February is Black History Month and this week we are featuring top Black photographers on Instagram that you should be following. From wildlife to sports to food photography, these creators are producing fantastic work that is sure to inspire. We love the power of social media to find and connect with members of the photographic community and you should be sure to add these creators to your “following” list.
From wildlife to sports to food photography, these Black creators are producing fantastic work that is sure to inspire.
George McKenzie Jr. - @georgemckenziejr
George McKenzie Jr. is a National Geographic Society award-winning visual storyteller from Brooklyn, NY, who specializes in wildlife, natural history, and conservation. With over 10 years of experience, George is well-versed in producing stories with an impact that focus on human interests around the world. When he’s not working on his next wildlife story, George is an educator in his local community, mentoring rising young people of color around the world. He’s currently based in Florida, making stunning images of nature and wildlife. He took the shot below with his Sony Alpha 7R IV and Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master.
Eric Wallace - @polymathicwallace
Eric Wallace is a former three-time professional athlete, having played basketball, Australian football and American football. He moved into professional modeling, which he’s been doing for the last eight years. He chose to pick up a camera after noticing how much the photographers he worked with enjoyed what they did. Now Wallace is a professional fashion and portrait photographer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out this reel of a recent shoot with the resulting images!
Hilaire Baumgartner - @baumassfoods
Hilaire Baumgartner is a Dallas/Fort Worth-based commercial and editorial photographer. She shoots food and beverage in a studio setting and on location. We fell in love with her bright colors and fun images. She states, “I believe food should be fun and I love to transfer my playful personality into the bold and colorful work you see here.” Baumgarten has been a Sony shooter from day one. She uses the Sony Alpha 7 III along with the Sony 50mm f/1.8, Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G, and the Sony 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6. Learn more about her work and the gear she uses HERE.
Amanda J. Cain - @AmandaJCain
Amanda Cain is the first black female team photographer in the National Hockey League. Shooting for the San Jose Sharks, Cain captures the story of the team, from highs to lows, from daily practice to big-time games. Read more about her journey and her work HERE.
L. Renee Blount - @UrbanClimbr
Adventure photographer, L. Renee Blount is based in the Bay area and is a Harvard-trained designer, creative strategist, and storyteller. She works in innovation and storytelling to illuminate untold stories and to rethink the future. Check out this video where you can see her shoot on an expedition and hear about the power of perspective. And we love the image from the expedition below, made on the Sony Alpha 7R V.
Thearon Henderson - @ThearonHenderson
Thearon Henderson is a freelance sports photographer who often works on contract with Getty Images. Henderson has a magic ability to photograph action. Sometimes he does this by freezing motion at the perfect instant and other times he utilizes motion blur. Of course, this skill is critical to sports photographers - but Henderson seems to have mastered it beautifully. The shot below was taken on the Sony Alpha 1 and the Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master. Check out his work and be sure to give him a follow!
Simone Sharice - @simone.sharice
Atlanta-based content creator Simone Sharice has made her work stand out by capturing it at a higher quality. While many content creators use phones, Sharice began shooting consent for Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube on her Sony Alpha 7 IV. She is continually asked how her posts look so sharp and the video looks so smooth. Check out this beauty influencer's content and give her a follow on Instagram!
Travis Ellison - @travietrav_dmv
Travis Ellison is a sports and concert photographer. He spent five years working full-time photographing professional football. He now works as a freelance sports photographer making epic images of high action and intense emotion. Check out his Instagram and be sure to give him a follow!
Martine Séverin - @martine.severin
Martine Séverin is a lifestyle and advertising photographer. She is based in Chicago and Los Angeles, with Chicago being her primary hub. Her vibrant work aims to push boundaries and celebrate inclusivity. Interested in creating fashion narratives that reference non-western norms, she strives to collaborate with brands who speak to a diverse audience. Séverin has been honored as a Sony Alpha Female winner.
Rhonisha Franklin - @rdione
Rhonisha Franklin started photography as a hobby over a decade ago and quickly fell in love with it and the fulfillment it brought to her life. She has a passion for contemporary portraiture and capturing the essence of who you are through timeless elegance. She was the winner of the first Alpha Female grant and founded @melanatedexposure, a creative community educating and advancing the business of Creatives Of Color.
Lisa Janae - @janae.lisa
Lisa Janae is a Black, queer multimedia artist, activist and actor from Los Angeles, CA currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. They won the Alpha Female+ Grant for a docu-series project. In front of the camera, they are a member of the Screen Actors Guild and have most recently co-starred in Full Circle on HBO and Law and Order: Organized Crime on NBC. Give them a follow on Instagram to keep up with more of their groundbreaking work.
Mary Bel - @marybelphotography
Fine art and self-portrait photographer Mary Bel was awarded an Alpha Female+ Grant for her project, “A representation of oneself or viewed by oneself; COVID-19’s impact on mental health." For the project, Bel stepped in front of the camera to create moody and painterly self-portraits that tell a story and demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of individuals as a society by visualizing its impact. Throughout her career, Mary Bel has become known for her painterly images, beautifully blending fine art and photography.
Ruth Hickman - @ruthhickmanphotography
Ruth Hickman is a traveling visual storyteller who uses digital media to showcase underrepresented cultures. She won the Alpha Female+ Grant for her project on Mexican cultural icon-inspired portraits that reimagine traditional Mexican national treasures as Afro-Mexicans. Ruth believes that everyone deserves to truly be represented in mainstream media. Follow her Instagram account to see more of her stunning images and inclusivity.