Looking For Some Fresh Inspiration? Then Look No Further Than These 20 Prolific Photographers + Their Creative Instagram Feeds
#1: Natalia Seth | @escapingyouth
At first glance, Natalia Seth’s photos are strikingly beautiful. Look at little closer and you begin to realize the surreal scene in front of your eyes looks quite real – as if you brought a camera to capture scenes in a dream.
Natalia’s work is extensive and impressive. Her knowledge of light, form, color, and composition – as well as a mastery of photo manipulation – have led to a huge audience eager to experience more of her work.
At just 17 years old, Natalia clearly has many more ideas and inspiration to come. Being self-taught has helped her bend expectations and boundaries of photography often imposed on budding photographers who end up doing what everyone else does.
When asked about the subject of her photography, she says:
“When I started photography, I found more joy in photographing people in beautiful environments than solely nature or architecture. It gives the audience a more personal connection to the photo, a human and their environment, than only the environment alone.
[…] I was too shy to ask my friends to be my models, so I had my own little set up with my cheap digital camera, tripod and timer for self-portraits. Recently I have really enjoyed taking photos of my friends, it’s nice to have diversity in my work!”
#2: Jordan Hammond | @jordhammond
Another young photographer on our list, 23-year-old Jordan Hammond’s stunning travel photography has created a growing following on Instagram eager to see the places he visits and bask in their beauty.
Jordan developed a passion to pursue photography whilst spending a year abroad teaching English in China. He decided to use his savings to extend his travels all around the Asian subcontinents and hasn’t looked back.
Distinctive in their color vibrancy and luminosity, Jordan’s photographs have gathered him attention on Instagram as he continues his travels through mountains, rivers, deserts, beaches, and natural as well as concrete jungles. His girlfriend and travel companion, Sophia, is often a part of the beautiful scene.
To get the same look and vibrant color for your own photographs, Jordan now offers his own custom presets through FilterGrade (9 Lightroom presets in total). They work especially well for any outdoor or nature photography you’re looking to enhance by bringing out natural light and vibrant colors, like those on his amazing Instagram feed.
#3: Daniel Kordan | @danielkordan
Daniel Kordan’s breathtaking photography of the world’s natural wonders (many of them frozen landscapes in danger because of climate change) make it easy to browse through his Instagram feed for hours.
From icebergs and frozen tundra to blooming wildflowers and desert sunsets, Kordan captures the sort of epic landscapes and scenery the likes of Ansel Adams would admire. His photos of wildlife are worth a mention as well, especially his captures of the Camargue horses in the south of France.
To create such a large body of incredible work, timing has to be impeccable, and preparedness and planning are key. Kordan offers travel workshops for other photographers to help immerse them in his world and show them the skills it takes to capture and create stunning work in unpredictable environments. He also currently offers an extensive online tutorial on landscape photography, which outlines his precise workflow from preparing to post-processing, which is worth a look.
#4: Tobias Hägg | @airpixels
The word ethereal may come to mind when you happen upon the work of Tobias Hägg, the photographer behind Airpixels. His aerial photography captures light in stunning aerial views. Sometimes a tiny human figure can be spotted surfing in the waves of an ocean, or a small cabin can be seen emerging from a huge forest.
The impact from his images often comes from the huge sense of scale you feel when viewing gorgeous landscapes from high above. Humans seem so small in a world so vast.
Tobias is a photographer and filmmaker born and based in Eskilstuna, Sweden. His work and sense of adventure take him all around the world creating and publishing work for the likes of National Geographic and Daily Mail.
“I started my Instagram journey under the name of @airpixels and have since that day never looked back. I have been able to travel a lot during this time and i have a lot of interesting travels ahead of me.
My work is often inspired by nature and the beautiful things we usually take for granted. Behind every shot there is an idea of what i would like to accomplish and i hope you will find my work interesting.”
Through his website, you can also find a package of 5 presets Tobias has created and used himself for his work. Check them out here.
#5: Kiersten | @theblondeabroad
Kiki, the beauty and brains behind The Blonde Abroad, has an eye for perfectly timed photos, killer lighting and expert compositions.
Her travel and adventure photography would inspire anyone to hit the road (or the beach) and fulfill their travel fantasies.
But Kiki wasn’t always a jet-setting photographer-entrepreneur. Born in California (of course!), she left a promising career in corporate finance to fulfill her dreams of traveling the world. As of now, she’s been to over 50 countries and continues to knock goals off her bucket list while running her business.
“Like many people, I was taught to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Not once did I consider that chasing the societal idea of “success” would lead me to an unfulfilling and unhappy life. After graduating with honors and getting a job at a prestigious financial firm in LA, I soon realized I was living someone else’s dream. I left my career to travel the world, volunteer in developing countries, and discover my own happily ever after.”
#6: Freya Dowson | @freyadowson
Freya Dowson is a professional photographer who works around the world with people and causes she cares deeply about. Her gorgeous Instagram account reveals short stories and fascinating details about her life and approach to her craft.
Based in London, she frequently travels around the globe to shoot for projects, often in remote places with difficult conditions, such as the perilous coal mines of Chakwal, Pakistan. Her first big project started in Kenya, which she talks about on her blog:
“When I landed in Kenya I was terrified, I didn’t know why I had taken this project on and I certainly didn’t know much about what I was doing – but I had a vision for how I thought it should go and I just followed that. Funnily enough that first morning in Nairobi I went to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to visit the orphaned elephants and I thought “wouldn’t it be amazing if I could work for more charities like this one day – but that’ll probably never happen, how crazy would that be? That would be a dream job, I could never reach that far…” Now I’m typing this at Heathrow terminal 3 about to board a flight to go shoot for them. What is this life?! It just goes to show you can doubt yourself but still get things done anyway.”
Freya’s editing process changes depending on the photo and project it’s a part of. She recently filmed a tutorial on YouTube about how she uses her own custom Lightroom presets to get the look and feel she wants for her projects and her process for editing on her phone, which is definitely worth a look.
The inspiration to improve her photography started from her blog in the beginning, and by experimenting with getting the same looks she admired from her favorite bloggers and photographers. By deconstructing their editing process, Freya learned how to navigate the editing process with Lightroom and other tools, to re-create the composition and look of her own photos in a different context. Incorporating elements and styles from those she admired led to her discovery and cultivation of her own style and editing process.
#7: Victoria Siemer | @witchoria
Brooklyn-based Victoria Siemer’s Instagram account is full of photographic mystery with a hint of the supernatural. Going by the IG name Witchoria, her account has amassed nearly 200 thousand followers eager as we are to see more of her abstract and inventive style.
Victoria works predominantly in the digital realm as a visual artist, and her surreal photos reflect the themes she likes to explore and play around in (heartbreak, existential crisis).
According to Victoria, she chose the moniker “Witchoria” because “digital manipulation has given me the ability to create my own alternate realities where anything is possible. Sometimes it feels like magic.”
Her unique projects have been featured in a variety of digital publications including Wired, Juxtapoz, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and Business Insider. She graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a BFA in Communication Design.
#8: Glen Thomson | @glenthomsonphoto
Glen Thomson is an entrepreneur, vagabond, and travel photographer from New Zealand with an impressive roster of nearly 70 countries he’s visited around North America, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Oceania.
Hopping over to his Instagram, you’ll find broad, sweeping landscapes contrast with small, intimate scenes of everyday life in his photo feed. You can see these two passions at play in much of his work; sweeping vistas, landscapes, reverence for immense spaces – and the scenes of everyday life or wildlife close-ups that draw you into a moment in time told as a story.
Glen edits all his photos with Adobe Lightroom using a few select presets he’s found after much experimentation over the years. The Cinematic PRO FX – being his favorite and frequently used to create the signature look of his Instagram feed – can be found here through the Envato marketplace.
#9: Adam Senatori | @adamsenatori
Adam Senatori is a former U.S. airline pilot and Captain, as well as a photographer. His work is stunning and it’s not hard to realize why he now has an online following on Instagram approaching 1 million people.
After working for 7 years as a commercial airline pilot, he knew he needed a change and decided to follow another great passion of his: photography.
“You have to be willing to invest your life into something that you really care about”
“Don’t be afraid to take the jump”
Adam advises young photographers and creatives that hard work and persistence are the keys to creating a life doing work you love. Taking risks and putting yourself in places that may present you with opportunities are also what he says helped jumpstart his photography career.
It seems to have worked, with clients like Ray-Ban, General Electric, Louis Vuitton, Icelandair, and Oprah Magazine, Adam Senatori continues to create and inspire others with his work.
#10: Junanto Herdiawan | @junantoherdiawan
Next on our list is photographer Junanto Herdiawan (aka the Flying Traveler), a photographer/economist who works for Bank Indonesia in Surabaya and photographs free-floating subjects in his travels around the world.
Junanto is a living testament to creating a full life with somewhat disparate interests (economics and travel). Through his job, he’s able to travel and document his journeys with pen and camera. He even wrote a book about his experience working in Tokyo during the devastating earthquake that struck Japan in 2011.
In an interview for Road Trip Nation, Herdiawan says:
“Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of traveling around the world, so I found a job that makes it possible to travel. I like economics, so I got a degree in economics, and being at a company that has many branches worldwide gives me opportunities to see the world.
“I travel for fun and for work. At least twice a year, I travel with my family. And I go on business trips to many places. Each time I travel, I write about my experiences in my blog or journal and take pictures to share with friends. Writing is about sharing, and it keeps our brains active and sharp.”
#11: Nude Yoga Girl | @nude_yogagirl
Nude Yoga Girl (who remains decidedly anonymous), shows that you can take photographs – completely in the nude – while doing incredibly advanced yoga postures – in such a beautiful and tasteful way that you avoid tripping Instagram’s strict filters for nudity.
The result is an incredible body of work and over 600 thousand admiring fans. Most photographs are very minimalistic, highlighting the anatomically fascinating nature of her work.
Many photographs are taken in her home in Italy, or on a nearby secluded mountainside. NYG aims to inspire self-acceptance and body positivity through her work. Being a former model, she struggled with these things before finding herself again in yoga and creative photography. She is very open about discussing her struggles and achievements through her captions with her photos.
“I don’t want life to be a straight road, balanced line, stable or predictable. I prefer bends and waves, peaks and valleys. I prefer seeing and searching, turning around and finding. I’m not afraid of taking it all… sadness and joy, uncertainty and surprises, the unknown and new, challenges and successes. Because then I think life is an adventure. And a journey which is an adventure is always worthwhile itself.”
#12: Alex Prager | @alexprager
Alex Prager is an American art photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her work shows a behind-the-scenes tour of the art and culture world. Her film-like, hyper-real work is created primarily with the use of meticulously staged elements of scenery and light (mise en scène).
Prager began her photography practice after viewing the work of William Eggleston at the Getty Museum in 1999. Her work follows a very defined process that begins with a central idea or emotion. With her “Crowd” series, she began by shooting her women subjects singularly, to figure out the best lighting and intensity of their unique looks. Then she added more and more people into the frame, and finally worked on each individual’s costume.
When asked about her favorite street style photographers, she says:
“There’re so many: Weegee, Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden, Mark Cohen. Looking at their work is endless fun.”
Below is her response when asked about Instagram and her popularity on the platform:
“I love it. I think that if it gives people the opportunity to get work and recognition outside of the normal system, that’s great. I’ve also found images on Instagram and used them for inspiration in shoots. It does get a little addictive though, the Instagram vortex.”
#13: Kevin Russ | @kevinruss
Kevin Russ is the first photographer on our list who shoots exclusively with just an iPhone …and has the stunning work to prove that great photography is about more than just the equipment.
Russ’ work encompasses much of the American West …his penchant seems to be for high mountains and sprawling desert landscapes. With over 260 thousand followers on Instagram, and praise along the lines of “iPhone’s Ansel Adams,” Russ has certainly done a lot with a little.
Why an iPhone? While traveling and living on the road, he can shoot, process, and share his images right from a single device. He says that the iPhone’s camera has a narrow range, which seems to be ideal for capturing the muted tones in his photography. Behind this camera, though, lies his extensive commitment to spending months in capturing images in natural spaces, and years of experience honing his craft:
“Born & raised in California, moved to Oregon, went to college, bought a camera, dropped out of college, hit the road..”
#14: Dirk Bakker | @macenzo
Dirk Bakker is a graphic designer and photographer based in Amsterdam. His pattern-centric compositions invite you to see architecture in a whole new way.
Known as Macenzo on Instagram, Bakker composes his architectural images primarily with an iPhone 7, With his background in graphic design, you can see his affinity for lines, shapes, patterns, and form.
Capturing the image is only the beginning for Bakker:
“It’s no secret, I edit my pictures till I reach satisfaction,” Dirk said in an interview for Bored Panda. “For me, a picture is like a graphic design assignment – I edit or manipulate it until I find an interesting, exciting, and balanced image.”
Playing with the graphical elements allows Bakker to create a finished composition that’s unique to his vision and different from the concepts of other photographers who don’t work in graphic design.
In his hometown of Amsterdam, Bakker enjoys capturing the interesting architecture in new ways and from different angles. He enjoys “photo-cycling” – finding new ways to compose fascinating images of facades, cathedrals, bridges, streets, windows, and staircases. This results in normal, everyday surroundings transforming into works of sophisticated art.
#15: Darryll Jones | @darrylljones
Looking for a light-hearted, humorous take on photography? Look no further than Daryll Jones – the Instagram photographer best known for his delightful and amusing shots of toys in everyday life.
Jones’ images are very carefully composed and use lighting and lens work to bring ordinary plastic toys to life in their own life dramas and challenging situations. He primarily uses Star Wars characters (especially Stormtroopers), situated in interesting and often hilarious situations.
“Landscapes whizz by,
as Eric pushes on,
to the Isle of Skye,
Scotland and beyond,
The fuel tanks brimming full,
the roads are pretty bare,
he throttles it full on,
more speed with due care…”
#16: Marcus Rodriguez | @memoryweaver
Marcus Rodriguez, who goes by the name Memory Weaver on Instagram, creates stunning and complex compositions of still-lifes that draw the viewer into the scene. In his other life, he works as a web designer and developer in England, but as a talented photographer, he’s grown a significant following on Instagram with his work.
His passion for photography centers around his love of antiques and items with history, which he carefully arranges to highlight each object’s unique character. He also includes gorgeous baked treats in many of his photos, which really make you wish you could reach into the frame and try a taste.
#17: Sarah Palmer | @heysp
With over half a million followers, Sarah Palmer has clearly carved out a niche all her own on Instagram. The Bay Area based photographer, designer, and crafter loves creating rainbow-colored compositions with beautiful paper shapes and dappled crystalline light.
Palmer’s huge inner well of inspiration shines through in her creative photographs. Her expert paper-crafting skills lend to come very interesting, colorful shots of paper cities, larger-than-life sculptures, and many fascinating geometric patterns. In addition, her love of light and refraction shows with her creative use of crystals, prisms, and mirror objects. Her home serves as her playground/studio, where she documents her creations and discusses her life and work.
#18: Theron Humphrey | @thiswildidea
You might recognize a photo or two of Theron Humphrey’s work: his adorably creative images of Maddie, his dog, have gone viral several times. Maddie’s calm composure and acrobatic skills have made her and Theron Instagram celebrities, with over 1.2 million followers and counting.
Based in Idaho, Theron and Maddie have traveled all around the U.S. and other parts of the world, with Theron sharing incredible photos of their travels. One day on the road, Theron had the idea to take a photo of Maddie posed atop his truck, hoping she would oblige long enough to capture a quick memory with his camera. But he soon realized he had underestimated Maddie’s abilities.
After that, Maddie would happily pose on or in nearly any object or surface: cars, boats, chairs, basketball hoops, bicycles …even a fax machine! Now the pair travel for photography projects worldwide, and Bryan has recently released a book that captures Maddie and their adventures together.
“These days I like to think my photography exists somewhere between that country living and city ideals. Images with roots and connections but excited about big lights and tall buildings.”
#19: Bryan Daugherty | @bdorts
Based in Portland, OR, commercial and travel photographer Bryan Daugherty is behind the beautiful bdorts, an Instagram account devoted to stunning travel photography around his home in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
In an interview for 22 Slides, Bryan talks about discovering photography and building what was to become a career:
“I first got into photography about 3 years ago when I got my first iPhone. From that moment, I was hooked. Constantly taking photos and uploading them for my friends to see. I started to build relationships with the people around me who shared the same interests. I took any advice that I could and learned as much as possible. What started out as a hobby, became my passion and job.”
#20: Julie Lee | @julieskitchen
“I love delicious things. I love beautiful things. I love to create. I love to learn. This is where I share it and I hope you’ll join me.”
Julie Lee’s food collages started out as a way for her to showcase the delicious food from businesses and farmers markets in her area. Since then, her work has evolved to showcase her passion for composition, color theory, and a pure, unadulterated love for food.
Her photos are composed with a Canon 6D or an iPhone 5 in her “teeny” kitchen. She now works with big and small companies to help them create captivating imagery that showcases delicious food.
“Apple fritters are my favorite doughnut. Nooks, crannies, and all, they are perfectly imperfect. For years I worked with numbers. Now I work with words. Right brain left brain ping pong is what I call this. I’m also available for freelance photography, styling, and consulting projects too.”