In the past five years, Instagram has really taken the social media world by storm. While many of us post selfies and food pictures, photographers are using it to expose the masses to their personal and professional work.
Here is a list of five photographers from Wyoming you should be follwing on Instagram right now.
Follower count: 101,000 (estimated)
What you should know: Rush is a National Geographic contributor with a little over 100,000 followers.
For him, it’s surprising to be in this new generation of social media, since when he began taking photos, “distribution was kind of frowned upon” when photographers nailed a great shot.
The photos he posts may not be something he took recently, but he tries to keep them timely with the season, instead.
“I look at Instagram as a way to have your work be seen by people,” he said. “If you’re creating something, this is the perfect platform to show it.”
Follower count: 724
What you should know: A Laramie photographer, Spradley carefully plans out the photos for his Instagram account. Spradley said his main hope with his account is to encourage other people to get out and take photos, since “that’s the beauty of Instagram.”
He said the misconception with many photographers’ accounts is that they managed to get the perfect photo in one try. For him, he had to plan out where he’s going to go and shoot a week before he goes to take photos.
“Wyoming is absolutely gorgeous, so it makes my job really easy,” he said.
For Spradley, his favorite thing about Instagram is that it’s photos only.
“There’s no real stories, no opinions, (it doesn’t) get bogged down with all the garbage on Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “It’s just sharing your picture with the world. (That’s) the beauty of it: strictly visuals.”
Follower count: 1,878
What you should know: Jackson Hole-based photographer Glenn has had an Instagram account for a while, but has become a more frequent user over the past two years.
For the photos he uploads to Instagram, it’s a mix of shots he’s taken on trips or assignments and from when he’s out and about. Most of the photos on his account are from professional camera equipment, but there are some that came from his cell phone.
For him, he likes finding new artists, not just photographers, through Instagram. He said the social media site has helped him find new sources of inspiration.
“I think Instagram has opened photography to really everyone,” he said. “I think Instagram has been a great tool to find other creative people.
Follower count: 72,400 (estimated)
What you should know: Lander-based photographer Okraska said his Instagram account isn’t exactly reflective of his professional work.
With a multitude of landscape photos taken on his iPhone, Okraska has a wide portfolio on his website, but his account shows off shots from his travels. He occasionally gets photos of anything that strikes him, though.
He originally joined Instagram after one of his photography idols mentioned it in a blog, sparking his interest.
Self-described as “not much of a talker,” Okraska said he likes using Instagram because it gives his photos the opportunity to do his speaking for him. He said Instagram was a good opportunity to network with other photographers and get inspiration and ideas from them, as well. In his time since he’s been on Instagram, he’s gained over 70,000 followers, been mentioned in an Instagram blog and been a suggested user to follow three times.
“It’s a place where I can constantly put photography,” he said. “It helps me a lot because it gave me an outlet to focus on photography every single day.”
Follower count: 2,862
What you should know: Staff photographer at the Jackson Hole News and Guide, Dorgan originally started his account back in 2010, when he was in college.
Personally, he feels Instagram is a “great way to share personal work” for professional photographers. He said the website gives him the chance to share some of his photos that may not work for his assignments or in the newspaper.
He doesn’t plan out what his next post will be, but rather waits until he finds something that strikes him.
“I just wander and stop when I see something that catches my eye and shoot it in a creative way,” he said.
He feels Instagram has been a great way to keep up with the photojournalism community and to see outtakes and a more personal side to other photographers.
“Instagram has opened visual literacy for the masses,” Dorgan said.