It’s a new year and one that will thankfully not see Instagram owning your uploaded work (sorry to everyone to deleted their account before they retracted their announcement!). In honor of this good news, we found 10 of this city’s top social media photographers worth following for their 10 unique perspectives on Long Beach.
Anthony is Long Beach—at least with his Instagram. And though he only holds a select amount of photos, we can only hope he posts more. Hop on it, yeah? ‘Cause we got nothin’ else to say.
Owen has fun with his photography, not taking himself too seriously (his shot of what looks like Bottega Louie macarons does indeed fit his hashtag of “foodporn”) but also attempts to capture beauty in the world (whether it’s through a sunroof or a simple window, his shot of rain-splattered glass as nightlights shine down make every drop look like an individual Christmas light). Just a word to the wise, Mr. Owen: we understand you clearly like your food and clouds… But man, you’re worth more than that.
Vangie’s profile exudes the best in all of us: a keen eye for what is precious to one as an individual—something that no other can capture. I’m not being superfluous; Vangie’s photos are extremely intimate—close-ups of personal items, pictures of family, a silver bar spoon… You get the picture. And that’s what makes her work captivating: one kinda feels like they’re peering in, as in this picture of necklace her father gave her perched against the pattern of some unknown medium (fabric? tile? print media?).
Ok, Tiko, with your saturated colors and your gaussian blurs and your high contrasts and your posterizing and…You rock our world with both your pictures of the Villa Rivera or a very strange photo of a man scanning the beach for treasure. Oh, Tiko, your pictures delight the eye with colors. Oh, Tiko, we praise you.
Whether it is the gorgeous perspective of Johanna Avenue in Lakewood or her vision Starbucks near Carson & the 405, there is no fear of leaping outside of Instagram’s own capabilities within this profile. This selection of pictures opts to beyond the app’s parameters. At first, one might assume her pictures reductive, such as the patterned, cropped pics. But not just so. When one pays attention to how the entirety of the images which are cropped are done so with a white background, one sees that the images are shot as if they were already hanging. This photographer—unlike most users—uses Instagram as a frame rather than a camera, showing you the absolute final product.
There is certainly an obsession with three things that are all-too-common on Instagram: pictures of food, pictures of clouds, and pictures of people’s feet peeking into the frame as they stare down at the ground. But this array of photos, often showcasing just those three things, become strangely captivating. Her creamy cup of joe set against a stark white tablecloth. The sun finally peeking out of the clouds as seen through a rain-splattered window. Her brightly laced running shoes peeking—as always—from the bottom right corner against an array of strewn, fallen leaves. More, please.
Let’s talk Long Beach here: Tony’s Breakfast Place, Ocean Center Building, the Willmore, the Walker Building, Ocean 111, Kress Lofts, PCH & Clark, Villa Rivera, the Port, Berth 55, V.I.P. Records…Ron unabashedly uses our city as his canvas and the results are astounding. Simple as that.
Sarah’s work is, first and foremost, intelligent. There’s a reason her work has been featured in Juxtapoz—and it’s her sense of urgency mixed with her fearlessness. She has an obsession with not only Polaroids, but reality. Be it her photo of a murderer (or not) showing off his tattoos or her uncanny ability to make all women look utterly gorgeous or how she somehow made that horrific piece of public art at Ocean & Alamitos look gorgeous or… Sarah’s way of envisioning the world is both beautiful and haunting. And sometimes, her own artist’s voice (literally) helps the viewing experience—such as the portrayal of crunched, orange paint-dipped fingers against the backdrop of a checkered floor, where she quips, “You got that floor specifically for a reliable Instagram background. Didn’t you.”
Is it the saturated colors that seem done with the flick of a Photoshop filter but aren’t? The seemingly comic-like quality of his pictures that also seem Photoshop-yup-wait-okay-he-actually-knows-what-he’s-doing? Or just the fact that his images are captivating? I’ve yet to answer any of these questions—I think all too simply in terms of Photoshop and it’s true capabilities of anything-photo—but the last question seems most certain: ronaldooo’s images are simply captivating. His experimentation with color and perception, whether done simply or complexly, create beautifully distracting images of what we pass by without ever double-glancing.
You undoubtedly possess a talent when you can capture the banality of life and make it beautiful. Take a picture of one sitting on a deck, a bottle of sake on one side, a pair of glasses cheekily hanging off the edge of a design book on the other. Todd does just that. A man heading down a jetty towards the Queen Mary but ends up looking like the cover of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. A small boy in a Spider-Man costume, fist up in the air, and it makes you feel like he is truly going to save the world. A barber at Razorbacks performing his duty in what looks like a glance into a time somehow lost. A black-and-white Cliff May home that looks like it could be right here in Long Beach or out in Palm Springs. A pelican caught perfectly in mid-dive as it is about to attack lunch. All we can say: we love Long Beachers.
Readers are invited to follow the Long Beach Post‘s own Instagram @LongBeachPost; executive editor Sarah Bennett’s @thesarahbennett; Post photographer Samuel Lippke’s @samuellippke; and senior contributor Brian Addison’s @FoucaultDude
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