From daring young urban explorers to seasoned artists and professionals, Detroit is home to many brilliant photographers who use Instagram to showcase their work and document the rapidly changing city. Find out more about the people behind some of the city’s best accounts with our pick of the best.
Though he uses his account to document his travels a lot, professional architectural lighting designer Tyler Ezell always come back to showcasing Detroit. “I like showing the beauty of the city. For the longest time Detroit has been viewed as a scary place you wouldn’t go to, but I find inspiration in the resilience of its people. There are people here that have stuck through it, nose to the grindstone, finding a way to continue to make it all work, despite great adversity.”
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The success of Felicia Fullwood’s Instagram account enabled her to start her own photography company in 2017. “I started taking photography seriously in 2014, as my way to escape the stress of my desk job. Through the app I was able to meet and make connections with people and the opportunities needed to kick start my career. If it wasn’t for my Instagram account and the city, I don’t think I would have discovered my passion.”
Detroit native Andrew Curnow only picked up a camera three years ago, but now has his own photography website alongside his Instagram account. “What got me into photography was trying to portray the city I grew up in a different way than I had seen done before. Detroit is a city of people who are humble about what they have and they are always looking out for each other. I’ve been in some sketchy areas and met some of the nicest people.”
After a long and stressful shift as an intensive care unit staff RN on Detroit’s west side, Fatima Mears finds photography a great therapy. “Taking photos is like an escape to another world, I love this city and love showing it’s beauty both in decay and in its comeback. You can still sense the history just by driving around.”
Jon De Boer got into photography in college whilst studying graphic design, and he now works part-time as a freelance sports, event and architectural photographer, including a position as the team photographer for Detroit City FC. “My personal account features my cityscape, architectural, street and night photography work, mainly in Detroit. I am inspired by the historic architecture, the unique atmosphere of the city at night, but most importantly, the people of Detroit.”
“I started out as a sculptor but began to carry a camera around as I explored sites, and over time it took on its own artform,” says artist and lifelong Detroiter Scott Hocking. “My account is a mix of the various photo series I’m working on as well as my other art projects, installations, exhibitions, travels, history. In Detroit, I tend to focus on documenting the things I see vanishing, trying to capture aspects of the city that are changing rapidly, before they disappear.”
Despite being legally blind, James Gates discovered he had an eye for photography on vacation a few years ago. He was born with a condition called congenital nystagmus, which makes it difficult for him to do many day-to-day tasks. “You can do anything you put your mind to, if you want to do it bad enough, and photography is my therapy from the day to day stress of work and life,” he says. “My feed shows off Detroit and its architecture the way I see it.”
Photography has been a refuge for Melissa Vize, who’s lived in suburban Detroit all her life. “Photography was a way for me to feel in control when going through a difficult time. Support from other photographers and feedback from residents that they appreciate the way I portray the city has been really important, and Instagram has been integral to that. My account is about seeing what no one else does.”
Steve St Germain grew up fascinated with the city’s unique architecture and gritty aesthetic, and now lives in the historic Boston-Edison district. “I aim to give my followers a true insider’s guide, showcasing the beauty within the city through everything from gorgeous art-deco lobbies and museums to exploring former auto plants and capturing the latest street art. It’s an incredible hobby and creative outlet for me.”
“The more I learned, the more passionate I became about it,” Sean Wimberly says of photography, which he has been doing for a year and a half. “I have a day job but I’m working towards trying to build my portfolio and my name to where I can do it full time.” His account is all about seeing the world through his imagination, manipulation of colors, and raising the profile of the city.
“I was born in the city, and have lived in Detroit proper all my life, something I take pride in,” says Nadir Ali, a communications manager and fine arts graduate from Wayne State University. “A friend of mine has a quote that goes, “Detroit is big enough to matter in the world, and small enough for you to matter in it”. I think she hit the nail on the head.” His feed is particularly notable for his use of drone photography.
Yemeni-American Nasr Almansoob is an aspiring photographer who lives in southwest Detroit. A full-time computer science student at Wayne State University, he’s taken photos ever since he had his first smartphone and loves “how you can frame an image in your mind and make it come to life in a photo.”
Seventeen-year-old Adi discovered photography as a young skater, saving up to get his hands on a camera as soon as he could. His feed features striking portraits of his friends and other Detroit characters, urban decay and daring rooftop photography. Of Detroit he says, “I feel like it’s not just any other city. The people here are all up to something and the feeling I get from it is like no other city.”
Abandoned houses shot with colorful filters are the focus of ad agency creative director Karen Kozy’s Instagram project. “I look at them knowing that someone worked hard to build, live, love and raise a family there. They sit empty but the memories linger, so I wanted to pay respect to these homes one last time. Detroit’s changing so fast, a lot of what I’ve shot has already been torn down.”
Wayne State University student Ryan Zeller grew up in Port Huron, MI, an hour north of the city. Atmospheric sunset and twilight skies over water are a recurring feature of his account, so it’s no surprise his favorite place to shoot in the city is Belle Isle. “There’s a lot of opportunity for great photos on that island. Detroit is filled with opportunity and that really motivates me.”
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.