Over the past six months, I've gotten to know some incredible photographers through Instagram.
It's one of my favorite things about Instagram and other than the photos, the reason I continue to use the app!
These days it's easy to hide behind a computer screen and spew hate and jealousy at people that you don't like. But, it's truly amazing when you find a group of people who love to create with energy and bring positive vibes to all that they do. I had the pleasure of interviewing some inspirational photographers who bring constant creativity with every post, a positive attitude towards others, and a remarkable sense of awe to their work.
I hope to continue to this every month with other photographers so please email or DM me if you are interested in being interviewed.
So without further ado here is a little about them and their advice to you!
Check out their incredible work by clicking on each of their names.
About: My name is Ashley! I am from sunny San Diego. I love to take pictures with lots of colors, I love landscape and palm trees. I try to take a photo that I know will make the person looking at it happy. I want you to see my photos and feel a sense of relaxation and wonder.
Advice: My best advice for photography that you can also take to Instagram is stay true to you. No matter what the “trend” is, it's a trend and that ends. Your passion and your art will always continue, So do what you want. Also, people appreciate unique and bold risks, so do just that! Be bold, keep working on your craft and never give up.
About: Hey it's Gabe!
Advice: The thing I concentrate most on is light. Whether I’m taking a shot or creating a photoshopped image, the lighting is what draws you in and really helps create extra dimension
About: Photography brought me out of a deep depression. I then started Killerselects in January to help underdogs make a name for themselves.
Advice: Feel your work - if gives off emotion and makes your viewer feel something
About: Hey guys! My name is Nicholas Ballein and I am currently a student at Hope College in Michigan
Advice: Three key things that I was told when I first started shooting were 1. Never post a shot that doesn't live up to your feed or isn't worth being featured 2. Never stop shooting, sometimes you won't be motivated to keep pushing forward but you can't give up, and 3. Be unique, make your photos stand apart from others! You want people to recognize your work based on your photos instead of just your name.
About: Hello my name is Andy and I'm a photographer and creator based out of LA. I have grown to love photography and it is a great passion of mine.
Advice: A piece of advice that I'd like to offer to everyone is if you're trying to build your following on Instagram is to post at least 3 times per day. In order to do this, you have to make sure that you have enough material to stay consistent. That will help guide traffic towards your page and following.
About: My name is Ashley, I'm a 31-year-old PNW native who loves exploring everywhere. If I'm not working I'm traveling, you'll never see me at home on my days off. I'm happiest when I'm out in the forest.
Advice: My best advice for photographers and fellow IG'ers is to follow your own path. Be creative in your own way, find your own niche and run with it. There's nothing I enjoy more than seeing someone else's work who isn't afraid to shoot outside of the box.
About: I'm a 19-year-old photographer/artist from Malaysia. I enjoy doing art even though I'm studying medicine in University.
Advice: I really love sharing the way I view things around me and how we keep on creating art that inspires each other.
About: My name in Mike T. I'm a born and raised Los Angeles and orange county, CA shooter. My love of photography came from an unfortunate turn of events in my life during my early 30's. I've since taken all of that negative energy and put it to positive use through the images I capture and the feel I give with editing. I'm not pro by any means but I love capturing raw images with feeling often looking for the human element the best I can.
Advice: I've had quite a few people ask me what's my best advice for new shooters "how can I get better". #1, exposure and composition! Learn it, live it. #2 don't shoot what everyone else is shooting, shoot what you love. #3 shoot as much as you can, as often as you can. I often look out the window thinking "this weather is garbage", but I still go out and shoot. You never know what you'll find even returning to the same locations over and over.
About: My name is Dillon and I'm a student pursuing engineering with photography as my hobby.
Advice: Keep putting out as much content as you can daily and you will learn and grow as you go.
About: I'm Herri from Bali, everything you see in my Instagram is the visualized of my imagination into artworks. So welcome to my imagination.
Advice: Don't be afraid to make something out of this world
About: My name is Ian and I'm a freelance artist. I like to take pictures and make art of anything that sparks my interest!
Advice: Just be yourself. It's always best to have your own style than trying to copy someone else's!
About: My full name is Renato Prkic, I come from Split, Croatia. I'm 21 years old and my main area of work is digital art and graphic design, but I'm looking to get my own camera to get into real life photography very soon.
Advice: Don't force creativity, sometimes it's better not to post anything for a day than to post something that doesn't feel right(quality over quantity). Another important thing is finding inspiration. You can do that by walking around in nature, the city, by looking at other people's photos, any way that works for you. Just make sure that in the end, people see your "signature" in your photos or in other words - It's okay to be inspired by other people, but don't copy their work.
About: Jay is a passionate photographer based out of Sydney Australia. With a love for landscape photography and a motto of ‘chasing light’ he uses most of his free time traveling to the east coast of Australia looking for unique scenes.
Advice: The single best piece of photographic equipment I ever purchased was a good quality tent. In the early days, I was too focused on gear. Camera’s and lenses. Now my focus isn’t on how much gear I have but how little I have. If you want better photos don’t buy better gear, just get to better places.
About: Hi I'm Yanan!
Advice: Shoot a lot. Connect with other photographers in the area. Get to know your equipment. Get comfortable with an editing app. Use hashtags. Comment and stay engaged. Don't message hub admins asking for features.
About: I'm a young photographer that dreams a lot. Photography is one way that I can express what I love, feel, want. So I try to make it real through photos. And my dream is to inspire people around the world to open their eyes. Since I see people around me becoming so closed.
Advice: Every photo tells a story, make your story memorable!
About: I'm a full-time photographer for @insomniacevents (heard of EDC?) and part-time sandwich destroyer. I come from Boston but live and work in Los Angeles.
Advice: Don't shoot for Instagram - shoot what is most interesting to you with all your heart and others will follow
About: I am a Midwest-based landscape photographer who tries to capture atmosphere and emotion in my images.
Advice: Find YOUR style, whatever it may be, but stay consistent and strive to grow as an artist above all else. Just do you, and the following will come.
About: Jersey native with an above average beard structure, darling blues and a sweet tooth for pistachio ice cream
Advice: Never lose sight of why you began photography in the first place. Don't forgot that it is an expressive art form that should feel authentic to who you are, shoot what makes you happy and excites you to take out your camera and start snapping away. Shoot often, shoot collaboratively, and shoot with passion - everything else will follow.
About: I'm Frank, LA/OC based photographer
Advice: Always have your camera ready where ever you go, doesn't matter what kind of camera/tools you have, keep shooting every day every and chance you get, never stop learning from other photographers/youtubers, never hesitate to ask questions or collab with others, and last one don't limit yourself (shoot different styles eventually you'll know which ones you like the most)
About: I'm 19, I'm a photographer from LA, and I just want to work hard at what I do so that I can have a good time in life.
Advice: Never compare yourself to anyone else, you will succeed at your own pace, fuck the others
About: My name is Vincent, 25 from Hawaii. I've been taking photos for about 2 years now
Advice: Just be original. Almost every location you see on Instagram has been shot before by someone else; however, it's what you do with the location, editing, subjects, or props that make the photo unique. Some people will tell you to stick to your niche and create a certain theme for your feed, but I say shoot what you want to shoot and post what you want. Be yourself.
About: My name is Dave Olinger and I'm a photographer from Orange County, CA and I've been shooting for about a year now.
Advice: Shoot every day (or as much as you possibly can). Also, use Instagram as a tool to learn, reach out to local photographers you admire and get as much advice from them as you can. And try not to be too critical of your own work!
About: My Name is June (26 years old) from Berlin. I just love to shoot with people and fill the pics with Magic. The Instagram Connection and Inspiration is so amazing and something special for me.
Advice: Just try! Practice all the time and you will grow as a Photographer. Try different Styles until you found your own but be yourself, try not to be someone else.
About: Hi there! My name is Kristen and I'm a Los Angeles based photographer.
Advice: One of the most important pieces of advice that has adhered to my mind since I started photography over a year and a half ago is to focus on composition. I believe the way you frame a shot from even the most ordinary of situations can make the most interesting of shots.
About: hey all! Here from the city of Chicago. While I've always enjoyed taking pictures, I only recently decided to fully pursue my passion for photography within the past year. I've been blessed by the fact that my 'real job' as a music producer/DJ allows me to travel and shoot unique places around the world.
Advice: Besides the standard cliches of learning and shooting something new every single day, I would say that my best piece of advice is to embrace failure and rejection. Don't be discouraged to constantly reach out to new artists who you admire, don't be afraid to try shooting new things (portraits/landscapes/etc), and don't beat yourself up if you can't get a shot/edit quite right the first time around. Only by failing will you ever truly succeed.
About: Etienne, (20) I'm a Montreal Native Photographer. I've always loved taking pictures, but it wasn't until a little over a year ago that I started taking it seriously. I worked super hard to buy the gear that I aspired to have and once it was mine I started building a visual catalog, in the hopes that later on I may look back on this time in my life and gain insight not only on my photos but also on myself. Advice: If I had one tip to give about Instagram and/or photography, it would be: Do it for yourself. Negative is contagious and being jealous of other people's success won't get you anywhere. Try hard, be creative, and love what you do....if you do it for the likes or for the fame, you won't find what you're looking for. Then again, maybe you aren't really looking. I believe that one thing you should constantly be attempting is to push forward within your art, and self.
About: Hi I'm Hunter Banas I'm from Chicago, but I now live in Columbus Ohio. Even though I enjoy Ohio, I miss Chicago every day. It's my favorite place to shoot. It is a photographers paradise. It has amazing urban and street views, as well as water and nature. It also boasts some of the nicest and most creative photographers around.
I became interested in photography at a very young age. Back then there were no digital cameras and I liked to use a Polaroid. I loved the idea that you could take a moment and save it, then later return to reflect on it. As technology progressed, and I started using better and better cameras, photography became more of an art form than a way to preserve moments in time. Although that is still an allure for me today. Typically I'll spend around an hour editing an image, but it could range from there to a few hours. Sometimes I'll think I'm done editing, save the file, look at it for a while off and on, then realize I want to take it in a whole new route. I use Lightroom to edit almost exclusively. It's very rare that I'll use photoshop to enhance an image.
Advice: Some advice I have for people would be, that your photography is not defined by the gear that you have. I have collaborated with some ultra talented artists, and when I ask them what they shoot on, some respond and say a phone or an old out-dated camera. Photography is about your vision, and how you see things. I'm not saying that the latest and greatest gear doesn't help because it does. I'm saying don't go out and buy $5k worth of gear and expect to be a spectacular photographer. You've got to practice and see things your way.
About: I'm a graphic designer turned photographer in the mitten state of Michigan. As an outdoor enthusiast, my photos always have an adventure feel to them whether that be out in rural areas, the mountains or the city.
Advice: If I could share anything it would be that life is short, make memories, see the world and enjoy it with those you love.....and take a few photos while on the journey
About: I love photography and thrive on this outlet for my creative energy. I tend to lean toward the darker themes but have slowly begun to expand into appreciating nature and the world around me.
Advice: Go, get out, wander, see everything! If it's out of your comfort zone, makes you feel uncomfortable, DO IT. I promise you'll never regret pushing yourself
About: I'm a 48-year-old of 4 who has worked for the same corporation for the past 28 years. Two years ago, while completing a graduate degree, I found myself struggling with purpose. I picked up an old iPhone 4 and started taking pictures of my kids. That led to me buying an old T3i Canon with a 50 mm lens which eventually led to me buying a full frame camera. For the first time in my life, I feel like photography is what I'm meant to do.I'm not sure if that means I need to do it professionally. I feel like I'm still on the journey of discovering who I am as a person and photographer. I have just loved creating.
About: I'm Nick and I am a photographer based in Orange County, CA. I have been doing Photography for a little over a year and I love exaggerating reality through long exposure and setting a mood with detail and color.
Advice: My advice to anyone starting out, or anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level is, SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT. Almost everything I have learned over the past year has been through the people I have met and the mistakes I've made clicking away at the shutter. Practice really does make perfect.
About: My name is Raymond Delgado but most know me as 6AM. I've been djing for 8 years and started shooting about 9 months ago. I'm passionate about the vibes I put out and I'm fortunate to have a following that supports what I do. It's been wild this past year.
Advice: Create with purpose, not just because. You want them to feel it and that only happens when you set the tone for it. I only shoot & play what I feel. If it's from within, you'll always win.
About: My name is Jessica and I'm a freelance photographer from Upstate NY! My love for nature and artistic imagery shape my work.
Advice: Practice, practice and practice. Nothing beats hands-on experience.
About: I am an 18-year-old photographer/creative from Cape Town, South Africa.
Advice: Don't aim to aspire by rather to inspire
About: I'm Jhie. Filipino shooter in LA.
Advice: Be consistent, engage with followers, do not let haters/negativity get to you, keep doing what you love and never stop learning.
About: I'm Mayk Alexander Bautista
Advice: Just keep shooting. Develop your own niche and don't be afraid to take a bad shot. On Instagram, engagement is key. Support other people, interact regularly and the experience and results will be that much more enjoyable.
About: I'm Canon Brownell - a filmmaker and photographer based in Los Angeles, CA
Advice: Invest in the lens, not the body
A huge thank you to everyone who helped out with this post! You guys are the best! keep dreaming, inspiring, and being the wonderful people that you are!