Meet Alex Waltner, more commonly known as @swedishnomad on Instagram. Hailing from Sweden (you guessed it!), we speak with him on how he achieves such a beautiful Instagram feed and his secret to his massive number of followers. We also got the inside scoop on how he’s able to sustain a life of travel!
1. How would you describe your Instagram feed?
Simple, colorful and hopefully inspiring for other travelers.
2. What kind of shots are you usually attracted to taking? Landscape, street photography, portraits?
I think it’s most fun to shoot landscapes, but I’ve grown a love for taking a mixture of landscapes and portrait.
I like to look at street photography, but it’s not really my thing.
3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I search Instagram a lot before we go to a new destination. Sometimes I also look at Panoramio or 500px, but that’s in general when I’m trying to find a specific spot.
We also walk around a lot and stop whenever something catches my eye.
4. How do you hunt for the best places to shoot when you’re in a new city?
By walking, or if we’re in a hurry, probably an Uber. But generally walking. If we know some cool places to shoot at, we make a schedule and route in Google Maps and just follow that.
And if there’s time we stroll around every area to see if there’s something interesting to capture.
5. Best cities you’ve enjoyed shooting to date?
6. Do you post-process all your photos? If so, what is your photo editing style?
Yes, always. I shoot in RAW and edit/color correct in Lightroom. I like to think about my editing style as realistic, colourful and crisp.
But every now and then I try something new and if it feels good, I post it.
7. How do you keep a consistent Instagram schedule and find the time to engage with other accounts while travelling?
I compare the photos before posting, and edit the day before (sometimes the same day), and then I use WiFi and local sim cards while traveling.
There is always some time where you commute and don’t really do that much. Like right now, I’m sitting in Phuket International Airport, and we are waiting to board our flight to Singapore.
8. Everyone wants to travel infinitely, and you seem to be living the dream! How do you sustain your travels?
I sell photos, blog about my travels and work with brands. I also write articles for others.
I’m about to finish my own presets as well and will start offering social media management and consulting next year.
9. What brands have you worked on Instagram with while travelling? What sort of partnerships do they entail?
Nikon, KEEN, momondo, Croatian tourism board and Volvo just to name a few. Yes, they are paid. I never work for free. We’re also invited on media trips where we get to experience places without being forced to write about it.
I’m very selective about my partnerships.
10. What is your secret to growing such massive fans and engagement? (Apart from posting regularly, posting good content and engaging consistently)
Just be yourself. There is no point of trying to be something you’re not. Sure Instagram is a polished reality in many cases, but if you remain humble and engage with your followers it will help a lot.
Also, use relevant hashtags and try to get featured by bigger accounts. And stick to your theme. If you post photos from your travels, only a handful would like to see your cat, sisters baby, dog and so on..
If someone who doesn’t know you in person follow you, they do it for a reason, most likely because of your photos or a theme. If you don’t give them what they want or “signed” up for, why should they follow you?
What are your best takeaways from this Instagram master?