What it's like to be a professional Instagrammer
After all, Rise isn't your average Instagrammer - he has more than 900,000 followers.
That kind of exchange - real money for sharing a photo on social media that promotes a product, brand, or location - is becoming increasingly common, especially on growing networks like Instagram and Vine. And it's allowed people like Rise to make healthy livings by traveling the world and sharing photos.As a professional photographer with a huge following on Instagram, Rise, who's 30, is paid to travel and take beautiful photos of exotic locations. He'll post carefully edited photos of his adventures on Instagram with captions that he hopes give his followers a personal window into his travel experiences.
He's backpacked through the Norwegian wilderness for the country's tourism board and photographed ancient ruins in Turkey. Last December, NASA invited him to the Kennedy Space Center to photograph the liftoff of the Orion spacecraft alongside media outlets like CNN and the BBC.
Rise, who is also a designer (he designed the Instagram icon and some of the app's filters - yes, that one that's called "Rise"), remembers the first time someone asked to pay him for a post on Instagram. "A certain jewelry company reached out and asked me to write a cheesy poem and post a picture of their jewelry 'that shows love,'" he tells Tech Insider. "And I was like, 'Have you looked at my Instagram?'"
He turned down the $300 offer, and says he continues to turn down offers on a weekly basis that don't fit in with his feed's personal "brand."
Rise was already professional photographer before he started using Instagram, and he continues to support himself both through commercial photography as well as through his work on the social network.
Unlike Rise, Cory Staudacher had no experience as a pro photographer before Instagram. His life changed when he got an iPhone.
"I started going out to take photos with friends and found a love for photography," he tells Tech Insider. "It was a good way for me to get out from behind my desk at my design job."
For Dos Equis's "Most interesting man in the world" campaign, for example, he took a helicopter ride around New York City and hung out on a luxury yacht. Acura also paid him to drive one of its new cars around the Sundance film festival and photograph it against the beautiful landscapes of Park City, Utah.
Like Staudacher, Chris Ozer is another Tinker Street photographer who owes his career to Instagram. Previously a jazz pianist, Ozer, 34, had no plans to be a professional photographer until he started gaining followers during the early days of Instagram.