For this week’s Insta-view, I sat down with lifestyle and portraiture photographer Lisa Weatherbee aka @jungletimer—who has over 50k followers—to speak about her love for photography and her views on what it takes to master your craft.

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@jackjeffries and i visited this spot just about a year ago. came back today and i was just as humbled, just as blown away.

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When did you first start taking photos? 

I went to college for fine-arts and that’s where I picked it up and my passion grew. I started out with painting and drawing and such. Then, I went to school for art production and advertising, which was sort of a detour that turned out to be helpful.

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© Lisa Weatherbee

Do you consider your Instagram something that has a big impact on your career as a photographer?

Did I make my career from Instagram? No. I think I made my career separate from it. However, it’s a part of my career now. At first, my Instagram was just about my personal life. Now it’s become both about my life and my work, which is an aspect that’s definitely changed. Only in the past few years would I say that I’ve done photography solely for the purpose of posting it on Instagram. I love Instagram; it’s a fun and quick way to share your art and it’s the biggest audience that sees my work.

 

How does the work on your Instagram differ from the work in your portfolio?

My portfolio work is about other people’s lives with my own spin or own input and my Instagram is images about my own life, with my own friends. You can really see what I like in terms of my style and taste. I try my best to keep it in real time, not necessarily at the very minute, but I’m not too interested in revisiting things from two weeks or a month ago. Instagram, more-so than my website, is a place where I sort of experiment; it’s a place to figure out what I’m drawn to and what I like to do.

 

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i’m really feeling the colors on today’s subway ride. soon we’ll be traveling in sea of gray, black and brown…

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When did you first start using Instagram?

I was at this getaway camp for photographers. It was my first year there and also the first time I hung out with a whole bunch of photographers at once, which was exciting. Everyone was using Instagram and I was like, “oh, what is that?” I never thought that taking photos with my phone was something that I would be interested in. Since I started using it, I’ve held my photos at a higher standard. I only post something that feels good—not that it’s a big deal—but brings out some kind of emotion so I won’t get tired of it.

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© Lisa Weatherbee

Do you think Instagram takes away the value from physical photos?

It’s funny because I only have a handful of photos of myself when I was a kid. If I wanted to see a video, my dad only has one that he made. Now, we take hundreds of photos all the time and we need to digitize it. Memories are precious but we can’t remember everything, so we save it when and where we can. It’s great that we have a larger library to go through now. I don’t have kids now but when I do I’m psyched to be able to have that resource. Does it take away value? I don’t know, but I do know that it feels like a human thing to want to capture what you see and share it.

 

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yesterday was the second time in my life I got to ride on a convertible and @reallykindofamazing set a pretty high bar.

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Any advice for photographers looking to build a larger audience?

What makes you successful on Instagram is not necessarily what makes you a photographer. If you want to be a photographer just keep shooting, otherwise you’re not going to find your style and what fits you. If you want to grow an audience through Instagram be genuine. I wouldn’t post a photo without having something to say, so talk to your audience and let them talk to you. Take a lot of pictures, expose yourself to places and cultures, think about color and composition. If you want to photograph people, photograph enough people so that you’re less nervous. The more you do it, the more you realize about yourself.

lisa-weatherbee, photography, arts, instagram, jungle-timer
© Lisa Weatherbee

Follow her on Instagram @jungletimer!