The 7 Most Innovative Instagram Accounts

While most of us are still snapping pics of our vintage Converses or greasy, fried foods on Instagram, organizations and individuals are getting even more creative, taking advantage of the social media site's increasing popularity to advocate causes, report the news, and advertise. Gone are the days of scrolling through cliché selfies, food porn, and adorable kittens; add variety to your feed by checking out a few accounts that make the most innovative use of Instagram!

1. charity: water @charitywater

charity: water runs one of the most active and successful Instagram accounts by a nonprofit. The organization itself is dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to people around the world. 100 percent of its bottled water sales go towards developing hydro-infrastructure in places that lack safe, usable water. charity: water posts photos daily, the subject almost always being the very people the organization has helped. Effectively using Instagram to draw attention to its cause, charity: water is at the forefront of an international trend to use social media for social change.

2. Tommy Edison @blindfilmcritic

Despite having been blind since birth, Tommy Edison’s life revolves around very visual forms of expression. He’s a movie critic, a photographer, a radio reporter, and now, an active Instagrammer. His Instagram is deceptively mundane. He captures the ordinary shots of everyday life—the sky, a bottle of beer, a brick wall. But the stunning simplicity of the shots coupled with the knowledge that Edison can’t see them is a reminder that perhaps beauty can be interpreted in many ways, not just visually. 

3. TIME Magazine @time

TIME’s legendary portraits of the most influential leaders of our time are now on Instagram! In a time when many publications are struggling to stay afloat admist an increasingly participatory news culture, TIME has found a way to stay relevant and connected with its audience. The publication’s social media team does an excellent job balancing the serious and the lighthearted. Its posts range from the iconic cover of a gay couple kissing to a casual, lively shot of a beach in Nice, France.

4. Erica Bearman @oscarprgirl

Self-described as “PR Girl for Oscar de la Renta reporting from inside one of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses,” Bearman posts new pictures every day. Her Instragrams range from sneak peaks of next season’s Oscar de la Renta advertisements to backstage shots of the latest fashion shows. Her spontaneous behind-the-scenes photos, a break from the fashion industry's super-polished releases, serve as ingenious, relatable marketing for the company as well.

5. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center @nasagoddard

While it might sound dry, NASA's Instagram account proves as innovative and groundbreaking as the agency itself. Coming to your feed live from the Goddard Space Flight Center, the largest center for aeronautical and geographical studies in the U.S., are the latest shots of takeoffs, rocket machinery, and outer space. NASA has found a way to make the exclusive work of scientists, engineers, and astronauts engaging and accessible to the general public. 

6. David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder

David Guttenfelder, chief photographer for The Associated Press in Asia, is one of the few foreign journalists allowed inside North Korea. His photos and videos give a glimpse into the elusive, isolated lives of North Koreans. At times, they are bleak—grey, rainy skies over drab concrete buildings in the countryside—but they also show moments of remarkable normalcy—a woman sorting receipts behind a counter, a man walking into a bar—in one of the world’s most secretive countries.

7. Nick Laham @nicklaham

Nick Laham, a Brooklyn-based photographer, is well known for his artistic yet informative photography. His Instagram portrait of baseball player Alex Rodriguez graced the front page of The New York Times at the end of March. Laham is certainly up-and-coming, pushing the barriers of traditional news photography.