There's something special about catching a glimpse of home on your Instagram feed -- especially when it's in a jaw-droppingly beautiful photo. These six Instagram accounts showcase the best of Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond. Expect some serious photo envy.
When Jaime Hudson's mom got cancer, she found herself photographing as an outlet for stress. Staying by her mom's side in hospitals, Hudson started taking pictures of hospital hallways and surrounding scenery.
"It just grew and grew and grew, and I started documenting her journey with photography," Hudson says. "I call it facing my fears behind the lens."
As a female photographer, Hudson says she's been stereotyped as a portrait photographer -- and she respects the talent needed for that field. But, she says, "I gravitated towards what is a male-dominated realm in photography, which is street, grime, nighttime long exposure photography, cars, concerts and so on. I love a good challenge ... but I don't like being put in that female stereotype."
She's driven, in part, by her mother's encouragement of her pursuing photography professionally. "Mom told me before she passed, 'you better make money off this; this is your most expensive hobby yet.' So every time I make money, I look up to the sky, and I'm like 'I did it!'" Hudson says, laughing. "I know she's lookin' proud, that's for sure."
Focusing on street photography on his Instagram, Richard Sharum was drawn to photography when studying history in 2005.
After taking an introductory course to black and white photography and subsequently devouring books on documentary photojournalists and street photographers, he realized that he wanted to pursue photography. He dropped out of undergrad, reasoning that photography was a lens through which he could continue to learn about history, even as it's being made.
His black-and-white Instagram account focuses on people -- mostly in D-FW, with some of his international work sprinkled in. Street photography, he says, requires encapsulating "the entire story of what I’m trying to tell at that moment ... in one image."
Downtown is one of his favorite spot to scope subjects. "All downtowns are just a beautiful mix of concrete and people, and you’ve got extremely wealthy individuals walking right next to someone who lives off the street. You’ve got this huge, eclectic mix of individuals and personalities and stories."
Clayton Thomas started playing with photography at age 17, but he sidelined it while he released an album on iTunes. Recording music "was fun while it lasted," he says, but photography came calling. "Photography is just you, just have to rely on yourself, and that’s the cool part about it," Thomas says. "I think it’s a good outlet to tell people’s stories, tell your story."
He hopes to tour with a band as a photographer in the future, but for now, he likes to photograph "a little bit of everything," playing with colors in editing and roaming Deep Ellum with his camera.
Thomas is a big believer that getting started in photography doesn't have to be a big financial investment. "I don’t think that a good camera makes a great photographer. It’s really a good storyteller that makes a great photographer, and if your picture can tell a story, then you’ve got it set."
Vibrant and colorful are the two most common descriptors Kevin Hann hears about his Instagram photography. A glance at his grid and it's not hard to see why; his photography explodes with dramatic sunsets and nighttime skylines.
The Dallas skyline is one of his favorite landscapes to photograph, and he's always in pursuit of a new angle.
Advice to aspiring Instagram photographers? "No two eyes are ever the same. If you like your own work, then post it," Hann says. "Not everyone’s going to like everything that you do, so stay true to yourself and do what looks good to you."
After photographing landscapes on vacation, Cheyne Smith, now a photography student at UNT, bought a DSLR so he could use manual settings "to capture and create my own perspective of reality."
For Instagram, he heads into the city without a specific plan for the architectural or street photos he wants to take. "I concentrate on finding new ways to look at familiar places and landmarks and showing perspectives and details that may go unnoticed," Smith says.
One of his favorite places to do that? Downtown. "There are so many iconic landmarks that never get old. There’s always a different way of seeing this beautiful city."
After he started taking pictures of cars with an old LG phone in 2010, Cody Henson found himself wanting to spend more time photographing. "I started to realize that I had an obsession with skyscrapers," Henson says. "The city kind of drew me in; it’s just really addicting to be in the city."
He lives outside the city now, in Midlothian, but spends time in Dallas and Forth Worth as much as he can, which shows in the collection of lit-up nightscapes on his Instagram feed.
"I like being up high, but I’m afraid of heights at the same time. I don’t do the rooftopping stuff," Henson says. "Being up in Reunion Tower is probably by far just my favorite view. I like seeing everything from above."