All images by Chris Ozer.

Chris Ozer, @chrisozer, signed up for an Instagram feed the day the app came out, back in October 2010.

Trained as a jazz pianist, Ozer discovered a new creative outlet through mobile photography. 

“It sort of filled that creative niche for me,” he said.

Though he enjoyed taking and sharing the pictures he was capturing on his iPhone, he admits that only one out of every 10 or 20 images was good.

“I would sort of just get lucky,” he said, explaining that he’d accidentally be snapping during the golden hour, or serendipitously employing the soft light of an overcast day.

Then Ozer started to get serious. He made a decision to post to his Instagram feed every day. He read the Instagram blog for tips about how to straighten his horizons and implement the rule of thirds into his compositions. 

“It just all kind of clicked,” he said. “It’s grown from a very casual hobby, to a more serious hobby, to now I’m doing some professional work.”

Today, Ozer, a photography novice just two years ago, is being hired by companies like Johnny Walker, which recently sent him to Scotland to shoot their distilleries and help tell their brand story by temporarily taking over their Instagram feed

The @johnniewalker Instagram feed includes Chris Ozer's images like this one of whisky casks.

Ozer hopes to continue on this path, and, though he can’t yet discuss them, says more “cool projects” are in the planning stage. 

“I’m interested in shooting all kinds of photos, especially those that I’m not comfortable with, because that’s how you grow,” he said.

Ozer continues to push himself by noticing what other mobile photographers are doing, and trying to improve those skills in his own work. He’s also decided to invest in his first DSLR, a Canon 5D Mark III.

Ozer also does a lot of experimenting with editing applications on his phone. He’s a fan of Vsco Cam, which he likes for the filmlike qualities of its preset options. He also uses Photoforge2 and Cross Process. The New York resident turns every train ride around the city into an editing session.  

“When I’m not shooting, I’m editing,” he said. And though it’s easy, Ozer said, to go overboard, he aims for a final look that’s “ever so slightly more than real.”