You can’t deny it. All of us like to look good in pictures, after all they are our best souvenirs and future clickable memories. I don’t know about you, but ideally, I’d like to have perfect hair, makeup on and nice clothes. Although realistically this is not always the case. Take me for example, if you look at my travel pictures, my look is usually closer to Dolly the sheep on a very humid day. And, of course… I’m almost always wearing the same plain clothes.
When It’s time for me to choose a picture for my feed, I often choose pictures with a high dose of showing off-ism. I’m not the only one, you only have to open Instagram to find hundreds of travellers that look always ‘perfect’ regardless of whether they are in a rooftop bar in New York or climbing a volcano in Hawaii. No matter if they are eating a saucy bratwurst in Bremen or have just exited a Finnish sauna, they always somehow manage to look on fleek… or at least they try to. Let’s face it, balance is what makes the world beautiful. So, while some people may look like a Victoria Secret’s Angel and others (like myself) like a thoughtful pigeon, the balance is a beautiful thing… right?
And it’s OK.
If you also want to increase the envy of your followers with perfect travel pictures (you know, the location is a minor issue, the important thing is the pictures). I’m going to give you 9 ideas to succeed on Instagram:
1. Wear a flower dress. ¡Wow! The Simpsons had predicted it.
2. Look towards the floor and do it as if the answer to the origin of the universe was written down there.
3. The #followmeto. Wherever, always with the love of your life by your side (even if that love is pizza, no judgement here).
4. Take a picture of your ice cream. Even if it melts in your hand and you only get to eat cream and chocolate soup, do what you gotta do.
5. The back of the head shot. This can be extremely useful on days where you’re not feeling very photogenic…
6. Your smile is the best make up. Remember that.
7. Look to the infinity and beyond.
8. Put on a hat… even better if it’s a straw one.
9. Don’t you even dare start eating your food before doing a whole photoshoot with it. Plus, if what your neighbour is eating looks better than your food, feel free to flash that as well… after all, you only regret the photos you don’t take, right?
Now that you know how to rock it on Instagram, let me tell you a couple things, dear “Melbourne” filter friend, be careful and don’t let it get out of hand.
Because yes, there are people who snap out of control, and badly (like that pun). Showing off can be a total rip off and this is the proof.
Posing just a bit is a human thing but contributing to unreal expectations of a place… that is diabolic! I still remember when I visited the Bamboo Forest in Kyoto thinking I would find the most absolute peace, a light breeze among the trunks, the leaves dancing in the sunshine. When in reality, the only ones dancing there were the tourists trying to find the perfect pose.
So, keep your eyes wide open. Instagram is a minefield where the mines are pictures of places that seem fantastic but are nothing like the reality. Chompoo Baritone, the Thai photographer, did an experiment where she showed the places that she took her best pictures. As you can see, what we see on Instagram is just a tiny part of everything and as it so happens, this “tiny part” is usually the “best part”.
All of us have seen pictures of people on top of a mountain looking fresher than a rose. I don’t know about you, but after walking up 5 floors of stairs I look more like a roasting piece of kebab meat than a scented flower.
Or of the Great Wall of China, the Fontana di Trevi or Picadilly Circus… Beautiful, deserted and with a light that exudes calmness. C’mon calmness at the Fontana di Trevi?! It’s a shame that when you get there, it looks like a tin of sardine’s, but you know tourist style all squashed right up to the edge trying to get the best view and/or picture. Repeat after me: “goodbye beautiful-calm-picture”.
There even is an Instagram account that collects all of the super amazing pictures where – supposedly- some travellers have “slept”. It’s called you did not sleep there.
So then, the real question… Do us millennials travel only to take pictures?
Everyone posts pictures that they think are the most ‘likeable’, including you. Don’t think so? Open your Instagram and swear that you’re not posing in ANY of your pictures.
We all like to take nice pictures. Some do it for their ego, some for the love of art, and many for their own comfort (thank you hats, for covering my face). And surprise, it’s not something that only millennials do… look at Thelma and Louise.
And accept it, you do too.
Here you have a little pose-meter to see how many times you’ve yielded to the temptation of posing while taking a picture.
My result is very clear…
I know generalizing is bad, but it’s true that there are many people who are starting to hate social media posing. So be careful because there are even people who say that social media haters are the new fashion…
Sometimes I feel that the ones travelling are not the people, but our cameras. Travelling has its pros and its cons. Yes, you read that right, cons. While you travel you live, and while you live there are good and bad moments. On social media, it seems we only want to show the positive. So why do we do this?
To feed our self-esteem? Are we just more attracted to beautiful things? Because it’s fashionable? To show others how cool our life is?
Yet it looks like if you don’t post a picture of you in a certain destination that you haven’t been there or if you don’t post a picture with your other half regularly that your relationship isn’t ‘strong’.
What really matters
Did you realise that when you are really having fun with your mates, you know the kind of times where you laugh so much your belly hurts, the times where you’re so present that the memories are so b? Those are often the times where we forget to take pictures.
So, to answer my own question, no millennials don’t travel just to take pictures. Do we take them? Of course! But we still travel to live unique experiences, unforgettable adventures, those which we don’t need to capture because they remain in our brains and heart and not on a memory card.
Therefore, my wish for me and for you is to: have fewer perfect pictures and more moments impossible to capture!
About the authors
“Travel, gastronomy and art are the greatest passions of Rober and Lety, a couple that has felt tiny contemplating the sunrise in Burma, has traveled on a bus with a goat on the roof in the Philippines, has bathed under the Milky Way in New Zealand and … to find out more check out their blog: mochileandoporelmundo.com.
The motto: if many dream your same dreams, dream stronger!”