1. Lydia Berry (@lyd_berry)
I actually went to high school with Lydia, so I'm kind of cheating on this one, but she is so fun to follow. She and her boyfriend are #goals beyond belief, and her fashion marketing major makes for awesome content. I actually occasionally feel pain just because Lydia is so perfect it hurts. Here's proof.
"I use Instagram as a platform to give my friends and anybody else who wants to follow along my lil' happy life to share moments that are important to me. I exercise my creativity through the pictures I create, and it's a great personal way for people to get to know me with just a simple click of a button and to me, that's pretty neat." – Lydia Berry
2. Josh Charow (@flashing.lights)
Josh is a student at NYU and an incredible photographer. He recently compiled a video of memories from his fall semester in the city, and it's truly mind-blowing. His content will simultaneously give you a bad case of wanderlust and relatable college feels.
3. Emily Ables (@blueeyedbiblio)
Emily is a book blogger from Ohio. She makes YouTube videos, as well as really aesthetically pleasing book case selfies. Her recommendations are always on point and she's full of knowledge. And adorable glasses.
4. Megan Krupka (@krupcake)
Megan is a college student from Minnesota. Her Instagram feed is full of beauty and simplicity, capturing life's small and important moments. I'm also guilty of trying to do my hair like hers for similar stellar selfies.
5. Shameah Sayed (@byshameah)
Meah also attended high school with me, but she is a year older than me. Her Instagram shows her grace and maturity, as she blogs about fashion and lifestyle topics. With glimpses into her outfit combinations and travel plans, it's sure to shine.
6. Dominic Brockhaus (@domvisuals)
Dominic is a young Omaha native and high school senior who photographs the hidden corners of the city. His work has easily become my phone background multiple times, and I'm so stoked to see what he does next.
"I enjoy exploring Omaha and showing people the city from a different perspective. I've had some crazy night adventures from climbing cranes to exploring abandoned buildings like the Civic Auditorium. I live to explore." – Dominic Brockhaus
7. Wyn Wiley (@wynwileyphoto)
If you haven't heard of Wyn before, you probably haven't been on Instagram very long. Wyn teaches photography classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and takes on projects across the globe. His senior portraits are the talk of the town, and I'm already budgeting for him to photograph my wedding. And although his photos do most of the talking, Wyn is a personality to be reckoned with. He is wise and hilarious, and his captions are always worth a read.
8. Emily Meier (@emily.k.meier)
Emily is a high school senior in Kansas City, Missouri with a keen eye for art and a bright future to come in the next few years. Whether she's documenting her own youthful experiences or taking portraits of others, her work remains beautiful.
9. John Paul Ficenec (@johnficenec)
John is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a go-to photographer for many in the Midwest. His artistic perspective is unique and makes for a wonderfully colorful feed. In addition, he has a passion to show honesty and intimacy in all of his subjects, making for deeply creative content.
"What seems to inspire me the most are aesthetic choices that bands and musicians make. I also try to incorporate social justice issues into my work. I find that a lot of lifestyle photographers don't use their platform to make powerful statements, which is fine because no one is requiring them to, but I find that if I don't use my work to speak up, I'm being complacent. And I really just want to make sure that at the end of the day, everyone feels like they can be photographed by me regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, body size/ability, etc." – John Paul Ficenec
10. Jenna Routh (@jennarouth)
Jenna attends Baylor University, but travels all over the country to take pictures. Whether it be weddings, senior portraits or her sweet family, Jenna's feed is full of all the good stuff. It looks like a living, breathing Lumineers song, and I'm obsessed with her.
11. Meredith Wagner (@meredithwagner)
Meredith also goes to Baylor, but I knew her from high school first. The thing I love most about Meredith's Instagram is that it is simply bursting with life. Everything she posts makes my heart feel a lighter and my stomach a little fuller. She's also totally gonna nail latte art soon.
12. Leah Lu (@leahluser)
Leah is a 19-year-old illustrator who also rocks at pictures and playlists. She's also super in love with Conan O'Brien. I'm guilty of printing our her work and putting it on my dorm walls for motivation and friendship.
"Instagram is just a really fun visual diary of sorts for me. It doesn't serve only one purpose; I document my life there, process my thoughts externally, share my art — things that I once thought were strange to do so publicly, but it seems to have been received well by the people that follow me so far. My personal ideology circles around honesty and emotion, and I try as hard as I can to reflect that in my work. Because I've become comfortable with sharing so much on Instagram, I've connected with tons of really open and warm people, started productive conversations and they've all helped me broaden my creative horizons and challenged me to continue tunneling forward in innovative ways." – Leah Lu
13. Leo Sheng (@isupersheng)
Leo is a college student in Michigan who is on the mission to make the world a better place. He shares his journey as a transgender man on a daily basis and provides support and insight for others. Plus, his account just looks awesome.
14. Justina Sharp (@abentpieceofwire)
Justina is a fashion blogger and college student in California, so Instagram is kind of her thing. She literally sent me a Christmas card this year that said "I got you this one because it'll go with your Instagram aesthetic." What a pro.
"I call myself a pop culture commentator but I really just like to talk, and Instagram is how I illustrate that. Social media is the best way to not only connect with the world, but to see it. With that said, I like to keep mine relatively aesthetically pleasing, which means lots of food porn and photos of my adventures. I'm also scared of misinterpreting poetry, so you'll find none of it in my captions." – Justina Sharp
15. Hennessy Vandheur (@vandheur)
You may recognize Hennessy's work because it went viral after the election. He covered many protests in the city and was recognized all over social media. Based in New York, the 18-year-old has quite the collection of artists and muses to follow. Keep your eyes on this guy!
16. Kate Beckman (@kate_beckman)
This name is probably familiar...because she's the Founder and CEO of Fresh U! Kate is obviously a fearless leader and full of talent, but I'm also just in love with her Instagram style, too.
17. Kamrin Baker (@kamstagrams)
What? You thought I was gonna let you off the hook without a shameless self promotion? After looking at all of these other accounts, I'm definitely not as impressive. But who cares? Go follow me, fam.
While this definitely doesn't cover the entire creative young community on Instagram this, I hope it gives you a glimpse into the bravery, depth and soul of the future of media. I, for one, am dying to be best friends with everyone on this list. See you and your VSCO-edited pics on the other side, pals.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels