Four Fernie-based photographers have been credited as being in the top 12 Instagram accounts in the Canadian Rockies.
Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photographs. Matadornetwork.com published a list last month, naming the top 12 Instagram accounts in the Rockies, which included Matt Kuhn, Kyle Hamilton, Nick Nault and Mike McPhee.
“I was kind of shocked I guess when I saw the list and there was four of us photographers listed, which was really cool,” said McPhee. “Some of the other photographers listed were some of the biggest Instagrammers in North America and the world. To have four of us Fernie-ites listed amongst some of the best Instagrammers in the world, like Callum Snape and Taylor Burk and Jeff Bartlett, was really, really big.”
McPhee, who works as the marketing director at Island Lake Resort Group, said sites like Matador are important, as it shows change within the travel media industry.
“The world of tourism marketing is shifting to influencers. Social media influencers are the new journalists. In decades past, it was the travel journalist writing for a newspaper that had influence and it’s who you wanted to come and write about your property or your place, but now it’s the influential instagrammers and bloggers of the world that are kind of changing the media landscape,” he said.”
Kuhn, Nault and Hamilton are professional photographers as well have worked at Island Lake Lodge as staff photographers. McPhee said being named to a high profile list speaks to the talent in Fernie.
“I think it just speaks to the depths of photography talent within Fernie,” McPhee said. “As we get known more and more for our tourism products, a lot of that story gets told through the local photographers and especially with instagram becoming one of the main platforms for tourism marketing globally. The importance of Fernie having those assets is pretty big.”
McPhee said he did see a small bump in followers after Matador published the article.
“It’s been more personal until recently, and I’ve started to make it a little more professional, like the others are,” he said. “I’ve just started to try and make it a little more interesting and started posting a lot of my old professional photos.”
All photographers can be found on Instagram: @nick.nault, @mkuhnphoto, @khphotograph, and @mcphoto99. The full list of photographers and more travel-inspired content can be found at Matadornetwork.com.