Our Instagram Q & A !

Last week we put a post on our Instagrams giving you a chance to ask us anything you want for the Q & A. Thanks to everyone who commented or sent DMs. We tried to answer most of the questions and we hope this will help you one way or another.

How did you meet and how did you decide to both blog?
We have met through our dear friend and as I was working abroad we actually dated long distance for about a year. We were lucky enough to be making trips together each month and realizing just how much we loved seeing new things together. Pretty early we started to fall in love with travel photography and as traveling was something that we would both want to make a living off, we were eager to learn about the opportunities. Quickly we had realized the potential of gramming and as we have saved up in our previous jobs, we were able to afford taking a year off to just learn, travel and practice every day. We were watching youtube tutorials and as the months were passing by we kept progressing and every time we looked back we could see the improvements. We are still learning every day.

What made you guys last?
Our love for each other, of course, and same passion towards what we are able to create together.

What photography gear do you use?
We have a Nikon D750 and mostly use our 24-120 mm lens. We shoot our videos with drone DJI Mavic Pro and we use GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition for our underwater shots. We, or rather Uroš (🙈), also carries a daypack/backpack on his chest with all the mentioned gear plus tripod, 13inch MacBook, 2 iPads, 2 hard drives, chargers, batteries etc. What might be of interest to some – the very first camera that we’ve invested in was a Nikon D3200 and it was a really good camera to learn from.

What apps do you use for editing?
We edit all of our photos in Adobe Lightroom on our computer. Over time we have created our own presets that curate the style and lighting we like best.

Your best photography tips? 
The time (lighting) of the day you shoot in is crucial, or so called golden hour which happens during sunset or early in the morning. It will help you beat the crowds and give you better photos, plus make it a lot easier once you start processing the photos.

What export settings would you recommend for optimum sharpness/quality as Instagram seems to compress images when posting?
After we are done editing in Lightroom we limit the size of our file to 5 MB and 300 pixels per inch. We export and Airdrop our image on our phones, but Instagram compresses the photos once you upload them anyway so we don’t think it makes much difference.

Who is taking your couples photos?
Me and Uroš take all of our own photos. He takes photos of me, I take photos of him. When we are both in the shot we mostly use a tripod which sometimes can be a whole lot of effort! But we have learned over time that whenever we put an unprofessional in charge of our images, we do not like the outcome, AT ALL – either because of the composition, lighting, focus or generally missing the whole point of the place, therefore that’s the solution.

Do you have any advice on how to grow on Instagram?
Our top three tips would be:
1) create great content and be original
2) engage with your community
3) targeting hash-tagging

How did your very first post get around 2000 likes and so many comments?
What you see now as our first post when you scroll down wasn’t our actual first post. There is an option to ‘archive’ images on Instagram and, oh boy, if you had seen our old ones you would have known how far we’ve come.

How do you plan your feed? 
This is actually something we obsess about! In order to achieve that cohesive look where all photos look like “one”, we are mostly trying to use the same kind of preset, just tweaking a bit different parts of the photo and making sure we shoot in the best and plenty of light. We are also trying to go by the rule of the flag with three colors – choosing our fav tones and sticking to it, planning ahead where and what to shoot. Before posting we use the Preview and Plann Apps (both free to download) to look at the grid, mix and match, and make sure it works well with the rest of our recent feed.

Do you think it is important to stick to one colour tone on Ig? 
Not just one colour tone. For example, if you are travel accounts, it will differ from the places you’ll travel to (our Bali images have lots of dark greens, while Santorini has blue and white and then UAE posts has lots of orange desert tones) and the season (winter differs from summer etc.). It is up to you how you will then combine those tones and whether you will make them darker/lighter, desaturated or more contrasty, but we won’t be posting something that doesn’t look good on the eye or does not fit as feed is something that will make a person decide in the first 3 seconds whether to follow or not.

How to transit from one look to another? 
This depends on what you want – do you want the change to be drastic or barely noticeable? You can start implementing different tones (darker for example) slowly and overtime the change won’t be that obvious. And in the first case you do just the opposite.

How do you afford to travel so much?
Right now, we are sitting in the passenger terminal in Bohol port and I am typing out this blog post while Uroš is editing a bunch of photos that we took on our Uae trip. Most of the time when we are on the road we work. Our work (which of course, we get paid for) includes content creation for hotels and brands which involves taking photos of their products, post-processing those images, writing a full honest reviews and then publishing on our social media platforms.
Few hours a day we spend also responding to e-mails and juggling between handling the roles of public relations, marketing team, web development, graphic design, accountant, editor, finances, videographer, etc., whatever is the most urgent that day.
As we never travel in groups and therefore always create our own itineraries, researching new, unique and photogenic places also takes up some time of ours – online (Instagram, Pinterest) or offline (word of mouth). Then there is the actual time that we spend getting to know the place so that later we can write an objective blog on everything our itinerary included and give a detailed info to our readers.
Every day we also spend few hours on our two Instagram accounts publishing new content and answering to your comments and questions.
Get the picture? That is a whole lot of work while traveling full time, maintaining a blog and working as photographers. This means it isn’t always fun or glamorous and we have to work hard for those opportunities but it means we get to do the things that we love.

How do you plan financially for your trips?
Our stays are pretty much covered for us (read one paragraph before), as well is the food and transportation. We have also saved up a lot, therefore we actually don’t do much of our financial planning ahead and usually just go by the flow.

How did you start collaborating with brands and agencies to work together on trips and anything else?
As we traveled around we started reaching out to the hotels first – we’ve got lots of positive feedback as they’ve liked our work so they wanted us to photograph and promote their brand in exchange for all inclusive night stay(s). Soon after different brands started reaching out to us for paid collaborations.

How do you approach the brand to collab with you and do you send them your media kit?
We have come so far in our business now that we won’t be the ones getting in touch first anymore. We get 15 e-mails on a daily basis (yes, we are the victims of the mass e-mail) with different kinds of offers and we barely have time to respond to all. We are also in much better position to negotiate as we already know that the brand is the one wanting to be collaborating with us in the first place. Plus, asking them to be paid when you’re the one who emailed them first is an awkward art to master. 🙂 And yes, we always respond with sending our media kit with our price list included.

How long did it take you to start making money from Instagram?
It happened to us when we reached around 20 K, but this isn’t something you could generalise.

Have you ever had an issue with any brands you’ve worked with so far? 
Thanks god, we’ve never had any bad experiences – that’s the best part of our work that brands tend to keep our agreement as is, plus we also always finished the job properly on our end. Moreover, we always seek ways to exceed their expectations in order to work with them long-term. However, we do work only with brands we truly believe in, that is our way of staying authentic.

How you first started traveling regularly before you were making money to do so? 
We have saved up enough from our previous jobs to take a full year off.

How did you start your Instagram page and made your first pictures?
We have started our pages as a hobby and our first pictures were pretty amateurish (nothing you’d want to see), hehe.

How did you deal with everyone staring at you while trying to take the perfect picture over and over again?
Tried not to bother or look around at all haha, work is work. 😜

How did you decide on the handles to be your_passport and your_passage?
Love this question! This was actually quite difficult as most of the good usernames were already taken. It took us like a month to decide on a good (available) one, but we’ve knew from the start that we are looking for something that would describe our purpose from the very first moment. We also wanted for the names to be somehow connected with each other, but we chose @your_passport first, and then Uroš had come up with @your_passage. How convenient!

How do you manage not to spend the whole freaking day on the phone engaging but still grow?
Especially in the beginning when you set up an account you just have to be present! There’s no shortcuts. It gets easier by the time if you take in all the other aspects like posting quality content and standing out from the crowds with your originality. The good work gets noticed. I think this is the same in every field.

What are your tips for enjoying a place but also getting good photos at the same time?
This is a really good question. Sometimes we visit a place only for the sole purpose of being ‘gram-worthy’. And sometimes it can be really hard to find the balance between enjoying the moment whilst creating content. This is why I am reflecting a lot, wanting to remember every time why we do this in the first place. Planning ahead the content-making and then getting that shot quickly helps a lot. It takes longer in the beginning and not every trainee becomes a master, but if that is your passion you should follow it! Gets easier by the time…

Do you ever need a break from your job?
Yeah, we feel sometimes that we are too connected to our phones (no wifi no income) and need like a week off to disconnect from it all.

Will you ever start filming youtube videos?
Yes! We actually filmed few clips already (see here), however we are still learning filming and editing techniques.

Your fav destinations so far?
Srilanka for its purity and Greece for its photogenicity and hospitality. Cappadocia was 100 % outta fairytale, and Amsterdam becuse we had our first date there.

Where is the one place you guys haven’t been yet but are dying to go?
Hawaii and French Polynesia.

What would you be doing if you weren’t traveling?
Can’t imagine not traveling. 🙂

If you would have to choose one continent to live on to the rest of your life, which one will it be and why?
Most probably Europe, as we are fond of it, we were born in this culture so the people are like-minded. Haven’t traveled Australia that much yet, but we guess it would most probably come in the second place for the same reasons.

If you HAD to choose – traveling or love?
Someone that loves you won’t force you to choose between those two, plus you can always combine them both! 🙂

In what field have you studied? 
I graduated from university with a degree in Journalism and Uroš is finishing a Faculty of management – so our business gains a lot from both sides.

 

❥ Hope this was at least somewhat helpful and let us know if you have any other questions! We are here for you! :*

XX, Lara & Uroš

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