Although Hynek Hampl doesn’t consider himself a full-time photographer, one look at the 26-year-old’s Instagram feed makes it hard to imagine he’s ever separated from his camera.
His photos — stunning sunsets, snow-covered mountaintops, and eerily empty forests from across Europe and beyond — are simply incredible. But Hynek doesn’t want to be limited to a single creative outlet. There are more pieces to his puzzle, more goals in mind.
A few years ago, when he downloaded the Instagram app on his brand new iPhone 4, he had no idea of where it would lead him.
First, it was on weekend road trips to the countryside, snapping pictures of forests and roads along the way. Then, he purchased his first DSLR, a decision that was quickly followed by an exciting opportunity — his first paid photography job.
In the last two years or so, things have continued to get better for Hynek because of his photography.
Given his recent success on Instagram, he’s aware that he is often labeled as someone who started on Instagram and, therefore, thinks he’s a photographer now. But Hynek’s okay with that.
He doesn’t let labels like this interrupt his pursuit to inspire others and become better at the things he’s passionate about.
He purposefully places himself in different roles and capacities, intentionally keeping things fresh to avoid getting too comfortable.
“The best thing is that combining my skills and passions opens me up to more people and opportunities,” Hampl says. “I could concentrate on one thing and probably be better at it, but that would destroy it for me.”
Thanks to this mindset, Hynek has been awarded with close friendships and ample opportunities to change something he saw as a misunderstanding in the Czech Republic — the place he has always called home.
“A few years ago, people in the Czech Republic were too scared to travel, and that influenced me a lot,” Hynek says. “I wanted to make a change. Now, people are trying to travel much more because they see that it’s both possible and accessible.”
All along, Hynek’s aim has been simple: change his audience’s perception of the fusion between social media and traveling, just as people like Kevin Russ and Chris Burkard had done for him years before.
“If I’m able to create a spark in another person, to be passionate and do better, that is the biggest accomplishment for me,” Hynek says.
Yet, believing his goal would come to fruition wasn’t always easy. Hynek never thought he would be paid to travel because of his photography, let alone leave a positive impact on his fellow Czechs.
But there’s no doubt that’s exactly what he has accomplished.