Fatherhood Through Instagram: Alan Stuart

'Fatherhood Through Instagram' continues today with Alan Stuart @nineteenseventynine. His photos radiate the humor and playfulness with which he approaches life. Take a look and enjoy the ride!

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Poopsie Collective (PC): Tell us a little about yourself and your background. 

Alan Stuart (AS): Born in Australia, travelled around the world against my will for a while, to eventually arrive in L.A. at age 8. At age 21 I left for NY and didn’t look back. Until I married my love (and long-time college friend) in Italy, finding our way back (and pregnant) to L.A. We have gypsy souls, so in a few months, we’re uprooting again for the Pacific Northwest Wonderland… Portland. Stay tuned for more gypsy adventures.

After publishing (The New Yorker, Wired, Lucky, Martha Stewart, and Cargo) and advertising in NYC, I started my own creative cooperative, based on a network of freelancers. One Long House has been in action for about 4 years now and I’m loving where we’re going on these next few projects.

PC: Describe your perfect day?

AS: Wake up in a camping hammock somewhere in Montana, smooshed together with my family. Send the little ones to fetch sticks, while I prepare the bacon/egg/cheese sandwiches. After 3 hours of that, a hike to a watering hole where we can jump in off a terrifyingly high cliff. Then a nap in the sun as heights make me tired (everything makes me tired). 

Back at camp we cook up some steaks, corn, smores, and spiked something. While we were gone, someone built us a hot tub. We get in it. Nap. Dance party. 

You know, simple things.

PC: When did you begin taking photos? What does photography mean to you? Tell us how Instagram has affected your photography? 

AS: I started when my dad gave me his old Nikkormat setup in a silver, metal briefcase. It was all very spy and awesome. I was about 11 at the time. Photography was my first dive into creativity and set the stage for everything else down the road. It allowed me to see the world differently and to capture one one-hundredth of a second at a time… a good thing, since my memory is terrible.

Instagram makes everyone a photographer, but not necessarily a good one. Cream still rises to the top and you can tell who has an eye for image and who doesn’t.  What I love about IG is not only the photos, but the shift of vision that occurs. Now, someone with no formal photography training could be walking down the street and appreciate a piece of tree bark on the ground, saying “oh, that would look great with the Sierra filter and some added contrast.” Before IG, only photographers would have that type of vision, seeing interesting in the mundane. Now, we can all have that. 

PC: What inspires you, either for your work or in your day-to-day?

AS: Simple solutions to complex problems. And the lack of those motivates me. “There’s got to be a better way” is now a running, repeating quote you will hear me say to my wife. She might roll her eyes, but just you wait—soon you won’t know how you lived without the automatic shrimp de-veiner.

PC: What messages and stories do you hope to convey to your children through your photographs of them? And your life through the lens of your iPhone?

AS: That we had a great f*cking time being a family.

Thank you to Alan Stuart for participating in the ‘Fatherhood Through Instagram’ series. You inspire us to have fun. And to take photos of it. 

To follow Alan on Instagram @nineteenseventynine

**All photos in this gallery are property of Alan Stuart

You too can contribute by using the hashtag #fatherhoodthroughinstagram and #motherhoodthroughinstagram.

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Alan Stuart is the Founder and Creative Director of One Long House, a creative cooperative. He currently lives in Los Angeles, but dreams of building a ranch where he can run barefoot, bare chested and free with his two children. He lives by the motto: Say Yes. What will you say yes to today?