Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness. (Ray Bradbury)

Sometimes creative partnerships come about in the most unlikely ways. That’s definitely the case with Lauren Randolph (@laurenlemon) and Michael Schulz (@berlinstagram), creators and curators of the Instagram account, While in Between.

While in Between began as a project for Generator Hostels, which is how Lauren and Michael met in 2014. Together, they were tasked with coming up with an Instagram Contest for the European hostel chain. They wanted a theme that wasn’t limiting and would allow for more creative submissions. So they went with something that evoked the act of travel itself.

“Part of traveling is the to and from, and we really liked the idea that there are these interesting moments on trains and planes, and in airports, train stations, and bus stops,” said Lauren.

“Especially when you’re starting your trip, you’re always in this mood of traveling,” Michael added. “You’re disconnected from your regular life. And there are all these little things you see in between.”

Lauren and Michael were surprised by the quality of submissions they looked through while judging the contest, and the hashtag #whileinbetween seemed to live on after the contest was over, a sign that it had meaning on its own. A few months later, Michael suggested they create an account dedicated solely to the “While in Between” photos.

Once the account was created, the following and engagement developed organically. Michael and Lauren both promoted @whileinbetween on their personal accounts, and a second similarly themed Instagram Contest with Generator Hostels cemented a devoted While in Between audience.

The @whileinbetween feed evokes the sense of traveling through found photography, chosen by Lauren and Michael, who jointly curate the content.

“I love good light and great composition and a story … these cinematic shots,” said Lauren. “And Michael’s very drawn to the dark and moody cinematic vibe. So naturally, we look for [photos] that are a bit more than the shot out the plane window.”

Both Lauren and Michael also find themselves more aware of “in between” moments while traveling themselves. They love that this project gives them a creative outlet when they’re in between destinations, and hopes others find the same inspiration.

“I love the plane to somewhere, or the drive to somewhere,” Lauren said. “There’s always so much about to happen, but that’s the exciting thing.”

“It’s the little things in between,” Michael explained. “The destination is not the goal. Traveling is the goal.”


Photos courtesy of (from top to bottom): Annett Jahn (@septemberlicht), Yvonne Reichert (@lovelyforliving), Moritz Dorn (@moritz_dorn), Alan Pedder (@alanpedder), Alex Loukissas (@futureartist), Andy Feliciotti (@someguy), Christina Vetesnik (@stinayulia), Daniel Habashi (@habashi), Brandon Hook (@brandonjhook), Gareth Pon (@garethpon), Maxime Châtillon (@iamaxime), Jenny Milow (@jennymilow), Thai Hoang (@loewe7), Henning Daten (@unfassbar), Kruti Dalal (@krutidalal), Kristian Cruz (@kris.from.brooklyn), Nelly (@nelcajs), Katja Gielstra (@einmalinberlin), Florian Trojer (@jetvisuals), and Aysegül Kandemir (@aysegulkndmr).