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instagram photographers

Photo by @nicholas_skylar

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20 local Instagram photographers you should be following

May is National Photo Month. Recognized by Congress in 1987, organizations like the American Photography Association celebrate the skilled image takers + makers who provide snapshots of life around us.

Luckily, we have a long roll of local talent to admire (not to mention a beautiful city to capture). Plus with the ever-popular Instagram, we now have an easy + convenient way to show our loveby double-tapping on their accounts.

In recognition of NPM, check out some of our regional Instagram favorites that we can’t shutter up about + be sure to give them a follow.


📸 @chucktownart (LeeAnn Neumann) // Avid artist + photographer of nature + people


📸 @loudhandleproductions (Frank Messuri) // Charleston-based landscape, real estate, + aerial photographer


📸 @livehighvibe (Ben + Schanen Smith) // Videographers chasing adventure, food, + experiences


📸 @hue_and_eye_photography (Doug Hickok) // Commercial, destination, + landscapes


📸 @nicholas_skylar (Nicholas Skylar) // Lowcountry landscapes


📸 @follyhood (Justin Morris) // Surf, water, + light captures


📸 @joshuadrakephoto (Joshua Drake) // Aerial, industrial, + landscapes


📸 @barnfly (John Barnhardt) // Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer


📸 @vincentjmusi (Vincent J Musi) // Animal photographer for National Geographic + The Unleashed Studio


📸 @gosia_in_wonderland // Beauty chaser

Just so we hit the full spectrum, make sure to explore this extra montage of camera-savvy locals:

📸 @holy_city_lights // Colorful photography of historic Charleston

📸 @judyondewees // Dewees Island nature lover

📸 @station28.5 // Aerial drone images of Sullivan’s Island + the Lowcountry

📸 @abcdefghijulie // Sunsets, landscapes, + beach photography

📸 @kimgrahamphoto // People, places, + happiness

📸 @thecuratedsouth // Travel + nostalgia

📸 @anerisphotos // Lifestyle, brand, + wedding photography

📸 @abbymurphyphoto // Lifestyle photography

📸 @vanessakauffman // Charleston aerials

📸 @jtaylorphotos // Pet photography

📸 @charlestoNspired // Local drone photography

📸 @thecharlestonlens // Charleston homes + gardens

📸 @ellis_creek_photography // Architectural photography

📸 @justinclarkphoto // Architectural photography

And for those of us who want to be more like these photo stars, here are a few tips + tricks to take your Insta snaps to the next level:

  1. Try a filter to make give your image a distinctive look. Instagram alone hosts a wide variety of filters, but photo editing apps like VSCO, Snapseed, + Lightroom also offer their own tools to stand out in the scroll.
  2. Good lighting is everything. Utilize “golden hour,” which is the one-hour window after sunrise + before sunset.
  3. Practice the rule of thirds. The easy way?– Turn on the “grid” feature in your camera settings to quickly + conveniently line up your photos.

I’ll admit– my Instagram photo skills have dramatically improved over the last year, thanks to a lot of experimentation, tips from camera gurus, + of course VSCO filters.

Gone are my days of over-contrasting + over-saturating. Still, I don’t pretend to be as qualified as our featured experts.

Who are some of the camera wizards you love to follow? Or are you the one we need to see to believe? Drop us a note + let us know.

April, Digital Media Intern