Snapshots from everyday life, selfies, friends’ portraits, visual puns – these are commonplace among all Instagram amateurs. How about professional photographers? Are their profiles any different from those run by the hoi polloi? Do they see something that we, the laymen, don’t? Or on the contrary – do they see and photograph exactly the same things as everyone else?
“Instagram life is so intense” – one of her photo captions says. The photographer regularly documents her commissioned work, nighttime escapades, friends… and it is the portraits of the latter that are most alluring in this series. Thankfully, #friendsandotherbeasts #boysbygirls are her two most recurrent hashtags.
Igor Pisuk, son of Maciej Pisuk, is an emerging photographer and member of the Atonal Collective, which brings together photographers from Poland, Sweden and Norway. His Instagram builds up to a dark narrative, with a touch of formal experimentation with light and contrast. These images show the life of a twenty-something man in a way that is both familiar and uncanny.
Maciek Nabrdalik is a member of the VII Photo Agency. His Instagram was recently selected by the Huffington Post as one of the top profiles run by photojournalists. Nabrdalik uploads photographs from his documentary projects, with extensive descriptions and appropriate hashtags – thus allowing the images to circulate in a fresh, wider context. He promises to publish more.
Kamiński is a young but already very experienced photographer who has collaborated with some of the major Polish daily papers, the Polish Press Agency, European Photopress Agency, and Getty Images. He has travelled on assignment to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and China, among others. His Instagram features photos from his professional and personal series, paired with his first-hand observations shot on smartphone.
Like a blog
Kuba Dąbrowski was mainly recognized in Poland through his blog Accidents Will Happen, which he ran between 2005-2009. A few years later, he launched a new blog, became a professional street and fashion photographer, and had a large solo exhibition organized in Warsaw. However, he remained faithful to his original first-person narrative style, which blends into the format of this social medium perfectly.
A member of the Sputnik Photos collective, known to many for such series as In the Car with R – a diary of a journey with a stranger in Iceland. In the series, Milach meticulously documented everything he came across, making sure to avoid a voyeuristic perspective. His Instagram is in fact conducted in a similar fashion, providing a fresh look at the everyday.
Milach’s fellow photographer from Sputnik. In one of her interviews, Rayss said: “A documentary is above all a story about people, emotions, ambitions and cravings”. She appears to be transferring this thought to her Instagram, which features images of places, events, encounters loaded both with emotion and a critical eye. Heavy filter usage, but for a good cause.
Two words: hashtag master. Sokołowski certainly makes the most out of his hashtags, using them not only as descriptive labels, but occasionally also as humorous commentary. He subtitled his account “beautiful images from Poland and beyond”. Indeed, he photographs his friends and travels in a very poignant way. Sokołowski, apart from working as a photographer, is the photo editor at Visegrad Insight. He runs the blog Young Amateur Photographer.
Greetings from Poland
As Biederman claims, he is interested in shooting places with a ‘paranormal’ aura – both professionally and on his blog. His Instagram profile, however, seems to provide a breather from this approach – his images, many of which were clearly taken on holidays, come across almost as ‘typical postcards from Poland’, yet are charming and filled with nostalgia. Biederman clearly avoids using filters, which seems to match his honest point of view.
Working as the chief photographer in the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland and the President’s personal photographer, Grzędziński is able to share the behind-the-scenes of the establishment. However, he also takes his smartphone outside, photographing strangers and scenes from the everyday life of someone who happens to be a photographer and a traveller.
As a reporter and photographer, Springer is interested in architecture and public spaces. In fact, a similar trend is applied in his Instagram photos. A classic of anthropological inquiry.
What would the Instagram of the European Commission’s photographer look like? Just like this, as it turns out. Dąbkowski shares gems from the backstage of the political highlife, matched with curious scenes from his other professional escapades, effectively compiling his very own editorial series.
Ławniczak is a photographer connected to the Czułość Gallery. On the gallery’s website, we read that she is a “sensitive minimalist... Bright, but dusty.” And such is her Instagram – scenes from an intimate setting (which often also leak into her photographic series), exposed shamelessly, or otherwise staged – but nevertheless with the intention of expressing honest emotion. The effects are very stirring.
Patterns and frames
On a day-to-day basis, Piotr Niepsuj engages in fashion photography. On his Instagram, however, he seems to observe the world through a graphic designer's lenses, or maybe he's looking for traces of cosmic harmony?
Freelance photographer and founder of Super Salon – Warsaw's no. 1 place to find printed matter from all over the world – Kowalski uses his Instagram to venture on a search for views borrowed from stock photography, fashion shoots, or pattern books. For all you readers of DIS magazine – this is your new find!
Author: Ania Micińska, 3.09.2014
Images in the gif were taken by: Monika Kmita, Wiktor Dąbkowski, Piotr Niepsuj, Jędrzej Sokołowski, Wojciech Grzędziński, Agnieszka Rayss, Weronika Ławniczak, Łukasz Biederman, Filip Springer, Kuba Kamiński, Maciek Nabrdalik, Krzysztof Kowalski; courtesy of the artists