As a blogger, I follow a lot of accounts on Instagram. Included in the mix is everything from my friends, colleagues, fellow bloggers/writers, restaurants, hotels, tourism boards and of course, quality, local service providers like photographers, online stores and the like.
Some accounts I check up on out of personal interest. While others I engage with or follow for my blog or new content ideas. (Like if I see a new eatery open up and want to review it.)
While Instagram is not always my most successful media platform as a blogger… It is definitely my favourite platform as both a social media user and consumer! I love the visual aspect more than anything else.
And while I know it’s so easy to succumb to online envy, thinking someone you follow on Instagram has the perfect life, job or love – I also know that Instagram has a powerful sense of community… of encouragers.
In light of this, I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favourite bloggers, photographers or ‘influencers’ on Instagram… Each captures something that inspires, motivates or interests me in a telling way. Whether they are posting about lifestyle content, travel goals – or simply, their everyday lives and families. So I hope you might draw inspiration or comfort from them too.
Online Inspiration Through Instagram
This is a list I will update whenever I am particularly fascinated with or consistently pulled in by a new account. It is a way of giving more back to my own followers – but also of acknowledging those who inspire and motivate me online too. As such, this post will only feature people who I avidly follow and identify with, both personally and as a writing/blogging professional.
Please note: This list is entirely based on my personal preferences rather than a collaborative guest post. And it is in no affected by any relationships, bonds or acquaintances I may or may not share with these inspiring Instagram folks!
So without further ado (and in no particular order), here are my favourite bloggers and photographers on Instagram:
1) Rose and Thorns (@shante_hutton)
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I have previously mentioned Shante and her blog, Rose and Thorns, here – but honestly, words cannot describe how funny and talented this lady is! Not only does Shante have the most glorious British humour and gorgeous little girls but she has a powerful way with words and photography.
I was first introduced to Shante’s content in 2018 when I was on the lookout for portrait photographers (I still have her on my ‘need-a-photo-shoot-with-this-photographer’ list)… and it was love at first sight.
Her award-winning photography work is so evocative and well, raw in the most beautiful, intimate human way. She truly captures the magic of a moment – the light in a child’s eyes, a loving touch between couples, a toddler’s moody pout… Her photography is a constant inspiration to me but more than anything else, it makes me really happy when I look at it because it moves me.
Humour, Honesty and Humanness
Aside from her photography though, I am inspired and devilishly amused by Shante’s sense of humour, personal stories and playfulness. I love reading her posts and I normally try to view (read: binge) as many of her Insta stories as I can. These often showcase new products she endorses or has reviewed, as well as her latest shoots and well, rants.
I am also deeply touched by her poignant ‘Roses for Thorns’ series, in which strong and inspirational women share moving, true stories alongside Shante’s magical styled shoots.
(And on top of her charisma and admirable work ethic, Shante is such a cool mom, with such a beautiful family… She’s definitely made my desire for children go up by about 20% in the past year! 😛 )
If you are looking for an honest, hugely talented writer, uncensored parenting blogger or lifestyle photographer to follow or work with, Shante is my first pick.
2) The Travel Manuel (@thetravelmanuel)
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The Travel Manuel, an outdoor adventure travel publication, is led by the award-winning, travel-crazy Lauren McShane. Hers is a blog that needs very little introduction – especially as she is huge both locally in South Africa and abroad and can be found listed or recommended on many travel-related lists or guest features.
I have had the immense pleasure of both knowing and working with Lauren so I understand all too well the long hours and hectic work deadlines she meets behind-the-scenes.
She plays to her strengths as a travel writer in a really strong, impressive way. It’s also fascinating to see how she travels all over with her two gorgeous boys, adding a strong sense of family to her blog and feeds.
Living and Breathing Travel
You really get a sense, not just of her wanderlust and incredible travels – but of her fire and passion for what she does. I also love that she is an incredibly experienced content creator and equally great in front of and behind the camera!
If you’ve ever heard the expression to “live and breathe travel”, then I think Lauren is the physical embodiment of that. Her enthusiasm for tourism, life and family is infectious and altogether heartwarming and beautiful.
3) Non Stop Destination (@nonstopdestination)
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Through their incredibly visual blog, Non Stop Destination, Lies and Ash – two visual effects artists – explore beautiful places across the world.
Their blog revolves heavily around Canada and British Columbia, where they reside and always features some epic global travel ideas for adrenaline junkies, foodies and hikers alike. Especially since they tackle everything from ziplining to canoeing to horseback riding… In fact, they have even braved ‘Middle Earth’! 🙂
Luxury Adventure Travel
They crave adventure, with a touch of luxury… This, in turn, leads to captivating travel stories and stunning imagery on their blog and social media feeds.
While I must state I am very close to both of them on a personal level (Ash is my older brother and Lies is his partner), I have always been a fan of the blog for so many more reasons than just this special connection to them as loved ones. They are both wonderful behind a camera and I really love the way their photos (and sometimes GoPro videos) unwrap each travel adventure for the viewer or reader.
Aside from that, they are great professionals and fiercely passionate creatives. Between them, they are vastly skilled in photo and video editing, writing, technology, photography and visual storytelling. What’s more, Lies is also a joy to work or collaborate with on the blog.
Their feed is definitely ideal for anyone with a passion for adventure and luxury travel, as well as those keen to visit or move to Canada.
4) Jess Oakes (@jessicasoakes)
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Jessica Oakes is the creative mastermind and honest writer/photographer behind the beautiful Positively Oakes lifestyle blog… But it is her Instagram feed, which first enchanted and amused me.
Before long, Jessica had managed to tug at my heartstrings. Needless to say, with her funny Insta stories and meaningful posts, it didn’t take long for her to convert me into a religious daily follower.
On her blog and Instagram feed, Jessica shares insights into her personal life with her husband, Marcus, daughter Blake (they also have a baby boy on the way) and their adorable doggies, Howie and Doc.
Jessica’s family seems like the dream American family – and I think they are in the best ways too… But the thing I love most about them is that, with Jessica leading the way, they are undoubtedly as honest and normal as it gets. And in a world of falseness and online trickery, this is so refreshing to see and experience.
They are the kind of family you would dream about having for yourself (or at least, I kinda do…) – and yet, at the same time, you are aware of their daily struggles and funny quirks, which make families so unique in life.
Life – But With All the Honesty
Jessica is certainly an online advocate for honest motherhood and parenting, in-depth tutorials, product reviews – and most of all, a healthy dose of real, honest life.
I cannot get enough of her content; that’s how great I think she is! Whether I watch her delightful hair tutorials, home decor clips – or simply laugh at her daily activities (with adorable Blake in tow)… I get such a sense of realness from her content. It’s oddly one of the most comforting and inspirational things I’ve encountered online to date.
Above all though, Jessica Oakes is one of the bubbliest, most cheerful people I have ever seen (she laughs at herself a lot and it’s so endearing)… but personally, I really respect the fact that she is also fearless in her approach. She never sugarcoats her words or stifles her frank opinions – and I wish there was more of her kind of realness online…
These are just the first of my favourite bloggers and photographers recommended for following on Instagram… But I will definitely keep updating (and sharing) this list as time goes by – and new Insta inspiration strikes! 🙂
Do you have any Instagram favourites you recommend checking out? If so, I’d love to hear who they are!
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.