Instagram is a f**king lot! The thirst trapping, dress selling, hair peddling, tea spilling, slapsticking — there’s action down every scroll. With so many videos, memes and boomerangs brewing from social networks, it’s easy to forget that Instagram started simply as a personal photo sharing site. I want to take it back to the early days and focus on the heart of Instagram: the photographers. Here are 10 dope Black picture taking pros you should follow on Instagram ASAP. Your eyes will thank me later.
Nadine, a London-based fashion and portrait photographer, delivers beauty with a dash of quirk. Her work immediately transports you into her dreamy world, where the subjects are stylish, assured and in your face. Nadine’s simple photos always lean a bit to the left, and at times, pack strange surprises.
Lamarr, like Nadine, is also from London and the city is, by all means, his playground. He shoots astonishing images of the place and also free runs around it. Mostly taken high in the skies of not only London, but other urban city landscapes around the world, Lamarr’s fearless shots often have me in awe while also hyperventilating like watching a super pregnant Beyoncé magically lean back in a tiny ass chair.
Elton is a photographer that does portraits, product campaigns, magazine covers - the man is on his damn grind. His Instagram is fun to peruse because not only does he showcase his gorgeous work (he makes Black look so cool and beautiful, as it should be), but he also documents his world travels and fun times with his friends. The cherry on top of it all is that he is fine AF and is always in some random country shirtless. Great photography and a thirst trap all wrapped up in one!
Uniquely diverting from shooting celebs and doing commercial work, Alonzo’s photography is more concept based. He conceives photo projects that he hopes connects with the viewer. His 100 Everyday Strangers photo series documents his 13-month journey of encounters with random people all over the United States. He shoots a portrait of each person and they tell a story about themselves (my favorite is "Taniesha").
He’s heading to Brazil soon to make the Everyday Strangers project international, but instead of just copping a passport and dipping to South America, he decided to learn the language too. Are you inspired yet?
When I look at Isi’s work, I feel like I’m looking at hundreds of challenges from the prime days of the TV show, America’s Next Top Model, but without the corn. Isi is a fashion photographer who lets simplicity shine through in a major way. His photos have an undeniable editorial sheen to them that could effortlessly fit into Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar or Cosmopolitan. If his photos had a scent, I would smell Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. Fresh, modern and classic.
Shawn has an unmistakable style. He mixes bright colors with dark shadows to create killer moods focused around Black people. The aesthetic is slick and I want a print (or four) to hang on the living room wall of my future New York City condo. You will as well.
Greg is that person who is everywhere doing everything - and thank God he is because the images he captures at different events around the United States, (mostly music events) makes me feel like I’m getting a front row seat. He effortlessly captures the feeling of the moment and the heart of the people in that moment. You’ll be screaming, “Take me with you next time Greg!”, after you explore his Instagram feed.
I have a confession. Adrienne was a bit of a lazy pick on my part. Homegirl is on EVERYBODY’S best of Instagram list, but deservingly so. The pictures she takes stop me in my tracks. She can make a pair of shades on a leaf look dazzling, and if that is not talent, then what is?
Her work is seriously bold with a bit of a feminine touch. After checking out her profile, you’ll sit with anticipation for her to upload the next masterpiece.
This guy is a bit of an enigma. No website, no name, no location (I assume he’s in New York City). But his photos are far from a mystery. @properperspective takes pictures of real life and you feel so much authenticity in each shot. Sometimes he posts images of subtle human things, like a fashionista strolling down Broadway or people stretching their arms to hold a pole on the subway. Other times, he captures bigger moments such as the Women’s March in DC. No matter what his shot is, he always keeps it 100 percent real.
Awol is the photographer that took the (now iconic) pregnancy announcement pics of Beyoncé . That was not his first time at the rodeo, though. Awol has been poppin’ for years shooting for big publications like The New Yorker (which featured his portrait of actress Viola Davis). Beyond a photographer, he considers himself an all around artist, creating music alongside his visual art. His Instagram is private (why?), but he seems to be taking requests. He has over 20k followers.
Do you know any other amazing black photographers on Instagram? Drop their handle in comments so we can continue to explore!