Instagram is the area of my online presence that takes up most of my time and energy. I’ve written about Instagram before on this blog so that’s probably no surprise. But I figured sharing My Top 10 Instagram Photos of 2016 would be a fun way to look back on the year, as is so popular to do when a year ends or another one begins. In each case, I’ve endeavored to include stories that I didn’t share when I first posted the photos on my Instagram account.
So here is the countdown of my Top 10 Most Liked Photographs on Instagram in 2016:
#10 – On the train with Alaska Railroad… This was a very special moment for me in a September trip that was nothing short of a dream come true. My Grandfather worked in Alaska, long before I was born, and even helped build the ALCAN Highway which is celebrating 75 years in 2017! Taking in so much of the state by train helped me feel connected to him and to the stories I always heard as a kid. It was an exhilarating experience I hope to repeat again some day, this time with my mother.
#9 – Fall Leaves in Jardin des Tuileries, Paris… taken in October with my love beside me, this was a wonderful day where my heart was overflowing with gratitude at being in my favorite city with my favorite person. The bright, colorful leaves felt as bright as my heart that day and I felt inspired to try and capture a photo that I’d never quite seen from Paris before. Not easy, in one of the city’s most famous gardens.
#8 – Dante swimming in a Cenote… Danté had been the most excited about the cenotes of the Riviera Maya, in terms of what he wanted to do during our January trip to Mexico. I had to capture a photo of him swimming in one of them when it appeared no one was going to come at the same time and we were blessed with the kind of light that made the moment feel completely magical as well as private.
#7 – Briskly Venture, Briskly Roam in Alaska… from the same trip as my Railroad image above, this photograph was taken after we completed the Spencer Glacier hike where we used crampons to walk on the ice itself. This compass was given to me in 2015 by my friend Andy Austin and because of the quote from one of the great early explorers of the state of Montana, it’s become somewhat of a tradition for me to carry it with me on my more active adventures and to take a photo once I’ve completed whatever the experience is.
#6 – Nighttime at Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach… from my November trip to Puerto Rico for the Culinary Getaway with Chefs Jose Andres, Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain and Tim Love. Danté accompanied me to capture video while I took photos of the event but on this magical night we were both capturing still photos of this scene from our balcony, with the evening breezes and the sound of the waves, it was intoxicating. Afterward we shared a bottle of wine and made the moment last as long as possible.
#5 – Beam of Light in Antelope Canyon… while not taken in 2016, I used this photo to announce my return to Arizona in October for a promotion with my friend Hannah of Secret Honeymoons and Curio Trips. We gave away a surprise trip to a lucky couple and ended up sending them to The Grand Canyon where I took photos of them so they could put their own cameras away and just enjoy!
#4 – Hot Air Ballooning in India… I took this photo on the last day of my November trip to the state of Goa and while it was bittersweet to think about leaving, my spirit felt higher than our balloon as we soared over the countryside. I honestly hadn’t seen anything that was quite as beautiful as what we saw from during that sunrise hot air balloon ride before in the country of India. If you’re visiting Goa, I would go so far as to say you cannot leave without doing this. I’ll be writing a dedicated post with more details soon!
#3 – Burst of Light with the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC… I shared this photo on 9/11 because I wanted an image that included the One World Trade building but wasn’t about the building itself or the memorial at its feet. As I looked through my camera roll the night before, I stopped searching when I found this image. The bright light and the hope that it communicated to me said it was THE ONE.
#2 – Manhattan from the Top of the Rock… From a date night with Danté in October, which he sweetly treated me to, this is one of the few almost real time photos I shared on my Instagram feed in 2016. Because I put so much thought into what photos to share and so much effort into my captions, I can rarely post anything right away. It’s easier though when your partner does something so nice spur of the moment and the view is as good as this one. It’s easy to be more inspired than normal!
And drumroll please, my number one most liked photo of 2016, taking up the top spot in My Top 10 Instagram Moments of the year, with almost a thousand more likes than every other photo that made the Top 10. It was taken in Cuba, it’s a….
Red car driving by on the Paseo de Marti in la Habana (Havana, Cuba)
This is an example of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery because prior to our trip to Cuba in March 2016, I had seen some version of this photo taken along one of Havana’s most colorful streets many times. And it was one that I wanted to take home as a memento of our visit. I didn’t want to have to buy it from someone else. Unfortunately, it involved a lot of waiting around. While antique cars are popular in Havana, the right one in the right color just wasn’t driving by during the time period Danté and I chose to stand on the sidewalk facing all the colorful facades. Eventually though, this red car came by and with my camera on rapid shutter, I snapped half a dozen versions of this moment, choosing to share this one with the car in focus because I liked how it froze a moment in time. It was a reminder of a valuable lesson in patience, often the number one ingredient for so many of the very best photographs!
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