Instagramming Illinois

You could say an appropriate description of Caro and I is “shutterbugs”. Especially appropriate if you’re old-timey and adorable, but appropriate nonetheless.

When abroad you’d rarely catch us without camera in hand, and our roadtrip through Illinois was no exception with our Canon getting a steady workout. But sometimes a picture is best left without the fuss of fiddling with F-stops, ISOs, and frame speeds. That is where a trusty phone camera can be your best friend.

Taking pictures on your phone has grown to such a big part of our culture, it can be an everyday occurrence with many of us. But while taking a pic of our morning bagel, or snapping a selfie in a bathroom mirror (guilty) we may be overlooking the potential this camera has to take some really stunning photography.

So during our trip with Enjoy Illinois our phones became a big weapon in our photographic arsenal. Here’s a selection of our best phone-cam moments from Illinois.

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During the final moments of our flight into Chicago, Caro and I were disappointed to notice that we were on the “wrong side” of the plane and would be missing the views of the city as we swooped in. While we missed the Chi-Town skyline, our side of the plane gave us this great “edge of the world” angle on the coast of Illinois!

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One of our first experiences in Illinois was the time we spent at Prairie Fruit Farms in Champaign. We were happily greeted by many baby goats that were more than willing to pose for a picture, even if some (like our friend in the upper left) took a little longer to warm up to us.


We just caught a view of this great sign from the highway and knew that we had to pull over to get a shot of it. This is definitely an example of finding perfection in the imperfect. The name, the rust, the fact that pieces had fallen off. A slice of small town americana that we couldn’t pass up on.



Arthur, Illinois is best known for its large Amish population, and we were lucky enough to be invited to visit one of their local farms to get a taste of their daily life. Now, the liberal taking of pictures isn’t encouraged but we couldn’t help ourselves from snapping a couple to preserve a small view into their world.

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Alton offered some big photo ops during our short time there. We adored the massive “Welcome to Alton” sign as soon as we saw it in the distance, towering over the land on the side of a grain mill. Then of course there was our meeting with Alton’s most famous resident, Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history. We really felt like children again while standing beside him, especially knowing that when he was 6 years old he was taller than Matt! And then there was the titanic views we got, high on the hills, of the Mighty Mississippi River.



While visiting Springfield, Illinois we experienced one of the most impressive museums either of us had ever witnessed in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It featured a highly impressive blend of techniques to tell stories of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, from live actors and wax figures, to political art and even holograms! Welcome to Illinois, where it is the not-to-distant future.



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Our education of Illinois was furthered in the museums of Pontiac, Illinois, but these were definitely of a funkier nature. Pontiac is a well known stop along the legendary Route 66 and has all the memorabilia and gorgeous classic cars to boast it. It’s also notable for it’s fantastic murals on the towns main avenues, harkening back to the 50′s and 60′s.



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But of course, you can’t leave Illinois without a stop in Chicago. Well, you can, but then you’d miss out on this beautiful coastline, delectable deep-dish pizza, and a giant, chrome bean. Caro was even compelled to jump for joy!

Hooray for Chicago! Hooray for Instagraming Illinois! Hooray for phone-photography!

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  • Franca Calabretta

    Lovely photos guys, my favorite are the ones with the cute animals :)

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      Hehe, can never go wrong with baby goats!

  • Jeunce

    Great photos and blog. I’d love to see Lincoln museum and the Pontiac museums.

    • Matt_PassportandaToothbrush

      Why thank you! And ahhh, you totally should! Both were great, but the Lincoln Museum was uber impressive!

  • Aggy @dewtraveller

    Love the pictures guys! You guys are definitely one of my fav shutterbugs :)

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      Aww, thank you so much Aggy, you’re always so supportive, it means a ton!

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