Lauren Bath

Cool jobs: Professional travel Instagrammer

Five years ago Instagram didn’t exist. Now, it’s a full time job for Australia’s first professional travel InstagrammerLauren Bath.

She travels to amazing places, experiences and captures stunning sights and shares her work with more than 350,000 loyal followers. And she gets paid to do it.

As far as Best Jobs in the World go, we might have found the coolest. What do you reckon?

How did you land this seriously cool gig?

To be honest I pinch myself every day! I was a chef in my past life and stumbled across Instagram in its early days on the app store. Knowing nothing about social media or photography, I managed to grow one of the biggest accounts in the country and turn my online popularity into my dream career. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had a crash course in destination marketing along the way but I’m really finding my groove now.

When did photography go from hobby to career?

Exactly March last year when I finished up as a chef to pursue my passions. I had given notice on January 2, 2014 with no work on the horizon at all. By the time my notice was up I had quite a few prospects and had started a lot of conversations. Within three months I had more work than I could take and the interest has continued to grow.

How do you select your Instagram-worthy snaps?

I’m pretty lucky in that I have a very specific photography ‘eye’ and I know immediately if a shot appeals to me or not. I love animals, portraiture, great light, intimate photography and landscapes. In my field I have to make quick decisions on shooting locations, edits and uploads so I’m always honing that skill and trying to get the most out of any destination.

A day in the life of a professional Instagrammer… go!

5:00am – Alarm goes off for sunrise, heave self out of bed, upload an image from the day previously and get ready to shoot.

7:00am – After shooting the sunrise swap camera bag for laptop bag and start processing new images. Upload again. Spend time engaging with audience.

9:00am – On the road either scouting for locations or shooting.

12:00pm – Lunch and more editing, more uploading. Eat, talk and breathe instagram! Maybe time for a Facebook album post, some emails, retweets, media opportunities.

4:00pm – Start thinking about sunset. Get to location and get snapping.

6:00pm – Early dinner and, surprise, more editing and more uploading. I aim for four social media posts a day and spend time on the platform each time. It’s not uncommon to work through meals. Catch up on the days emails.

9:00pm – Night shooting or bed. Early to bed helps for that 5am alarm but when the skies are clear ditch the sleep for some epic star shots.

Top 5 spots to take Instagram-worthy snaps in Queensland

1. Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast! (Obviously, I’m a Gold Coast girl)
2. Mon Repos in Bundaberg during turtle season – OMG OMG OMG!
3. The Great Barrier Reef, whether in the Whitsundays or further north in Cairns. Dust off your GoPro and get amongst it.
4. Stanthorpe in fall – you won’t believe you’re in Australia!
5. Mackay! My first visit astounded me, how did I not know?

Perks of the job (we’re sure the list is endless!)

I get paid to travel! Is there anything better than that? I work hard, harder than a lot of people realise, but I work doing something that I love and I like to believe I’m making a difference.

Any tips for budding travel photographers/Intragrammers?

Do it for the right reasons. Build your social reach because you love to share. Travel because you love to travel, shoot because you love to shoot and let things happen organically. The more genuine love and passion you have the more success you will find.

Check out some of Lauren’s work in 13 captivating images of BrisbaneBundaberg hatches thousands of tiny turtles and 8 shades of autumn in Southern Queensland Country.