Like many people, I use Instagram primarily to keep up with how artists and photographers get creative on social media. Sure—these days, anyone can post pictures on Instagram and call themselves an artist, but I’m talking about people who really think outside of the box and create the incredible. That’s what I like to see on my feed.
One of my long-time favorites is Sarah Bahbah. She’s a Palestinian-Australian photographer who shoots vintage-yet-modern photographs of models to go along with small sound bites of dialogue. She’s much more than some rando with an iPhone camera.
Right in the feels
The dialogues aren’t just any words. They’re Bahbah’s thoughts—usually about love, loss, fear, anxiety, isolation, and everything else us humans try to pretend we don’t struggle with on a daily basis. The models in her photographs personify these concepts and make them tangible for both Bahbah and her audience.
The relatability of Bahbah’s inner demons, combined with the aesthetically pleasing nature of her photographs, has gotten her 937k followers on Instagram. She isn’t in it for the clout, though. She’s in it to inspire people—specifically millennial women—to embrace their bodies and minds for all that they are. Her images stop your thumb in its scrolling pattern. Then they hit you with a feeling you didn’t know you felt.
Bahbah means business
Instagram isn’t even close to being all Bahbah does for a living, but her social media following has been a key component in her success. She is the founder and creative director at Possy, a content creation agency that works with big names such as Gucci, Capitol Records, and Topshop.
The content that’s created for these brands is content that’s used to keep Bahbah active on Instagram, and staying active on the platform grabs the attention of new followers and brands. Talk about killing two birds with one stone… over and over and over again.
Creating for a cause
In addition to being a top-notch Instagrammer and a badass businesswoman, Sarah Bahbah is an activist for child sexual abuse (CSA). She is a survivor of CSA herself and has used her photographic and cinematic talent to share her story in hopes that others will find the courage to do the same. She’s also donated her artwork to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.
Here’s a poem that Bahbah wrote about her experience spoken by one of the models in her series “I Could Not Protect Her”:
It’s who you know
Another way Bahbah has hooked people with her content is by working with faces that everyone knows and loves. Dylan Sprouse, anyone?
She also has famous fans that openly appreciate her artwork and support her exhibitions, such as Katy Perry, Emma Watson, and Diplo. Association with names like these has definitely helped Bahbah grow even further as an artist, a businesswoman, and an Instagrammer.
Sarah Bahbah strategically uses each piece of her life to make all of the other pieces better. Her content creation agency infiltrates her social media, which infiltrates her passion for inspiring others and starting conversations, which infiltrates her content creation agency. It’s a beautiful cycle of success!