With over 150 million active users uploading an average of 55 million pictures a day, Instagram is the most popular dedicated photo-sharing site on the web. Yet, as many photo enthusiasts can attest, with so many people sharing so many images, it’s not easy to find well-crafted, expressive images amid the bathroom selfies and burrito pics. Here, then, is a list of 10 talented, creative photographers I’m following, whose work will provide a regular dose of inspiration for any photography lover.
These photographers range from seasoned professionals to avid hobbyists. They work in varied styles and genres, but they all share a great eye for composition, strong photographic vision and the ability to consistently create striking images. Their work will be a welcome addition to your daily Instagram feed. Click on an image below to visit the photographer’s Instagram account.
October 2013. Photo by Zak Shelhamer.
Instagram feed: @zakshelhamer
If you’re a fan of action and lifestyle photography that showcases exotic locations and conveys a palpable sense of adventure, you’ll want to join the 128,000+ Instagramers who follow Zak Shelhamer’s stunning feed. Based out of San Francisco, this former pro photographer turned filmmaker works in the action sports industry and documents his global travels from some awe-inspiring perspectives using his iPhone and GoPro cameras. Snapseed and PicBoost are his editing apps of choice. Although still photography is now “just a hobby,” Shelhamer says, he wants his photos to “inspire people to get out and do more fun things with their lives.” Mission accomplished. You can see more of Shelhamer’s photography on his site photosbyzak.
March 2013, Buntzen Lake. Photo by othellonine.
Instagram feed: @othellonine
Scott Rankin applies a keen eye for form and symmetry to both man-made and natural landscapes found in his native British Columbia. A realtor by trade, Rankin says his interest in photography was sparked when he joined Instagram in 2011. In the short time since, he has amassed an impressivecollection of images that capture the muted tones of the Pacific Northwest with what he describes as “a penchant for near-minimalism.” Using an iPhone 5 – the only camera he owns – Rankin relies on apps like Snapseed, PicFX, and VSCO Cam to edit his images. He currently has more than 44,000 followers.
Laura E. Pritchett
September 2013. Photo by Laura E. Pritchett/@bythebrush.
Instagram feed: @bythebrush
Delaware-based artist Laura E. Pritchett has an expert sense of color and texture, which imbue her photographs with a warmth and intimacy. She is a painter by trade – perhaps explaining her close attention to compositional detail – whose love of photography goes back to childhood. “I used to sneak off with my parents’ camera and practice until my dad gave me a Nikon FM10 when I was about 11,” she says. Shooting with an iPhone 5, Pritchett edits her images with Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and Afterlight. Pritchett, like many visual artists, finds photography a valuable medium to explore light and composition and gather images that serve as inspiration for her paintings. She conceives of her Instagram feed as “a sketchbook to collect moments of simple, natural beauty…which evoke peace and freedom” to her 92,000 followers. You can visit lauraepritchett.com to see more of her photography and paintings.
February 2013. Photo by Janske Kaethoven.
Instagram feed: @janske
Artfully crafted still lifes and thoughtful, narrative landscapes are hallmarks of Janske Kaethoven’s Instagram feed. An longtime, avid amateur photographer, Kaethoven lives in Flanders, Belgium, and populates her feed with images from both her iPhone and top-end Nikon D800. When shooting with the former she typically fires up the popular Camera+ app to take the photograph and does what she describes as minor contrast and brightness adjustments using Snapseed or VSCO Cam. Although Kaethoven prefers to let her work speak for itself, when asked to describe her images, she says her aim is to capture “poetic stills of everyday life.” Her body of work shows just how much you can explore with just a simple directive. You can see more of Kaethoven’s images on her web site and her tumblr account.
July 2013. Photo by Hironori Mizuno.
Instagram feed: @iphonegrapher_hiro
Japanese photographer Hironori Mizuno deftly uses image compositing techniques – combining elements from separate exposures into a single image – to create surreal, dreamlike photographs, often centered on the relationship between man and nature. What makes his work even more impressive is that while Mizuno had long been a fan of photography, he only began taking pictures himself in 2011 after buying an iPhone and discovering Instagram. His mobile apps of choice are Camera+ and Photo Power, but Mizuno also uses Photoshop’s image manipulation tools to create his final images.
Richard Koci Hernandez
April 2013. Photo by Richard Koci Hernandez.
Instagram feed: @koci
July 2013. Photo by Simone Bramante.
Instagram handle: @brahmino
Simone Bramante’s whimsical images, created both in and out of the camera, are the mark of a visual storyteller for whom nature is a constant inspiration. A native of Bologna, Italy, Bramante augments his commercial photography assignments with work as a creative director, designer and illustrator for both online and retail brands in Europe. Although he often shoots with a Canon 6D and L-series lenses, Bramante limits his Instagram feed to photos captured with his iPhone. His editing software ranges from mobile apps like Snapseed and VSCO Cam to pro software like Lightroom and Photoshop. Bramate likes to work in portraiture as a way of “describing human stories…timeless emotions with themes of movement, suspension, natural explorations, and grace.” This approach has gained him more than 314,000 followers. You can view more of his work at brahmino.com.
Michael Christopher Brown
April 2011, Libya. Photo by Michael Christopher Brown
Instagram feed: @michaelchristopherbrown
Michael Christopher Brown’s photojournalism puts forth a very human dimension on conflict regions and hotspots that for Westerners are all too often abstracted both by geographical distance and the seemingly intractable nature of the hostilities. Based in Brooklyn, Brown is a Magnum Photos nominee who uses his Instagram feed to provide dispatches from both northern and central Africa to his 64,000+ followers. Shot with an iPhone 5 and the Snapseed and Pro Camera apps, Brown’s images consist of strikingly personal portraits of young adults and children, evoking domestic normality in what are often war-like conditions. The image above is one of hundreds in an upcoming book, Libyan Sugar, a collection of Brown’s photos and essays documenting the 2011 Libyan Revolution. The book is set to be released by Twin Palms Publishers in 2014. You can see more of Brown’s work on his personal web site and at Magnum Photos.
August 2013, Philadelphia. Photo by David Maialetti
Instagram feed: @maialetti
David Maialetti is a working photojournalist whose Instagram feed offers an insider’s testament to the cultural fabric of Philadelphia. Whether he is photographing the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles on Lincoln Financial Field or anonymous citizens along unnamed urban streets, Maialetti’s lens shows great affection for the people and architecture of the City of Brotherly Love. For his Instagram account Maialetti uses a decidedly retro iPhone 4 alongside apps like Squara and PureShot. His main requirement for a camera app is that it offers separate controls for focus and exposure. Currently a staff photographer for the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer, Maialetti says, “My Instagram images are mostly a reflection of the type of work I do for the newspapers. Sometimes they are related to what I’m covering at that moment or just an interesting scene I find along the way. I’m always searching for a fresh perspective of the commonplace.” You can see more of Maialetti’s personal images on his blog and follow his photojournalism at the Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
October 2013, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Eelco Roos/@croyable.
Instagram feed: @croyable
Eelco Roos’ Instagram feed offers stunning imagery from exotic locales around the world. This Netherlands native says, “I travel a lot and try to show my followers the beautiful sights on this planet, all done in an honest and natural way.” Roos shoots with his iPhone, using the native camera app, and edits his images with both Snapseed and VSCO Cam. A longtime amateur photographer, Roos’ work has attracted more than 321,000 followers and he has started getting commissioned work during the past year. With images like the one you see above, it’s easy to see why. You can view more of Roos’ work on his site croyable.com and follow his twitter feed @eelcoroos.
This is a subjective list and of course there are far more photographers sharing amazing work on Instagram than the few I’ve highlighted here. Have some favorites of your own? Tell me about them in the comments below. And if the work shown here inspires you to go out and shoot more images yourself, be sure to check out my five quick tips for taking better Instagram photos.
By Amadou Diallo, Contributor
I write about personal technology and digital imaging.
Via @forbes http://onforb.es/1eZzzRE