19 Incredible Photographers to Follow on Instagram
Photography is a sign of our times. It is a universal language we all speak and understand, no matter where we come from. The way it evolved from the rudimentary techniques such as daguerreotype to the one-click wonder it is today is simply mind-boggling, but the way it changed us as a species is what’s way more important.
The magic of the camera lens has the power to reinvigorate our memories and bring back all sorts of pleasant sensations, such as the warmth of our favorite childhood sweater, the smell of the ocean, the feel of scrunching white sand with our feet, the taste of a home-cooked meal, the crackling of a cigarette… It transports us right then and there, to our safe zone.
Photographs are also one of the most precious means of conveying information. Nowadays, it’s so easy for them to go viral, for the whole world to see and discover something new, and that’s largely thanks to Instagram. All it takes are just a few taps on your phone for images to spread. And we document everything, from the important achievements of humankind, the great milestones in our recent history such as polarizing events, civil rights movements, outbursts of violence, and wars, to more simple and ordinary events from our lives.
As the world’s most beloved photo-sharing app, Instagram gathers a myriad of talented artists that allow us to observe the world through their lens. We’ve singled out 19 hard-working, extremely talented photographers that will take you on an unforgettable adventure through scenic landscapes, bustling streets, exciting worlds of fashion and film, and much more:
Edie Sunday is a 26-year-old photographer based in Austin, Texas, and her photography style is a true thing of beauty. The images are dreamlike, spectral, melancholic, with a strong vintage vibe. As you observe them, you experience a wide range of emotions that cannot be easily put into words. Explore her Instagram page and let Edie take you on a sweet and ethereal journey.
Maya Beano was born in 1991 in Jordan, and her photographs share a similar vibe as Edie’s. Using 35mm film, she takes us on a picturesque adventure through comforting landscapes full of vivid colors. She also shares images of her friends and animals all of which emanate a peaceful vibe. The color palette she’s loyal to is very soft and delicate. Aside from being a photographer, Maya’s also a talented painter, often posting photographs of her artworks.
If you are into photography that is simultaneously macabre yet stylish, offbeat yet fashionable, creepy yet funny, look no further than Zhong Lin’s work. She is a self-taught Malaysian artist and her amazingly authentic approach to photography has helped her land jobs at Vogue China and Harper’s Bazaar China. Currently, she’s in the midst of the 365 days project, so she posts a photo a day to her Instagram account (and she’ll be doing that for 365 days). And though she does share images frequently, she manages to maintain a high quality of all her posts.
Subcultures and the lifestyle of youth shine in all their glory on Ewen Spencer’s photographs. He’s a Brighton-based British photographer who kicked off his career taking shots of the UK’s garage scene in the twilight of the 90s. He’s worked with the trip-hop giants Massive Attack, as well as Apple Music, Nike, and many others. Ewen’s style is gritty yet polished and could be described as somewhat even plastic. His portrait shots make models look suspended and frozen in time even more than they already are just by being photographed. For anyone who enjoys lifestyle photography, Ewen’s work will be a true feast for their eyes.
Extremely feminine self-portraits, a carefully preset play of fruits, plants, and lots and lots of mirrors – these are the tell-all signs that you’ve stumbled upon the stunning work of Zigian Liu. Her designer-ish approach to photography is mesmerizing. Every composition is well-thought-out and flawlessly executed. And the pastel color palette she’s using perfectly matches the female fragility and gentleness she so successfully captures in her shots. We’re sure you’ll love every moment of exploring her feed.
Synchrodogs are a creative duo from Ukraine. They are surely one of my favorites on this list because of their unique and raw approach to photography. Their works are characterized by modernist, painting-like compositions filled with surreal imagery, interesting requisites, nudity, out-of-this-world costumes, and gorgeous landscapes. Some of these projects look like true artistic installations. The best way to describe their photography is – René Magritte meets Storm Thorgerson.
Raw and uncompromising, with photographs that deliver an artistic punch straight into your teeth and stomach, Boogie is one of the most famous documentary shutterbugs out there. He’s from Serbia but is currently based in NYC. Grittiness and darkness are among the main features of his work, which comes as no surprise, considering the hardships Serbia’s been facing for the last 30 years that have influenced Boogie’s artistry. He infiltrated New York’s scene as an underdog and became known for taking photos of street gangs, crack addicts, marginalized groups, and others. Most of his photographs are black and white, which makes them look even more dramatic and suspenseful.
Polina Washington is a Russian photographer whose works have a strong cinematic feel to them. She takes feminine, gentle, multiple exposure shots of people and flora, shares romantic self-portraits, and often captures the interplay of darkness and light on camera.
Martin Parr is one of the legends of this craft. He is known for his satirical approach to photography, exploring consumerism, globalization, the tourism industry, and everyday life in his work. Parr’s images are among the funniest of all featured on this list, as he masterfully turns mundane, well-known things into something bizarre and hilarious.
This name speaks for itself. Bruce Gilden is an iconic street photographer, known for getting his camera lens irritatingly close to the subjects he shoots. His Instagram bio says it all – “I’m known for getting close, and the older I get, the closer I get”. Some of the most iconic portraits of New Yorkers, nightmare-ish and grotesque at times, are all his doing. What makes his close-ups look so good is exactly the way he captures them – straight in the face of the “victim”, almost blinding them with the camera flash.
Andy Smith is all about snapping pictures of mundane, everyday-life things, the ones we don’t pay much attention to as they’re always around. Andy and his camera give those elements a whole new meaning. Sometimes he makes familiar things look funny, other times cinematic. His shots have the power to evoke synesthesia in synesthetes and make you feel as if you’ve travelled through time. They can even nudge you toward developing warm feelings for other people and inanimate objects in your city. And even though those feelings may be fleeting, it is worth experiencing them, even for just a minute or two.
The neo-noir atmosphere of Neil Kryszak’s images and the details that look like clues make you feel as if you’re in the midst of a mystery movie, trying to solve a murder. You can almost hear a saxophone playing in the background while a smoker’s raspy voice rambles about what life was like before these unfortunate events, while you simultaneously smell the odors of aqueducts, and feel the distinct, hot, humid summer night air on your skin.
I first fell in love with Julian Berman’s work when I saw the photos he took for GOLF, Tyler the Creator’s clothing line. The lookbooks he created for that project are so unique and arguably the finest ones of their kind out there. Some of the images from that series are featured on his Instagram profile, so you can see for yourself how hilarious and weird certain model poses are. The color palette he uses is among the most vibrant ones I’ve seen in a while, and overall, his works look more like paintings or illustrations than photographs.
Glen Luchford is surely one of the most famous photographers on our list. He has collaborated with the likes of Kate Moss, Prada, and other fashion giants like Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, and Gucci, among others. He’s also worked with the renowned British painter Jenny Saville, famous for depicting nude women. Glen is known for his imaginative works and for being the first one to introduce a cinematic aesthetic to fashion photography.
Gray Sorrenti is the daughter of the well-known fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti and, at just 20 years old, she’s the youngest image-maker on our list. Her photographs look raw, often depicting a thrilling street culture and the coolness of New York City. She’s also made big steps into fashion photography, shooting campaigns for brands such as LOEWE. With the mix of pure talent that runs in her family and her dedication to work, Gray will surely become a force to be reckoned with.
Elizaveta Porodina is a Russian-born, Berlin-based photographer with a degree in clinical psychology. Her images carry the air of early films, with an unsettling and somewhat gloomy atmosphere, and characters that look as if they’re about to start talking. Elizaveta’s works are refreshing, and she has an approach to fashion photography that is very different from what we’re used to seeing. She often exhibits her projects in galleries and has become a commercially successful artist. With her unique-looking photographs, Elizaveta has managed to position herself as one of the driving forces of contemporary fashion photography.
Alessio Albi’s Instagram feels like a fresh summer breeze. It’s crispy, balanced, and well-thought-out. He often posts quiet, atmospheric portraits sprinkled with warm rays of natural light. The fact that he is a self-taught photographer who can create such mesmerizing shots speaks volumes of his innate talent and prowess.
Driven by the 80s aesthetic with a hint of surrealism, Michael Pudelka is one of the most productive fashion photographers out there. He used to study art and fashion in Slovakia and France, so it’s not surprising he can navigate the two niches so well. He quit his studies to pursue a career as a photographer, worked with some of the largest brands and fashion magazines in the world, such as the i-D mag, and has also founded his own magazine called Anonym. He’s only 24 years old.
Scanned-like images and the use of negatives, striking colors, collages, and eroticism are what Lea Colombo’s photography is about. Born in South Africa and based in London, she’s worked for numerous fashion magazines and fashion giants such as Calvin Klein, Versace, and many others. If you’re into bold, punchy, contrast-based fashion photography, then Lea Colombo should be the very first artist you’ll look up on Instagram.
We live in a fast-paced world where information and images travel almost at the speed of light. We’re swamped with graphic content, glued to our computer and phone screens, scrolling through seemingly endless amounts of visuals. Even though that activity is time-consuming, once you manage to find a diamond in the pile of coal, that makes everything worthwhile.
The artist featured on this list and their amazing works were definitely worth all the research. Their skill and creativity prove they are true masters of this craft. If you’re a shutterbug yourself, use their photographs as guidelines on how to capture stirring images on your own. At the end of the day, we hope they inspire you to start clicking the shutter release button of your camera more often wherever you may find yourself.