In the evolving landscape of social media, specifically within the domain of Instagram influencing, there is a discernible shift towards genuineness.

The once prevalent desire for polished, carefully constructed content is giving way to a preference for authenticity.

As evidenced by the significant growth in the global influencer marketing sector, reaching $21.1 billion in 2023, there is a clear indication of changing audience preferences. This remarkable growth underscores a collective yearning for content that transcends the superficial, offering narratives rich in spontaneity and genuine emotion.

As a dedicated travel Instagrammer, you play a pivotal role in this transformation. Your primary tools are your smartphone and an eagerness for exploration. It’s imperative to move beyond conventional travel narratives, characterized by strict schedules and rehearsed imagery. 

Forget the rigid itineraries and predictable poses. This is your call to arms, your invitation to ditch the script and become an artist of the unscripted, a champion of the candid moment. 

1. As a Travel Instagrammer Embrace the Unexpected


Set aside strict schedules and well-known tourist attractions. Explore the unpredictable path of exploration. Stroll through the narrow streets of Paros in Greece, where the vivid colors of the walls tell stories of the past. In a square in Lisbon, let the genuine laughter of children enrich your experience, showcasing a joy that goes beyond artificial expressions.

Engage with the local people, enjoy tea with an elderly store owner in Sri Lanka, or assist a farmer in Bali’s rice fields. These spontaneous moments, these insights into daily life, will make your photographs genuinely authentic, surpassing any contrived beauty.

2. Utilize Hashtags Effectively

To maximize the impact of your posts, consider using specific hashtags. Opt for location-specific tags such as #Kawaguchi rather than broader ones like #Japan, and use a reliable free hashtag generator for IG to identify niche tags. Diversify your hashtag portfolio by mixing popular, less-used, and custom tags to broaden your reach.

Research trending topics relevant to your photo’s theme, and incorporate these seamlessly. This technique enhances your visibility among varied audiences and fosters engagement with a wider community.

Taipei 228 Memorial Park

For example, tagging a photo with #templebirds, which depicts a woman watching flying birds in front of a temple in Taiwan, could initiate engaging discussions. It’s important to use hashtags strategically to complement and augment your content, ensuring they don’t overshadow the primary message.

Regularly update your hashtag strategy based on performance analytics. Be aware of new trends and cultural movements, and adapt your hashtags accordingly. This practice keeps your content fresh, relevant, and appealing to both existing followers and potential new audiences.

3. Focus on Active Engagement

Shilin Night Market in Taipei

Set aside your phone. Take a moment to breathe and fully engage with your surroundings. Notice the rich variety of sensory experiences around you, such as the distinctive smell of spices from a nearby street vendor in Penang – Malaysia, the lively sound of night markets in Taipei, or the gentle whispers from people performing Tai Chi in the streets of Hong-Kong early morning.

These elements add a unique depth to your photography, surpassing what can be achieved through mere editing. Actively participate in the environment around you.

For example, join a spontaneous gathering on a Rio beach, contributing to the community’s vibrant atmosphere. By engaging in these experiences, your photographs will naturally capture and convey the essence of these moments, telling a story that resonates more profoundly.

4. Excel in Candid Photography


Utilize your smartphone, rather than a high-end camera, as a tool for capturing transient moments.

However, it is your artistic vision that is crucial. Focus on the understated yet striking details: a hand casually reaching for a gelato cone, the expressive face of an elderly person deep in contemplation, or the way sunlight highlights a child’s hair.

Embrace close-up shots, unique perspectives, and the use of shadows to add a dramatic effect. Keep in mind that often the most engaging photographs are not expansive vistas, but rather the small details that subtly convey the essence of a location.

5. Embrace Authenticity

Guide to Dihua Street in Taipei

Release yourself from the constraints of meticulously curated online presentations. Seek to portray the reality of your experiences, embracing both the beauty and imperfections of travel.

Genuine moments possess inherent imperfections, contributing to their allure. Consider the impact of an unfocused photograph capturing a group’s laughter around a bonfire, which may resonate more deeply than a meticulously crafted individual portrait.

Avoid pursuing heavily filtered aesthetics. Instead, focus on the raw, unedited beauty of the moments you capture. Appreciate the natural grain, minor camera movements, and other aspects that lend authenticity and relatability to your photographs.

This approach fosters a deeper connection with your audience, as they see the world through your eyes. The objective is to capture the true, unrefined beauty of your surroundings.

6. Convey Your Genuine Experiences

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Your photographs initiate the narrative of your travels. Let them be a gateway to the stories and emotions that shaped your journey.

Allow this narrative to develop organically. Infuse your captions with personal insights, reflections, and anecdotes. Construct captions that extend beyond mere location identification. Share the joy, challenges, and unforeseen encounters that defined your travels.

Use your words to create vivid imagery, painting a picture that complements the visual element of your posts. Invite your audience to experience the emotions beneath the surface of your photographs. This narrative layer adds depth and context to your visual storytelling, as engagement within your community is crucial.

Cultivate relationships with your audience and fellow travelers through meaningful interactions. So, interact with other travel enthusiasts on Instagram, participate in challenges, and collaborate on projects.

This creates a dynamic and interactive platform for sharing your travel experiences. By sharing your unfiltered experiences, you enrich the mosaic of your travel stories.

Final Thoughts

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As a discerning traveler, prioritize spontaneity and utilize your smartphone as a means of documenting the essence of your destinations. Exceptional travel photographs transcend mere visual appeal; they foster a bond, encapsulate emotions, and narrate the tales that emerge beyond the typical presentation.

In these genuine instances, you reveal the essence of your travels, encouraging others to experience the journey with you, rather than simply observing the scenery. Venture out, document the unforeseen, and present your distinctive travel experiences to the world.

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