There’s no denying that Instagram has taken over the world and perhaps more than anything changed the way people travel. Personally Instagram and I have a love / hate relationship (I love it and it hates me lol) but overall a lot of criticism is levied at bloggers for creating a trend of ‘fast travel’. That is going to a destination for a ‘hero shot’ for the ‘gram and not fully appreciating your surroundings. However, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while to explain that’s not the case, well for me it’s not anyway… Instead of having a negative impact on my travel style, I think my love of Instagram has actually enhanced the way I travel and given me a new found appreciation for the world. That’s why I wanted to tell you the reasons why I don’t care that I’m doing it for the ‘gram!
1. I Research a Place More Thoroughly to Find Locations
Long time readers of this blog will know how thoroughly I research a destination before I travel there but now as well as looking for the best location to stay, eat and drink, I also look for the places that I know will look visually stunning on Instagram. By finding these places I uncover hidden gems and beautiful places that I never knew even existed, therefore not only adding to the prettiness on my grid but also enhancing my time in that destination.
Top Tip: I create boards in my saved items for different destinations as an easy way to keep all the photos in one place. If you’ve never used the saved items function, it’s a bit like creating a Pinterest board for your Instagram.
2. I Look at Things in a Different Way
If I’m looking to get an Instagram shot I will look at a famous monument / hotel room / breakfast in a different way. Thinking about what angle to take the picture from, how I can show both object of the photo at its best and how well it’ll perform on my grid. I think that this negates the idea of ‘fast travel’ as I spend longing thinking about things!
TOP TIP: Look at how your favourite Instagrammers frame shots, don’t copy but be inspired.
3. It’s Made my more Creative with my Photography
Everyone starts a blog for a different reason but for me it was a love of writing. If you look back to the early days of my blog you’ll see that for me, it was all about telling a story and the photography came second really. When I started blogging was my hobby and a chance to tell people about the holidays Mr S and I took, I never thought it would ever be any more than that. As my blog grew and became more professional I bought a DSLR camera and started working on my photography and over the years saw a great improvement.
As Instagram grew my photography developed even more. The Instagram algorithm demands that not only are photos beautifully taken but they also need to be creative and interesting in order to get noticed. It’s no longer good enough to snap you ice cream in Italy, a pretty shot of the Eiffel tower or avocado on toast. There has to be something to take it to the next level. Like a gravity defying skirt!
TOP TIP: Instagram rewards creativity, the more creative your shot, the further you will be pushed up the algorithm.
4. I appreciate the beauty in simple things in life
I never looked at Autumn leaves on the ground and realised how beautiful they could be before my obsession with Instagram. I never appreciated the way light beamed off a tree, the bright petals of a flower, how paint peeling from a wall can actually be beautiful. As well as Instagram making me take a look at ‘the big picture’ it’s also given me a new found appreciation for the smaller and more simple things in life.
TOP TIP: Every opportunity is a chance to get creative. Whether its a walk through the park, lunch with friends or buying a new pair of shoes.
5. It’s given Mr S and I a new shared interest
Now don’t get me wrong, Mr S isn’t always fan of my Instagram account. He finds it slightly exhausting to take over 100 photos of me before getting the perfect one, having to hide in a wardrobe while I take shots of a bedroom and ending up with a cold breakfast while I get the perfect flat lay. However, when he see the pay off, ie an absolutely stunning photo that is a result of both our efforts, he is always very pleased. He also likes to see the way a photo he’s taken will slot neatly into my grid and become part of an overall creative concept.
He has also taken an interest in photography himself, particularly drone photography and now he loves nothing more than flying his drone. I think he actually might prefer flying the drone to sitting by the pool now! Any drone photos that you see on my grid have been taken by Mr S, I think he’s got rather good at it!
TOP TIP: If you have a partner, think how you can work on your Instagram together and how you can make it fun. Mr S actually loves coming up with his own concepts now.
6. It’s made me more confident about having my photo taken
Ok, so I’ve never been someone who hates having their photo taken but I was certainly a lot more awkward about posing!! The first time I actually hired a photographer, I was incredibly nervous about the process but now I absolutely love it. Creating poses, knowing your angles and what looks good takes lots of practice but I finally feel like I’m getting there and have some professional photos that I’m proud of!
TOP TIP: Don’t be scared to hire a photographer, it’s great to get professional photos for your grid and to improve your confidence in posing.
7. It’s made me go out of my comfort zone and face my fears.
I’ve really made no secret about the fact that I’m pretty much scared of everything! One of my biggest fears is my fear of heights but desire to get a story for my blog or a cool shot for Insta has made me face those fears and expand my horizons. Such as trying skiing for the first time, climbing a mountain in Iceland and going in a helicopter – honestly there has been nothing quite like blogging and Instagram to push me out of my comfort zone.
TOP TIP: Do something everyday that scares you. And then take a picture of it. However, don’t do anything ridiculously risky, Instagram is not worth hurting yourself for.
8. It’s given me new opportunities
Instagram is my creative outlet and my passion but it’s also my business. I’ve always emphasised that the majority of the destinations and hotels that you see on my blog and Instagram are my own independent travels but years of working on building my content and following has also given me the opportunity to go on amazing press trips and collaborate with fantastic brands. Just this year I’ve had the opportunity to visit champagne with Mark & Spencer, visit the Prosecco region with Bottega, fly to Nice on a private jet and stay in top luxury hotels in Morocco.
I’ve also worked on sponsored posts with Air Canada, Starbucks, Twinings, Heathrow Airport and American Express to name a few!
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The perfect start to a special holiday. I was given the VIP treatment in the gorgeous @heathrow_airport personal shopping suite with champagne, coffee and chocolate. It was such a luxurious experience to have the personal shopper hand-select a choice of clothing and accessories for me to try on in comfort and privacy – I can hardly believe it’s all complimentary! The experience is available in all Heathrow terminals and the stylists tailor each session to the passengers’ needs #Heathrow #fashion #styletips #HeathrowPersonalShopper #ad
TOP TIP: Only work on collaborations that are 100% right for you and fit organically into your existing content.
9. Meeting New Friends
‘How did you guys meet?’… ‘We met on Instagram…’ was honestly not a phrase I ever thought I’d utter but in 2018, I’m making new friends and meeting people over social media on a regular basis. Instagram, blogging and social media has helped to meet a whole new circle of friends and in many cases they have become travel buddies.
TOP TIP: While I’m not condoning meeting random strangers off the Internet, you honestly never know who you’ll meet if you give it a chance. I try to meet new people all the time and I obviously do it in a safe environment.
10. A Highlights Reel at my fingertips
I have a highlights reel of all my most treasured memories right at my finger tips… everyone knows that there is so much more to life than what you see on social media but any time I want to relive my favourite holidays, meals and activities, I can simply scroll through on my phone. I don’t think it’s narcissistic to say that I love scrolling through my own grid and remembering all those happy times…and also what went on behind the photo!
TOP TIP: Don’t be afraid to post something less than perfect. If it’s a truly treasured memory, you’ll be so happy to see it come up again and again on your feed.
Has Instagram changed the way you travel? I’d love to know!