DC Instagram Accounts that Feature the Best of the City

by - 3:03 PM


We all know Washington, D.C. is a city full of history, politics, and monuments, but it's also a city of five-star restaurants, the best museums, art exhibits, and community events. It's hard to keep up with all that goes on here, but a few Instagram accounts attempt to snapshot the buzz of this vibrant metropolitan capital.

Read on to not only find the best Instagram accounts of DC but also the best DC accounts that will feature your photos!




▶   1. @IGDC // #IGDC


Holly Garner had no expectations when she organized a small Instameet at Bar Pilar in 2011. Fifteen 'grammers chatting over drinks is what sparked the @IGDC account and Instagram DC Community. @IGDC now has over 600 thousand posts tagged with #IGDC. Holly (@golightly) runs the account with the help of community managers Phil Martin (@phil.martin) and Laurie Collins (@dccitygirl). The three maintain a schedule for daily features and connect to the community through social media as well as scheduled meet-ups.

What types of photos do you feature?

Holly: Our criteria is simple: we look for a great capture. Something that shows a photographer's skills, creativity, and passion. We also try to be topical when possible by featuring photos that celebrate holidays, special installations or events around town. And we strive to show the diversity of our DMV area by showing a city beyond just the beautiful monuments and iconic structures.

What else do you like to see on Instagram?


We love to see what our followers are doing; what they are out there capturing and creating. Much of what is happening around town, I learn about from looking at the #igdc tag.

Do you have any favorite DC Instagrammers?

I get this question a lot and I always have to say it's everyone. Everyone inspires me in one way or another. Plus, I could never pick favorites since we're a close-knit community and family.

This community has brought so many people together and I've seen countless friendship made from it. In a city that is so transient, that is the most rewarding thing for me. I've met and formed great bonds with people who I probably would never have met if it weren't for a common love of photography and of Washington DC.





▶   2. @WalkwithLocals // #WalkWithLocals



An all-inclusive community for iPhone photographers and pros alike. That was the goal when Carl Maynard decided to create @WalkWithLocals (WLL). He imagined community events where nobody would have a reason not to join, and it appears that he has succeeded. Carl (@carlnard), with his crew of Anna (@annameyerphoto) and Julian (@_julianthomas), choose the content and provide the voice with an occasional #WWLxTAKEOVER from community members. WWL hosts walks in DC and is branching out to other cities worldwide. Each walk staying true to the original theme: inclusivity.

What types of photos do you feature?

Carl: This is always something that we pay very close attention to at WWL. We walk a fine line of trying to set our account apart while also keeping current on what is happening in our home city of DC. We have users of our tag and members of our community all over the world now, so we don't want to only feature DC photos but we also really wanna share the Cherry Blossoms right now. For the most part, I'd say we look for photos that stand out and send a clear message of adventure. Whether that is to a coffee shop or the middle of the woods. Adventure always means something else to each person. it is truly enjoyable to see where people take the tag. But, as a pro-tip, the best way to get regrammed might be coffee shop photos with Drake lyrics... joking.. well, sort of.

What's the goal of this community?

One of the things we hope to accomplish with Walk With Locals is folks take their experience from a walk into their everyday life. For instance, at every walk, we encourage folks to not walk with the folks they already know but instead talk to someone they haven't met yet or someone whose first time it is. We want people to not dodge that open seat at a community table at their favorite coffee shop all because they don't know the other person sitting there. We say, sit down and say hello to strangers. Everyone should know everyone. That and also, just be kind.

Aside from DC photos, what else do you like to see on Instagram?


From a Walk With Locals perspective, I think we just like seeing where people go with the people they met and became friends with at WWL hangs. In a big city like DC, it is really easy to actually feel alone and isolated. To be able to give people a chance to find a community that works for them and then to see them make friends with others who were looking for the same thing is truly an incredible feeling. When photos pop up and we know they met at WWL. That is something we will never get used to.





▶   3. @YelpDC  //  #YelpEatsDC + #YelpExploresDC


The popular crowd-sourcing reviewal site, Yelp, has a DC Instagram account that recently became one of my favorites. @YelpDC mostly features the people of DC and the delicious food they're eating with occasional takeovers by locals showing their go-to businesses in the area. Yelp Community Director Kimberly Santos (@hola.kimi) curates the account along with Yelp Marketing Coordinator Rebecca Dickinson (@she.well).

What's the inspiration for @yelpdc's Instagram account?

Kimberly: @YelpDC is a love letter to the wonderful, vibrant city that we live in. In the past, DC has gotten a bad rep as a 'boring city' but that is not the case at all, we love showcasing all the hidden gems and great local businesses that make our city so unique. We also love featuring our vibrant Yelp community which is the heart and soul of our website

What types of photos do you feature?

We love featuring photos that capture anything quirky, cool, fun and delicious in the District. Additionally, we love bright, colorful and well-lit photos.





▶   4. @BrightestYoungThings  //  #BYThings

A post shared by BYT (@brightestyoungthings) on

Want to hear about the best events and most interesting people in DC? Also throw in some occasional motivation and you've got @BrightestYoungThings. This digital magazine's account claims to feature only the things to make your life better and they're doing a darn good job at it. Events Manager and Social Strategist Marissa Rubenstein (@marissaevee) runs the account with BYT Co-Founder Svetlana Legetic (@svetlanabyt). They choose from a feed of over 160 thousand photos tagged with #BYThings.

What types of photos do you feature?

Marissa: An easy way to be featured on the BYT Instagram is to post a dog photo (kidding.. mostly!). I usually look for photos that are great quality, and stand out to me as I'm scrolling through the feed, the more unique the subject the more likely I probably am to feature it. Also, for awhile there it was all Kusama! We couldn't (and didn't want to) get away from it.

Do you have any favorite Instagram tips or tricks?

Put at least two hours between your posts! Otherwise, you're just clogging up everyone's feed (even with the new feed format, it still seems to happen a lot). Also don't stress out too much about your caption, people are constantly asking me for caption advice and I just tell them to say what they want and not to worry! Sometimes you just won't have the perfect thing to say about a random cup of coffee, and that's 100% okay. Sometimes an emoji will do.

Any DC spring/summer photos that you're looking forward to seeing soon?

IF I SEE ONE MORE GEORGETOWN WATER FOUNTAIN PHOTO (just kidding). I'm excited to see all the photos from the (I'm assuming very Iinstagrammable) rose garden that Whaley's is doing as well as people out on vacation- we get tagged in DCers photos in all sorts of cool places and I love seeing them! There's a girl in Turkey right now and every time I see one of her photos I get so jealous but I also love that people are sharing their international travels.





▶   5. @Edible_DC  //  #EdibleDC

A post shared by Edible DC (@edible_dc) on

What would this list be without some dedicated food porn? No longer is DC the happy hour city! DC  offers an abundance of great restaurants across various neighborhoods as well as award winning food trucks, delectable bakeries, creative markets, and some amazing home chefs. Edible DC, a local magazine, uses their Instagram account @Edible_DC to share mouthwatering photos while also telling the stories of local farmers and food entrepreneurs. Associate Publisher & Digital Editor AJ Dronkers manages the account along with Edible DC Publisher Susan Able, but look out for takeovers in the near future!

What types of photos do you feature?

AJ: We love to regram people who use our hashtag #edibledc -- we prefer people who use the hashtag vs. tagging us in the photo first of all. Mostly because it's easier for me to track the actual photos. If you tag me in a photo and I don't see it quickly it disappears from my notifications.

As far as photos, I look for something that captures my attention -- is it bright, colorful, does it look appetizing? Does it feature local food or home seasonal cooking? I tend to prefer non-professional photos that are taken from a smartphone.

We also dedicate a full page in each issue of our print magazine to our favorite Instagram photos of that quarter... "Instagram Picks." You can see the current page online.

What are you favorite Instagram tips?

Like any platform, I feel that the tips and tricks are evolving but I think something that matters is having a real point of view. EdibleDC is all about sourcing local and supporting local and then we consistently deliver on that promise. It builds brand trust and engagement. Also, don't be afraid to test and try new things to see how they do. 

Any DC photos that you look forward to seeing soon?

It's Spring so that means dining al fresco, picnics, outdoor tablescapes, camping, boating, day trips to Virginia wineries or Annapolis. "Instagram Picks" you can see the current online and I've attached an example one too.




▶   6. @VisitWashingtonDC  //  #MyDCcool

A post shared by Washington DC (@visitwashingtondc) on

Whenever I travel to a new city, I try to find a city tourism board on Instagram for ideas and inspiration. Some tourism Instagram accounts need work and others are very resourceful. Destination DC is definitely doing it right with their @VisitWashingtonDC account and #MyDCcool hashtag. Destination DC is a non-profit organization that markets DC as a premier tourism and events destination. Social Media Coordinator Cara Hedgepeth manages the account.

What's Destination DC's goal/inspiration for the @visitwashingtondc Instagram account?

Cara: We want to inspire travel to DC through the pictures we share. Whether it’s stunning pictures of the monuments or showing off the latest funky museum exhibit or mouthwatering foodie pics, we want people to see the photos on our account and go, ‘I have to check that out!’ The other thing we’re trying to do is tell DC stories through our followers. We want locals and visitors alike to share their experiences through our #MyDCcool hashtag.

What types of photos do you feature?

We’re of course looking for visually stunning photos, but more than that, we’re looking for photos of experiences; experiences that visitors could get out and have for themselves.

Any DC photos that you're looking forward to seeing soon?

Springtime in DC means one thing: Cherry Blossoms. There’s so much excitement surrounding the blooming of the trees and the festival’s events. People take incredible photos during this time of year, so it’s definitely a great time for our social channels. As we move into summer, kids are out of school, families go on vacation, so it’s a great time to plan your trip to the nation’s capital. We love seeing photos of people on their vacations and what they choose to do once they get to DC. We hope our Instagram account can inspire certain can’t-miss DC experiences, like touring the National Mall or eating at some of our award-winning restaurants.





▶   
7. @MissLustLocal  //  #LustLocalDC



What started as a personal twitter account soon turned into much more for Diane Morales. @MissLustLocal is now a feed that curates the millennial life in the DC area. Last summer, she began using the hashtag #LustLocalDC and it quickly grew in popularity. Now, the hashtag has been used with over 3,000 photos on Instagram and is continuing to grow.

How do you feel about the growth of #LustLocalDC?

Diana: It’s honestly very humbling that people are taking to the tag.  When I first thought of adding it to my photos last summer I didn’t know or think that anyone else would use it.  I’m very excited to see it grow and know that people are really interested in finding new places around town that can go to or share with the Lust Local community.

Do you have any favorite Instagram tips or tricks?

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags.  Everyone is on Instagram to share in the human experience, people are curious by nature and learning about people and places you’ve never been is what opens our minds and hearts.

Any DC photos that you're looking forward to seeing soon?

So there’s a really cool new painted wall painted somewhere in this city (it’s a little hidden and you’d really have to look to find it) I haven’t seen it pop up anywhere… I’m really excited to see it on the gram! Maybe I’ll feature it really soon.


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