Photographer @BrandenHarvey Turns Instagram Followers Into Friends

Branden Harvey (@brandenharvey) is passionate about community. As the Portland, Oregon-based photographer states on his profile, “I believe your story matters,” and as one of Oregon’s top InstaMeet organizers and the creator of the #storyportrait hashtag, he means it. So far over 1,000 photos have been submitted to the #storyportrait tag, which Branden created to encourage people to “share the stories of the people in your life. Authentically. Genuinely. Lovingly.”

Whether he’s exploring with other Instagrammers he just met, or traveling to India on a trip partly funded by his Instagram connections, Branden’s perfected the art of turning Instagram connections into real-life friends. Check out his top tips for how to follow suit below and be sure to follow him at @brandenharvey.

  • Take genuine interest in people and ask solid questions. Learn about pasts: where people are coming from. Learn about futures: what they’re hopeful about. Then find out how they’re going to get from point A to point B.
  • Don’t be afraid to meet in real life. Get coffee, visit bookstores, attend Instameets or get lost taking photos in a forest.
  • Be the most encouraging person you know. Look for awesome ways to compliment people’s work that you admire.
  • Cultivate your sense of adventure. Take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. Crash on people’s couches, buy plane tickets and plan road trips with people you’ve never met before. (But use common sense when possible)