These 3 Michigan Travel Photographers Should Be On Your Instagram Feed

 (Image:  Pixabay )

(Image: Pixabay)

With rapidly-improving cell phone cameras and an easy place to share one's photos (i.e. Instagram), there are a lot of people out there claiming to be amateur photographers these days. But, even among that large pool of wannabes, it's still pretty easy to spot the real deal. When someone has the touch, it shows.

In a place like Michigan, where sandy sunsets and serene shorelines make for enticing backdrops, there are more than a few Instagram-sanctioned photographers cluttering up the airwaves — myself included in that group sometimes. I try to take nice photos for this blog, sure, but I'm certainly no professional; cropping and applying basic filters make up the extent of my photo editing skills.

When it comes to capturing Michigan and places beyond its borders, however, I know a trio of photographers from Northern Michigan that are out there doing great work. From stunning Upper Peninsula aerials and lighthouses aplenty to endless horizons and occasional cityscapes, these three guys know how to work a camera and you'd be well served checking out some of their latest stuff.

Here's a little something about each:

1. Allen W. (@photo_me_al)

Originally from Northern Michigan, as are the other two photographers listed here, Allen's home base these days is Marquette, Michigan, where a photographer need not go very far to find inspiration. Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, is a constant presence on the 24-year-old's Instagram feed, no matter the season, and you won't have to dig very deep to find amazing shots from around Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

As with many people producing dynamic content out there these days, Allen makes use of a drone — a DJI Mavic Pro drone, in his case. While expensive, one look at Allen's Insta feed will tell you that the purchase is worth it if you're serious about photography. Sugarloaf Mountain, just north of Marquette, never looked so good.

2. Ben T. (@benjtomaszewski)

Ben, 22, has amassed a couple thousand Instagram followers over the past year or so by regularly posting photos of lakeside scenes from Michigan's Lower Peninsula. From myriad aerial shots of picturesque Manistee, where he currently resides, to stops in Grand Haven, Ludington, Frankfort, and many other Northern Michigan locales, Ben always manages to capture Michigan's scenery in a stunning way. These days, he hardly goes anywhere without his DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone in toe.

"My interest in photography was sparked by a passion to capture the world through a unique lens and to collaborate with new people," he said. "Photography itself is what inspires me — the collaboration with new people provides so many opportunities to engage with new perspectives, not just on photography, but on life in general."

3. Scott W. (@coffeebeankillr)

Though another Northern Michigan native, Scott's work transports you to various parts of the country, from the Adirondacks of New York to the northwestern-most reaches of Washington State. The 24-year-old, who currently resides in Rome, New York, works with both digital and film. In addition to his Instagram, where he posts fairly regularly, he also shares a good deal of his work in film on Tumblr. "I didn't start shooting photos as an art form until I picked up my mother's Minolta X-700 53mm camera when I was 14," Scott said. "I originally intended to use the camera purely to document the different bird species that existed on out property (but) I ended up having so much ... that I wanted to shoot all the time."

More of Scott's work can be found on his Flickr account, which is filled with nature scenes from various places, including Hawaii, New York, Michigan, and other locations, mixed in with portraits and action shots. "Being amongst the trees and lakes will always be my biggest inspiration" he said. "It's meditative; there's a constant change in natural light and an endless opportunity of different subject matter — not to mention it has always been easily accessible growing up in a sparsely-populated Northern Michigan."

-LTH