Compressing a scene into such a limited square ratio like that of Instagram and still get amazing aesthetics is something that deserves much credit.
When it was first introduced, I was to share my photos on Instagram because of the filters and the film looks it could render. Initially, the square ratio was something extremely hard for me to digest even though it produced great results to enjoy when done right.
Instagram allows people to share visual content through the mobile application. Historically, one of its distinctive features was that it forced people to use a square format of 1:1, which is similar to photographs done with the famous Polaroid SX-70 and Kodak Instamatic cameras. Filters are also an iconic feature of the app.
See also: Lightroom Export Settings for Instagram
Even though both the ratio and filter usage are iconic marks of Instagram, there are many photographers who use different aspect ratios as well as images that go beyond Instagram filters. This includes both nonfilter images direct from the camera, and images post-processed in other software besides Instagram’s built-in engine.
A New York-based mobile street photographer, Anton Kawasaki illustrates the great experiences that the daily public transportation system has to offer street photography. His work reminds me of Walker Evans, which makes him a must follow indeed.
Even when Instagram’s life has been accredited to smartphone photography, the platform allows posting images taken with anything online. Some photographers keep themselves inside the scope of only shooting with a phone and their work is solid evidence that smartphone photography can be taken pretty seriously. Hannibal Renberg is one of those amazing photographers you can find on Instagram.
If you ever wanted to define solitude with images, you should take a minute and browse through Rob Warhurst’s amazing work on Instagram. Not everything in his account spins around this topic, but the consistency he gives to many of his photographs has certainly gotten my attention.
While curating my list on Instagram urban photographers, I’ve seen a lot of recurrences on rain, reflections and windows. Paola Franqui’s approach on the subject is simply different and, as many other photographers, she publishes a variety of subjects she finds on the street.
Self-determined to find the unseen in every day, Franqui is an amazing street photographer who not only shares her vision but also reveals a very important part of her workflow with her Lightroom Presets.
Cocu Liu invites us to a visual feast of experiences he has discovered in his hometown of San Francisco. From candid photography to beautiful landscapes, he knows for sure that the best camera is one that is always with you—and, miraculously, he has found that in his trusty phone. The sense of scale found in his images is a pretty unique thing on Instagram.
Talented and creative with a unique voice and plasticity, Marina Sersale shares with the world her formidable encounters with life. She uses Instagram to post the picture-worthy moments that stumble into her life throughout the week. Follow her to get a glimpse of what capturing the decisive moment really is.
It is hard to believe that so many broad styles can come from just one person. Mike Kepka’s images are a curious statement about urban life. I guess there is a reason behind his choice of publishing with a couple of solid and consistent color recurrences, almost like he works on specific color scripts for a reason. Follow him and maybe you’ll decipher the reason why.
Matthew Wylie’s account is extremely bold and edgy; a true expression of what a creative mind can make when wandering the streets.
Consistency is something many photographers should work on especially in this contemporary world where so much great content exists online. Jomayra Texeira has a unique and well-defined vision and, if you love the rainy mood, you’ll definitely love her work. Just look at the featured photo below. It is an absolutely amazing street photograph and is a great example of good street photography done in color as well.
Anthony Danielle has been creating images with his phone since 2010. With his subject consistency fairly solid, you can find a variety of stunning street photographs and even urban landscapes on his profile.
Street photographer Linda Wisdom has an amazing eye for urban photography. With the occasional splashes of color, her photos function like a close eye into the marvels of everyday life. Her minimalist approach on subjects and incredible care for composition transform her images into a fabulous gift to the eyes. Follow her and you’ll never be disappointed.
With the aperture of Instagram to other ratios apart from the square 1:1 format of its early days, Luis Cárdenas immerses his followers in the foreign cultures he has visited with consistent color and a social documentary mindset that make him a must-follow.
The one and only Thomas Leuthard of Switzerland leaves us speechless as he puts a huge effort forward into creating his ideas with the world. Be sure to check out his Instagram account as well as his free eBooks online.
Richard Koci goes from Film Noir to even share contact sheets and some other goodies on his Instagram account, which gives us a different view of Instagram photographers.
Chris Connolly maneuvers a wide arrange of styles and is a complete joy to follow. Some of his work may even fit into what Contemporary Art is defined for.
As any innovation in photography, many photographers have criticized and even rejected Instagram. The main criticism has been around the overwhelming amount of images posted online daily by its everyday growing population. Nevertheless, we have found that Instagram is great for seeking and following inspiration.