#WhoIFollow: The Great Outdoors with Maldives Instagrammer @axlif

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Azlif and his favorites, follow @axlif, @finn, @alexstrohl and @petehalvorsen on Instagram.

Graphic designer Azlif Mohamed (@axlif) lives in the Maldives, the world’s lowest-lying country: 99% of the country is covered by water and only 1% is land. Through his Instagram feed, Azlif’s followers get a rare glimpse at the island nation’s coastline and residents. For Azlif, Instagram is a way to share and see parts of the world outside of his tiny home country. He started using Instagram in 2011 while studying in Bristol, England. “It seemed like the right time to start and capture the contrast between life in the UK and my home in the Maldives. It was the perfect opposite!” he explains. “Since then, it’s become very much part of my life. A daily creative practice and a place to discover.”

Azlif’s favorite people to follow on Instagram share natural scenes that look very different from the ones he sees each day. “Some of my favorite Instagrammers shoot the great outdoors,” he says. “Alex Strohl (@alexstrohl) of Vancouver, Canada, and Finn Beales (@finn) of the Black Mountains, Wales, are both great photographers. I love the diverse range of scenes they capture with perfect composition, tone and narrative.” Azlif also likes to tune into California beach life. “I recently discovered Pete Halvorsen (@petehalvorsen) who captures life in Manhattan Beach. It’s always refreshing to see different beach cultures in faraway places.” In addition to sense of place, Azlif looks for personality in the people he follows. “I love following people who seem humble and genuinely interested in what they capture and choose to share,” he says. With Pete for instance, Azlif says he “can always feel the rawness and authenticity in his videos and photos.”