I didn’t need to put much thought into this list as it came to me so quickly, I thought I should write a blog post about it and tell you all who I think are some of the best photographers to follow on Instagram. This list is not in any particular order, except for number 1. The remainder of the list is in the order that I thought of them. All of these accounts came from memory and not by looking through Instagram, in order to develop a selection based on accounts I favor.
So, here are 15 photography accounts I think you should follow on Instagram:
Brandon Woelfel’s main account is my absolute favorite account to follow right now. I love his work. His mastery of lighting and color tones is maddeningly enviable. His use of ambient lighting, back lighting, and string lighting to create a thumb-stopping Instagram post is second to only one; his use of neon lighting to illuminate a subject. Brandon is best known for finding neon lights around New York City and shooting his models lit by neon signs during “blue hour.” If you want to get a sense of what I mean, you should check out Peter McKinnon’s YouTube video collaboration with Brandon by clicking here.
I get excited when I see that Brandon’s uploaded a new photo. Brandon is my favorite photographer to follow on Instagram, right now. His personal account is also pretty great, which is why I added it to the list.
2. Peter McKinnon - @petermckinnon
Speaking of Peter McKinnon, Peter is the second photographer on this list whose photos stop my thumb from scrolling and pretty much always get a double tap from me. His photos are usually promotional, in relation to his most recent YouTube video or current project, but that’s fine with me because they’re still exceptional photos. Peter is one of my biggest influences in photography and someone who has taught me a lot in that regard. If by some chance you don’t know who Peter McKinnon is, he’s one of the more popular vloggers and videographers on YouTube right now. He’s a great follow on Instagram and on YouTube.
3. Arken Avan - @newyorkfaces
Arken has a way with capturing love within New York City. I first met Arken when my brother proposed to his wife at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. He hired Arken to photograph the memory, as Arken’s @newyorkfaces account is one of my sister-in-law’s favorite accounts to follow. At the time I didn’t know who Arken was. I wasn’t even that active on Instagram back then; I posted shots of my food every now and then. I’ve followed Arken ever since that night. He captures engagements and loving couples all around New York City. His night portraits in Times Square are magnificent. He also photographed my brother’s wedding, so Arken is definitely one of my favorite follows.
4. Benjamin Heath - @benjaminheath
Benjamin is a San Francisco-based photographer whose landscape photos are something to behold. His Instagram posts could be photos in a gallery (and they probably are). In my opinion, I don’t really think they fit with the how Instagram presents everyone else’s posts and that’s what makes them special. Benjamin are always in a white frame and his editing style is very bright. I wouldn’t call his account trendy; I would describe Benjamin Heath’s account as timeless.
5. Braeden Toth - @braedin
Braeden Toth is a travel/wilderness photographer from someplace really cold. His photos always look cold. Even the ones from the summer look cold because of the snow-capped mountains. If you like pictures of mountains, cold lakes, and the woods, this account is for you. His pictures from Banff National Park in Canada are incredible.
6. Kyle Huber - @asenseofhubor
Kyle Huber is an incredibly fun account to follow. His grid is bright and cheerful. He has a lot of beach shots and posts a lot of drone photos as well. There’s a color scheme to his photos, which embraces shades of light blues, teal, orange, greens, and purple. He mixes up his grid with some killer videos and stop-motion that are fun to watch.
7. John Stanmeyer - @johnstanmeyer
John Stanmeyer is an exceptional National Geographic photographer and his recent portraits are some of the best I’ve seen, not just on Instagram, but in general. There’s emotion in the photos. You can see joy, pain, suffering, fear, and hope in his photos. I get a sense that his best photos are reserved for NatGeo, so if these aren’t his best, he is an immensely talented photographer.
8. Ron Doebler - @rdoebler
Ron Doebler’s wilderness and landscape shots are so enjoyable. His photos of bears, the Northern Lights, and bald eagles in predation are some of my favorites. One fantastic aspect of Ron’s account is he posts in accordance with the seasons. He grid’s color scheme changes as the seasons change and that’s a fun curating technique for Instagram.
9. Alex Strohl - @alexstrohl
Some of my most-favorite landscape photos were shot by Alex Strohl. He is a master of capturing emotion in landscape. His aerial shots are brilliant and of some of the most intriguing locations. It’s hard to put into words just how great Alex’s account it, which is terrible when you’re trying to write a blog; however, his is one that you really need to go and scroll through.
10. Bjorn Baklien - @bjornbaklien
Bjorn Baklien posts about once a month, sometimes twice, sometimes less. Bjorn only has 89 posts and I wish he had more. So much more. Bjorn is a master of long-exposure photography and it’s a real treat when his latest photo graces my Instagram feed. His landscapes are some of the smoothest, dreamiest, otherworldly images on Instagram. I love all 89 of his photos and I cannot wait for number 90.
11. Gunnar Freyr - @icelandic_explorer
If you want to see some of the most breathtaking photos of Iceland, follow Gunnar Freyr. If you type “Iceland” into Instagram’s search bar, Gunnar’s account is the first result you see. Even Instagram knows how great he is. He doesn’t post daily, so your feed won’t be overrun by shots of Iceland but every time your thumb stops on his posts, you think, “Man, I have to go to Iceland.” At least, that’s what I think.
12. John Greengo - @john_greengo
John Greengo is a professor of landscape photography. No, really. I learned so much from his Creative Live course. His Instagram account is more than a mobile portfolio; it’s a textbook of proper composition, exposure, and visual interest. His photos aren’t optimized for Instagram, but that’s because he is a photographer and shoots something to how he wants an image seen and not in accordance with a specific crop factor, specific to Instagram. He is simply a great photographer and you can learn a lot from him and his photos.
13. Alen Palander - @alenpalander
Alen Palander’s urban photography is some of the best on Instagram. His grid embraces a gray and tan color scheme, but somehow still exhibits colors in a creative way that maintains the look and feel of his account.
Alen’s account is one of my absolute favorites. His photos are pretty cool, when scrolling through the feed; however, they really shine when you look at the entirety of his work in his profile.
14. George Damanis (me) - @gdamanis
I admit that I am not as popular as the names above. I’m also not nearly as experienced as any of the above-mentioned photographers but you’ll never catch me saying that I don’t belong in this list. I shoot to have fun. I may never have over two million followers like Brandon Woelfel but I’m ok with that.
I’m proud of the work I’m putting into these photos and if you want to see how a pretty good Instagram photographer gets better, you should follow me.