Get stunning travel pictures from the world's most exciting travel destinations in 8K quality without ever traveling! (Get started for free)
In the age of social media, travel and photography have become more intertwined than ever before. The "travelgram" - a portmanteau combining "travel" and "Instagram" - has emerged as a popular online phenomenon, with influencers and everyday users alike sharing envy-inducing snaps from exotic locales.
So what exactly is behind the meteoric rise of the travelgram? For starters, platforms like Instagram and TikTok have made it easier than ever for people to share visual content. At the same time, these apps' algorithms tend to favor eye-catching images that depict desirable lifestyles and experiences. A perfectly framed shot of swimsuited influencers frolicking on a tropical beach or a drone video capturing the vastness of the Grand Canyon? Those are the types of posts that garner likes, comments, and shares.
Beyond the technical factors, the travelgram also taps into a basic human desire: to explore. Scrolling through wanderlust-filled images allows viewers to experience distant places and cultures vicariously. Even the act of taking travel photos encourages people to adventure to photogenic locales. Platforms like Instagram almost gamify travel; users compete to capture and share the most jaw-dropping vistas and "hidden gems."
For many influencers, travelgrams have even become big business. Companies frequently sponsor social media stars' trips in exchange for promotion of hotels, airlines, tourism boards, and other brands. Top influencers can earn thousands per sponsored post. Though not all travelgrammers are paid, snapping envy-inducing vacation content has become a way for everyday users to gain followers and community too.
The perfect pose can be the difference between a travelgram that fizzles and one that sizzles. While backdrops play a role, how you position yourself in front of those backdrops is just as important. Travel influencers pour thought into how they pose for photos in order to portray desirable lifestyles, capture a location's essence, and boost engagement.
Posing tips run the gamut from practical to artistic. A key rule is making sure your body faces the camera and light source. Shadows and silhouettes rarely flatter. Squatting or sitting can help add stability for crisp shots, especially if you're shooting solo. Opt for poses that feel natural rather than forced.
While travelgrams thrive on variety, influencers often develop signature poses that become their calling card. For example, fashion and lifestyle blogger Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat) frequently poses sitting down, legs crossed and hands resting on her knees. This relaxed, approachable pose exudes her brand's effortless vibe.
Influencers posing with local residents and in culturally significant spots aim to encapsulate a destination's spirit. Candice Trip (@gypsea_lust) embraces this strategy by mirroring the poses of monks, riders, and artisans across Asia. mimicking classic poses like "The Thinker" in appropriate settings also helps convey a locale's history.
Posing with props or interactive backdrops lends a sense of fun while highlighting iconic attractions. Classic examples include holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa or kicking a leg behind you Ã la "Angelina Jolie Leg." While gimmicky, these tropes do tend to rake in likes.
While travelgrams spotlight destinations, they also allow influencers to showcase adventurous, carefree versions of themselves. Poses that convey movement - like jumping for joy, dancing, or walking toward the camera - can project these desired traits. Sweeping scenery calls for similarly epic spins, leaps, or arms wide open.
Timing also matters. Golden hour's flattering light and shadows prompt perfectly planned photo sessions. Influencers patiently wait for crowds to disperse before snapping iconic landmarks. And featuring locals going about their daily business adds authenticity when captured candidly.
For travelers and wanderlusters, certain locales hold an almost mythical allure. Dubbed "bucket list destinations," these are the places that feature prominently on people's lifelong must-visit lists. Capturing these coveted sites through stunning travelgrams represents the pinnacle of travel photography for many influencers.
So what earns a destination bucket list status? Typically, these are the world's most iconic natural wonders, historic sites, and vibrant cities. For natural splendor, destinations like Santorini, Iceland, and Banff top lists for their staggering landscapes and Insta-worthy views. Architectural marvels like the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu enthrall visitors with their intricate beauty and aura of mystery. Cosmopolitan cities like Paris, Tokyo, and New York lure travelers with their energy, culture, and culinary scenes.
Bucket list destinations become pilgrimage sites for influencers looking to deliver wanderlust to their audiences. Photos from these spots often become social media stars' most visible and reshared posts precisely because of the locations' universal appeal. Yet capturing these sites in a fresh, distinctive way represents a challenge. Familiar bucket list spots come loaded with preconceived notions and require digging deeper to showcase unique perspectives.
One approach for putting a novel spin on well-trodden spots is focusing on specific architectural or natural details rather than always going wide. Closer vantage points of, say, weathered brick at the Colosseum or a single vivid tulip in Holland can breathe new life into typical scenes. Portraying locals going about their daily routines also adds authenticity.
Lighting and timing also impact an influencer's ability to reimagine a destination. Many visually prioritize golden hour's romantic hues when shooting packed attractions like India's Taj Mahal. Or they specifically visit during shoulder seasons to capture sites minus hordes of tourists. Savvy influencers research and plan shots around optimal timing for lighting, crowds, and seasonal appeal.
Whilebucket list siteswill always star in travelgrams, showcasing the road less traveled also captivates audiences. Hidden gem locations off the beaten tourist track offer influencers opportunities for more unique content. For example, straying from Paris" main sights to capture street art in the Belleville neighborhood adds originality. Even featuring lodging options like glamping or tiny beach bungalows injects novelty into classic destinations.
Whether you're an aspiring influencer or simply want to up your Instagram game, snapping epic selfies takes skill. While destinations provide beautiful backdrops, top-notch travel selfies spotlight you. Photographing yourself in a compelling, consistent way elevates your profile and boosts engagement. Luckily, mastering a few key selfie strategies can help you post professional-looking photos.
First, nail down camera angles that flatter. For most people, slightly above eye level is optimal. Point the camera downwards to elongate your body. Shoot from farther away and zoom in to slim facial features. Frame yourself using rule of thirds by positioning your face to one side.
Lighting also makes a huge difference. For detailed, evenly lit selfies, stand near a window on an overcast day. Golden hour's soft, warm light works magic too. Avoid casting shadows on your face by ensuring light hits you head-on. Reflectors help fill in shadows caused by sunlight overhead.
Come prepared with a small ring light, tripod, and remote clicker. A ring light provides a studio-worthy, eye-catching catchlight. A clip-on version travels easily for flattering photos anywhere. Tripods allow you to frame the perfect shot minus shaky hands. Meanwhile, remote clickers enable you to get in front of the lens without sprinting.
Beyond equipment, posing confidently projects personality. Lara Worthington (@lara_worthington) captures the camera's attention with strong eye contact and chin up. Stand at a slight angle for dynamic asymmetry. Keep expressions genuine by thinking of something funny.
Wardrobe and styling elevate selfies too. Pack neutrals like blacks, whites, and denim that photograph cleanly in any locale. Bold solids and striking silhouettes pop. Distinctive accessories such as hats, sunglasses, and statement jewelry telegraph your personal style. Style hair simply using clips, pins, or hats to keep strands in place on windy shoots.
Some influencers enlist others for next-level selfies. Photographer partners - or even random passersby - can capture you candidly interacting with scenery. Pack a small GorillaPod tripod and Bluetooth remote to include photographers in Group shots without selfie sticks.
Photo editing refines selfies' color, contrast, and composition. Apps like Lightroom and VSCO allow you to preset filters for consistent looks. Brighten underexposed shots, crop for emphasis, and tweaking warmth and saturation. Use editing judiciously to avoid looking overly filtered. Maintain your authentic personality.
First, consider the mood you want to convey. Bright, popping hues and decreased contrast evoke playful energy. Boost vibrancy and warmth for quintessential tropical vibes. Cooler tones and increased contrast and shadows lend a moody, mysterious aesthetic. Adjust brightness, temperature, highlights, shadows, and vibrancy accordingly.
Strategic cropping also directs the viewer's eye and highlights your best assets. The rule of thirds generally works best. Position yourself to one side, allowing the other two-thirds to showcase stunning scenery. Cropping to a 4:5 vertical format feels immersive on mobile feeds. But horizontal formats tell stories more seamlessly. Whichever shape you select, hone in on the most compelling elements.
Creative preset filters transform travelgrams with just one click. Fashion influencer Aimee Song (@songofstyle) developed signature Lightroom presets like Golden Haze. These infuse photos with warm, golden hour hues for cohesive editing style. When using presets, adjust opacity to keep things looking natural. You can also make presets by saving your favorite edits.
Selective editing spotlights you while sharpening backgrounds. After applying overall tone edits, mask over yourself. Then bump up clarity, texture, sharpness, and dehaze just for the background to make scenery pop. This helps your subject stand out. Similarly, using radial filters boosts exposure just around you while darkening edges for a spotlight effect.
Touch-ups like whitening teeth and eyes, smoothing skin and stray hairs, sharpening jawlines enhance your appearance without going overboard. But resist the urge to alter your looks entirely. As Aimee Song notes, "I rarely use body altering apps because...I don't want to present an unrealistic expectation of how I look." Authenticity matters.
Layering filters and textures lends a creative twist. After applying a faded film look, add grain for vintage vibes. Overlay distressed textures, light leaks, or glowing sparks for magical effects. Use these finishing touches sparingly to avoid overkill.
Finally, vet images on multiple devices before posting. Colors and sharpness display differently on desktop versus mobile. Cropping can shift appearance too. Scrutinize on both platforms to ensure shots look engaging everywhere.
Curating an Instagram feed that tells a compelling visual story and keeps followers engaged takes forethought and strategy. Unlike individual posts that may highlight a moment in time, your overarching feed reveals your passions, aesthetic, and personality. Travel influencers in particular must curate feeds transporting followers across destinations and experiences.
Curating a consistent, authentic feed starts with understanding your niche, brand voice, and goals. Are you drawn to colorful city pop shots or moody wilderness landscapes? Minimalist architectural details or action-packed adventure? This helps determine locations, poses, editing style, captions, and more. Fashion blogger and influencer Chriselle Lim (@chrisellelim) describes honing in on her feed's direction: "I really thought about the kind of imagery that I wanted my audience to see...and figuring out the story I wanted to tell."
Many influencers employ unifying elements to connect disparate images. Using color stories like all warm tones or deep jewel tones creates cohesion. Consistent editing presets, textures, and filters also thread images together. Some influencers always opt for bright, airy shots while others embrace moody contrast. Repetition of poses, framing, and even caption style also promotes flow.
While a signature look provides continuity, avoiding repetition keeps things interesting. Successful feeds spotlight diverse locations, angles, scenes, and moments. Influencers plan shoots specifically to capture content that adds variety and fills gaps. Lifestyle blogger Gal Meets Glam (@galmeetsglam) explains, "I"m constantly thinking of how this image I want to capture would fit into the bigger story on my grid."
Thoughtful image sequencing maximizes visual impact. Clustering like colors and vibes creates movement. But randomly interspersing contrasting shots helps each one stand out. Save especially dramatic images for the first and middle positions when scrolling where they"ll grab attention.
Many influencers swear by scheduling posts and mapping grids using planning apps. Preview helps visualize how images will appear in feed layout. Unum and Plann provide analytics on what posts and times garner engagement. This data informs strategies; travel blogger Jack Morris (@doyoutravel) learned brighter, bolder images attracted more followers.
While stunning backdrops shine, remember feeds are about showcasing you. The frame"s focal point should highlight what makes you unique as an influencer. Fashion icon Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) remarks, "What matters is the way I look, my outfit, my look, and the overall aesthetic."
But avoid looking overly posed or disconnected from your surroundings. Relatable, candid moments peppered throughout add authenticity. Bloggers sometimes intentionally post more amateurish shots or behind-the-scenes clips to break up highly curated content.
With over 500 million Instagram users worldwide and over 1 billion TikTok users, standing out as an influencer and curating a distinctive personal brand is more challenging than ever. While exotic locales and glamorous lifestyles attract audiences initially, consistently engaging followers requires depth and uniqueness beyond beautiful backdrops.
In a saturated social media space, creating a memorable niche requires identifying not just what you document, but also your perspective and approach to content. Fashion and lifestyle blogger Danielle Bernstein of @weworewhat explains, "It"s not enough to just be doing what everyone else is doing or going where everyone else is going. It"s about figuring out how you can do things differently."
Ask yourself: What unique experiences and subcultures can I offer insider access to? How do I approach traveling, photography, and community building differently from others in the space? What makes my voice and perspective distinct?
Influencer Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard) rocketed to success not only by spotlighting stunning beaches and surfing, but also by conveying his conservationist philosophy. Burkard"s caption commentary and involvement in ocean sustainability efforts differentiate him from other travel shooters.
Meanwhile, activist influencers like Jessica Nabongo (@jessicanabongo) integrate social justice issues like diversity and representation into their content. By boldly addressing topics like racism within the travel industry, Nabongo has built a brand beyond just jetsetting.
Personality also matters hugely. Showcasing not just where you go but also who you are while you"re there through humor, candor, and insight builds an emotional connection with followers. After amassing a sizable following, blogger Oneika Raymond felt compelled to reveal more of herself, saying: "Travel is so much more than a beautiful photo of a beach. It"s how that beach makes you feel."
Incorporating interactive elements like Q&As, DMs, and invitations for followers to suggest destinations also distinguishes influencers. Photography duo Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen of @doyoutravel attribute involvement with their audience as key to growth: "We ask followers questions about where we should go next or what we should do when we arrive somewhere."
Creativity in photography style, editing, and captions also helps influencers cut through the noise. But it must remain consistent with your brand identity. Blogger Neha of @lolasobsessions says, "I"ve realized the importance of telling my story through a signature style of imagery, instead of changing my approach with every shot." Identify visual and textual elements that feel authentic to you.
In the social media age, turning photogenic travel content into a money-making endeavor has become an alluring prospect for many wanderlusters. An eye-catching Instagram feed brimming with snapshots in exotic locales presents untapped business potential. Savvy influencers have seized this opportunity, transforming enviable selfies and travelgrams into lucrative side hustles and full-fledged careers.
Monetizing travel content represents a mushrooming industry. A projected $13.8 billion will pour into influencer marketing by 2022 according to Business Insider. Top travel influencers charge up to $10,000 for a single sponsored Instagram post in coveted destinations. Nearly 40% of travel content creators earn between $50 to $100 per post on average. While becoming a highly paid influencer has narrow odds, many entrepreneurial-minded content creators earn sizable supplementary income through brand partnerships.
Several strategies convert wanderlust into wealth. The most direct is working directly with brands as a paid ambassador or sponsored content creator. Hotels, airlines, tourism boards, and travel gear companies frequently collaborate with influencers to market services and products. Negotiating rates for sponsored posts and trips rather than accepting freebies retains creative control. Micro-influencers with smaller but highly engaged niche followings can still command competitive sponsorship deals.
Affiliate marketing also monetizes existing content by earning commissions promoting relevant brands. Apps like RewardStyle facilitate tagging products in posts with trackable links; any ensuing purchases award the influencer a percentage. Bloggers often compile lists of "travel essentials" linking to their favorite luggage, headphones, and more.
Turning travel know-how into ebooks, photography presets, online courses, and other digital products can spawn passive income streams. For instance, fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein published travel resource guides about packing, posing, and editing. Selling downloadable Lightroom presets capitalizes on popular editing styles.
Building a brand beyond social platforms opens additional revenue possibilities.Some influencers like Jack Morris have launched successful clothing lines inspired by their jetsetting lifestyle. Others secure book deals compiling their advice and stories. Podcasting about travel adventures inserts personality into the influencer business.
But simply garnering an audience and scoring free trips won't translate to income. Business acumen is critical to orchestrating partnerships that are both personally fulfilling and profitable. Influencers stress the importance of negotiating contracts that retain creative control and licensing rights. Legal knowledge protects personal brands from being exploited.