Dubbed “the largest travel influencer on Instagram” by its creator, Jeremy Jauncey, the Beautiful Destinations account currently boasts a whopping 5.2 million followers.
The account posts photos from a variety of sources, whether they were taken by one of Beautiful Destinations’ in-house photographers, popular Instagram users they officially work with, or by other Instagrammers that happen to post great travel photos and hashtag them #beautifuldestinations.
Founded by Jauncey in 2012, Beautiful Destinations has grown to become one of the most successful Instagram accounts out there. They have become so successful, in fact, that they have started helping other companies build out their social media presence. Their client list now includes top media publications, hotels, airlines, and tourism boards.
(That 5.2 million follower count, by the way, is just for the Beautiful Destinations account — Jauncey and his team also run accounts dedicated to photos of hotels, food, and luxury products and experiences, with a total following of more than 8 million.)
Their secret, Jauncey says, is tapping into specifc visual elements that they know will make photos appealing to Instagram users.
We spoke with Jauncey to find out what makes their travel photos so compelling.
Beautiful Destinations uses data-driven analysis -- what colours, perspectives, and poses are the most appealing to Instagram users, for example -- to determine which images will bring in the greatest audience. This image, taken in Amsterdam by one of the company's weekly content creators, is one of Beautiful Destinations' most popular, with 209,000 likes.
Another one of the account's most popular photos is this one of a traveller and her pup, which was taken on Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada. It got more than 192,000 likes.
The account was started in 2012 and has been growing at a rapid pace ever since, thanks in part to the stunning and playful images the Beautiful Destinations team chooses, like this one taken in Kromlau, Germany.
Other images showcase scenes of what daily life is like in destinations around the world. This photo, for example, shows a snowy day in New York City's Times Square.
The team at Beautiful Destinations considers several visual elements when considering what photos to post from its account. Prominent hues -- like the pinks projected in this image -- engage and attract the viewer.
Having a varying scale between the person and landscape can also captivate a viewer, like in this image where the individual is tiny compared to his breathtaking surroundings.
They also compare the percentage of a photo that is dominated by the person and the percentage that is dominated by the landscape.
Sometimes, like in this photo here, having a greater scale of sea in comparison to the landscape makes the image more interesting to the eye.
The company's in-house influencers will keep all of these elements in mind when publishing content. In this photo, the individual is again on a much smaller scale than the incredible surroundings.
This photo was produced for 3DR Robotics and again showcases a varying scale of the person to his surroundings.
Action shots also work for specific clients who want their Instagram audience to feel inspired to take a trip.
(Instagram) A photo posted by BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS (@beautifuldestinations) on Jul 27, 2015 at 12:41pm PDT
By: @thesimplesol and @augustaleighphoto via @travelandleisure
Courtesy of (Instagram) @beautifuldestinations
To capture incredible travel photos on Instagram, Jauncey recommends going into the settings and using the individual editing tools to play up the saturation, shadows, and sharpness instead of using the preset filters.
A photo posted by BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS (@beautifuldestinations) on Jun 3, 2015 at 11:23am PDT
Courtesy of (Instagram) @beautifuldestinations
Besides utilising visual analytics, Beautiful Destinations will also post images taken by popular Instagram users, like Murad Osmann, who now has 3.8 million followers.
Influencers also often include Instagram users like Hatice Korkmaz, whose passion for photographing vibrant colours on Instagram has earned her 1.2 million followers.
Beautiful Destinations will also keep their eye out for influencers like Natalie Amrossi, who started working in photography after realising finance wasn't her passion. She now has a following of 377,000.
They also get a massive amount of content from their Instagram audience. Images like this one are often submitted by followers and can include photos from popular influencers, photographers, or a user that simply happened to take a great photo.
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