On the eve of World Photography Day, we pick 14 Instagram photographers who inspire us to take up the camera 


  • Published 18.08.18

Photographer: Maya Beano

Based in: Cambridge, UK (originally from Amman, Jordan)

Username: @mayabeano

Number of followers: 68.4k

Website: mayabeano.com

Signature style: Surrealism with heightened pinks and blues

Why we love her: Maya has an extraordinary way of looking at ordinary things, transforming entire landscapes into surreal dreamscapes of shocking colours and floating shadows. We love the way she turns mundane everyday things into art.

Who: Olimpia Davies

Based in: Chester, England

Username: @olimpia_davies

Number of followers: 3k

Website: artisanfoodphotography.com

Photography subject: Food

Why we love her: Olimpia is a food stylist and we absolutely adore how she makes even ordinary food, like these cherry popsicles, look gourmet through her pictures. We also love how she styles both fresh and cooked food, and proves the old saying true: we really do eat with our eyes first!

Who: Chris Burkard

Based in: Pismo Beach, California

Username: @chrisburkard

Number of followers: 3.1m

Website: chrisburkard.com

Photography style: Vast aerial landscape shots, often nocturnal ones

Why we love him: Nobody captures the beauty and the expanse of nature quite like he does. We love how he sometimes combines several shots to create images like the one above. 

Who: Emma Tempest

Based in: London/New York

Username: @emstempest

Number of followers: 44.1k

Website: emmatempest.com

Photography style: Unique portraits

Why we love her: She’s shot for various international magazines but her best work is still her self-portraits or personal portraits of her friends and models taken in between shots, such as this one. Her avante-garde approach to portraits is visually breathtaking, and she creates it all with very simple props —such as a single plastic sheet! 

Who: Tobi Shinobi

Based in: London/Chicago

Username: @tobishinobi

Number of followers: 137k

Website: tobishinobi.com

Photography style: Urban architectural symmetry

Why we love him: Tobi refuses to share the locations of his shoots, because he wants us to go exploring for ourselves and find the patterns in the city around us. We love the dark tones of his pictures, and we also love how he not only inspires us but also encourages us to become creators ourselves. 

Who: Daniel Rueda

Based in: Valencia, Spain

Username: @drcuerda

Number of followers: 393k

Website: danielrueda.net

Photography style: Bright, colourful optical illusions

Why we love him: He and his partner, artist Anna Devis, did a photo series in which they found architectural quirks in buildings in and around their hometown and places of travel, and posed with them. We love the whimsical photo series and the way in which they utilised already existing patterns of colours in buildings. 

Who: Nicholas Scarpinato

Based in: Los Angeles

Username: @nicholasscarpinato

Number of followers: 41.9k

Website: nicholasscarpinato.com

Photography style: Pastel-coloured surrealist photos with the strongest element being nature

Why we love him: Nicholas’s photos create an otherworldly realm in our own reality with his use of  colour. His distortion of our perspective of the world, in the most artistic way, is inspiring. 

Who: Damon Baker

Based in: New York City

Username: @damon_baker

Number of followers: 522k

Photography style: Black and white portraits

Why we love him: Damon has taken intuitive, insightful portraits of our fave celebs, like this one of actor Cole Sprouse (above). We love the chiaroscuro in his images and their charcoal sketch-like look. 

Who: Tony Kelly

Based in: Los Angeles

Username: @tonykellyworld

Number of followers: 212k

Website: tonykellyworld.com

Photography style: Surrealist glamour

Why we love him: He plays with perspective to create surreal, sensual images of the glamorous world of Hollywood, often playing with nudity. Many of his pictures feature shades of the colour red — the colour of starlets and divas, and they all have the element of surprise.

Who: Brandon Woelfel

Based in: New York

Username: @brandonwoelfel

Number of followers: 2.3m

Website: brandonwoelfel.com

Photography style: Bokeh Why we love him: He creates starry images with string lights and other props, and, what’s better, he shares the raw footage before the editing process and the finished product as well in his stories, so we know how to replicate it by ourselves. 

Who: Sarah Palmer

Based in: San Francisco

Username: @heysp

Number of followers: 483k

Website: heysp.com

Photography style: Object photography with bright, solid-coloured backgrounds

Why we love her: We absolutely adore her #36daysoftype series, in which she creates letters of the alphabet with objects whose names start with the letter — for example, D for dominoes, M for matches or N for nickels. Her pictures are cheerful and innovative.

Who: Yener Torun

Based in: Istanbul

Username: @cimkedi

Number of followers: 153k

Website: yenertorun.net

Photography style: Architectural patterns with bright colours

Why we love him: Yener’s use of colour is simply brilliant and we love how he manages to spot unique geometric patterns in the existing architecture of his city. From composition to framing to editing, his work is superb and inspiring. 

Who: Hiroaki Fukuda

Based in:  Tokyo

Username: @hirozzzz

Number of followers: 560k

Website: hiro.photo

Photography style: Layered images with enhanced colours

Why we love him: He frames all his subjects within several separate backgrounds and foregrounds, creating layers of distances from the viewer’s perspective in all his shots. We love how bright and sharp the colours are, making the images so life-like that we feel like we’re stepping into the photograph! He’s even shot music stars like A$AP Rocky.  

Who: Jennifer Medrano

Based in: Washington

Username: @wat.ki

Number of followers: 534k

Photography subject: Pets

Why we love her: Who can not love the adorable gang of Watson, the English cream labrador retriever, his best friend Kiko, Harry the cat and London the hedgehog? Jennifer showers them with love and regularly discusses their personalities via her stories. We love her genuine concern for her furry friends and we adore watching their happy adventures!

Text: Rushati Mukherjee