We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, Austin Welch (@austiiinnnnn) explains why his photos from past trips around Europe mean so much when he sees them now.

La Tour Eiffel

This photo of the Eiffel Tower in the fog made me want to take photography seriously. To this day, nobody believes it was taken on my iPhone 6S with no editing. That’s how I knew I  had a knack  for photography.

After that photo, I was always trying to recapture the magic during the day. Timing is everything. I got the second shot right after a bus had driven by, kicking up a cloud of dust. My friend mentioned offhandedly that it would make a good picture, and he was right. We both took out our phones and tried to capture the brief moment before it had passed.


I bought a drone specifically to capture the waterfalls and landscapes in Iceland. But when I arrived, it was windy, the sunlight was harsh, and I couldn’t get a single good picture.

On the last morning, at 4 a.m., I visited two of the most popular waterfalls in the country, hoping for some decent lighting, only to find that the bottom of each waterfall was frozen. It is, to this day, the craziest thing I’ve seen in my travels, and I still feel like I have the most unique drone photos ever taken of Skogafoss Waterfall.


Hallstatt is a postcard city, the kind you only see on computer wallpapers. I never thought I’d see the small Austrian town with my own eyes and, when I did, I knew I had to capture it in a way that would do it justice. Nothing less than my best would be acceptable. Now, the photos I took in Hallstatt are my favorite iPhone pictures of all time.


The pictures I took in Bremen were completely inspired by the Instagrammers @tomtehh and @eskimo. Tom is the first Instagram photographer I followed and is the reason I started taking pictures myself. He only takes mobile photographs, but they are simply breathtaking. I knew one day I had to go to Germany and try to photograph his cities with all the tricks I’ve learned by observing his style over the years.


Santorini is another city I never thought I’d visit.  It is unrealistically beautiful, and it seems impossible to take a bad picture there. Aside from being criminally photogenic, Santorini is also one of the  most fun places I’ve ever visited. I’ve found that sometimes when I travel, my picture-taking distracts me from having fun and enjoying the city. Not with Santorini. There is nothing to worry about on this Greek island — nothing can go wrong. I tried to capture this spirit? in every photo I took.