Behind The Instagram: Vol. 5 with Cynthia Drescher

A photo posted by Cynthia D (@jetsetcd) on

We’re back with another edition of Behind The Instagram. This week, we’re featuring a photo from Cynthia Drescher, Managing Editor of

We chatted with her via email, here’s what she had to say about this beautiful picture of Aruba she took!

1) Where was this photo taken?

Off the coast of Aruba, on the beach of a private island. That sounds completely fancy-pants, but it isn’t. The private island belongs to Renaissance Hotels, and any guest of their hotel in Oranjestad, Aruba is welcomed out there, and there’s a complimentary water taxi every 20 minutes. The private island consists of two beaches, one family-friendly and one “adult-exclusive,” and a breakwater keeps the waves small. The flamingos call the quieter adult beach home, and that’s where I got this shot.

2) Was this photo planned?

If you’re asking me if this was a photo shoot with a professional flamingo model on a closed set, then the answer is nope. I knew this beach was visited by flamingos, but I didn’t know to what extent they mingled with sunbathers (answer: a great extent). I headed out on the hotel boat before noon and was one of the only people on the island; the place doesn’t get busy until late afternoon through sunset. The more people, the fewer the flamingos.

A group of flamingos (a “stand” of flamingos, in proper parlance) was taking a casual stroll through the surf, so I steadied my phone on the back of a chaise lounge and snapped a shot as this guy entered the frame.

3) Was the photo taken with a camera or a cell phone? If so, which?

It was taken with an iPhone 6, using the native camera. I’d say about 95% of my Instagrams are iPhone, with the other 5% imported from my Nikon underwater camera when I take it diving or snorkeling. I’m kind of a purist; Instagram to me is about celebrating mobile photography.

4) The obligatory Instagram question: is there a filter or is it #nofilter?

Some destinations are blessed with such natural, dynamic beauty that #nofilter is almost a rule. This shot is #nofilter to an extent; I did not use any additional apps or any of Instagram’s named filters, but I did use the IG brightness tool just a smidgeon.

5) What inspired you to take this photo?

Part of my motivation in traveling to Aruba was sniffing out some story ideas (for to run for the start of the Caribbean high season. Winter’s dreary cold weather makes the eye more receptive to, more desiring of tiny tropical escapes via images of exotic destinations. Blue water is always lovely, and I liked the quirky silhouette of the flamingo as he walked.

For me, this flamingo shot summed up the effortless enjoyment of tropicality the island holds for visitors.


That wraps this week’s Behind The Instagram! If you’d like to have your Instagram photo featured then tweet us @CheapOair!

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