Life & Style

Tegan Phillipa

Two local Instagramers travelling the world

Our Instagram feed often leaves us with travel envy, and asking the question ‘how can I get paid to do that?’

For local couple Tegan and Ned, this has become their reality. This quirky duo literally gets free holidays from travel companies to take photos…um how do I sign up?? 

A few years ago Tegan and Ned sold everything they owned and took off on a 7-month trip. "We saved for a year”, explains Tegan, “working two jobs each. We were hermits for a year and sold everything we owned… The Kardashian box set was pretty hard to let go of (laughs).”

Ned admits, “We took a bit of a gamble. We didn’t leave with the intention of becoming photographers, but it has just happened that way which has been great”.

Basing themselves in Newcastle, Tegan continues to work in retail and Ned contracts himself as a carpenter between each trip. Tegan has also just recently signed with Chic Blogger Management and Ned DJ’s on the weekends.

Their creative flair, individuality, love of fashion and dedication to each photo is what has got them the attention of travel companies on social media.

Do you think you could be doing what you’re doing without social media?
Tegan: Travel companies are always going to want the content. People are visual so they are going to want to see a young couple having an epic time. Even if it wasn’t on your phone at your fingertips, there would be another way. 
Ned: I don’t think I would have got into photography the way I did if Instagram didn’t exist. I think I would be into it, but putting a photo up and more and more people liking it and seeing it, it drives you to want to do better. 

Do you see yourselves doing this long term?
Ned: I think so, I feel like we have just got our foot in the door with this company. 

What are your thoughts on the creative scene in Newcastle?
Ned: More and more people are doing videos, photos and all of the above. The bar is getting set high especially through social media. 
Tegan: And you’ve got the markets, Hunt&Gather and Olive Tree, there are so many people doing random things, you think ‘that is such a great idea’.

Where do you like hanging out in Newcastle?
Tegan: Going out, The Family Hotel.
Ned: I play there on Saturday nights.
Tegan: It’s just fun, it’s family orientated but then at night it turns into people our age who can just hang out.
Tegan: Food wise, usually just Darby Street because we live so close, Black Sheep is a good go to.
Ned: We went for a weekend in Sydney last week and you kind of expect that you’re in the city getting breakfast and we actually thought Newcastle was better.

What is the biggest misconception people have about you guys based on your social media?     
Tegan: I get a lot of girls, and I’m not trying to sound full of myself, but they come up to me at work and they’re like ‘you work here?’ I think that is a misconception that people are in a certain position in their life but you judge them only on their status on social media and you shouldn’t because you don’t really know what’s happening or how hard they are working.

We didn’t just fell into it, we worked really hard for our first trip and every trip after that. These are working trips; we are getting up at sunrise to get the shot then at the next spot we are constantly looking around thinking ‘ok how can we get a photo of this to show how amazing it is’.

Describe your personal style?
Tegan: If I could describe myself in one word I would say unicorn because I would just like to look like a unicorn everyday.
Ned: Edgy and quirky generally. I want to stand out. You don’t want to blend in and somewhere like Newcastle it’s a whole lot easier to stand out.
Tegan: He probably inspires me to be a bit more outgoing because he is so out there with what he wears. Sometimes I’m like ‘is this too much?’ And he is like ‘just do it!’

Although they both admit they have to be smart about what they pack, they still make sure they have their fun and creative style when travelling which has become key to their incredible photos.

Ned: We took suitcases because it looked cooler. I wanted to be that guy pulling a suitcase through the sand in front of a group just because it was funny. I like the idea; it’s a bit comical.
Tegan: I want to look back on travelling and think 'god I was cool’ (laughs).

Tegan Phillipa