My (Love) Story: DC

They're the backdrop to all our stories, but oftentimes the cities where we live and love don't get enough credit for their supporting role. So, today is all about CITY LOVE.

After calling DC home for nearly a decade, our friend Holly embraced Instagram and quickly found it was an amazing platform to re-discover and share her city in a new way, through a new lens. A little courage, and a lot of hard work later, she sits as the founder of Instagram DC AKA IGDC – the tag and account that shows the city from the eye of its beholders. Read on for more about how Holly came to be a city ambassador, photo curator, DC community builder and serious source of #citylove.

Holly Golightly

What did you frame with us? I framed an image that is undeniably DC – the Washington Monument at sunrise. It's classic, and very personal for me.

Tell us the story! I always try to bring visitors to the Lincoln Memorial at sunrise to get this view because at that hour the city is calm, quiet and reflective. On this venture I reached out to the IGDC community and invited people to join me. This little boy and his mom attended - they had attended a few events in the past. She came as a friend and brought him for the new experience. He just seemed so spellbound at being there during sunrise and I caught many sweet moments with them both but this was my favorite. He didn't know I was there and it was a very quick capture but one I fell in love with when reviewing the photos later. I just love that she felt comfortable bringing him on our outing. It just shows me how important and exciting the IGDC community can be to people. 

So, how did you come to be the founder of IGDC? It happened in 2011. I had been on Instagram for almost a year. I saw that they were planning worldwide InstaMeet dates, and I looked online to see if they had anything planned for DC. Nothing had been planned, so I arranged a happy hour. About 15 people showed up, and we had a great time. At the end of it everyone looked toward me like “When are we going to do this again?” So I took my cue.

Holly Golightly

Who comes to the InstaMeets? There’s a whole range of people. It’s a good reflection of DC and how diverse we are. It’s such a transient city, so to bring a group of people together and have friendships result is pretty incredible. 

What have you gotten out of the experience? Instagram turned me on to DC in a way that I hadn't seen before. I have lived here since 2001, but I had done very little exploring beyond the traditional tourist spots. It showed me places I didn’t know existed, and it made me fall in love with the city.


"Instagram turned me on to DC in a way that I hadn't seen before... It showed me places I didn’t know existed, and it made me fall in love with the city."


How do you decide what to post? Everything I post is pulled from the IGDC tag. I look at it every day when I’m on my commute or standing in lines or wherever, and I screenshot photos that grab my attention. It’s my way of showing what our community does, and spotlighting individuals for their work. It’s not about someone’s account. It’s about one photo, and one moment. 

Holly Golightly

"It’s about one photo, and one moment."


What’s the most unexpected thing that has happened as a result of doing IGDC? Well, I met my boyfriend at an InstaMeet. It was one that I actually didn’t organize. A friend in Virginia reached out and asked me for advice on organizing one in Virginia. I went to support her, and met him. And now it's been three years.

What have you learned about yourself through the IGDC community? I’ve learned more about trusting my instincts and saying "YES" to experiences. I’m not a shy person, but it was really intimidating for me to throw that first InstaMeet. I was so nervous no one would come, and then they did! It made me realize I need to trust my instincts and put myself out there even if it makes me uncomfortable because it will be worth it in the end.

We totally agree. And thank you, Holly, for inspiring us and so many others by creating a beautiful window into DC life and love every day. Check out Holly's personal Instagram @golightly and follow along for DC city love @igdc.