When it comes to the best places in the world to snap a colorful Instagram photo, Los Angeles is a list-topper without a doubt. From the sun-kissed beach sides of Venice and Santa Monica to the architectural marvels of Downtown to the legendary streets of Hollywood (and––literally everything in between), the City of Angels serves as a backdrop worthy of a lot of Insta love. Whether you’re posing in front of some fresh street art, in front of a chic coffee shop, or atop a vista in the Hollywood Hills, you’re bound to take a photo that will stand out among others on your Instagram profile.
And––in age simply brimming with creative social media content, there’s no denying that shooting a good Instagram photo has become an art form. If you take a scroll through the pages of well-known influencers, you’ll find that their photos often follow a specific style, aesthetic, or color code––so many posts manage to look spontaneous, even though a lot of work typically goes into the creation: it’s pretty impressive. In a place like L.A. where photoshoot opportunities abound (a few classics are the Hollywood sign, the Venice canals, the Bradbury Building, the Getty, just to name a few), it can be tough to narrow down where to start.
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Below, I spoke with Erika Carlock, an L.A.-based blogger and designer with a killer Instagram following, about the inspiration she pulls from the city––as well as some of the best spots to snap the perfect shot in the City of Angels.
What do you love most about the city and living there? How would you describe your creative relationship with the city––it must bring you a lot of inspiration.
"Everything! The light, the palm trees, fruit vendors under rainbow umbrellas on every street corner, an abundance of bougainvillea, the magical sunsets. The city is constantly inspiring me to create something. Even if you've driven past something a million times there's always something new you see, and it keeps my mind fresh and spinning with ideas."
How do you incorporate Los Angeles into your interior design work? How do you like to reflect what you see in the city “on the wall,” per se?
"LA really inspires me to bring the bright, sunny city indoors. Since the weather is is always full of sunshine I love to create a flow from the outdoors to the indoors with lots of plants, natural light, and incorporate the natural colors of the city—like the soft blue LA sky or a pastel pink sunset."
Do you have a few favorite spots where you just love to snap photos? Neighborhoods or specific shops, cafes, bars, hikes?
"The city is so lush and full of gorgeous landscapes, so I love to grab a coffee and then walk through different neighborhoods like Silverlake and Echo Park and find somewhere that inspires me. It's such a peaceful way to enjoy the city. Sometimes you walk up a hill in a neighborhood and find a row of perfect palm trees that look straight out of a movie. That's what happened when I took this photo, I just ran into this gorgeous lineup of palm trees and had to snap a photo."
Do you have any tips for newer, less-experienced Instagram users in terms of how to style a great shot, especially in a place like LA where there are so many choices for how and where to photograph?
"It's important to know what type of photos you want to take and plan them out, but then play around and have fun when you're shooting! Try different angles, be silly and have a good time."
You have such a distinct aesthetic on your page––the colors, the angles, the overall vibe. What inspired your look? Do you have recommendations for new users about how to approach styling their own page?
"Playing around to find your voice and what you really like is important to keep a consistent look. Choose a color palette that really speaks to you. The vibes of my page really come out of a love for each and everything I share and feel inspired by. Focus on what you love, because if you're sharing something you really care about your work will show that."