Work Hard, Play Hard by Erin Higgins in Washington, DC

We love that Erin Higgins makes the time in her crazy schedule (she’s currently working hard to become a doctor!) to take awesome snaps of tasty looking food and urban fun in DC. Check her out and follow along @erin921.

Name:Erin Higgins

Place you live: Washington, DC

Occupation: Ob/Gyn resident

Preoccupation: My next meal, my next source of caffeine, my next day off

Place your Instagrams were taken? Mostly Washington, DC but there are also a handful from weekend excursions to New York, trips home to Seattle and other travel adventures.

Can you sum up Washington DC? The District is truly where the north meets the south. This city has a vibrant mix of history, culture, education and entertainment. Each neighborhood has a different energy and there’s no lack of fun activities on any given weekend. And if city life doesn’t float your boat, there are a lot of outdoor opportunities just outside DC, including hiking in the Shenandoah, boating on the Chesapeake and wine tasting in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

What is a perfect day in Washington DC? Grab an iced latte at one of the local coffee shops and head to Foggy Bottom to hop on a bike from Capital Bikeshare. Toodle around the monuments in the morning, saying hi to Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. For lunch, set up a picnic at the National Mall and enjoy the people watching. Check out a museum or two (for free!) in the afternoon, and then head to happy hour at a rooftop bar on U Street. Round out the evening with a bite to eat on the Georgetown waterfront, followed by after dinner drinks in DuPont Circle.

If Washington DC was a person or character who would it be and why? DC is that friend of yours who works 60 hours a week, goes to a spin class every day, volunteers at a rescue shelter and is always up for happy hour. There’s certainly a work hard, play hard mentality here!

How long have you been using Instagram? I’ve been on Instagram for a little over three years. Time flies!

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? My Instagram is exclusively iPhone, but I use a Nikon D40 DSLR for special occasions and when traveling. I also just nabbed my mom’s Nikon FM 35 mm SLR, so I’m looking forward to experimenting with film!

What is your editing process? My edits are pretty minimal. I use the VSCO app primarily for iPhone shots, mostly to add a filter. I also use Filterstorm on occasion for more detailed edits, like lighting/contrast adjustments and fixing flaws (like pesky powerlines that obscure your shot).

Has Instagram/phoneography affected how you shoot? Absolutely! I’ve always been interested in photography, but sometimes life gets in the way and it kind of falls to the wayside. Instagram has allowed me to incorporate photography into my daily life. I also find myself looking at my day-to-day routine a little differently. I notice more details and can better appreciate beauty in the seemingly mundane.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Just get out there and shoot! The best thing about digital photography/iPhoneography is that you’re not limited by the rolls of film you have with you — your phone can hold hundreds of shots and it’s easy to delete the bad ones and try new things while you’re at it! Move around to capture a different angle, experiment with different light environments, frame the same subject in a couple different ways. An idea for one picture can result in dozens of images, and you may be surprised by which one is the most powerful.

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? So hard to pick just three! But some of my recent faves are @morningslikethese, @aguynamedpatrick, and @griffinlamb.

Want more Instagram tips and inspiration? Check out all of our Best of Instagram features here and learn from the masters.

Want to be featured on our best of Instagram series and bask in the glory? Follow Global Yodel on Instagram and tag your best local shots with #GlobalYodel!


Name:Erin Higgins

City:Washington, DC

Best place to eat:

El Rey for some of the best street-style tacos and nachos

Best place to drink:

Bar Charley for cocktails and the Wydown for a cortado

Best outdoor activity:

Hot dogs and a game of cornhole at the Bullpen, followed by a Nationals game

Must do:

Monuments and museums are a no-brainer, but be sure to explore the different neighborhoods in DC. Strolling around Georgetown or walking down Embassay Row is a great way to see some of the incredible architecture this city has to offer!

Local tip:

At times, the Metro can leave something to be desired, so don’t overlook the bus system! A lot of the underground routes that seem to be missing are covered by above ground public transportation.