so this is that one time i got my instagram account back

and just as mysteriously as it disappeared, my @yanpalmer instagram account is back......

turns out composing a gracious thank you statement is a lot more difficult than raising an angry fist. i feel a little like a confused toddler who threw a big fit and has suddenly found out i actually DON'T have to go to my room. what?! really?! that foot stamping actually worked?!!!

although a huge thanks is so obviously due, celebrating my victory kiiiinda feels like gloating while my siblings are still being hushed off to bed without dinner. this didn't just happen to me. this happened weeks ago to a dear friend @jessicakettle and to others who've come out of the woodwork the last few days, who might not have as large of a support network to fight the good fight for them, and who's endings weren't as happy as my own
@jesskettle, @girlfort @@phoenixjamie i'm still rooting for you and encourage others to do the same.
and yet....
however compelling their or my story might be, i do not believe the injustice is something to be decided on  a case to case basis---i believe it lies in @instagrams vague description of what is appropriate content regarding our children, as well as their ability to remove our accounts with no warning or even a simple 24 hours notice to say, "hey back that up like its hot," before they take our memories away.
pllleeeaasssseee don't misunderstand---getting my account back was a huge victory, i cried and mentally sent thank you, may you be rich and happy all your days vibes to all 6K plus of you who took up my cause and reposted---but that nagging feeling of winning the battle not the war is still lingering over my head. i don't want to see another mama, shocked and crushed when she loses her personal history, a very literal manifestation of herself, after naively  instagramming her toddler's sandy/chubby behind at the beach.
here are some things i've learned this weekend that you can do to keep your images safe: back up back up back up. services that were brought to my attention: from their site: "everything kept in one place. a copy of everything you said or shared every photo you posted, every friend you made, all safe in a personal library on your computer forever." automatic photobooks $6 per 60 pages. check out their site--this is your words and photos in print for a reasonable price and that's rad
instaport and artifact uprising are also other, similar, yet different (i have artifact uprising books for some of my images and LOVE them) alternatives to the ones listed above.
furthermore, if you're posting pics of your kids and are scared about what's okay and what's not---i heard through the grapevine that the unwritten rule is basically if you have a kid who can walk, they gotta be in a shirt at all times. period.  the goal though of the war is for unwritten rules to get written so we can all stop quivering in our boots.

an open letter to instagram; please bring back @yanpalmer

can i make the disclaimer that i wrote this late at night after a long, hard, emotional day, still slightly in a state of shock? because its sappy guys. like real sappy. but since instagram is difficult to reach directly, i'm putting this out there in as many ways as i know how. so here you go, an open letter to instagram regarding the deletion of my @yanpalmer instagram account


hi, i'm yan. i am a single mother of three and i am an avid and passionate instagram user. in the past i have been extremely grateful for the incredible free platform instagram has been to build a community of likeminded, creative people. i worked hard (and who'm i kidding, had a blast doing it) the last 3 years to open my world and my heart to the tune of 11K+ incredible followers

i'm still grateful.
but this morning something horrifying happened to me. i went to check instagram and was surprised to find i'd been logged out of my account. that's odd, i thought, one of my kids must have gotten ahold of my phone again---but when i tried to relog in, i got a message to the effect of, "your account has been disabled, please see the instagram help center for more information." i went and found that the only reason your account can be disabled is if someone has reported you for questionable content.
that can't be i thought. i haven't had any kind of issue recently. i haven't even instagrammed an image for 2 days, and the last photo i did instagram was me going up the stairs! i checked my email for something, some kind of heads up or warning, but found nothing. *
at this point, my hands were shaking, and i was struggling to keep down my breakfast. you see, as a single mother of three, with absolutely no outside financial assistance, i had come to rely on instagram to reach my creative community and generate business for my company, yan photography. i had earned my following, not just with images, but with words- my inner most thoughts-- hard, earnest confessionals involving the demise of my marriage, the complex heartache of divorce, the reasons i found to keep moving forward (most of which were the subject of my photos--my three precious little ones). not only had i come to rely on my followers, but i believe many had come to rely on me as an honest voice amid projected perfection, as a source of encouragement to keep creating and loving.   with that community taken from me overnight, i knew that my livelihood and ability to keep providing for those precious ones, had taken a very, very serious hit. it was all i could do to not collapse in a panicked, sobbing heap.
so now, i am attempting to come to you instagram, to ask for your help. to beg you, plead even, that my former account @yanpalmer somehow, if at all possible be reinstated? to assure you that i have done my best to be a respectful, excellent, honest, and even innovative community contributor, to tell you that if there is something i need to do differently, i am fully willing to do it! i promise! and to remind you of what i feel is the very most important thing:
that you have created something incredibly beautiful. an entire, intricate online world for people to connect and explore creative inclinations they sometimes didn't even know they had. it has been a world that has blessed me time and time again, and that i have been lucky to be a part of, i fully recognize that. i think there is a chance here to possibly improve upon this world--the power is in your hands--to use me as an example of someone you can say to, 'hey thanks for bringing this to our attention. we're going to improve the system, because we care and because we can." and by improving the system, i gently suggest making more clear the policy on child nudity, and perhaps a clearer heads up that account deletion is imminent giving those like me time to back up not just images, but the words, the thought, the very literal self we have spent years documenting.
i don't know if that makes sense, its late, and i'm extremely emotional. ha. but please, if you can, help my three kids and me. bring back @yanpalmer
i have started an interim account @heck_yan to generate support, and i think you'll find many more there in agreement with me (i don't want that to be threatening, but perhaps eye opening?) they have all been pleading my case under the hashtag #bringbackyanpalmer
i started the @heck_yan account today and it is almost 6K followers strong at although i am grateful for these new followers and outcry of support (how could i complain!) it has never been a numbers game for me, but a matter of drawing people to me who were invested in my art, struggle,  and story. quality over quantity if you will.
i do have some of my instagram photos on facebook if you want to get a feel for what my @yanpalmer feed WAS like:
thank you so much for your time.
*i have gotten emails from instagram in the past alerting me to images being flagged for removal due to questionable content (images of my kids in skivvies more or less). those photos were removed and i was sad, but not worked up----there was no indication in these emails that my ENTIRE account would be deleted as a result.

Announcing the Yan Fam Way Workshop


Its no secret that i go back and forth on whether or not to teach workshops. every time i've taken that leap the results have been above far beyond my expectation. i leave with my heart touched and inspired. i leave with the satisfaction of seeing the look on an attendee's face when you help them get a few bounds closer to realizing their own unique potential.

further, i love to teach. that love has been alive far longer than i've been a photographer. in fact, my bachelor's degree is in education. teaching is as much a passion for me as photography.




the self doubt.

the fear of being thought a phony, even when you know you have something to give. the self imposed pressure to absolutely make sure you deliver on what you promise your attendees. because how could you possibly feel good about sending them home otherwise?

so i put myself out there,  i pour every last part of me into the work and the teaching. i take a deep breath, say "ready, set, go....." and then----i'm shocked by the positive reception. the successes of those who come. this totally mental, possibly crazy emotional roller coaster i put myself through  ends up being such an intense experience that afterwards i find myself retreating. to replenish. to evaluate. to take it all in, learn from what has happened, and  re grow my courage, so to speak.

until i find myself at this place again. yanking at my eyebrows nervously, taking 2 hours to write a blog post announcement that should only have taken about 15 minutes.

ready, set, go.

the concept is simple. something intimate. somethething straightforward. something AFFORDABLE with a narrowed focus. a day with me teaching you everything i possibly can about what i love to photograph best - families. so come be with me for a day. if you wanna, because i'd love to meet you.

email me at with questions.

*workshop is for film AND digital shooters *non refundable (see next note) *i reserve the right to cancel the workshop in the event that not all seats are filled. however, if the workshop is cancelled, you will be fully refunded.

buy seat for vegas:

buy seat for Salt Lake City: