Holly Garner @GoLightly runs @igdc and has been around the world from Sydney to Kyoto. On her travels she tries to connect with local instagrammers to see a place beyond the tourist traps. Here is a collection of some of our favorite snaps from her travels, some of which were featured in her instatakevoer April 23-24. Read our interview with Holly
When I travel I try to connect with local Instagrammers whenever possible. When it works out, it provides a unique taste of the city I’m visiting and typically gets me away from the usual tourist stops. This was taken during an outing in Venice where my friend @celestalis put together a small group of photographers to walk the city with me. We had a wonderful time and learned so much about the city from them. This spiral staircase is at the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and had reopened a few weeks earlier after an extensive renovation. Many of my new friends had not yet seen the building post-renovation so it was fun for everyone. My new friend @saradeluigi was very kind to walk the stairs for me.
I took this in a cafe near the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. I always gravitate toward dogs and while composing this window shot I saw this majestic Afghan Hound approaching and knew it’d make a terrific strideby.
On a recent visit to NYC I made sure to stop in to the newly opened Whitney Museum of American Art. The museum had relocated from their old building and one of the early exhibitions in the new building was a retrospective of Frank Stella’s work. The manner in which the staircases were designed in the building allowed me to get this low perspective of art watchers.
Winter wonderland time! This was taken in Rock Creek Park, down the street from where I live in Washington DC during the big snow storm we had in Jan 2016. I think we ultimately had around 25 inches but this was captured during the main event. My boyfriend @beingdave took it while we were out shooting in the storm. It was so pretty and there were hardly any people around.
Because I work in a museum and have a huge love of art, I always fit in as much as I can during every trip. This is a work by Jeppe Hein called Mirror Labyrinth in Brooklyn Bridge Park last year. It was a bit disorienting to walk through but so much fun to shoot. The reflections really made for some interesting fractured views of the NYC skyline.
For Thanksgiving this year, I visited my family in Arkansas. Because I try to avoid flying during the holidays, I convinced my friend @museumgirl70 to join me for a week-long road trip. We took our time and stopped to do a lot along the way. This was taken during a must-see stop at Dollywood which we had both wanted to visit for years. We only had a few hours before they closed for the night but it was all decked out in Christmas lights and was a magical experience. I can’t wait to go again one day!
Nashville might be one of my favorite cities in the south. There’s so much charm and rich culture everywhere. I couldn’t resist taking a portrait of my friend @museumgirl70 in front of this fabulous mural on the side of the Olive & Sinclair Chocolate factory building. The artisanal chocolate is delish!
My home base of Washington, DC has so much to see and do. This is a capture I took during a preview of the Renwick Gallery which was reopening after a two-year renovation. The museum houses American craft and decorative arts and to celebrate the reopening, they transformed the entire place into an immersive artwork called WONDER. Nine artists created 9 gallery-sized artworks and this incredible piece my friend @tappety is viewing is by Gabriel Dawe. the exhibition closes in July 2016 and we will all miss it terribly.
This was taken inside the Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence in Washington, DC, now a non-profit space for Spanish cultural, scientific and educational activities in the United States. My instagram group, @IGDC, held an instameet here to support FotoWeekDC. I love that IGDC can offer our community of photographers the opportunities to explore such interesting places and be involved in the creative culture throughout the city.
There is an old mural series on the walls of the underpass below the I-395 highway near Capital Hill in Washington, DC. The murals pays tribute to artist Piet Mondrian and his balanced assymetry. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my perfectly coordinated friend @jennrightmeow near that slice of light while on a walk around the Hill last fall.
I took this on a photowalk my friend @ericmueller (he’s AMAZING!) organized during my trip to Minneapolis. We had the best time and I met some wonderful people who I happily call friends now. This is @danamarieku and she’s not only an incredible talent but she is one of the nicest people around. Community thrives in Minneapolis and I’ve been fortunate to host several of the people I met there (including Dana), here in DC.
This is my lovely friend @bigntoasty graciously handling modeling duties for me in Dallas. On a whim, she joined me for a trip to TX and we had a wonderful time. We explored the best murals in Deep Ellum, tasted the most AMAZING pie I’ve ever had at Emporium Pies, stood in awe under the spiral stained glass at Thanks-Giving Square and worked on a portrait project with my friend @jeysonpaez. It was a quick trip but we packed it full of sights and sounds.
Australia was a monumental trip for me. Not only is the landscape beautiful (this was taken near Bondi Beach) but I was able to get a 10-hour locals tour from a friend I met on Instagram, @robmullaly. Rob took me all over Sydney and showed me places I would not have seen as a regular tourist. He also introduced me to two other Australian grammars — @twistdee and @tony.irving — and I continue to be motivated by them all. Whenever I explore with locals during my travels I learn so much more than if I was there on my own. I appreciate the time people give me more than they realize and am always very inspired by the pride they have in their cities.
This was taken at one of my favorite places in Washington, DC–the graffiti overlook. I try to bring visitors and friends here whenever I can and this was the day I introduced @taylortippet to DC. She was new to town and we had a mutual friend who encouraged us to get together. I’m so happy we did because she’s one of the sweetest people ever and her stay in DC was sort-lived before moving to Chicago. I’m thankful we have our social connection so I can keep up with her travels and experiences.
Aaaaah, sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial. If you have the opportunity to wake up and do this in Washington, DC you will not be sorry. The crowds are thin, the city quiet and the views incredible. My friend @jennrightmeow visits Lincoln regularly for the beautiful sunrises and sunsets and I couldn’t resist capturing this quiet moment when we were there together.
This was a foggy and chilly morning when my friend Cara @llewllewtoo was visiting DC. She had graciously hosted me in Boston on a visit so I absolutely wanted to return the favor when she was here. I took her to the incredibly retro Glen Echo Park nearby and we explored with several other photographers. The fog and light were terrific and we had a wonderful time with her.
That’s me. At work. I am a museum registrar by day at the National Gallery of Art and was happy to notice how coordinated I was with some works in our Asian collection that day. I don’t take selfies often but occasionally I do like to post one so my friends and followers know who the person is behind the lens.
All of Washington DC goes crazy for the cherry blossoms. I don’t always feel up for the crowds but i can’t resist them, either. This was taken during a gorgeous day’s walk at the National Arboretum with a few friends. The Arboretum doesn’t have the volume of trees that the Tidal Basin does but they are still gorgeous and it is usually less crowded. Happily my friend Genna @jabber_walking had her pink hat from childhood with her so we had to stop for a portrait.
Every so often you get lucky and a photo moment presents itself in the most surprising ways. I was shooting the shrine in the background during a trip to Kyoto last year. I was focused on the colorful ornaments and architecture when I heard a bit of commotion off to the side. When I looked up and saw these fashionable women walkings my way, I knew I just needed to wait for them to cross my path. They did and I love how it turned out. Kyoto is magical.
This woman is one of my closest friends and a true inspiration. I met Laurie @dccitygirl during the very first instameet I organized. I was nervous no one would show up and I certainly didn’t know many DC locals on Instagram yet (it was still really early in the game) but we connected immediately over a love of photography and the city. She has continued to be one of the biggest supporters of our group @IGDC and I value her opinion and respect her strength. She’s truly remarkable and her natural ability to connect with people always helps put newcomers to events immediately at ease.