Just out for a stroll with the family. #myjasper #explorealberta
This week, people around the world are celebrating Instagram’s 4th birthday! Over the past couple of years, it’s become my go-to app for whenever I’m looking for creative inspiration and it’s even helped me get out of the house when I’m feeling a touch of cabin fever on those cold Alberta days. Through Instagram, I’ve been able to meet some amazing photographers who are from right her in Albert and since their photos I so amazing, I decided to ask some of my favourite Instagrammers, who have a combined total of 227,000 followers, just how they do it? Here’s what they had to say! Feel free to leave the names of your favourite Instagrammers in the comments, I’m always looking for new people to follow!
Jeff Bartlett is an adventure freelance photographer and writer based in Jasper National Park, AB. (Fun fact, we went to the same high school in New Brunswick, but we didn’t realize that until long after I was of his biggest fans.) With more than 26k followers, he’s become the go-to guy in the for unbelievable shots that stay with you long after you’ve clicked the “like” button.
I am in Moab, MTB riding like a lunatic. I’ll be offline until Sunday evening. Until then, enjoy the view from my tent!
Don’t be Too Consistent: Post what you shoot, not what your followers love. I use Instagram to showcase my travels; however, I spend most of my time in Alberta and surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. When I road tripped to Oregon and California last year, I found my initial images weren’t too popular. My followers had become accustomed to only seeing epic mountain scenery – think mountains reflected in emerald-green lakes. Now, I am more selective when I post, as I like to keep things varied enough so my followers always look forward to the next image, rather than simply the next photo of the Canadian Rockies.
Sunset, stars, and sunrise. This #explorealberta trip is turning into a coffee-fuelled photography endurance trip and I love every moment! This is Two Jacks Lake in Banff National Park, shot last night at midnight.
Be Really Consistent: It takes time and energy to build a “successful” instagram feed. I find the biggest thing is to treat it like a community, not publicity or a popularity contest. I post like clockwork – every morning before 10AM, but I am equally diligent to engage with other photographers/instagrammers whose work I like, with my audience, and I respond to almost every comment on my photos. I love the friendships/relationships I’ve built in this little pocket world and I think that sentiment has to be genuine.
Mike Seehagal is a photographer and motion designer based in Calgary. And while I have no idea what a motion designer is, what I do know is that Mike is 33% of The Great North Collective, which is a group of guys that have been working some fantastic brands and really changing the way companies market nowadays. Me, along with Mike’s 59,000 followers always look forward to his scenic photography.
Hope you all had a good long weekend. #greatnorthcollective
Surround yourself with what you want to take photos of. It will help keep you inspired and motivated to learn, and train your eye to look for great photos, concentrate on light, and play around with what does and doesn’t work well for you. And don’t compare your work too much to others, but do continue to look at great work and learn from it.
Concentrate on creating a mood or emotion with a photo. Think about how the subject, color, and expression all work together to create a mood. Post processing is important and fun, play around with what can help you achieve the look you are after. Take photos as often as you can. Share them with others and listen to feedback, but don’t allow it to directly shape what you want to create. [divider] [/divider]
Chris Amat is another designer and photographer based out of Calgary, he happens to also be another 33% percent of the Great North Collective. Some of my favourite photos of Chris’ are when he plays with light, which he uses to help envision the final product.
Heading up into the clouds at @mtnorquay #greatnorthcollective View on Instagram
Edit:There are some great apps on our phones now that can get your images just right. Editing also helps you create your own aesthetic and brings a cohesive feel to your account. My go-to apps are VSCOCam and Snapseed.
#greatnorthcollective View on Instagram
Connect with the community Find people that are doing things that inspire you and reach out to them. The friends I have made through the Instagram community have been some of the most important connections I have made. Whether they are helping me grow my craft or pushing me out of my comfort zone they have been a huge impact on my recent success. I am very fortunate to have met the people I have met. Be yourself – Thanks for that tip mom- but seriously don’t make likes and followers the reason you post. Do it for yourself.
Lori Andrews was the first Instagrammer that might and I lucked out because she is one of the best. She is both a interior designer and photographer. She’s been able to turn her account into booking design clients and a few minutes on her profile, you can see why. I love how clean and crisp her photos are. They’re beautiful.
It’s all about separating the foreground from the background. That’s it! Here are three examples to illustrate what I mean. Place a person, animal or cool object in the foreground to give a sense of scale to the landscape. If you want to show what a grand vista you are looking at, it helps if the viewer can get a sense of scale. An object or person in the foreground accomplishes this while adding subject matter. Lets be honest, not all great views translate well in your phone camera but if you simply add a little human interest you suddenly give your image a story that the viewer can interprete and therefore insert themselves in the story.
The very last. It’s time. Can’t wait for my next adventure. #spiritisland #Jasper #malignelake
In this photo, I framed my image with the tree branches that were around me. Don’t forget about the edges of your photo! This photo works specifically because I have used the trees around me to frame the foreground of the image.
I first discovered Jeffrey Spackman‘s account (his username is his last name backwards) because of all his beautiful photos of Waterton, which is arguably Alberta’s most beautiful town. Since meeting him earlier this year, I’ve become a big fan of his work because he can take a something that I feel like I’ve seen a million times before and capture something completely original and beautiful.
Go outside. #lakelouise
Learn to use light. Experiment with it. Shoot into the sun. Shoot into shadow. Shoot in the morning and in the middle of the night. Learn how the moon light affects your shooting. Think about clouds, reflections, textures. Be patient. Wait for your light. Try new things and learn to manipulate it and control it. Photography is the capturing of light, what better thing to understand.
Alberta, where the stars can still be seen like they were meant to be seen. @TravelAlberta This is Spirit Island on Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. Yes, this is a real place, a real reflection and a real photo. We could not have asked for a more perfect night to paddle out and photograph the island. The sun went down and the clouds opened up to give us a view that we could not have anticipated. @ChrisBurkard was in his element, and couldn’t believe his eyes. There just aren’t a lot of places like this left, that feel so untouched and where the stars come out in all their glory. What an adventure. Just another reason I love to live here. #explorealberta #explorecanada #malignelake #spiritisland
Learn to use your editing tools. You don’t have to be a computer wiz or anything, whatever you edit with, learn everything about it and keep learning. In many cases it’s going to be your iPhone, that’s how I learned. I downloaded literally every single photo app I could and played around with them constantly. Decide what you like best and then mess around with it all the time. At no point should you stop trying to understand your tools. Again, TRY NEW THINGS. Don’t get stuck editing the same way. Things don’t have to be scrutinized and edited to the tiniest detail. Very slight edits, if done right, will make a photo come alive and change the whole feel.