Episode 17: Laurie Collins, Photographer & @dccitygirl On Instagram & Building an Online Community

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Laurie was born in the District of Columbia and lived here most of her life. She loves street photography and capturing city life. To Laurie, it’s important to show Washington, D.C. as she sees it on a daily basis. She wants it to be different than what people would expect, for example, from a tourist site.

And like any artist, Laurie’s focus points change over time. It’s photojournalistic at this moment. It started with micro photos of insects and flowers. With encouragement to “look up” Laurie began taking more photos of people, landscapes, and architecture. She likes to let people know what her city is really all about with a touch of information that they might not find in travel sites. Laurie’s aim is to provide an inside look at the beauty of each neighborhood in Washington DC.

Laurie Collins, aka “@dccitygirl” to her 67,000 Instagram followers, is this episode’s guest. She unpacks how she has built the @dccitygirl persona, her investment in the #IGDC photography community, and how she has built a strong community of fans and friends in the online space.

Episode Highlights

“I don’t burn out too often; I just don’t accept everything that comes down the pike.”

“Make sure you have a consistent presence. You can’t just be out there once a week or two weeks. You have to be social.”

“You can’t just post a picture and walk away – you have to engage.”

“One thing about photography is it doesn’t matter your race, your sexual preference, your religion – photography doesn’t know that. It doesn’t care. So you have all these mix of different people and ages getting together and having a good time or having a meal or a beer and laughing together. It’s just amazing and these people are very special. They manage to be there for you. I have my group of friends who my kids grew up with the mothers and they’ve been there for years and years. But they don’t also do photography, so you have these different spheres and worlds of groups of people. I’ve always said you can never have enough friends. So I have that group of people and I have my photography group of people and I have my family, and I enjoy every one of them. If they crisscross over each other’s worlds, that’s even better.”

“Editing is extremely important to any photo. I enjoy it as much as taking photos.”

Connect with Laurie:


Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.