It's one thing to snap a selfie or a pic of your food--but getting the best (or should we say, most likely to induce jealousy amongst your friends) Instagram photos while you're on a trip? Way more important--we're talking serious memories here.
With Memorial Day weekend upon us--followed by summer trips, beach vacations, and the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays--we wanted to get the low-down on how to take the very best Instagram travel pics. We turned to Katja Hentschel, founder of travel website Travelettes and curator of their wanderlust-driven Instagram feed @travelettes. Here is her advice for getting snap happy, whether you're going halfway around the world or just going across town.
What in your opinion makes a good Instagram travel post?
I think travel Instagramming is like keeping a visual diary of your trip, so it should include the most beautiful things and places you've seen and the fun stuff you have done. I think of my feed as a way of sharing with others what I've lived in a certain country so that they can use this as a source of inspiration or information when they are looking to travel to the same place. I often read guide books when I travel but seeing something on a picture really is so much more telling then only reading a few lines about it.
When traveling, is there something you'll see that sets off an alarm, like, 'Yeah this would be a perfect photo'?
I look for beauty, which can come in any shape or form. Colors are important--I rarely photograph things in low lighting and flash is a big no no, so most of my photos are taken outdoors. My favorite subjects include scenes involving clear blue skies, sunsets, streets, and of course meals.
Do you recommend any apps for shooting or editing Instagram photos?
I use the Solarize filter on Instagram for almost all of my photos because it brings out the contours nicely. Most of the time I like to stick to the Instagram filters, with Rise and Mayfair being my favorites, but sometimes I enjoy using VSCO Cam for coloring.
Where do you fall in the great sunset photo debate?
Oh, I wasn't aware there was a debate! Does anyone not adore sunset photos? I love them and they tend to be among my most popular posts. Team Sunset all the way!
What's been your favorite photo you've posted and why?
It would have to be the photo I took of myself drinking red wine in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Of course, I was scared to drop my phone in the water but it was worth the risk. I loved my time in Iceland and this shot is a great throwback.
Where's your favorite place in the world to take photos?
I went to South Africa for the first time early this year and I would have to say it was an incredible place for all sorts of photos--great views, architecture, food. You get the winelands with lusciously green landscapes and the mountains with dramatic views over Cape Town. I also love Istanbul; everything there oozes beauty and history, and people there love to have their photo taken!
Who on Instagram do you think takes great travel snaps?
I follow quite a few people who I think post amazing travel shots. I never fail to be impressed by @mrsgrubby, who always manages to post travel photos with a certain sensibility that is very enjoyable and calm that is very endearing.
Any other advice you'd give to people who want to go snap happy on their next trip?
An iPhone is a fantastic alternative to a point-and-shoot camera, so it's worth bringing it everywhere. Set yourself the challenge of capturing what the place you're in is all about: kids playing in the streets, a great-looking shop selling fruit, a wall with an "I love you Marina" graffiti. Everyone takes photos of grand buildings and views, but it's the little things like that will make up great memories of your trip.