Hashtag Happy With Tiny Atlas Quarterly

Love them or hate them, hashtags inevitably have the power to introduce trends, inspire action, ignite movements, induce FOMO and ultimately unite people in a unique and unprecedented way. Apologies for the alliteration – these things tend to get me excited. But, although I can often be caught geeking out on Iconosquare analytics (alas, it’s a large part of my job), I’ll be the first to admit that there are undeniable negative effects to our selfie-obsessed, highly curated, yet overshared culture. From body image and health concerns to classism, elitism, materialism and endless other isms, studies have shown that perhaps our constant connectedness in the digital world is negatively impacting our relationships with ourselves and others IRL.

That said, there are stand out communities using Instagram and the like for good. Causes and charities naturally benefit from the immediacy and contagious aspects of social media, but, creative platforms with open source tendencies that show equal love to amateur and professional photographers alike also come to mind. Of course, I mean the ones that actually properly credit (tag) the original sources (though the Josh Ostrovsky aka “The Fat Jew” drama has subsided, this is an ongoing problem on social media and the Internet at large). Tiny Atlas Quarterly, however, is a creative collective and printed publication, that as the name so aptly implies is also a means of connecting people and places through still and moving images and the stories behind them. The “travel” hashtag garners over 58 million tags on Instagram so clearly they’ve tapped into an eager demographic, but the suggestion that the world is indeed small and therefore we are all not so different is beautiful in its simplicity.

While the number of #montauk posts, 380k +, seems weak in comparison, the East End has been having something of a “moment” with city dwellers from near and far clamoring to its beaches and enjoying not just lobster rolls and relaxed charm, but also luxury accommodations and high end restaurants and spas. Montauk’s recent rise to destination stardom makes it the perfect candidate for a Tiny Atlas nod and thus #mytinyatlasmontauk was born. Almost 9,000 entries later, Refinery29’s Creative Director Piera Geraldi and Executive Director of Photography Brenda Milis, Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste and 20X200 Founder Jen Bekman have joined Tiny Atlas editors and lent their expert eyes to guest judge and select the winning 167 images. TAQ will be displaying some of them along with large format prints from their upcoming online edition (entitled FIRE) with a photo show and party at the MBH on Saturday, September 12th. All prints were made by Social Print Studio and Nicole Leone will be on hand to provide tunes. You can RSVP here.

Those of you who can’t make it can find all of the winners in an online gallery on the TAQ website upon the launching of FIRE, but we have a special sneak peek of some of the favorites below. If you like what you see (of course you do), you might be wondering how these photographers find #inspo and achieve such perfect square shaped portals that evoke feelings of nostalgia and transport you, albeit momentarily, to locales you’ve never even visited. Lucky for you, we’ve shared quotes from them about their processes below.

anthony d'argenzio

“I try to capture a feeling when shooting travel photography. The devil is the details…nothing says summer like a colorful umbrella in Italy. Shot in Monterosso, Cinque Terre.”

– Anthony D’Argenzio aka @zioandsons


I’m driven, drawn and inspired by light. It can get me out of bed to shoot at dawn or send me to the beach on a broody day, such as in this image of my bichon-shitzu muse Bubba, not far from my home in Uruguay.

– Heidi Lender aka @heidilender

“When I was younger I made a decision to make traveling with open eyes and an open heart my life’s priority. I wanted to meet people, hear stories, see places, be challenged, inspired and moved. I wanted to feel small and for life to be put into perspective. I’ve learned so much about the world and myself from the people I’ve met along the way and the things I’ve seen. And this is what inspires my photos – the emotion, the landscapes, the history, cultures, design and mostly, my desire to share those things and inspire other people to escape their comfort zone and explore. It’s a big world out there!

The photo selected was taken on a recent trip to Barbados in a small village, Six Mens. Every morning the men of the village would take tiny boats out to catch fish that would feed their families and be sold to generate income…generally, the village’s only source of income. When they returned home, the women would spend hours preparing it to be sold while simultaneously dancing to loud Reggae music. I loved how the same daily routine always seemed so happy in their brightly colored fishing boats, rainbow shacks, the loudest music playing and the sun shining casting shadows of the perfect palm.”

– Emma Crowther aka @lumalist


“I am constantly framing compositions in my mind, everywhere I go. When the light, colors and lines all come together in unexpected ways that’s when things get exciting. Sometimes these moments are right are under our nose and other times it takes being a little more adventurous to uncover them. I came across this quiet little moment in Cape Cod after peeking through a patch of tall sea grass, and knew instantly I had to capture it. These are the moments that inspire me most.”

– Carley Rudd aka @carleyscamera

Written by Katerina Simonova.

Header image courtesy of Tiny Atlas Quarterly (from their Earth issue), photographed by Adrian Morris.