In the age of the Instagram photographer, creative competition has driven more and more photographers to exotic locations, jaw-dropping landscapes and remote destinations. To stand out from the pack and gain your fame — and perhaps your career — you must be a dedicated traveler, adventurer and athlete to get that next amazing shot. Camera equipment has become more compact and durable as photographers like Chris Burkard and Jimmy Chin are inspiring millions to follow them into the outdoors. “I think people are discovering new destinations from these photographer’s Instagram accounts and they are motivated to get there with their camera,” explains GNARBOX Director of Media, Matt Hoffman. “It’s not a surprise we are seeing our news feeds flooded with epic outdoor adventures.”

To become a major influencer, it takes more than just posting daily and growing your followers — it is a journey filled with long nights, early mornings, crazy clients, tight budgets and hard work.

“When I was nineteen, I was living in my truck at highway rest stops interning and eating thirty-five-cent burritos while trying to make ends meet shooting photos. If you told me then I would be able to share the places and things I love with millions of people I would have called you crazy,” writes Chris Burkard.

It requires an undying passion for the craft that must shine through in every post, both in imagery and captions. The stories are what inspire people to join their journeys and with time, feel as if they’re friends. So for everyone finding inspiration in their images, here are the 100 Most Influential Adventure Photographers on Instagram.

Paul Nicklen

Followers: 3,500,000
Location: Canada

Paul Nicklen is a Canadian photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist who has documented the beauty and the plight of our planet for over twenty years. As an assignment photographer for National Geographic magazine, Paul captures the imagination of a global audience. Paul is co-founder and director of Sea Legacy, a recent non-profit initiative, with the mission to inspire the global community to protect our oceans. “Photography with a purpose,” as Paul explains.

In addition to being one of the world’s most acclaimed nature photographers, Nicklen is a sought-after speaker, a TED Talks legend, an author, and National Geographic Fellow. In the past two decades, Paul has collaborated with scientists, filmmakers, conservationists and explorers to create awareness and inspire action for global issues like climate change.

Chris Burkard

Followers: 2,700,000
Location: United States

Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.

Layered by outdoor, travel, adventure, surf, and lifestyle subjects, Burkard is known for images that are punctuated by untamed, energized landscapes and peak moments of adventure. He has accumulated an audience of over one million followers to become a globally recognized social influencer.

Burkard is often central in synthesizing the creative projects he is involved in, across stakeholders. His holistic and visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on prominent global campaigns with Fortune 500 clients, appear as a TED speaker, develop specialty product lines, teach national and international photography workshops and publish a collection of books, including a children’s book. Along with his team, Burkard is based out of his full-scale production studio and art gallery near his hometown in Central Coast California.

At the age of 31, Burkard has established himself as a global presence and influencer, accomplishing a prolific portfolio, connecting people from around the world and producing some of the most recognized creative work of our time.

Jimmy Chin

Followers: 1,700,000
Location: United States

Jimmy Chin combines a career as a photographer, filmmaker and a 15-year-veteran alpinist and skier for The North Face Athlete Team. In the past decade, Chin has collaborated with, filmed and photographed some of the world’s most progressive athletes and explorers while participating in breakthrough expeditions around the planet. His recent film Meru won the Audience Choice Award at the Sundance 2015 Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Oscars. He splits his time between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming with his wife, Chai Vasarhelyi, their daughter Marina and son James.

Christoffer Collin

Followers: 1,300,000
Location: Sweden

Christoffer Collin is a self-taught photographer from Sweden who focuses on travel, landscape and lifestyle. Christoffer started out on the social media platform, Instagram, by taking pictures with a smartphone for the simple fun of it, but in recent years has grown his following immensely through his amazing imagery. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have known that it would turn into a professional career in photography when I started out with Instagram, but now I am just living the dream to the fullest while improving my photography each and every day.”

Dylan Furst

Followers: 1,200,000
Location: United States

Based in Bellingham, Washington, Furst’s backyard in the Pacific Northwest has heavily influenced his style as a photographer. Specializing in everything from outdoor adventures to weddings, he’s been enjoying every minute of the journey.

Konsta Punkka

Followers: 1,100,000
Location: Finland

Konsta Punkka is a Finland based wildlife photographer who has gained popularity on Instagram for his world-renowned animal and landscape photography, capturing the true personality of his subjects. At just 21 years old, Konsta has already acquired the nickname “Animal Whisperer” for his ability to draw wildlife close to his lens and capture amazing moments most struggle to find. At over a million followers and growing, the future is full of opportunity for Konsta Punkka.

David Guttenfelder

Followers: 1,000,000
Location: United States

David Guttenfelder is a National Geographic photographer focusing on geopolitical conflict, conservation and culture. Guttenfelder has spent more than 20 years as a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Nairobi, Abidjan, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Tokyo, covering world events in nearly 100 countries. He is an influencer and industry leader in smartphone photography and social media. He was named inaugural Instagram Photographer of the Year by TIME magazine and received the Shorty Award for online photography, along with the Online Journalism Award.

Max Rive

Followers: 1,000,000
Location: The Netherlands

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Max visited the high mountains of Switzerland for the first time at the age of five. Looking at topo maps, making hiking routes and running in front of his parents and brother, it was immediately obvious that Max had a true and deep passion for mountains and landscapes. It is his experience — that growth, the fulfillment of dreams and the success that comes with it will come eventually over time when following the things deep within your heart and daring to free yourself from all barriers that have been taught, learned and accepted in today’s society – which has given him confidence and the understanding that everything is possible with his photography.

Keith Ladzinski

Followers: 953,000
Location: United States

Keith Ladzinski is world-renowned advertising and editorial photographer, director of photography, documentarian and adventure sports filmmaker. His work has taken him to the most remote reaches of all seven continents. Keith’s work has been praised by America Photo, PDN and the International Library of Photography and has won numerous awards at film festivals around the globe. The British Journal of Photography named Ladzinski  among the top four adventure photographers in the world. Keith is a cofounder of the adventure-based production company 3 Strings Productions.

Cory Richards

Followers: 946,000
Location: United States

A climber and visual storyteller, Cory Richards was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. Cory’s camera has taken him from the controlled and complex studio to the wild and remote corners of the world and from the unclimbed peaks of Antarctica to the Himalayas of Nepal and Pakistan — all in the attempt to capture not only the soul of adventure and exploration, but also the beauty inherent in our modern society.

Cole Rise

Followers: 906,000
Location: United States

Cole Rise has spent the better half of his life behind the lens, stalking cows and lying in the grass to capture the landscape. You may have seen his work in a few magazines, art blogs, CD covers and the like, or used one of his filters on Instagram. He can’t tell you how big the universe is, or why we’re really here, but his work sometimes flirts with the idea of knowing.

Ravi Vora

Followers: 850,000
Location: United States

Los Angeles–based filmmaker and photographer Ravi Vora has created a name for himself by specializing in commercial work with a focus on portraiture, lifestyle, travel, adventure and above all else, story. With clients such as Nike, Disney, Samsung, Instagram, Mastercard and more, Ravi has stomped his foot on the industry with his pure talent behind the lens. On social media, he shares with us his adventures around the globe through his breathtaking landscape photography.

Daniel Kordan

Followers: 789,000
Location: Norway

Kordan has been fascinated by the possibilities of photography since early childhood. He grew up at beautiful lake region under Moscow exploring wild nature, spending most of his free time in the nature. Kordan graduated the art painting school and believes mixing art, nature, and constant activities producea summary – art of Landscape photography. “Life started swirling me, pushing me into the rush. University, hard work on my quantum physics thesis, family and friends… But there is always a pleasure in the pathless woods: places I always returned and always admired. Nature is my inspiration, with all the beauty and variety of colors and compositions.”

Callum Snape

Followers: 747,000
Location: Canada

Callum Snape is an adventure and travel freelance photographer from Vancouver, B.C. His work is a reflection of his passions and is layered with landscapes, lifestyle, adventure, sports and the personalities that find meaning from the same sources. Callum specializes in displaying the natural landscape in a unique way and photographing harder to reach locations, capturing the spirit of adventure.

Travis Burke

Followers: 703,000
Location: United States

Travis Burke’s diverse and creative approach to outdoor adventure photography stems from his own perspective on life. His dedication to conquering anything thrown at him and living life with no regrets shines through in his photographs. Whether it’s walking slacklines over canyons, backpacking all 210 miles of the John Muir Trail or capturing the Milky Way Galaxy in remote locations, Travis is constantly pushing himself and the boundaries of his craft.

Jannik Obenhoff

Followers: 667,000
Location: Germany

Seventeen-year-old Jannik Obenhoff is based in Munich, Germany, and describes himself as “just a boy with a camera.” At over 600,000 Instagram followers and counting, Jannik has the ability to capture unique perspectives of landscape from all over the world. Jannik simply explains, “If you won’t go out and explore, you won’t see how beautiful nature can be.” Since the age of 13, Jannik has been perfecting his craft of photography.

Cory Staudacher

Followers: 667,000
Location: United States

Cory Staudacher is a Los Angeles–based photographer from the Pacific Northwest. Taking his photography style inspiration from simplicity and minimalism. He shares his images to over 650,000 followers on Instagram and 55,000 followers on Twitter. Currently he is a part of Tinker Street photo agency in New York working on commercial campaigns. He was named one of the Top 50 Creatives by AdAge. Cory enjoys making YouTube videos with his wife Bethany and drinking way too much coffee.

Alexandra Taylor

Followers: 650,000
Location: United States

Born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland, and currently Los Angeles based, Alexandra (Allie) Taylor holds the outdoors close to her heart. Currently a student at University of California, Allie spends her time between the classroom and the outdoors, traveling with her camera and motivated by Instagram. “I think my interest in photography, as silly as it may seem, started from Instagram. I’ve always had my DSLR camera just sitting on my shelf for years, never knowing how to properly use it. I started meeting more and more photographers through the app and suddenly found myself calling many of them my friends.” Allie continues to grow her social media following through sharing her adventures on Instagram.

Rob Strok

Followers: 636,000
Location: United States

A Seattle, Washington–based photographer, travel blogger and vlogger, at just 20 years old, Rob has earned a fan base of more than 600,000 followers on Instagram. His photos and short videos feature breathtaking landscapes and nature shots from around the world. Rob describes himself as a “visual storyteller.”

Pete McBride

Followers: 628,000
Location: United States

Native Coloradan Pete McBride has spent two decades studying the world with a camera. A self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker, he has traveled on assignment to over 75 countries for the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, Outside, Esquire, Microsoft, The Nature Conservancy and many more.

After a decade documenting remote expeditions from Everest to Antarctica, Pete became frustrated with the media and magazine world and decided to focus his cameras closer to home on a subject closer to his heart: his backyard river, the Colorado. Four years and 1,500 river miles later, McBride produced a book, three award-winning short documentaries and hosted a PBS TV program. Other watersheds soon called including a source to sea look at India’s Ganges. Upon completing the journey, The National Geographic Society named McBride a “Freshwater Hero”. Others, particularly children, call him the “Lorax of Rivers.”

His latest project replaced rafting with walking — a lot of walking. Over the last year, McBride hiked the entire length of Grand Canyon National Park – over 700 miles without a trail. Moving on foot between the river and rim “was a remarkable blister builder”, but it had a purpose to highlight the challenges our national parks are facing as increased development pressures are poised to change the canyon’s iconic landscape.

When not lost on assignment or grumbling about his blisters, you can find McBride exploring the Rocky Mountains, practicing mandolin on his back porch in Colorado… or possibly dancing.

Renan Ozturk

Followers: 611,000
Location: United States

Renan is perhaps best known for his work shooting and starring in the 2015 Sundance Documentary Audience Award–winning film “MERU” — or maybe his co-directing work on the TIFF Award-winning film “SHERPA,” creating the National Geographic TV Special Down to Nothing or shooting stills for the National Geographic Magazine itself. Renan is all of these things, as well as a landscape painter, sponsored North Face Climber and co-owner of Camp4. He has also directed and shot commercial and television work for Apple, Yeti, The North Face, ESPN, NBC and Google. Renan thrives when he is both Directing and DP-ing, a camera in his hand, capturing rich human stories with a strong sense of place in the landscapes and cultures that define modern documentary style. He often co-creates with his wife and creative partner Taylor Rees.

Andy Best

Followers: 600,000
Location: United States

Andy Best lives a nomadic lifestyle out of his camper, using it as a mobile base camp for chasing high peaks and delving deep into the unexpected, and is always on the hunt for something that stirs his soul. He has an incredible talent for capturing moments that evoke something in himself and, in turn, all of us. But despite all of his skill behind the lens, he never forgets to take some time to put the camera down, and simple enjoy the fresh air. “Adventure, to me, is breaking away from the expected. It’s to seek out and discover that which stirs the soul. I am powered by the stars and am eager to inspire others to get outside. Being outside gives me a chance to re-calibrate and gain a fresh perspective. A place to find inspiration for life. Outside is freedom.

Jared Chambers

Followers: 598,000
Location: United States

Jared Chambers is a freelance photographer specializing in lifestyle, portraits and landscapes. Jared’s background growing up in the great outdoors has helped shape his photographic style. Using a minimalistic approach, he consistently achieves unique ways of capturing the emotion in the moment. He was recently named by Business Insider as one of the top 15 most influential Instagrammers advertisers are dying to work with, and he has partnered with several lifestyle companies and tourism boards to elevate their brands in the digital space. Some clients include Apple, Nike, Toms, Vogue, Teva, Amtrak, Garrett Leight, Fjallraven, Lincoln, Manduka, Lacoste, Toyota, Dom Perignon, Uber, Strongbow, Spirithoods, Coldsmoke, Filson, Poler Stuff, General Electric, Delta Airlines, VSCO, Tourism BC, Tourism Alberta, Tourism Canada and Visit Montana.

Finn Beales

Followers: 587,000
Location: United Kingdom

Finn is an award-winning photographer based in the Black Mountains of Wales where he lives with his wife and two children. Finn shoots travel, lifestyle and commercial commissions for the likes of Apple, Land Rover, Audi, Barbour and a variety of other global brands attracted to his cinematic style and the narrative he weaves throughout his work. An early adopter of Instagram, he is well known on the platform, where he has over half a million followers and often works with brands using his social network to extend the reach of the campaigns he shoots.

Jordan Herschel

Followers: 542,000
Location: United States

Jordan is a photographer and videographer specializing in the stories told by landscapes, the people who inhabit them, and the things that empower people to live their lives to the fullest, without compromise, based out of Lake Tahoe, California.

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