The 20 Best Travel Instagrams Every Photographer Should FollowSeptember 19, 2018
Photography is a fun hobby for a lot of people, and a successful career for others. Becoming a better photographer takes a lot of practice and requires an understanding of basic techniques, such as the rule of threes, exposure triangle, and framing composition. Another great way to learn is to simply study the work of today’s popular and successful photographers.
When it comes to finding talented photographers, there’s no better place to look than social media— especially the travel Instagrams. These Instagram accounts that focus on travel are especially insightful, because of the way each photo is designed to tell a story and invoke a sense of adventure and an appreciation of the beauty all around us.
The 20 Best Travel Instagrams Every Photographer Should Follow
The number of impressive travel Instagrams are nearly endless. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 travel Instagrams that every photographer should follow.
Best All-Around Travel Instagrams
If you’re looking for epic, gorgeous nature and adventure shots, photographer Chris Burkard is your guy. Burkard travels throughout the year and, according to his website, “works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.” Burkard’s account, which has attracted over three million followers, includes stunning photos of surfers, climbers, skiers, and National Geographic-worthy natural scenes.
Passion Passport is one of the most beautifully curated collections of Instagram travel photos. And, with almost one million followers, it’s also become one of the most popular travel accounts. According to their website, Passion Passport is a “community of explorers, creators, and storytellers from around the globe,” and their platform “provides the opportunity to connect with one another, to share those pivotal moments, and to travel with purpose.”
The site often features photos taken by amateur photographers with a great eye and an interesting story to tell. They also have contests for the best photo based on a variety of random themes, such as photos featuring roads, libraries, or the color orange. The contests are judged by other Instagram travel photographers.
“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”
– Randy Komisar
@berlinstagram is the Instagram account of Berlin-based photographer Michael Schulz. His account name is fitting, as Instagram is where Schulz’s photography journey started—he started taking pictures just two weeks after the app was officially released, in October 2010.
Just eight years later and Schulz has almost half a million Instagram followers. His account features stunning photos of Schulz’s travels around the world, from monks in Thailand to Naples street scenes to beautifully-composed drone shots.
If you love minimalism, natural light, and muted colors, follow @carleyscamera. The photographer behind the account, Carley Rudd, is self-taught, and, according to her website, “her breezy photographic style lends itself perfectly to travel photography that evokes a feeling of blissful escapism.” She has been featured in popular magazines, such as Condé Nast Traveller, Afar, Travel + Leisure, Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Suitcase, and more.
Top Europe Travel Instagrams
Portuguese photographer João Bernardino’s account focuses on old industrial infrastructure, depicting scenes that show the conflict between man vs. nature and the shift from the industrial age to the modern world. His photos feature subjects such as ports, shipping containers, factories, and trains. He uses a minimal color range—many photos are bleached with heavy use of orange and blue tones.
Bernardino uses a Fujifilm x-t20 and several Fujinon lenses, including a 10-24mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, and 56mm. When he travels, he edits his photos with an iPad.
For Iceland-based photographer Benjamin Hardman, a trip to the Arctic five years ago ignited a passion for icy landscapes, and he has been documenting the world’s polar regions ever since. Hardman has a specific focus on glaciers, aiming to “convey the fragility and transitory intricacies of glacial ice amidst the current period of accelerated retraction and a changing global climate,” as he says on his website.
Follow Hardman for stunning photos of icy mountains, furry Arctic inhabitants, glaciers jutting out the sea, and other spectacular scenes from Iceland and Greenland.
“The journey, not the arrival matters.”
At 23 years old, photographer Jorge Alva travels through Europe and takes amazing photographs of architecture and various man-made constructions. He’s incredibly skilled at using urban settings to tell a story and invoke a variety of emotions. His approach to photography is creative. For example, instead of simply taking a photo of a city skyscraper, Alva will focus on a reflection found on the surface of the building’s exterior. His artistic approach to visual storytelling reminds us all that we are simultaneously connected, yet isolated from all the people and places on the planet.
His use of complementary colors is well worth noting. Jorge Alva has a knack for capturing Europe’s urban settings in a way that brings out and unites the color of buildings, homes, the sky, roads, and even the vehicles we drive, and portrays an almost surreal balance between nature and human construction.
Best Travel Couple Instagrams
Traveling couple Andrew and Emily are passionate travelers and photographers, and it shows. These two have traveled to destinations such as Spain, Morocco, Italy, Canada, Zanzibar, Malawi, and many more. And in addition to taking gorgeous photos, they also have an award-winning travel blog filled with travel tips and stories from their adventures.
Through their Instagram account, @uncornered_market, and website, Husband-and-wife travelers Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott believe in the importance of sharing stories as a way to connect with others around the world and respecting the people and places you come into contact with as a traveler. Their Instagram account includes pictures of destinations like Comoros, Madagascar, Peru, and Sri Lanka and their website offers great travel tips, food guides, and stories.
Best California Travel Instagrams
California lovers should definitely follow @californiathroughmylens, a collection of photos of beautiful California destinations taken by various photographers. And if you’re looking for more than just images, California Through My Lens is also a website featuring articles on everything from information on the Golden State’s national parks, hikes, beaches, and drives to delicious California eats. It’s a one-stop-shop for all things California.
Surfers at sunset, Swiss mountaintops, and aerial shots of faraway islands are just some of the themes you’ll encounter in Eric Rubens’ Instagram account, @erubes1. Rubens is a Southern California-based photographer and videographer, and his love of SoCal is evident in his photos. Rubens is sponsored by Sony Alpha and his past clients have included major car companies, hotels, airlines, and tourism boards.
Top Travel Accounts for Off-The-Beaten-Path Locations
@chaiwalla is the Instagram account of Allan Edward Hinton, who, according to his bio, quit his office job in London, sold his belongings, and has been traveling for the past four years. This appears to have been a good decision—Hinton’s photos are fantastic and original, featuring unique compositions, rich colors, and great snaps of local people.
An early adopter of Instagram (joining in 2011), Hinton has amassed over 165,000 followers. He also has a great photography, travel, and lifestyle blog where he offers city guides, talks about equipment, and more.
If vibrant images of off-the-beaten-path places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran are your thing, follow @lostwithpurpose, an account run by American traveler Alex. Not only are her photos awesome, but she has a great website too, featuring articles on topics such as the best cafés in Cartagena for digital nomads, 10 experiences to have in Pakistan, a guide to solo female travel in Bangladesh, and how she pays for her travels.
Alex shoots with a Sony a7RII mirrorless camera. Want to learn more? Check out her advice on cameras for travel photographers here.
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”
– Lin Yutang
@easternsuns is the account of Jonathon Collins, an environmental scientist whose photos are up there with the best travel photographers on Instagram. Not only does Collins take stunning photos, but his captions are also informative and beautifully written, giving viewers a unique insight into the destination and subject. Collins says his work aims to “showcase that every corner of the world has a story to tell.”
One of Collins’ favorite photographs is of a girl on a 24-hour ferry in Bangladesh. The rain had just begun to fall, and Collins looked down to see the girl’s hands outstretched as she reached out to feel the raindrops. On her left hand is a henna tattoo of the sun.
@travelnoire provides resources for the “unconventional traveler” with the hopes of inspiring others to get out and explore. Their contributors are carefully selected from the African diaspora and live (and travel) all over the world, including countries such as the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Cuba, the Maldives, Fiji, and more. The @travelnoire Instagram account is filled with vibrant colors and epic shots.
Best Nature Travel Instagrams
With almost 800,000 followers, Munich-based Jannik Obenhoff has one of the most popular Instagram travel accounts. And at just 18 years old, he’s also one of the most talented young photographers out there. He was even featured as one of the 100 most photography-related influencers on the internet. Follow his account for fantastic landscape shots from various places around the globe taken from both the ground and air.
Quin Schrock of @everchanginghorizon is an adventure and lifestyle photographer based in Southern California and Maui. According to his website, Schrock’s style “captures the intrepid human spirit engaging with diverse, remote, and off the beaten path landscapes.” These landscapes come alive in Schrock’s photos, which are truly some of the most spectacular travel photos on Instagram. His work has brought him over 800,000 followers. Schrock often uses a Sony a7Rii with a 16-35mm lens.
Seattle-based photographer Cody Cobb takes photos which, according to his website, “attempt to capture brief moments of stillness from the chaos of nature.” His photos feature stunning natural formations and gorgeous lighting. To get these shots, Cobb wanders the outdoors alone for weeks at a time, which “allows for more sensitive observations of both the external landscape as well as the internal experience of solitude.”
Cobb uses both digital and film cameras, recently gravitating towards a combination of a Ricoh GR digital and a Mamiya 7II; he tends to shoot with prime lenses between 25mm and 55mm.
Travel photographer Jack Harding’s Instagram account is filled with gorgeous, moody nature shots, captured with both hand-held cameras and drones. Live vicariously through Harding as he documents incredible spots in countries such as Norway, Canada, the French Pyrenees, and Scotland.
Harding uses a Sony Alpha A7Rii and A7iii; Carl Zeiss Batis 18mm 2.8, 25mm F2.0, F1.8 85mm, Zeiss Distagon 35mm 1.4, and Sony GM 2.8 70-200 lenses, DJI Phantom 4 Professional + and DJI Mavic Pro 2 drones, and a DJI Ronin-S stabilizer.
@andrewknapp features perhaps the best-known traveling canine on Instagram, Momo. Momo and his human companion, Andrew Knapp, travel across the U.S. and Europe having all kinds of fun—and beautifully-photographed—adventures. Through a clever use of travel hashtags, such as #FindMomo and #shakeadeal, Knapp and Momo have risen to fame. Knapp’s #FindMomo hashtag series is extremely popular, and features Momo hiding behind trees, lurking in bushes, and peeking out from open windows. When Momo isn’t hiding, he’s the (very visible) subject of some awesome shots.
It’s Travel Time!
Booked a flight yet? If you’re like us, you’ve probably quit your full-time job, grabbed your camera duffel, and are halfway to the airport by now. We hope these travel Instagram accounts inspire you to get out and explore more of the world, keep shooting photos, and in turn inspire others to hit the road, too.
The are many steps to take on your journey to improve your photography skills. Observing the work of talented photographers and travel bloggers is a great way to learn a variety of photography techniques, and gain travel inspiration to capture your own amazing sights. You’ll have the next big travel Instagram in no time.
Bon voyage, and happy shooting!