July 7th, 2015
Staff Picks: 7 Instagram Accounts We’re Following
Members of the Aperture Foundation staff selected our favorite photography-related Instagram accounts of the moment, ranging from photographers to editors to public collections. Follow the Aperture Beat column on the app and online for regular staff picks about favorite readings, social media, and exhibitions.
Thomas Prior, a New York–based photographer whose work appears in Outside, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the California Sunday Magazine, uses Instagram to capture moments from his travels and projects. I’ve been an avid fan-follower of his account since last summer, when he was shooting a series on handball courts in New York City. In Handball (2014), sculpted bodies play against white concrete, the shadows poetically quiet but full of tension; these naturally lit, uncanny images captured with a sharp eye quickly made this account unforgettable and one of my favorites. —Mariah Tyler, Editorial Work Scholar
The Instagram for the New York Public Library is widely followed, but perhaps lesser known, and far more idiosyncratic and irreverent, is the account for the NYPL Picture Collection. The trove contains more than one million images from mostly pre-1923 periodicals, as well as original photographs, prints, and postcards. More than thirty thousand of these have been digitized and are available through the library’s website, and the accompanying Instagram features oddities such as vintage fabric samples, baseball cards from 1889, and FSA photographs by Dorothea Lange. Also notable is that the library currently has a major photography exhibition on view through September, of selections from its vast collection of 175 years worth of photography. —Alexandra Pechman, Online Editor
The booksellers of Dover Street Market have an excellently curated selection of fashion books, kitschy architecture books, photography books, and design titles. Sometimes, rare Aperture titles will pop up! A must-follow for collectors. —Elena Tarchi, publicity and events associate
Sam Morrison’s feed invites followers to travel the world alongside him. A photographer and social media enthusiast who works at Kaltura, an online video TK, we originally studied photography together at the iSchool at Syracuse University. In 2011, his father challenged him 100 dollars to do a back flip every day of the year, so Sam posted his flip pictures online daily; after he won the bet, Sam made a life goal to do a back flip on each continent. Sam’s style has evolved since we were students photographing each other in banal settings while dreaming of travel. His passion for social media is inspiring to me; it’s no wonder that he found his job with Kaltura through Instagram. –Beatrice Schachenmayr, Development Work Scholar
It’s rare to find a photographer whose work I like to have an Instagram that’s equally interesting. Noah Kalina’s feed is a mix of repeating landscapes and photos from behind the scenes of a traveling editorial photographer, all while not taking himself too seriously (it is Instagram, after all).—Max Mikulecky, Digital Marketing Assistant
Although I’ve seen people utilize “the grid” on Instagram, Melissa Spitz takes this to another level. Spitz almost always posts three or more photos at a time to achieve a grid of perfect larger photos. Sometimes the bigger picture is made up of twelve or more Instagrams: it’s well worth it in the gallery view. Her entire Instagram account is devoted to a single body of work documenting her mentally ill mother. —M.M.
When someone complains to me that Instagram is nothing more than a platform for narcissistic rituals or a frivolous trade in pictures of about-to-be-consumed meals and insipid feline adventures, I’ll point them to Jennifer Higgie’s feed. Higgie, a coeditor of Frieze, posts portraits of artists (all are women) on the day of their birth. Each is accompanied by a deep caption, rich in biographical detail, which includes a captivatingly compressed narrative of a fascinating life. Higgie’s posts on figures ranging from writer Flannery O’Connor, photojournalist Hansel Mieth, or the electronic music composer Delia Derbyshire—to name just three of her more than one thousand posts—often end with the command “Bow Down.” Instagrammers should be directed to do the same before Higgie, whose feed proves that this platform can be as rich as you want it to be. —Michael Famighetti, editor of Aperture magazine