Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mine goes to 11 - Carrie's 11 fave Instagram Accounts

Who loves Instagram? Besides me and 400 million people worldwide, perhaps you? Here are just a few of my favorite accounts, and the list grows daily. Follow me @carriedawaysf and have a look at:

If your first reaction to the word selfie is a huge eyeroll, just wait a second, because THIS GUY will show you how it’s done. I don’t know him, but he is the reason I love the Internet. What a concept: “Movie locations. Sunglasses. No smiles.” Not only is this a perfect Instagram bio (and I teach Instagram for business, so believe me, I have examined thousands), but it is deadpan hilarious, just as his facial expressions suggest of his own personality. Mr. Parker is true to his word, tagging each of his movie location-shade-selfies with the movie title and year. But wait – the best part of all is that every so often he slips, and doesn’t have his sunglasses, or has a friend in the photo with him, or cracks the very start of a smile… and BOOM, his followers nail him on it, so don’t miss the comments section. #selfiemaster


Oh cats. Oh Instagram. Oh look, cats on Instagram! It’s just so… expected. And @catsofinstagram has like 20 billion followers so they don’t even have to be creative because, face it, we all love cute kitties. But wouldn’t we love it better if it were creative, the way we used to love the blog the first 20 thousand times, 10 years ago? Yes, and indeed we love @catsonamps coming to us out of New York and featuring… you guessed it, cats ON amps! Yep, that’s it. Cats. Amps. Every now and then a guitar or record player, but basically amps, because cats will lay themselves on top of your stuff, and if you are a musician, your cat will get on your amp! You know why this is better than just another cute pet site? Because it is cute AND funny – double whammy. Thank you to my dear music and cat lover @flyingmodette for turning me on to this brilliance. #friendsknowwhatyoulike


Travel Guides @bruceaivie @davidebowers

Do you love to travel? Do you love to eat? OK, if you didn’t raise your hand I’m just sorry for you and it’s over between us. Bruce and David are two charming caterers who are also world travelers and tour guides, specializing in the region of Turkey and Western Asia. If you can’t afford to join them on one of their expeditions, you can at least take an armchair voyage via their stunning Instagram feeds. In addition to being handy with cameras, these gentlemen are true scholars – they learn the language, customs, history and geography as well as the food of places where they travel, and you will learn right along with them as you follow. #stopdrooling

@bruceaivie @davidebowers

When you collect vintage clothes and search online, you soon realize that everyone and their sister is selling vintage on Instagram, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What sets  @popshop60sand70s apart is that the charming gals who run the site are not only vintage curators, but stylists as well, so attention is paid to showing off the clothes for sale as well as to the art of the photo itself. Most images are shot in San Francisco, which suits their Summer of Love time-frame, and they mix it up by featuring a variety of models and they use period-accurate accessories too. This account is a perfect example of more than selling, because they offer a visual story behind each item. Also, these gals are just plain fun – some of my favorite retail pop ups have been done with them and their ever-growing collection of designer and one-of-a-kind 60s and 70s vintage. #groovy


Something I learned from having a tween daughter is that the Internet is the new Older Sister in terms of learning about makeup, fashion and even nail polish. There are instructional videos everywhere you look on how to fix your hair or rip your jeans perfectly or tie a bow tie. And then accounts just about manicures - not only are there accounts to show how to create fancy nail “looks”, there are accounts that showcase the owner’s nails, often alongside the bottle of polish featured. Yes, this is a thing. Randomly, thanks to Instagram’s “search” feature, Leina and I found each-other and we are now “friends” through the magic of smart phones. Here is what I know about her: she lives in my town, frequents many of my favorite places, and she paints her gorgeous nails a different color almost every day. Oh, and she should have been a hand model. I am eager to see what new manicure she will come up with, and she has even inspired me to pay more attention to my own nails, now that I view them as a canvas for art. #learnsomethingnew


Party Carpet @carpet.diem

Some years ago I learned that people like to take pics of their shoes on the nutty 80s carpet at Portland Airport (PDX) and if you search #PDXcarpet there are nearly 80,000 of said photos. Plus, you can find T shirts, socks and coffee mugs with the design for sale (for true superfans). When the carpet was replaced in 2013, the original product went to artists and has become a social phenomenon of cheeky proportions, but the trend didn’t die, and people still take shoe-selfies with the new carpet. Portland International Airport was not alone in installing unique, bright or even boisterous carpet – all you have to do is look to Las Vegas or actually any casino to find yards of what has come to be known as “Party Carpet”. This account shares – neigh, revels in – the wondrous varieties to be found and “shoe-selfied”. Oh and the name… #dielaughing


I know, I know, people who won’t let you eat at a restaurant before they Instagram their meal need to be shot, right? (Ummmm… in that case, I am already LONG dead!) I actually enjoy seeing images of people’s food because it gives me ideas for new things to try or new restaurants to visit, but the funny thing is that sometimes, the food looks… bad! You know, messy scrambled eggs with no garnish on a plate you’re not sure is actually clean… WHAT IS THAT? (unfollow). This account, however, features nothing but salads (no gross dripping sauce you can’t identify) and every photo is absolutely beautiful! To be honest, this account reminds me to eat more fresh things AND to style up my dishes before I Instagram them. #eattherainbow


Supergraphics @circa78designs

Since abandoning Pinterest, I’ve missed my feed of highly curated scans of 60s and 70s design magazines – that is, till I found this account! Carrying the torch high in a very specialized way, this account showcases my favorite trend from the middle of the last century: SUPERGRAPHICS (yes, it has to be said in caps.) To be fair, there are images of things that harmonize with supergraphics (vintage dish sets, happy people lounging on bean bags) as well as crisp scans of vintage photos of interiors featuring wonderful rainbows, stripes, arrows and whatnot painted boldly across walls of the past. But mostly, as the bio says, “I have a thing for stripes” and good lord, so do I! Believe me, if I could step right into these photos and never come out, I would. #armchairtimetravel


For a kid who couldn’t relate to poetry until well (well) into adulthood, it amazes me how much I love it now. Is it because poetry captures feelings in a short burst of time and that’s all I can give? Hmmm… Anyway, I was delighted to discover that lots of poets share their work on Instagram. Oh, you thought it was just for pictures? SO DID I! But no! I follow a few writers and poets, and perhaps the best thing is watching them begin posting to a few followers, seeing their accounts blow up, to reading posts about book deals! THIS is the new fame / celebrity I can work with, because it celebrates actual talent, kinda like in the old days. My current fave is a young woman in New York, Alison Malee. I randomly picked a square (Russian roulette style) and found this: “The kind of love we praise should be quiet, should be constant, should whisper to you over coffee, ‘ you are strong. you are kind. you can conquer today. you can conquer anything.’ #whatshesaid


Social media is social, right? I have run into whole online communities dedicated to one thing or another (slammed VWs, re-enactors, retro beauty queens for example) but did you know there are people who roam the country photographing vintage signs? See, before the Internet, I thought I was the only one who did that. OHMYGODSTOPTHECARWHEREISMYCAMERA???? People, I am not alone. Nor am I the best photographer, so I now enjoy following others who snap, edit and post pics of vintage signs in all their glory. (Or decay, however they happen to find them, actually, and the results are always pleasing.) These sign hunters, sign geeks and sign junkees used to post on Flickr, but since I lost access to my account several years ago (argh, don’t ask) I am delighted to re-discover them, and more like them, on Instagram. Josh posts under the punny handle “sign of the time” and you know I love his photos because he often gets a vintage car into his shots. I also love his framing and careful edits of clouds and lack of modern (Jarring! Evil) elements, plus I love occasionally seeing signs from my own favorite places. Shot by a pro, rather than by someone waving an iPhone out their window, while simultaneously trying to drive a stick and suck down a Starbucks….(Who would DO that???)  #signsigneverywhereasign   


SF Street Art @arminizer

What do you do when you’re at 10 but you need… JUST A LITTLE MORE? My online friend, Armin (whom I do not know), showed me un-knowingly and single-handedly how to take my posts to the next level (exactly… to 11). Here is a dude who is posting precisely what I would post if I were a) a better photographer b) capable of restraining myself from posting selfies and yet another photo of my dinner and c) a dude. How funny is that – I don’t know anything about him, but we both post about San Francisco, street art, shoe selfies (he seems to have an endless collection of Converse, which he will show when his posts feature literal street art), architecture and general urban scenes. Not only is his work gallery-worthy, but he is a master of focus – his images are crisp AND his account is consistent. As I have mentioned, I teach Instagram, and I have used his account as an example of not only beautiful visual work, but of thoughtful editing (get it). #takeitupanotch


Thanks to all my new "friends" on Instagram for letting me share their accounts!