When I joined Instagram, the first thing I did (after posting a really bad picture of my cat) was type “#Joburg” into the search bar and see what came up. I love the fact that Instagram has connected me to so many great Johannesburg-based photographers and although I follow people from all over the world, the Joburg accounts are my favorites.
I was going through my “Following” list recently and realized that the Joburg accounts I like best aren’t necessarily those that you see in the usual “Top 10 Instagrammer…” articles that make the rounds on the Interwebs. I particularly love Instagram’s Joburg storytellers — photographers who really focus on Joburg and tell the city’s story from a specific angle or with a certain style. Accounts like this tend to be underrated, in my opinion, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites here, in no particular order:
Ihsaan Haffejee is a Joburg-based photojournalist. He covers all kinds of interesting news but his feed has a particular focus on Joburg’s Muslim communities. Ihsaan posts a nice mix of both iPhone and DSLR shots.
@dayphotolife, whose real name is Dudu Maphumula, lives in Hillbrow and shoots most of his pictures there. He takes beautiful portraits and has a great eye for fashion and street photography.
Cornél van Heerden is another Joburg photojournalist (I’m always drawn to photojournalism) covering a combination of hard news and documentary stories. He recently posted an extended Instagram series about New Years Eve in Hillbrow, which I really enjoyed.
I don’t know exactly how to characterize Michael Abrahams’ account. But to me it is quintessentially Joburg — a combination of family photos, street photography, and news.
@thejoburgmodernist, a.k.a. Jonathan Bosworth, focuses on mid-20th-century architecture in Joburg and surrounding areas. I love the consistent style of this account, celebrating Joburg’s unique architectural heritage. Some of the photos portray small architectural details while others incorporate people and the general atmosphere around a building.
Run by Viktor Bobchev, a fellow Jozi transplant, @illuminationjozi is another account that I find difficult to characterize. The photos all fall under one of seven unique themes, each of which has its own hashtag. Examples include #cityshifters, #jwalkers, #socialspaces, and #awayfromhome (which is reserved for photos taken away from Joburg).
This is not an inclusive list by any means, and I’d love to hear who your favorite Jozi Instagrammers are. Feel free to suggest accounts in the comments section below or send me suggestions on Twitter or Facebook. And of course, you can hit me up on Instagram at @2summers.