarah Shanahan says
I absolutely love what you have created Jen with 7vignettes. For me it’s always about having fun, challenging myself creatively and enjoying other vignetters creations. Enjoy your well deserved break and I’ll be looking forward to August!!! Xxx
What a shame to hear about negativity with something that is so lovely to be a part of. The community is beautiful and supportive, it has got me thinking creatively, honed my styling skills and I’ve made new Insta friends. Not only that but you’re always so involved as well Jen, which is awesome. I have entered a few things that don’t nearly have your numbers, and sometimes you’re not even acknowledged by the host. The fact that you do makes the community stronger I think. Stuff the rules! Life’s too busy! It’s nice just to be able to get involved without regulations! It’s down to you and the judges I reckon. Anyone that thinks otherwise can go do something else. Hope you have a wonderful break and it’s great you get a bit of time out. We love you Jen!! Up and at ’em, as my Dad would say x Catherine @tubu2010
Its to bad that negativity has raised its ugly head, I love particpating in #7vignettes even knowing i can not win living in Canada. To me its the fun of joining a group of people being creative. See you in August
Its so sad to hear that some people have turned something that is so fun, into a negative. Enjoy your bubba, enjoy your birthday and enjoy your family and friends, your positive supporters will stand by your decision and be back creating with you in August!!
XX Ree from Ree Elizabeth Design
Nikki Hernan says
Gosh, as if you need this stress right now! Have a lovely break my dear and keep doing your good thang ✌️
Look forward to playing in August
Jen, I think you’re more than deserving of a well earned break! Happy a birthday for the first!
My suggestion is maybe another few little Interiors Addict feature articles on ‘what a vignette is to me,’ by some previous winners and vignette superstars (Kara Rosenlund, Megan Morton, etc). I remember just over two years ago watching a time lapse of Kara putting together a vignette on your blog and I found that really helpful (I had noooo idea what a vignette was?!).
And thanks heaps for the 7 vignette forum. I’ve taken so much from the community, creativity and inspiration over the years. Your ‘baby’ is a pretty awesome little thing.
X Anna (@Sulphurcrested)
Jen Bishop says
Great feedback, thanks! Jen x
This is disheartening to here, July was going to be my first 7 vignettes I was entering and I was super pumped to feed my creative and artistic mind. I think from the sound of it a minority group have forgotten the purpose of this comp, it’s not the prize at the end but the enjoyment of doing something you love. Jen I can understand why a much needed break is in order but it’s a shame it couldn’t be under more positive circumstances. We should be thankful for people like yourself who encourage us and give us the tools to broaden our minds and connect with like minded women, no matter if you’re a mother, wife, or career driven woman or all of the above. Children need rules and guidelines to become great adults, but unfortunately even adults can act like children sometimes. As you said you can’t please everyone all the time but absence makes the heart grow fonder so hopefully the absence of Julys comp will make people understand how lucky we are to have these opportunities available to us. Chin up, enjoy your birthday, family and the fact that your an inspiration to so many women xx
Jen Bishop says
Thanks for taking the time to write this Samantha! Jen x
Marie Cosgrave says
Congratulations on encouraging and supporting creativity. Your fun competition has become well known and enjoyed by many. For those who have other thoughts there are always the traditional “photographic” competitions where there are strict guidelines, techniques & skills required which is very different to 7 Vignettes.
Enjoy your break with those you love and I’m sure your 7 Vignettes will be back with continued growing support.
As a South African, it was never about the competition to me as I cannot qualify to be a prize winner. I joined #7vignettes, because I honestly feel like it is such an inspiring and good-hearted community. This is refreshing since there are there so many social media bullies and negativity out there.
The only criteria I would give of what a vignette means to me, is something personal that has to be styled or arranged and ultimately tell a story.
When it comes to the competition side of things, I love that you and your fellow judges sometimes chooses the ‘underdog’, because let’s face it, there are some really professional vignetters out there! This gives every-single-vignetter, no matter their experience in styling, the confidence to partake in the fun. I’ve always loved the overall winner’s 7 images put together as it almost always tells a story and projects a certain mood (as so brilliantly displayed by previous winners, Angela and Mel).
Keep up the good work!
PS, my husband will surely thank you for skipping July 😉
Jen Bishop says
Thanks so much for this 🙂 Jen
I read a fair amount of the debate on IG and feel there are professional outlets for those who wish to pursue the purist concept of a vignette. Your competition is loved by many because it allows them to be creative and have a bit of fun, after all that’s what IG is all about. I love following the entries but have not yet had time to enter. A purist vignette competition would deter a lot of IGers. Don’t change a thing. IGers are having fun with your competition. People are not entering to win or to gain kudos. They just want to share and be creative. A bit of debate is healthy.
Jen Bishop says
I love the 7 vignettes community. It’s because of the wonderful positive energy and supportive comments that I enjoy playing every month. I was therefore very saddened to read all the negative discussion that was occurring and to see how much it hurt you, Jen. You have created a wonderful community here and you should be proud of that.
It seems to me that some people have become way too serious about something that is designed to encourage creativity and having fun (at least that’s what I’ve always thought it was supposed to be!). I think if there’s too many rules, that will discourage people from having a go, and that would be a real shame. Whilst I don’t think it should be about the win, I agree with others’ comments of some simple guidelines that you need to follow to qualify to win, could include: you have to complete all 7 days, a vignette is a collection of objects (not just one) and the objects need to be displayed in whatever way you feel represents the theme (and I love how varied this can be!)
Enjoy your time with your family Jen! Look forward to joining in again in August!!
Alana – @englishgirl14 xx
Jen Bishop says
Thanks very much Alana, this is great feedback! Jen
hi jen, i’ve been away travelling, so i’ve completely missed all this, but i just wanted to say that i think that it’s important to stress to judges and participants alike that #7vignettes is NOT just your standard ‘photo challenge’, y’know? like, get a word, take a pic. #7vignettes is all about the styling, having a go, playing with objects, considering the theme, trying to ‘say it with your stuff’ !!! it goes like this – Theme, Objects, Styling, Photography, Post. it’s fun and busy and rewarding – i’m ever so glad that you gave birth to the #7vignettes baby, jen !!! cheers, tanya xo