#WILL: World Traveler, @elknows

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First it was Facebook, then it was Twitter, where words were the predominant means of communication across said platforms. Through Instagram, visuals have slowly but surely taken precedence. Instagram allows for creative expression and storytelling through the most minute everyday lens. Here at The 5th Element Magazine, we want to highlight some the most entertaining, aethestically-appealing, inspirational and overall dopest of profiles that our fingertips have crossed paths with. Continuing our feature, #WILL: What It Look Like, we move on to highlight globe trotter, @elknows.

Probably one of the most revered qualities with Instagram can be found right within the app’s name: Insta-gram. Technology continues to soar upward in keeping modern society intuitively connected in real time — from posting photos of diabolical meals to documenting real time protests in Ferguson, through social media one is never truly disconnected from the world. At least, until you go out and experience it for yourself in the flesh. Eliza of @elknows is an international globe trotter and documents her travels on Instagram and her website of the same handle. What makes Eliza’s profile special is where there may be a physical disconnect between follower and her locale, the goal in mind is to capture the moments that make a genuine humane connection; to document the people and little details from across the globe and show that we are all similar to each other in one way or another, instead of highlighting the glaring differences in between. We spoke to Eliza about what her real job is and the difference between an Instagrammer and a photographer.

1. How/when did you start your Instagram?
I am so technologically illiterate, so it took me a long time to get an iPhone. The first iPhone I got was a 4s, and then my friends put me on to Instagram, and I immediately loved the concept — this was about three and a half years ago. I deleted my first Instagram account because it housed one too many “selflies,” haha so I decided to start a fresh one about a year ago.

2. What apps do you use for editing?
Nothing – just the Instagram app.

3. What usually catches your eye? How would you describe your photo content?
Culture is a big eye catcher for me, and people. I’m in love with humans so I tend to include them in my content, and I find beauty in what others may overlook. My photo content is mixed with travel, people and fashion — basically my main interests in life.

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4. It seems like you travel a lot. What do you do for work?

I am a international flight attendant; it’s not really all that glamorous, but it has enabled me to see the world in all of its grime and glory and I love it.

5. What was your favorite city to take photos?
Hong Kong and Johannesburg in South Africa. The colors and contrast between the lives we live will forever have me thinking.

6. How has Instagram aided you as a traveler?
Instagram has been an online visual diary really — a way to document what I see, and for those who share the same interests to see it also.

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7. I feel like the desire to capture an image/moment is heightened when you’re traveling. Why do you think that is?

It is true that living in the moment doesn’t require a picture, but a picture is a great way to store it and when you come across that particular picture again it brings up what you felt, smelled and saw that day.

8. Do you consider yourself a photographer through the way you use Instagram? Do you think that people that use only Instagram to capture and share photos call themselves photographers?
No, I think we forget how complicated photography can be, and that it takes practice and many photos to become a great photographer. This is a profession and people consider it a living so I don’t put myself on the same pedestal as them. I enjoy taking photos and got myself a Canon G16 as of late, so I have been using that to capture clearer photos. I think Instagram has made it easier for people to get into the idea of photography but there is still a significant difference between photographers and people that just like taking photos.

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9. What do you look for more on Instagram, dope content or dope aesthetics?
Bit of both, I love a good story line and consistent theme, but I am not a fan of those that use it as a photographic Facebook. That’s a little boring; we can be anyone we want through the Internet, so it helps to be choosey these days. Haha

10. Any Instagram profiles you recommend?
@honebegood – Great content.
@herita__dehon – For fashion, and she’s just beautiful.
@natgeo – Just wild. (No pun intended haha.)
@tomgouldshoots – He’s a dope photographer and film maker.
@photobydavey – My favorite black/white pictures and captures priceless moments.

Want to see more of @elknow’s photos? Follow her and us on Instagram and peep a special collabo as Eliza takes over The 5th Element’s Instagram handle, @the5thelmntmag, tomorrow!

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Nina Tabios

Nina Smoove aka Champagne Ninang. Certified hooligan. $F Bay Area born and bred.

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