In my first post, I wrote that Instagram is the platform I use to share the things I like, but also to get to know people with the same interests as me, and it is precisely this aspect that is the subject of my final post.
(group photo, credits @giorgette_p)
It is incredible how this social media platform has the ability to create connections between people, even very strong ones in some cases. I always get confirmation of this when I talk to other users: there are so many people who have met one another virtually via this platform and who struck up a real friendship when they met in person. It may be that sometimes images can reveal so much, tell you so directly something about the person who publishes them, that when you actually meet that person, you feel as though he or she has been part of your life for ages. In some cases, you can feel as though you have known someone forever! Or at least that’s what happened to me. I formed friendships with the Instagrammers I will talk about here because their profiles caught my attention, the stories they told through their images had an effect on me, inspired me. Now, all of these people, in their different ways, are part of my reality.
I will start with @elisagram. I came across her profile thanks to a photography competition that she was organising on Instagram for a client company, with the prize of free tickets to a Milan food event. I didn’t win the competition in the end but I decided to buy tickets to the event instead; but the most important thing is that a true friendship was created from that evening. Elisa is one of my dearest friends, my companion of adventure, countryside trips, food, laughter. Her profile communicates her love of life; it is sincere, beautiful, like her. I asked Elisa to tell me what Instagram means to her:
“Above all, Instagram motivates me to do something lovely every day in order to get an interesting photo to share. It is an incentive for exploration and positivity. And also a responsibility. The fact that I have followers makes me feel the need to share interesting advice and things with them: beautiful places in the city (#urbanexploration) or out of town (#getoutdoors), nice little places in which to eat or shop (for which I created the hashtag #posticiniamilano [littleplacesinmilan], wonderfully enriched by contributions from @andykate) and books to read. I had started to share what I was reading with the hashtag #continuiamoaleggere [keeponreading] and, when I saw how many people were using it to share suggestions, I decided to give a voice to everyone by setting up the account @continuiamoaleggere.
But let’s get back to the city: Milan is my preferred subject for my photos. I try to tell the story of the seasons, the façades, the streets, the parks and the hidden corners. I like to find hashtags that match my pictures: #strideby if I capture a passer-by, #chasinglight if there are particular rays of light across the image, #fromabove when taken from above. Or, my personal favourite: #emojyfantasy, invented by @ninagraceless, if I manage to get an emojy hidden somewhere in the photo to make it more fun.”
(photo Elisa Pella, credits @elisagram)
Elisa works in communications in the food and drink sector and has the best tips on where to go to eat in Milan. She’s also very active on Steller, a social media network devoted to storytelling through images and videos. I recommend that you download the app and check out her fantastic stories (@elisapella)
“If there’s one thing I like to observe in detail, it’s the urban scene, whatever and wherever it may be: the façades of the buildings, the shadows of the balconies, parked bicycles, the pavements, the structures damaged by time, street art. Add a person to it, and you find before you an amazing urban phenomenon that is so worth capturing on film. Anything can be beautiful, you just need to pay a bit of attention to the detail.”
These are the words of @fernandocobelo, a young Venezuelan architect who lives in Turin. Through a search by hashtag, I came across his profile and I discovered a Turin that I never knew before; his photos take me around my home city and make me (re)discover it in a new and unconventional way. Fernando has great talent and is the artist behind a project of beautiful illustrations called #theordinaryyoungman, which, for me, has something poetical about it. I dream that, one day, he may be able to create one of his works on one of the walls that so inspire him and that he photographs so often.
(photo Fernando Cobelo, credits: @fernandocobelo)
@giorgette_p is my favourite creative artist on Instagram; every time that I look at her photos, I get the desire to do something but, unfortunately, I don’t have her same magic fingers! She cooks, creates, draws; her images are fun and full of colour.
“For me, photography – basically, using Instagram! – is a game. Yes, I take pictures of the canals in Venice too, but the ones I have the most fun with are the ones I take at home, creating sets, playing around with objects, food, flowers and whatever I have to hand. A few months ago, to explain a recipe, I broke it down into lots of photos of the individual ingredients on coloured backgrounds, giving them geometrical shapes. It then became a story on Steller. My favourite? It’s this one: simply some eggs.”
(photo Giorgia Polo, credits @giorgette_p)
“When I take a photo, it’s based exclusively on my mood and what I want to communicate in that precise moment, so I don’t have one single source of inspiration. That said, I think that film, music, art, literature and food are the most solid glue in this uneven and continuously evolving patchwork that is my gallery. Lately, for example, I’ve become obsessed with portraits and silent, detached atmospheres (it might be the influence of my current playlist), whilst in terms of editing, I use mainly Instagram tools – which I believe are excellent – and I prefer a simple style: only natural light and very light filters or none at all.”
(photo Rosella Degori, credits: @roselladegori)
@roselladegori is an Italian who lives in London and I came across her profile because I was “investigating” the city in which she lives which, for work reasons, may be where I’ll be living too. If I were to base it solely on her photos, I would move there immediately. She has sophisticated aesthetic taste and I love her profile precisely because it contains many different aspects and tells the story of a beautiful, elegant, timeless London. Rosella is the only one of these Instagrammers that I have yet to meet in person, but something tells me that this may very soon no longer be the case.
I was born in Turin but I consider Milan my home. I love nature, good food, sunny days spent outdoors and in good company.