I've personally known Caroline since our days of both living in Manhattan and we connected on Instagram through a location tag (5 years ago!). We've since traveled to Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Canada to hike, camp, and snap the perfect Instagram photos of each other.
I've compiled my top 10 burning questions about her life being a travel influencer & photographer, read them below!
1. So Caroline, I think this is one of the most surprising things about you. Before you were a full-time influencer, you actually did what?
I was living in Manhattan finishing up my master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition when I started my account. I was completing a full-time internship at NYU Langone hospital and sharing my photography/adventures and building my Instagram provided a creative outlet and kind of helped keep me sane during that time. After completing my master’s, I went on to intern at a private practice in Manhattan that focused on holistic nutrition/intuitive eating with a focus on helping clients with disorder eating. I ended up getting offered a full-time position at a NYC hospital but turned it down to allow me to pursue photography.
2. Did you always have a passion for photography and travel prior to joining Instagram?
Yes. I planned and took my first independent international trip to Samoa at age 17 with my friend who was 16 at the time. From there things just spiraled and I ended up moving solo to L.A several years later.
3. Was there a moment in time you knew you wanted to pursue becoming an influencer?
Never. I didn’t even know that was a thing when I started my photography account. I just had a bunch of images I was sitting on and wanted a place to share them and hopefully inspire others. You could say I just stumbled into it unexpectedly as brands took notice and began to reach out. It was a huge learning process learning how to navigate that market.
4. Where has been your favorite place to travel to in the world thus far? Is there somewhere you keep wanting to travel back to?
Honestly my very first international trip to Samoa really stands out. We saw very few other tourists especially on the less developed island of Savaii. We even ended up getting stranded on a remote beach when we missed the bus due to the Easter holiday and we’re invited to stay with a local family. It was an incredible experience. More recently I have fallen in love with Italy and Switzerland and plan on spending more time in Europe in the near future.
5. What has been your biggest challenge as a travel influencer? Is there anything that's a misconception?
Covid has been a huge challenge for me and forced me to move away from travel and focus on other sources of income. Prior to the pandemic my career was at an all-time high.
There’s a common misconception that I travel full time and don’t work at all. The truth is I work longer hours than I ever have before with many days at home in front of my computer. My work trips often involve very early mornings and late nights and often leave me very drained. They’re not your typical sleep in and spend the day by the pool kind of thing. When I get home, I usually sleep 10-12 hours the first couple of nights and spend the remaining 10-12 hours per day editing to meet deadlines. I rarely travel for pleasure only but I’m trying to find more balance as my work often seems to take over. With all that said I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
6. Do you think the influencer market is overly saturated? How can new influencers on the scene stand out?
Not necessarily. Just be yourself, everyone is unique and brings a unique set of skills with them. The biggest mistake I see is when new influencers try to mimic those, they look up to instead of being themselves. It’s worthwhile to pay attention to things you think others do well but ultimately to connect with your audience in a genuine way you need to be yourself.
7. Do you have words of inspiration for someone who wants to pursue a career as an influencer?
Be yourself, you are unique. Your audience wants to feel like they know you and are connecting with a real person.
8. What would you say is your top tip for growing on Instagram?
Try and be consistent with posting content, people love to feel like they’re getting a glimpse into your life so don’t only share the highlight reel.
9. What part of influencer marketing do you think brings the most value to brands from utilizing influencers? Do you see influencer marketing slowing down?
Consumers are much more likely to listen to the recommendations from someone they trust. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
10. What has been a highlight of your career? Has there been a brand or project that you've worked with that has been a OH SH*T moment?
I’ve had many highlights throughout, and I value all the opportunities that have come my way. With that said, one of my favorites/stand out projects to date was working with Nokian Tyres in Finland and getting to test drive their winter tires on a frozen lake at their testing center “White hell” in Lapland. We had an amazing group of people on the trip all of whom I had never met before, and we all really bonded and had an absolute blast.