If you ever want to feel bad about your life choices, open the Battery section of your iPhone and look at the amount of time you've spent using Instagram. As I write this, I've been awake for eight hours, at work for six hours, and have already spent one hour and 13 minutes liking other people's photos and scrolling through their stories.
And while, yes, some Instagrammers choose to document every minute detail of their day, others are using the platform to elevate their art, to shape their point of view, and to add to the collective cultural conversation. Here, we share eight local accounts worth the scroll.
Jackie Lee Young —@jackieleeyoung
True story: Last year during their Best of Austin poll, I wrote to the Austin Chronicle explaining why they needed to broaden their Best Local Instagrammer category, and specifically used photographer Jackie Lee Young as an example. Bleached out portraits interspersed with vibrant still lifes and concert snaps make this one of the dreamiest feeds to follow. Oh, and if her work looks familiar, she's also the photographer for Bunkhouse, the hospitality group behind such gems as El Cosmico, Hotel San Jose, and Hotel Saint Cecilia.
My Name is Joe Coffee — @mynameisjoecoffee
Chef Philip Speer began My Name is Joe Coffee Co. as a thoughtful way to provide support to people in addiction recovery. Curated in this feed are beautiful photos of the trailer's coffee and food offerings, as well as portraits of staff and customers alike. Each photograph is accompanied by a piece of sage wisdom from "Joe," that resonate no matter what challenges you've faced.
Peach Fuzz Magazine —@peachfuzzmag
This lady-run, print-only, sex-positive mag is based Austin, but their feed is a celebration of women everywhere. Though you may find the feed borderline NSFW depending on your personal proclivities, no one can deny that these days, a positive, empowered point of view is always welcome.
Bryan Schutmaat — @bryanschutmaat
Technically, we lost Bryan Schutmaat to Houston a few years ago, but for the sake of this story, we'll lay claim to the photographer. Ethereal landscapes of the West are his specialty, and through his lens, Schutmaat captures expansive and haunting scenes.
Dope Toast — @dopetoast
This relatively new account documents Lauren Dunkin's work as a slow poke tattoo artist. Slow poke tattooing (which GQ points out is on the "stylish rise," whatever that means) forgoes the electric tattoo machines in favor of a simple needle and ink process. The tattoos are whimsical and sometimes downright funny, and her feed provides a voyeur's look into Austin's tattoo culture.
Le Politique — @lepolitiqueaustin
If there is a more Insta-friendly restaurant in Austin, we'd like to see it. Before this downtown restaurant even opened its doors, Le Politque was curating a light, airy, French-inspired feed. Expect shots of their dreamy interiors and beautiful snaps of their top dishes.
Virginia Cumberbatch — @vacumberbatch
In addition to documenting her own style, which is a mix of on-trend pieces and classic silhouettes, Cumberbatch takes portraits of stylish friends and family members. While the clothes are cool, it's her penchant for pairing the photos with thoughtful calls to action that has us double-tapping.
Land Boys —@land_boys
This design house turns out work that somehow manages to feel both timeless and modern — with a Western twist. Their Instagram highlights the house's unique partnerships with companies like Stumptown Coffee, STAG Provisions, and Hochstadter's Slow & Low.