Wildlife on Instagram! 25 Best Nature Photographers to Follow

an origami heart and leaves as a background

 background land / shutterstock 

When we think of Instagram, most of us probably think of heavily processed photos of food and pets. But with millions of users, Instagram has become so much more. The photo-sharing platform is also home to some of the most talented photographers in the world today, including those who focus on the natural world. We've looked through our favorite feeds and selected some of the best so you can get your daily fix of Earth's most beautiful inhabitants. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have favorite outdoor photography folks you follow on Instagram, please let us know about them in the comments!

Now, let's quickly address that Instagram-old debate of whether or not it's "cheating" to post photos taken with high-end cameras compared to smartphones. In this scenario, I'm taking the stance that it doesn't matter what camera was used to get the shot, we just want to see awesome wildlife photographs! So this list includes everyone from amateurs with an eye for nature scenes and landscape, to nonprofits with great images of the animals they protect, to some of the best wildlife photographers from National Geographic. Some use their iPhones, some don't. All are amazing.

So, without further ado:

Ocean Conservancy

Featuring some incredible marine wildlife photography, this feed will get you excited not only about the species that depend on our oceans but also about conservation. With each image, this feed knits together the what and the why of ocean conservation.

ocean conservancy instagram

Rita Birkeland

Using both a DSLR camera and her iPhone, Birkeland brings us gorgeous images of wildlife and landscapes. Her winter photos are just amazing.

rtia birkeland instagram

Sander van den Berg

This photographer has a knack for bringing the small details, the little things we too often overlook, back to center stage. If you love macro photography, you'll enjoy this feed.

sander van den berg instagram

Dan Mason

Variety is the spice of life — and you certainly get it on Mason's stream. You'll gain an appreciation for the variety and beauty of familiar backyard birds, and you never know when other cute critters will pop up as well.

dan mason instagram

Joe Sulik

The best landscape photos are those that make you feel like you're there, like you can sink into them and stare for hours. Sulik offer that in spades. Armchair travel doesn't get much better than this.

joe sulik instagram

National Wildlife Federation

If you ever start to forget why conservation is important, a quick glance through NWF's stream will give you an inspiring reminder. Filled with amazing animal photos, you'll get recharged and excited about helping planet Earth!

national wildlife federation instagram

Tim Laman

Yep, you really can get some of the best photos from National Geographic photographers right on your phone. Laman brings us some incredible work through his Instagram feed, and we love it!

tim laman instagram

Michael Nick Nichols

Love big cats? Then you want to start following this feed as fast as you can. An icon of National Geographic wildlife photography, Nichols posts some of his best images of lions along with other amazingness.

michael nick nichols instagram

Christian Ziegler

Plants, animals, macro and even cute cats. Can you want for anything more?

christian ziegler instagram

David Lloyd

If you love the wildlife of Africa, you'll want to follow this London-based photographer. Some of the most beautiful African wildlife photos on Instagram can be found on this page.

david lloyd instagram

Brenton Clarke Little

Rural, rustic, dreamy ... this Instagram feed will make you want to get outside and go on a hike at dawn just to witness the world as Little sees it.

brenton clarke little instagram

Brian Skerry

One of the most prominent ocean conservation photographers in the world is on Instagram, which makes us all very, very happy. See the underwater world like you've never seen it before.

brian skerry instagram

Will Burrard-Lucas

The creator of the BeetleCam and BeetleCopter brings us animal awesomeness on Instagram. With great photos from unique angles, you won't ever get bored with Burrard-Lucas' stream.

will burrard lucas instagram

Ryan Abernathy

"I just like it outdoors." And we're glad for that! A constant flow of landscapes and outdoor scenes can be had from this gorgeous feed.

ryan abernathy instagram

Steve Winter

One of the best in the business is Steve Winter, and you don't have to wait for the next issue of National Geographic to get his images of big cats. Tigers, FTW!

steve winter instagram

Cory Richards

You never know what you're going to get from Richards' stream: animals, adventure, travel — it's all there.

cory richards instagram

Jimmy Chin

Outdoor adventure is the subject of choice for Chin, a National Geographic photographer. Rock climbing, sailing, hiking and gorgeous scenes of the planet's landscape can be had on this stream.

jimmy chin instagram

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Protecting what we love most, we heart USFWS. We also heart their Instagram stream.

usfws instagram

Tom Hadley

So much landscape goodness here. And every shot is taken with a smartphone.

tom hadley wildlife instagram

Joel Sartore

An institution in conservation photography, Sartore is the driving force behind the Photo Ark project, which hopes to document every endangered species before it disappears. These portraits plus more beautiful work can be found on Sartore's stream.

joel sartore instagram

Kevin Russ

Russ has changed how we think about iPhoneography, especially for documenting the outdoors. We really love his work and follow along with his rambling travels through his beautiful photos.

kevin russ instagram

Paul Colangelo

Beautiful, thoughtful, and even meditative, we love Colangelo's stream and look forward to new posts with bated breath.

paul colangela instagram

Cole Rise

A pilot and photographer, Rise brings us amazing landscapes. You just don't want to miss this stream. Seriously.

cole rise instagram

Ricky Araujo

All the best of the tiny world is found here: insects, spiders, and crawly things made beautiful and intriguing by Araujo.

ricky araujo instagram

Paul Nicklen

One of the best conservation photographers in the world, Nicklen brings his compelling images to Instagram so you don't have to miss a single scene — so long as you have your phone with you.

paul nicklen instagram