It's no secret that great Instagram photo opportunities are among the highlights for many of today's travelers.
Indeed, a recent survey found that 40.1% of millennials deemed "Instagrammability" an important factor when considering a holiday destination.
Some tour companies have even launched packages that allow travelers to hire professional photographers to capture images of them at a city's main sites, specifically for posting on Instagram.
But getting the photo is one thing, and knowing how to edit it is another — and this is ultimately what makes the best influencers stand out.
One couple at the top of the travel-Instagram game is Marie Fe and Jake Snow, whose shared account has 473,000 followers.
The German-American husband-and-wife-to-be are known for their romantic photos set in beautiful, exotic locations, and their editing has helped them create a unique photo style.
The two have a second Instagram account, however, where they show their photos before and after editing, and the difference is eye-opening.
INSIDER spoke with Fe and Snow to find out exactly what goes in to taking and editing their stunning photos — and they gave us six pieces of advice for standing out on Instagram.
Have Instagram in mind when you take a photo
"When we take and edit photos for Instagram our thought process and our desired outcome is very different to when we take photos for our website or for personal use," Fe and Snow told INSIDER.
"Our main focus when we post a photo on Instagram is to grab people's attention when they are scrolling down their feed. With this in mind we want to create a photo that is personal and truly captures the emotion we were feeling at the time.
"Most of the time the emotions we are trying to capture are joy, happiness, love, excitement and general positivity. We want people to smile when they see our photo.
"The best way to achieve this is through facial expressions. We make sure that 75% of our photos are close enough to capture our expressions. Interacting naturally as a couple without too much posing is how we are able to feel and express the emotions we are trying to capture."
Develop a unique photo style
"In terms of editing and becoming successful on Instagram it is extremely important to create your own unique style and then keep a consistent theme across your page," they said. "You want to create imagery that your audience can recognize is yours.
"The only way you can achieve this is by consistently producing photos with your own personal touch over a long period of time. We made this process easier for ourselves by creating presets that reflected our unique style which we could then use as a base for all our edits.
"We wanted our editing style to also reflect the emotions we were trying to capture. We use bright, colorful, warm, and vibrant tones to produce a happy, joyous style.
"We also like to keep our photos simple by only combining two or three primary colors in each photo to keep our feed looking coordinated without having to plan out exactly where each photo should go.
"Nobody is looking at your feed as much as you — as much as it would be nice to have the perfect feed, it's more important to focus on capturing the magic in each individual photo."
Have presets ready to speed up the editing process
Despite having their presets, Fe and Snow spend a lot of work editing.
"Ninety-five percent of the time we will start our editing process by selecting a preset to use as a base from which we will make adjustments," they said. "We have created dozens of presets for different cameras, lighting situations, and settings.
"Because all cameras are different and capture different tones we have presets for all our different cameras including our DSLR, mirrorless, drone, GoPro, and iPhone cameras.
"For each of them we have presets for beach photos, jungle, city, indoors, outdoors, underwater, portraits, sunrise, middle of the day, afternoons, and nights, etc.
"This really allows us to speed up our editing process, most of our edits take no more than 10 minutes per photo."
Keep tweaking until it looks perfect
"Once we've applied a preset we will adjust slightly where we see fit," they said. "We will crop the photo to the maximum size Instagram will allow (1350x1080, 4x5) and add gradient filters to bring in some directional exposure/light from whichever direction the sun was coming from in the photo.
"If need be, we will use the masking brush to individually attend to our skin tones to either bring out shadow or add shadow, reduce or add color, and essentially make sure that our skin tones are realistic."
Use a tripod ...
"Our Instagram was born from photos that were 100% taken from our tripod with some sort of self-timer," they said.
"It started out with a 10-second timer, then we moved on to taking photos from our tripod with our phone as the remote (always having to hide the phone creatively). Then we figured out we could set our camera in time-lapse mode with autofocus and set the camera to take a photo every two to three seconds, which made capturing authentic, candid photos much easier."
This is how Fe and Snow took their photos for two years.
... or entrust photography to a friend
"By the end of those two years we had become extremely creative with our angles and the positioning of our tripod, which at times often ended up in places it definitely shouldn't have!" they said.
"Now we travel with our good friend Elliot, who takes most of our photos. This setup came from a desire to create more video content that included us as a couple — this could obviously only be captured by a third person.
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