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The Case for Creativity

Stepping outside the IG box (or square)

By: Christin Healey + Save to a List

We've all seen it, and many of us are guilty of it: The fedora-wearing, blanket-swathed, hair blowing in the breeze, tiny person perched on an impossibly gorgeous vista. The problem is, that lookout may just be a few hundred feet from the parking lot, with hundreds of your closest Insta friends in tow. 

Let me be clear that I'm not preaching, or judging, and sometimes that lookout from the parking lot is just too good to pass up (totally guilty from time to time!). The problem with only exploring the most sought-after spots, is that it's really difficult to create something new when there are tens of thousands of images floating around from the same spot. Not only do you already have in mind what is should look like, but with so many people around, surely you lose some of the creative benefits of that wild space. Not to mention, these spots are facing serious issues from eroded trails to graffiti, to litter scattered everywhere due to over-crowding. 

Personally, it has been a goal of mine to travel to spots that I have never seen floating around the internet. Not only do you hopefully come away with something truly unique, but you push yourself to actually have to think about composition, angles, and what is going to make a beautiful photograph. Bonus: you will likely have these places all to yourself, and isn't solitude one of the main reasons for getting out there anyways? Trust me that trading a few likes for a unique experience, adventure, and the true feeling of exploring is worth it every single time. There is a feeling that comes with being alone, in the peacefulness of the wilderness, with the sun creeping up the horizon, that make it almost impossible to not let your creativity crank into overdrive - let yourself be surprised by everything around you. 

So, go to that iconic postcard spot for sure, but plan a few adventures out-of-the-box to mix it up. Ask some friends what their favorite local hikes are, choose an adventure on The Outbound that you've never heard of, or just pick a random trail on a map and go for it. The most inspiring people that I follow these days are creating images that give me that true feeling of what it means to venture into the unknown, to forge your own path, and to have the space to create something that is all your own. So get after it everyone, I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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