Julian is a filmmaker and photographer. He received his M.A. in Communication from Wichita State and currently works for Yale University.
Looking to add some spice to the accounts you're following on the Gram? Whether you're looking for more eye candy or some unique inspiration to inspire your next photo shoot, maybe some of these suggestions will help point you in the right direction.
Some of the suggestions here will stick to the traditional model ideal, but perhaps one or two may stand out as unique and even challenge your perception of beauty or modeling entirely. So let's get started!
5. @_missbo a.k.a. "Bo"
"Consistency is key"—is that a phrase people use? If so, I feel like it should apply to Bo (@_missbo) more than anyone. One look at her Instagram, and you'll have a good idea of the content she'll bring to your feed. Her photos tend to have a really old-school, grainy feel to them, which is supplemented by her often vintage outfit choice. Really, you'll always know what you're getting with Bo, and that's one of the pleasures of following her!
An added bonus: Catch the occasional video posted along with her photos as well, showing how she models from a "behind the scenes" perspective. Her videos provide a neat glimpse into what goes on behind the camera during a shoot!
4. @marooshk—A Ray of Light for Your Feed
Marina Laswick (@marooshk) has been modeling since she was 16 years old and never intended for it to be a career. What I love about her Instagram is how bright and happy most of her content is, which is why I consider her a ray of light for my feed! Her feed shifts between bright portraits and the occasional "real life," or more personal posts, giving followers a glimpse into her life.
In addition to the work Marina does in content creation, she also finds time to run a blog where she publishes articles on lifestyle, fitness, and mental health. Being one who has struggled with depression and anxiety herself, Marina provides tips that have worked for her on how to cope with mental health issues. It's these struggles that she's overcome that influence how she runs her Instagram and how she interacts with those who follow her.
More than anything, I’ve always wanted to be able to connect with others and provide support and conversation about the real life things we encounter. As I get older, I realize I need this platform to be something more than a gallery of “pretty” photos. Let’s dig deep. Let’s be honest and let’s work together to make this community stronger.
— Marina Laswick
And this is why I believe you should be following Marina on IG. Her gallery is more than just a collection of "pretty photos"; it's a way for her to help foster a community focused on building each other up. And that's really powerful.
3. @laspektator—Costumes & Culture
Maria Perez's (@laspektator) content differs quite a bit from the accounts that have preceded her so far (just wait until you see profile #1 on this list, though!), and it might be exactly what you need to add a little more variety to your feed. Maria's work varies when it comes to the portraiture she features, but a majority of them feature her in face paint, elegant dresses, and intricate headpieces drawing from Hispanic culture.
The variety of costume and makeup she uses add such an incredible element to her photos, and it's like a breath of fresh air to see her work pop up in your feed, breaking up the monotony of portrait after portrait (if your IG feed happens to look like mine). Not to mention it's delightful getting some insight into a culture you might not be familiar with!
Being based in L.A., Maria worked for a little bit with another model/performer to produce some gorgeous images (more on this individual later on in this article). And though they've parted ways, Maria still produces content regularly, and she might be someone you should consider adding to your feed!
2. @elizabethwheeland Has the Essence of a Lion
First and foremost, the most striking thing about Elizabeth Wheeland (@elizabethwheeland) is her hair, which has a striking resemblance to a lion's mane. In fact, Spirit & Flesh magazine describes her as being "distinguishable for her striking beauty and wild mane," which ultimately earned her a finalist spot in Love Magazine's #loveme17 talent search when Elizabeth was only 16 years old.
Since then, her career has been on the move, even landing her an opportunity to be photographed by Kendall Jenner. With strong ties to the Instagram platform and a continuous stream of content, Elizabeth easily stands out and is definitely worth taking a look at!
Elizabeth Wheeland ... is distinguishable for her striking beauty and wild mane, earning her a spot as a finalist in Love Magazine’s #loveme17 talent search at just 16 years old. Thrust into the spotlight and drawing the eye of many within the industry, she was subsequently photographed by Kendall Jenner, an honor few can say they’ve had. Wheeland is now dipping her toes into film, transforming her role from audience to actor.
As stated in the quote above, Elizabeth pursues ways to further her career, one of which is finding film roles for herself, positioning her as an actress as well as a model, including playing the lead role in the short film Collapse.
So if there's one thing you should follow Elizabeth for, it's her continuous pursuit of improving her craft. It may be one thing to keep rehashing the same thing because you're good at it, but it's entirely more commendable to step out of your comfort zone and try to develop your career in methods you might not be familiar or comfortable with, which is exactly what Elizabeth is doing.
1. Butch Locsin—"The Skeleton of Color"
Modeling can be more than just posing for a photographer; it can be an art. Los Angeles-based performer Butch Locsin, known as the Skeleton of Color (@butch_locsin_from_la), exemplifies this in everything he does while performing as his character. In many ways, Butch is a performance artist, but his methods lend themselves to being a model as well, which is why I've included him on this list. You'll see shortly how he draws crowds of photographers to shoot his performances.
Butch's character is meant to be far more than just something to photograph; it's meant to promote Hispanic and Day of the Dead culture.
Most people look at the skull as something negative, something related to death—which it is—but the Day of the Dead culture sees the skull as a symbol celebrating the life of the deceased. It’s a positive reminder of what happens to us and what we will become.
— Butch Locsin
And this is why I think you should be following Butch on Instagram. He's passionate about what he does and is always striving to share his culture and passions with others. He will arrange performances, and tons of photographers and videographers will show up to capture images of him, and just seeing the sheer number of creatives who make it out to work with him says so much about his character, his art, and who he is as a person!
I've been following Butch for years now, and his dedication to his craft is incredible. Whether it's one of his regular posts, a behind the scenes video, or updates on his everyday life through his Instagram story, it's a blast getting to see him follow his passions each and every day!
Go Forth and Discover!
Now it's time for you to get out there and find some more content to follow and support! As you peruse each Instagram featured in this article, make sure you're exploring the work of the photographers who are credited in the model's photos. There's tons of talent out there, and platforms like Instagram make it so much easier to connect and learn from what others are doing!
essa on March 11, 2020: