Lately I’ve noticed something strange and fascinating happening on Instagram: everyone’s photos are starting to look the same. And I don’t just mean the styles, filters, and colors - people are literally recreating the same exact photos in the same exact spots again and again, and then geotagging those photos to inspire more people to recreate more of the same.
This is an example of one of those photos. I swear, every traveler who visits San Miguel de Allende takes a photo on this “iconic” street with this “iconic” cathedral in the background. And you know what? It’s one of my least favorite photos from my time there. There were so many streets and viewpoints I found in this city that were much more inspiring and beautiful to me than this one, that I had NEVER seen on Insta before. And yet this is the shot that gets recreated and shared over and over.
While I think social media is great for sharing and discovering travel inspiration, I think we can all take it too far sometimes...especially when we let it detract from our own creativity. I encourage everyone (I’m speaking to myself here, too) to not put too much weight on these “must visit” Instagram hot-spots. Instead, focus more on exploring and finding your own photo-worthy places in the destinations you visit.
One of the best bits of travel photography advice I’ve ever heard is this: when you visit a famous landmark or attraction, turn around and take a photo in the opposite direction. You might be the first person to ever capture that viewpoint.