Small World Gallery is one of the essential ways I stay connected with the world. That may sound curious, crediting our Main Street shop in a small town with worldly reach, but for me it’s true. While people know me as the National Geographic Magazine photographer, increasingly a younger generation knows me as the National Geographic Instagram photographer. And that’s actually a bigger audience. @natgeo on Instagram has almost 88 million followers. The reach is astounding. Even on my own Instagram feed the reach is pretty good — I’ve got 411,000 followers, most of whom know me for my pictures of Scotland.
Small World is an essential part of that. Many followers know I’m the National Geographic photographer living in Lindsborg, Kansas— out in the middle of nowhere. The fact is: many of them also live in the middle of nowhere. They come from all around the world (only about 30% are from the United States.) India, Brazil and the UK are major countries of followers; Istanbul, Bangkok and Moscow are major cities.
Meanwhile, I know and follow @staffatrips, for example, who runs the boats out to the Isle of Staffa from the Isle of Iona on Scotland’s west coast. It’s a delightful way to connect with them and follow their daily life, as well as sharing mine. It’s just amazing to me that people walk in our front door and tell me that they came because they’ve been following me online.
Maybe I’m thinking about this because we’ve been putting a lot of effort into reinvigorating Small World Gallery’s Instagram feed: @smallworldgallery. (If you come in ask Briana about the magic she performed to get it going again.) We aim to share both our gallery life and the life we enjoy here in Lindsborg. (Look out for Token Stories, inspired by our collection of Swedish steamship tokens.)
Where’s Jim off to next?
I’ll be heading back to Scotland in mid-June for another trip down the Caledonian Canal aboard the Lord of the Glens. This is a favorite trip. I do lectures aboard the ship, offer cultural perspective and maybe even do a whisky tasting for the guests. You can see the route here on the National Geographic Expeditions site:http://www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com/expeditions/scotland-cruise/detail