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Top 10 Street Photographers and Urban Artists to Follow on Instagram

by Hillary Grigonis
featured, photo & video

Instagram’s instant, raw nature and square format meshes perfectly with the candid styles and dramatic tones of street photography. Through the lens of a street photographer, what appears to be an everyday scene is often turned extraordinary through perspective, timing, light. The street photographers of Instagram capture portraits with raw emotions, cityscapes from around the world and visual stories from the urban lifestyle.

But with the number of Instagram accounts totaling in the 800 million range, finding the street photographers that will make you do a double take and lend you a deeper understanding of your surroundings is tough to do. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite street photographers uploading to Instagram. Some are well-known and others are rising stars.

Hit that follow button for inspiration from these top street photographers on Instagram:

Paola Franqui (@Monaris_)

Spotted. / in need of a new camera strap. Any recommendations? 🤔

A post shared by Paola Franqui (@monaris_) on Dec 6, 2017 at 9:34am PST

Paola Franqui, known on Instagram as Monaris, is a New York-based photographer with a passion for creating street photography that tells a story with expression, color, and light. The Puerto Rican born photographer’s feed is filled with street portraits where light and timing often play a vital role in the shot. Follow her Instagram for inspiring street and travel shots that play with shadows, reflections and timing.

Eric Veloso (@ericveloso)

more magic . . . . #SDMsounds + #soulectionexperience

A post shared by Eric Veloso (@ericveloso) on Nov 16, 2017 at 5:03pm PST


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Eric Veloso is the co-founder and director of Street Dreams Magazine, a New York studio and magazine focused on highlighting talented photographers — but his own work often deserves to be showcased at the very least in your Instagram feed. His street photography uses non-traditional composition to tell a visual story, often placing the subject’s face on the outer edge of the image or sometimes obscuring the face entirely. Follow him on Instagram for street inspiration that’s a bit outside the norm.

Steven John Irby (@steavesweatpants)

Bologna sandwiches make me uncomfortable. #alphacollective • #sonyalpha • #streetdreamsmag

A post shared by Steven John Irby (@stevesweatpants) on Nov 28, 2017 at 8:59am PST

Steven John Irby is the other half of the the Street Dreams Magazine leadership. He goes by Steve Sweatpants on Instagram because he likes to be comfortable and likes others to feel the same around him. His Instagram feed is filled with several different types of urban photography, including portraits, cityscapes and street art.

Steven John Irby is the other half of the the Street Dreams Magazine leadership. He goes by Steve Sweatpants on Instagram because he likes to be comfortable and likes others to feel the same around him. His Instagram feed is filled with several different types of urban photography, including portraits, cityscapes and street art.


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Dave Krugman (@dave.krugman)

We walk the waves and wonder

A post shared by Dave Krugman (@dave.krugman) on Nov 19, 2017 at 9:07pm PST

Dave Krugman is both a photographer and social media expert, which means photographers hoping to expand their own reach could learn a thing or two just by following the Boston-based photographer on Instagram. Krugman’s moody street shots often show the city at night, but street portraits, architectural images and other shots that play with light will show up on your feed with a follow too.

Xyza Cruz Bacani (@xyzacruzbacani)

Tokyo,Japan. 03.03.2017

A post shared by Xyzacruzbacani (@xyzacruzbacani) on Oct 24, 2017 at 5:41pm PDT

Xyza Cruz Bacani’s feed is filled with street shots of people — but the Filipina street photographer has a story just as inspiring as her subjects. After using photography to call attention to migrant and human rights issues in Hong Kong while working a migrant and domestic worker herself, Bacani now has worldwide galleries and honors and continues to call attention to issues sharing images, often in black and white, to Instagram.

Mikk Olli (@drawntostreets)

Rotermann Quarter, Tallinn . . . #streetphotographer #streetphotography #streettogs #streetphoto #challengerstreets #ourstreets #myspc17 #streetlife_award #capturestreets #gspc #cobblescope #life_is_street #fromstreetswithlove #fujifilm #fujilove #fujifeed #fujixt2 #strideby #igersestonia #estoniansummer #estonia #tallinn #rotermannikvartal

A post shared by Drawn to Streets (@drawntostreets) on Jul 19, 2017 at 5:12am PDT

Unlike many street photographers Mikk Olli didn’t start shooting because he was drawn to the people — instead, he started shooting in the genre after realizing that his introvert tendencies made him avoid images with people. Olli set out to challenge himself and became even more fascinated with the genre after moving from Estonia to Boston to work in Design. Follow the Instagram rising star for black and white images of people in motion and play with light.

Girma Berta (@gboxcreative)

Moving Shadows II, VII. #StreetsofAddis

A post shared by Girma Berta (@gboxcreative) on Jun 29, 2017 at 6:56am PDT

While street photography is often filled with darker “street tones,” the work of Girma Berta stands out at first glance with bright pops of color. Berta is a self-taught photographer who also runs GBox Creative and frequently shoots the streets of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Berta’s colorful style also plays with light and very few photos don’t have a human subject. Follow Gbox Creative for a pop of colorful street inspiration in your Instagram feed.

David Alan Harvey (@davidalanharvey)

A post shared by David Alan Harvey (@davidalanharvey) on Nov 12, 2017 at 5:32am PST

With more than 50 years in the industry, David Alan Harvey’s work could fall into many different categories, including fine art and editorial. Much of his Instagram shots, however, feature people in a documentary or street photography style. His work is often full of contrast and bright colors and he often plays with light and shadows. Harvey also works as a mentor, workshop leader and the editor of Burn Magazine.

J.N. Silva (@jnsilva)

Birds in the sky, you know how I feel. @flynyon || #nyonair

A post shared by J.N. Silva (@jnsilva) on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:43am PDT

J.N. Silva says he first started taking pictures to simply augment his memory of this past, and the English and philosophy grad’s Instagram’s reflects that with a collection of people, places and events. Silva mixes colorful street photos of people, streetscapes with the sun perfectly aligned between buildings and aerial shots of New York City. His work often places with reflections, composition, and color. Join his 300k+ followers for street portraits, streetscapes and performances.

Sara Hylton (@sarahyltonphoto)

Really grateful to see these images come to life. #Southsudan is a country very close to my heart and I'm blessed to have met so many courageous people who shared their stories and lives with my humble lens. Here's to them. Thank you to @lyonse for the beautiful edit and for supporting work from a place that most of the world would rather forget. Amazing, thoughtful, probing reporting as always by @gettlemanjeffrey. And a heartfelt thank you to @theiwmf for supporting people like me to make pictures off the beaten trail. And one more, thanks to @kodakprofessional for sponsoring me to make magic. Stay tuned as I share more including outtakes. #Repost @nytimes (@get_repost) ・・・ In #SouthSudan, street photography is essentially illegal. It’s another casualty of the civil war. Young, twitchy soldiers are everywhere, ready to crack down on anyone who pulls out a camera. It wasn’t always like this, but in the 4 years since the war broke out, the South Sudanese government has become incredibly suspicious. @sarahyltonphoto had anticipated the hostility, but what surprised her was the city’s bold style. It wasn’t easy for her to capture it. She had to work off the streets, in safe spaces. As @sarahyltonphoto told the @nytimes reporter @gettlemanjeffrey: When you interview people, they often put on a brave face and tell you what you want to hear. But when you take out a camera and ask someone to stare into the lens, it’s different. An honesty is revealed. She especially felt this when she met Wokil, the 21-year-old comedian pictured here. “His posture was very cool, he was trying to be very cool,” she said. “But you could tell he lived through some of the worst stuff.” She went on: “Loss, I recognized loss. It was in his gaze.” Visit the link in our profile to see more of her portraits in #TheLookNYT.

A post shared by Sara Hylton (@sarahyltonphoto) on

Street photography often allows for a vicarious travel experience — and Sara Hylton’s work allows you to travel beyond your own streets. The photographer focuses on women, conflict and underrepresented voices, creating colorful documentary style shots of people and places. Hylton shoots both film and digital and has worked for several big publications including the New York Times, Vogue, Reuters, and Slate. Follow @sarahyltonphoto on Instagram for global street photography with a story.

Don’t see your favorites here? Instagram is home to many excellent street artists — share your favorite in the comments.


Steven John Irby is the other half of the the Street Dreams Magazine leadership. He goes by Steve Sweatpants on Instagram because he likes to be comfortable and likes others to feel the same around him. His Instagram feed is filled with several different types of urban photography, including portraits, cityscapes and street art.


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Hillary Grigonis

Hillary K. Grigonis is a web content writer and lifestyle photographer from Michigan. After working as a photojournalist for several years, she made the leap and started her own business and now enjoys sharing tips and tricks with emerging photographers.