Looking Down: In Which I Take Many Pictures of My Shoes All Around Europe

Lucerne: Parade Remnants
Lucerne: Parade Remnants

As an avid Instagrammer, one thing I sometimes wonder is whether there are actually any original photography ideas left. At some point, if you follow enough people on IG, you’ll see the same things popping up again and again: latte art, sunsets hashtagged with #nofilter, airplane wings, mirror selfies, and on and on and on. I admit that I’m susceptible to all of these cliches, but perhaps none so much as this one: the #lookingdown at my feet shot.

Nice - Pebbled Beaches
Nice: Pebbled Beaches
Nice: The Flower Market in Vieux Nice
Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (they’re tricky to spot, but those are my black boots at the bottom of the shot)
Gruyeres: Cheese Factory
Geneva - Tiled Walkway Outside Globus
Geneva: The Tiled Walkway Outside Globus
London - Borough Market
London: Borough Market

A quick scroll through my iPhone’s camera roll suggests that I am a huge fan of my shoes (particularly my Toms Cordones), and an even bigger fan of them when flowers are involved. Sometimes, I feel sort of silly about taking yet another feet shot, but, in a way, it has also become a travel tradition that I enjoy. Not only do I think I capture some cool details by looking down, but it also seems like an accurate summation of my travel lifestyle: my FitBit tells me I walk about ten miles on sightseeing days, and what better way to reflect that than with a shot of my increasingly battered shoes?

Budapest - Gelato Break
Budapest: Gelato Break
Budapest - Holocaust Shoe Memorial
Budapest: Holocaust Shoe Memorial
Budapest: Sidewalk (complete with far-too-harsh midday sunlight)
Edinburgh: Quotable Quotes Outside the Writers’ Museum
Edinburgh: The Mons Meg Cannon
Edinburgh: The Mons Meg Cannon
Geneva - My Evening Walk Home (and the lone appearance of my leopard print ballet flats)
Geneva: My Evening Walk Home
Stockholm: Psychedelic Flooring at the ABBA Museum

I also happen to think that the ubiquitous shoe shot is a nice way to capture the sentiment that “I was here.” 99.9% of the time, I would rather die than flip the switch on my camera to take a self-portrait (and let’s not even discuss my loathing for the term “selfie”). Taking a picture of your shoes shows that you were in a place, yet it’s unobtrusive enough that you don’t feel like a complete tool while capturing the moment.

Stockholm - Sidewalk
Stockholm: Sidewalk in Gamla Stan
Berlin - Ascending the Reichstag Dome
Berlin: Ascending the Reichstag Dome
Dresden - In the Heart of Old Town
Dresden: In the Heart of Old Town
Amsterdam - The Floating Flower Market
Amsterdam: The Floating Flower Market
Geneva - Spring Blossoms Outside the WHO
Geneva: Spring Blossoms Outside the WHO
Paris - Grand Mosque
Paris: Grand Mosque

Ultimately, I realize that all these things sound like rationalizations or excuses for me taking yet another shot of my shoes. At the end of the day, I’m not even sure I need them – because, regardless of how silly it may be, I’m sure I will happily snap away at my shoes for many trips to come.

Paris - Le Jardin des Plantes
Paris: Le Jardin Des Plantes
Paris: Another Shoe Snap from the Grand Mosque
Paris: Spotted on the Streets of the Marais
Paris: Flowers on Rue Cler (and the first appearance of my Sperrys)
Copenhagen: Stylish Shoe Coverings at Christiansborg Palace
Copenhagen: Flowers at Torvehallerne
Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens
Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens

Am I the only one with this obsession? Is there something you find yourself taking pictures of, again and again, when you travel?

Copenhagen - Confetti from Eurovision Celebrations
Copenhagen: Confetti from Eurovision Celebrations
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