Photo Credit: Jack Sorokin
One of the biggest factors that influenced me to commit to creating better beer content on my social media channels and blog was all of the amazing examples I saw on other people’s channels. Personally, I think it’s much easier to improve and achieve something if there is a visible goal in front of you to work towards.
To that end, I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorite beer photographers that I get inspiration from regularly. Some are photographers, others are videographers, and some are both – but one thing they have in common is that they all produce exceptional content.
In this day and age, with approximately two zillion users (I counted) on Instagram and more still on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like, it has never been more important to create content that is visually appealing, engaging, and interesting.
As I step off my soap box, I leave you with one final tidbit of advice: find someone who produces content – whether it be photo, video, or otherwise – that inspires you, and figure out how they do it.
Yes, sure, that’s easier said than done, and many great photographers have years of experience under their belt. However, if you commit to producing better content that is interesting and engaging, and find a benchmark to work towards (i.e., an awesome photo that somebody else took), you’ll be surprised at how much you can improve in a short period of time. Trust me.
Now, here are a few of the accounts that I regularly get inspiration from:
I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but somehow, Allagash Brewing Company has found a way to make me feel like I actually live in Maine. Which is funny because I’m from South Carolina, and lose any resemblance of sanity if someone so much as mentions the word “snow”. I digress.
Allagash Brewing’s stunning Instagram feed is the handiwork of a dynamic duo made up by Mat Trogner and Brett Willis. Mat handles the photography side of things, while Brett handles the copy writing and planning aspects. Yes, you read that correctly – planning. A gram game that stellar doesn’t happen by accident, folks.
Their social media content is also incredibly dynamic. It’s about beer, yes, but it also showcases much more than that – it tells visual stories of what life in Maine is like. Whether it be picturesque lighthouses on the coast, breathtaking drone footage of the tide, or a killer lobster roll propped up next to a bottle of Allagash White, you are guaranteed to find some amazing photos on their feed to inspire you to get out there and start creating. With beer. And cameras. And things. But also beer.
PS – they also post epic photos of their coolship, foeders, and barrels on a regular basis, if that tickles your fancy.
PSS – the guy in the photo above is Cory Smith (aka @bkbeerguy), who also happens to be mentioned in this article. Cory recently went up to Portland, Maine to join Allagash for their last coolship brew of the season. What? Jealous? No I’m not jealous! I mean, who would want to travel to an iconic brewery to witness firsthand one of the most historic Belgian brewing methods? Definitely not me. No way. (Allagash, if you’re reading this, call me).
One of my favorite and recently discovered accounts is that of Casey Atwell’s. Casey is a North Carolina-based photographer, and the Creative Director at Manifest Digital Media. Casey creates stellar images for several beer (and other) brands in the NC area.
Casey is an expert with a camera and has a keen ability to manipulate light to perfectly illuminate his subject. And, quite often, his subject is a delectable frothy beverage. Check out his Instagram profile by clicking one of the photos below, or check out his site: Manifest Digital Media.
One of the first folks that I started following when I got on Instagram was Cory Smith, a Brooklyn-based photographer and writer who often contributes to the well known beer site, Good Beer Hunting.
As a matter of fact, Cory is a big part of the reason why I even picked up a camera in the first place. I remember checking out his page, wondering how he was able to take such beautiful photos. Then I would look at mine, and I would wonder why I didn’t clean that coffee stain off the counter and put the Oreos up before I started snapping away. Lesson learned.
Cory is an incredible storyteller, both through visual and written mediums. His photos, too, are more than just beer; they tell stories of the people who make the beer, those who enjoy it, and all of the fascinating places that his journey with craft beer takes him – and there are quite a few of them (he travels quite often). Did I mention he recently went up to Portland, Maine to brew with Allagash? He went to Vancouver a couple of weeks ago too. Some guys get to have all the fun.
I started following Tyler’s account several months ago, and since then it has quickly become one of my favorites. His content tends to rotate between some really great beer photos and landscape photography – and his landscape shots are stellar (check out the epic waterfall below). Tyler’s got a great eye for photography in general, and he consistently puts out some of my favorite content on Instagram.
Jack’s page has long been one of my favorites. Jack is a professional photographer and videographer based out of Asheville, NC. Not all of his work revolves around beer (though a lot of it does), but regardless of the topic – all of his photos are incredible. Jack’s work has appeared in several issues of BeerAdvocate magazine (including a few covers), and he shoots regularly all over the Asheville, NC area. Some of his latest work was for White Labs Yeast, shooting their new “Kitchen & Tap” facility in Asheville – and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Patrick Dean – family man, purveyor of finely homebrewed (and photographed) New England IPAs. I’m going to be honest – most of the folks on this list are people I chat with fairly regularly on social media, but Patrick and I had never actually messaged back and forth until it came time for me to write this post. I’ve followed him for quite some time though – admiring his NEIPA photos from afar (it’s totally not weird).
If the photo isn’t beer, then it’s likely his young son (hence the family man comment). All of his photos are great though, I’m just saying don’t be surprised when you come across a can of Heady Topper that leads immediately into a lesson on riding your bike without training wheels. But seriously – he’s got the crispiest NEIPA shots you’ve ever seen in your life. He’s also a homebrewer, so there are some cool hydrometer shots thrown in there as well.
Kevin Hobbins is a San Antonio, TX-based photographer with a stellar eye for beertography. His page is a showcase of visually pleasing aesthetic, and a healthy dose of Texas hops from players like Saint Arnold, Independence, and Real Ale. As a matter of fact – it’s a rare occasion that you find Kevin not drinking local. With all of that being said, if you go to San Antonio and don’t ask Kevin where the best watering holes are, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
That’s all for now folks – hopefully these talented photographers will give you some inspiration to strive towards as you learn more about photography and content creation in the beer industry. Remember – find something you love, learn, and practice, practice, practice – until you can create it yourself.