Instagram is one of the most dominant social media platforms out there today.
And while it may be home to some dank meme pages, the photo-sharing app is also used by some fantastic outdoor photographers.
Following them comes with a certain risk though, as seeing their perfectly curated feeds blossoming with awe-inspiring snapshots from scenic lands all around the world is sure to trigger your wanderlust.
That being said, I love following these talented photographers because they inspire you to get out and see the world.
If you’re looking for some accounts to follow that will help bring some more beauty to your Instagram feed, here are a few of my favorite outdoor photographers.
I can’t say enough about this guy. He is hands down one of the most talented photographers out there today.
Whether it’s an aerial shot that gives you a birds-eye-view of Hawaii’s coastal mountains or beach view of surfers riding waves in Alaska, Burkard impresses with every single Instagram post.
What separates Burkard from a lot of other photographers on Instagram is that his feed contains such a wide variety of images. Rarely do two photos look the same, which is more than one can say for a lot of other photographers on the app.
If you like what you see on his profile, make sure to check out his short documentary on Netflix, “Under the Arctic Sky,” where you’ll get a behind the scenes look at one of his most famous photos.
Bertie Gregory is a man who is truly committed to his craft. As documented in his Wildlife series with National Geographic — which you can watch here — Gregory goes all out when it comes to capturing videos and images of wild animals. On camera, he is energetic and always positive, which makes him a very engaging host.
But his images are up there in quality as well, as his feed is full of close encounters with moments that few have been fortunate enough to see.
Mittermeier is a co-founder of SeaLegacy, a nonprofit that works towards building a healthy future for our oceans.
Her photography and the images she captures bring awareness to our impact on the environment. And this means that Mittermeier’s Instagram feed occasionally features images that are difficult to look at (and they might piss you off too). But that’s kind of the point.
While the world is certainly beautiful to look at — as well as the creatures that inhabit it — right now there is a lot of harm done to these animals by humans. And Mittermeier sheds light on this fact.
Minnesota native, mountain climber, skier, and all around bad ass Jimmy Chin is next on this list.
His images will have one of the two following effects on you:
1.) You’ll be inspired to climb the next big mountain in your life (metaphorical or literal)
2.) You’ll experience an overwhelming sense of vertigo.
For a man who spends a considerable amount of time thousands of feet in the air hanging over cliff edges, the images above and below are just another day on the job. But for other people — y’know, those who don’t scale 15,000-foot mountains — his photographs offer a glimpse of the world from a completely new perspective.
Paul Nicklen is the other co-founder of SeaLegacy and he too uses his platform as a photographer to document and share some of the harsher realities of a world where people and animals are having a hard time coexisting.
But he also has some extraordinary stories about his interactions with the animals he photographs — like the one in the post above — and his expertise in his field makes him a must follow for all animal lovers out there.
I know that 130k followers is a lot, but I’m honestly surprised that Billings doesn’t have 10x that amount for how stunning his images are. And yes, it helps that what he is shooting is nothing short of a geological marvel, his talent is undeniable.
His feed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing ones to scroll through and he also often sports a mustache which I definitely appreciate.
Ami Vitale’s Instagram has a wide assortment of images — including intimate photos of African villagers and animals.
But perhaps her best photos are those that show the local men and women who work as wildlife keepers interacting with critters of all shapes and sizes. Her photos show the relationships between these animal caretakers and those that they are helping, who can’t help themselves.