Photographer Sam Horine Closing In on 500,000 Instagram Followers

The NYC chronicler extraordinaire chats with The Daily Beast and British Journal of Photography.

It’s been a good couple of media days for photographer Sam Horine. On Sunday, The Daily Beast headlined him “NYC’s Best Instagrammer.” And on Tuesday, the British Journal of Photography showcased some of his Manhattan shots.

One thread that runs through the UK interview is, what goes around comes around. Horine is a big believer in the positive karma that comes from helping other people. Something he learned early on in New York, during his days shooting musical acts:

“I had a few friends in bands,” he says. He began taking photographs in exchange for free gigs. “They’d put me on the guestlist and I’d get free drinks in exchange for shooting their shows.”

Soon other indie bands were commissioning him for promo shoots, and opportunities quickly started to open up for him. “I became friends with lots of the people involved in the music scene – publicists, managers, other photographers, media people – and the relationships we formed were kind of symbiotic,” Horine says.

“As we all moved around from job to job, we would always help each other out. ‘Hey, you need a free liquor promo for a show? I know a guy. Oh, you need someone to shoot this thing or that? I’ll do it.’”

The Daily Beast kudo is not the first time Horine has been called NYC’s Best Instagrammer. When asked by senior correspondent James Joiner to recall a crazy opportunity afforded by Horine’s Instagram following (currently at 426,000), the photographer shares a fun story:

“A couple years back I was invited to India with a friend of mine from Tokyo to come and taste this crazy cognac that retailed for like 30 grand a bottle. They flew us over there in business class, put us up in six-star resorts, and we rode elephants around while drinking fancy champagne before coming back to the hotel for tuxedos and a boat taxi to a private island, where we ate this crazy meal prepared by chefs flown in from Paris.”

“At the end of the meal, as they were finally getting towards the big event where we’re going to try this cognac, the waiter brings out a big tray of it and carefully gives everyone at my table a glass. As he finally gets to me, I’m the last one to get it, he shifts his weight or loses his footing momentarily and this glass of insanely expensive cognac tips over and pours all over me, to the horror of both the waiter and cellar master, who’s sitting next to me. For what seems like an eternity we’re all silent before this French journalist goes, “Um, do you mind if I lick that up off the table?” We all start laughing and joking about how my tux is worth twice what it was just a minute ago.”

As part of the Daily Beast honor, Horine took over the outlet’s Instagram account on Monday and Tuesday.