At its worst, it’s a breeding ground for selfies, bad poetry in worse typography and inspirational quotes with typos. At its best however, Instagram has become a confluence point of creativity and the most accessible means of storytelling that’s just one click (or filter) away. After Filtered Out: 11 Indian Photographers You Should Follow On Instagram, we knew we had only just scratched the surface, and were keen on digging a little deeper to capture the true power of Instagram.
As we went through these feeds, it was inspiring to see that many have created communities within the photo-sharing site, where like-minded people could come together to appreciate the various aspects of our versatile and varied country. This time however, we broadened our idea to include photo collectives as well, curated by photographers but their feeds include posts from their community members and curated finds as well. From everyday stories to conversations about dreams and social commentary, come take a look for yourself at these 12 photography-focused accounts that have us hooked:
Curated by photojournalist Chirag Wakaskar, this one’s definitely a top pick. The photographs are a mixed bag of small moments that you might come across on the street to a running commentary on social issues and current events affecting the common man, such as the recent beef ban, policemen patrolling the local trains after dark and the idea of ‘microsleep’ - how every Mumbaikar finds a way to take a nap every chance he gets, in a city where time is money. Informative and absorbing, the feed has great captions and even features interviews with photographers whose works are featured.
HG loves: Chirag’s uncanny eye for detail, and spot-on curation of photos. This feed is a great way for a newcomer to get to know the city because it gives you an insider’s perspective. Much like the city, you’re never going to know what you’re going to find here next.
An AFP photojournalist based in New Delhi, Chandan Khanna recently received a package from Instagram for being ‘an important part of the Instagram story’. We can definitely see why, with his feed being populated by a range of subjects from the streets of Delhi to the banks of the river Ganga. #Dailylife is probably his most popular hashtag, and you get a glimpse into various aspects of Delhi life through this feed.
HG loves: The drama in a lot of his photographs, and how he captures community events, and festivals such as Holi, religious processions and political rallies. His ‘People of Delhi’ series looks promising too.
An interesting interplay of colours, space and people dominate this feed belonging to Mansi Midha, an independent photographer who was also an organiser of Delhi Photo Festival in 2013. Her feed makes this list take a personal turn, as she engrosses the viewer with her distinct style of photography that dabbles in some abstract shadowplay and nuanced portraiture with equal ease.
HG loves: The balance in her feed, and how it seems like she spends at least a couple of days a month viewing the world in monochrome.
Listen up travel enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Subhash Chandra is an avid trekker who’s keen on taking us along for the ride, and his feed is full of breathtaking landscapes and postcard-like captures that’ll have you raring to pack your bags as well.
HG loves: How refreshing it is to have a feed teeming with landscapes and captures of flora and fauna as opposed to portraits of people. (Except for his adorable baby niece, whose portraits we encourage.)
Another personal account that has us floored, Sayantoni Palchoudhari describes herself only as ‘a photomaker’. Full of interesting captures over the course of her travels and photography assignments, the feed also leaves the viewer with a lingering sense of getting a glimpse into a photographer’s personal journey fly-on-the-wall style.
HG loves: The important recurring motifs of home and family that make their presence felt, as well as intriguing use of monochrome and colour respectively.
Pune-based photographer, Siddhartha Joshi, travels a lot and collects fascinating snippets while he’s at it, which he shares on his Instagram feed. Portraits take the limelight here, with each person’s stories lending us an incredible amount of insight.
HG loves: The 365-day project he’s embarked upon called #TellMeYourDream2015 as a part of which he interacts with people from all walks of life and depicts their dreams with photograph and words, without ever oversimplifying it or making it too literal.
Curated by photojournalist Ritesh Uttamchandani, this project brings together several visual storytellers to make for a motley of perspectives and an ultimately arresting feed. After a heartwarming series by Anushree Fadnavis on the Mumbai local trains, the feed has now shifted its focus to the heart-wrenching state of Kashmir and the North East in light of the recent floods.
HG loves: How The Katha Collective shares the stories of those affected by the deluge, and also seeks to help them by calling for contributions from viewers, using mobile technology as a powerful tool for rehabilitation.
India-based photographer George Koruth combines the best of documentary and travel photography to take us on a multihued journey through his feed. Streets of cities and towns spanning the geography feature on his photostream that is updated regularly with fascinating perspectives.
HG loves: How he depicts motion, alluding to how he himself is always on the go.
Named after the famous Agha Shahid Ali poem, this is an arresting account depicting life in conflict-ridden Kashmir. The account’s description reads ‘Visual histories of the Kashmir Valley. Long-form storytelling on the small screen.’ – but it is a veritable archive of photos, and as you scroll through the powerful feed, you’ll see the power of storytelling at its finest.
HG loves: How the account manages to strike a balance in its documentary of showcasing everyday life in Kashmir, and its history through its showcase of postcards and old photos. There’s a certain solemnity to the work, and the subjects are captured poignantly. It’s also interesting to see print photographs and images on medium like vellum uploaded and Instagrammed.