The South was basically made for Instagram: It’s beautiful, quirky, and colorful, and each city and town is bursting with personality, exuding its own specific sense of place. Here we have ten Instagrammers that capture the beauty and eccentricity of their particular corners of the South, creating a digital rainbow of its nooks and crannies and nuances, all in little square photos.
Tiffany Mitchell (@tifforelie) – Blogger, baker, and artisan soap maker, Mitchell lives in Lexington, Ky., and spends her time taking pictures of cute cafés, tasty food, and pretty clothes. She’s living proof that big city living isn’t a requirement for style and sophistication — I don’t know whether to scour my latest Free People catalog to refresh my wardrobe or head to the nearest Sur La Table to update my cookwares. One half of Offbeat and Inspired, her Instagram is a lovely mix of street style, culinary treats, and vignettes of her Southern city and others.
Chelsea Tubbs (@chelseaandthecity) – Lover of J. Crew, Anthropologie, coffee, and losing yourself in an antique shop, Chelsea’s clearly a Z&S kindred spirit. A stay-at-home mom in Huntsville, Ala., her blog and Instagram were born in 2011 out of a need for a creative outlet, but have since turned her into a budding stylist. Her feed showcases her signature style (and that of her equally stylish daughter), the beautiful city of Huntsville, and watercolor vignettes of her life.
Jessica Fey (@jessicafey) Raised in Alabama, and living in my (and Zelda’s) hometown of Louisville, Ky., Jess is a girl after my own heart: beer and bourbon-drinking, soccer-loving, and endowed with a healthy sense of sarcasm (plus she has excellent taste in friends *ahem* yours truly.) Whether drinking at our neighborhood beer garden or shooting a wedding on a farm out in the countryside, her photos will fill your feed with everyday elegance: artsy selfies, rare bottles of craft beer, portraits of Louisville’s hip and quirky corners, wanderlust filled landscapes, and #yogaeverydamnday.
The Oxford Exchange (@oxfordexchange) – A bookstore/venue/coffee shop/social club in Tampa, Fla, some might say the folks at The Oxford Exchange are over-achievers (we prefer the term “multifaceted purveyors of awesomeness”). Inspired by English shops and clubs, Oxford Exchange aims to be a multi-use community space, and their Instagram showcases the many lives of this bookstore with an identity crisis. With charming shots of books, stunning shop interiors, and tasty treats, this account creates the same sense of place in the digital world that the Exchange does in the physical one.
Matt Crump (@mattcrump) – Enter the candy-colored world of Matt Crump, a self-taught photographer out of Austin, Tex. Many moons ago, Crump snapped a photo of some seagulls perched on a roof and decided to tinker with it using some of his favorite photo-editing apps. The result was his now signature candy-colored palette and minimal composition. His #candyminimal aesthetic has resulted in thousands of followers, a career change, and an Instagram account that is guaranteed to make you smile. Follow @mattcrump for brightly colored expanses of sky, items arranged neatly, and neon flora, fauna, and façades. Follow @candyminimal for Crump’s favorite’s from the hashtag.
Melissa Vincent (@misvincent) – This mom out of Hernando, Miss. (that’s in the northwestern corner, near Memphis) colors her Instagram feed with vibrant, surrealist compositions created solely on her phone. Her violet trees, sunflower-lined railroads, and spiraling cloud tunnels are sure to have you dreaming of being the Alice to this Southern Gothic Wonderland.
Travis George (@foxtotally & @nolaporches) – Father, photographer, podcaster, and New Orleans resident, George gained a following on Instagram for his @nolaporches account, documenting the colorful, quaint, and cozy porches of New Orleans (the account has been inactive for a while, but it’s worth a perusal). His personal account, @foxtotally, boasts beautiful photos of the South, his family, and the flotsam and jetsam of his life, with a crisp minimalist composition that defies the the regimented squares of the Instagram platform. Charming and refreshing.
Olivia Rae James (@oliviaraejames) South Carolina has always been the most quintessentially picturesque of the Southern states in my mind, especially Charleston. Photographer Olivia Rae James has somehow managed to capture the vision in my head and spew that aesthetic of the South forth in Insta-form: Spanish moss-covered trees, beachy sunrises, seafood feasts, and portraits of people in love. All of that plus regular portraits of her adorable dog? Count me in. You should also check out her blog for more in-depth sessions, included this one with The Secret Sisters, featured on our August Playlist!
Carli Kiene (@inkedfingers) – Carli (together with her husband John) has built a huge Instagram following, propelling her Austin, Tex.-based photography/directing business to new heights. Carli says creativity is about love — love of family, love of friends, love of place — and her photos are often paired with vignettes expressing this belief. Once just a girl propelled by boredom to draw on her hands during her after-school job, she has turned her inked fingers into a business, and a beautiful one at that. Follow her for photos of everything from weddings and adorable children to pretty packages tied up with string, extensive travels, yummy treats…and sometimes just the big Texas sky above.
Brandy Byrd (@bbyrd) – Nashville, Tenn.-based graphic designer, gum chewer, and road-tripper, Byrd loves all things lo-fi, including Instagram’s lo-fi filter, and the Phodeo app, the combination of which gives her feed a sense of unity and narrative. With her dreamy shots, she’s taken her followers from Atlantic City to Alaska, and captured all the hamlets in between.