February 15, 2017
January 11, 2017
Our town’s most fabulous—and most followed—social media personalities capture the spirit of the Magic City via photos and sights worth a thousand words. Here, we shine a light on the faces behind the handles.
In a city as colorful as ours, it’s difficult for both out-of-towners and locals to stop snapping photos of kaleidoscopic sunsets, beach beauties, wild parties, artfully crafted dinners, and every Miami moment in between. Out of the masses an elite group of storytellers and social media stars has emerged: power players who filter Miami through their own unique lenses, building distinctly different digital narratives of what this city is all about. They’re the Magic City Instagram influencers you need to follow now—and we can’t stop looking at.
SETH BROWARNIK | EYE ON MIAMI | @worldredeye
With a camera always in hand, Seth Browarnik has been the exclusive lens to Miami’s elite for almost 20 years—an access he’s parlayed into World Red Eye, the go-to website and creative services endeavor (with 37,000 Instagram followers) for anyone and anything social.
Stepping it up: [Social media] has definitely given [my business] some wings and given us visibility that we didn’t have prior. It’s basically like a portfolio.
Origin story: I started my website to show multiple images from an event rather than just one… that was the purpose. We use social media to give us a presence and lead everybody back to our website.
Building a business: People just started catching on. I think we’ve got such a voice; we’re like the eyes of Miami. It was a natural progression for people and celebrities to follow us.
Standout snapshot: Four years ago, after the Heat won the championship, LeBron [James] and Dwyane Wade started following me the day after I shared all these images. I got 4,000 followers in an hour just from LeBron following and liking my photos.
Miami’s most photogenic: Wynwood with all the art and colors. I love colors. Vizcaya is amazing. I’m fourth-generation Miami Beach—so, obviously Miami Beach. Everything in Miami is photogenic and beautiful.
Online inspiration: I love what The New York Times does. What inspires me is art and artists, so I follow a lot of artists like Jeff Koons. We’ve changed the direction of our company from being more celebrity-driven to more arts- and culture-driven.
ALEX MIJARES | THE WORLDLY VISUAL ARTIST | @mijares
Forget an eponymous gallery; artist Alex Mijares has social media—and 168,000 art-loving followers‚—to thank for catapulting him to global acclaim and raising commissions for his striking works.
Social success: Probably 90 percent of my sales come from social media and Instagram alone. I’ll document the process, and when I post the completed piece, I’ve sold it 30 minutes later.
Growth strategy: Our society today is run by celebrities and influencers, so when Instagram first started, anytime some celebrity would post something of mine, my account jumped 3,000 to 4,000 people.
Building a business: I’m constantly trying to set up opportunities with people—a lot of big influencers. I’ll tell them the price for the piece when they contact me, but I’ll knock off 30 to 40 percent if they share it and post it, because that leads to a lot more sales.
The aesthetic: They say my work has a very Spanish vibe, so by having these photographs taken I’m showing my community and my following, "Hey, look, this painting actually still fits in a modern home, fits in an Italian home."
Philanthropy: As my reach grows, so does my influence and power to help shine light on these organizations that I enjoy working with, like OverTown Youth Center and Miami Children’s Hospital.
Magical Miami: The spot underneath the bridge by Jungle Island is the best view of the city, hands down.
Online inspiration: I follow a good buddy of mine, he is actually my pastor, Rich Wilkerson Jr. (“Pastor Rich”). We went to middle school together. He is a great guy and super motivational.
Telemundo’s star host, mother of two, and lifestyle and fitness expert Andrea Minski inspires women to be the best version of themselves through her personal and Mujer Balance Instagram accounts, which together reach 39,000 followers.
Stepping it up: I work in TV, which is really fun but also really distant. Social media gives you instant advice and feedback of what people like and need.
Key collaborator: Neutrogena. I’m bilingual in Spanish and English, so I do commercials on-air for Telemundo, but I have a completely different process for social media, where I say whatever I think about the product.
The approach: A lot of brands send products and I always tell them, “I will wear it or try it, and let my audience know about the product if I like it.”
Traffic generator: Fitness! People always say, “Oh, you have a personal trainer, what do you do?” so I decided to show how simple it is with Mujer Balance and DIY videos that you can do at home in 20 minutes with the kids.
Must-follow accounts: Bon Appétit; I love their recipes and pictures. And Crate & Barrel because I’m into home décor. For arts and crafts, I love @Craftybrains—she’s a DIY girl from Miami.
GIOVANNY GUTIERREZ | THE ZEALOUS GASTRONOMIST |@chatchowtv
A digital advertising guru by day at Tinsley Advertising and a Bacardi Facundo specialist by night, Giovanny Gutierrez has 23,500 food-loving Instagram followers salivating over Chat Chow TV, a video podcast that goes behind the scenes with the city’s most sought-after chefs.
Stepping it up: If you’re into food and cocktails, Instagram is what you are looking at. And Snapchat—we use that as behind-the-scenes “raw” stuff.
Growth strategy: I’m out and about going to events all the time, posting three times a day, searching and using clever hashtags, interacting with people and commenting on other photos.
Online inspiration: Photographers I love: Evan Sung in New York City. Daniel Krieger’s cocktail shots inspire the hell out of me. For landscapes I follow Brian Ladder—he is a Miami guy.
Growing a business: Sponsors support us and ask us to do content for them. Whether it’s a video on a cocktail recipe or native advertising, everything has our voice. I always put myself in the mind-set of a consumer and ask, “What would I want and what can I do for a brand that hasn’t been done?”
Local landmark: There are things you can only eat and drink in Little Havana: your first croqueta, a guarapo with legit sugarcane juice, and a Cuban frita.
Cocktail craving: I could drink the Bulleit Proof Manhattan at Michael’s Genuine in my sleep. And then Lauren’s Mescalito (it’s a mezcal margarita) from Coya.
ISABELA RANGEL GRUTMAN | MODEL LIFE ENVY | @isabelarangela
She may be married to nightlife legend David Grutman, but Brazilian model Isabela is in high demand—and highly admired—on her own, with 74,500 loyal Instagram followers to prove it.
Building a brand: I’ve been modeling since I was 14, so I saw the big change with social media. Before, clients weren’t concerned about what you did after the job. Now they want to know where you eat, who you hang out with, where you travel, what charity you’re involved with, and how you dress. They want to work with a personality.
The approach: I keep it very myself. A lot of times, I’ll get requests from brands. If I don’t relate to the brand, I don’t put it out there. I try to be really real about it.
Standout shot: I think it was the picture of David’s marriage proposal. I was so overwhelmed—it was so beautiful and it got so many likes. Even my family in Brazil said, “My friend saw you got engaged on Instagram.”
Growth strategy: I just keep posting. The more I post, the more followers I get. And people love selfies. Modeling pictures by myself are great.
Must-follow accounts: Right now I’m obsessed with Chiara Ferragni. She doesn’t over-style herself; she is very natural and cool at the same time.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF @CHATCHOWTV. OPPOSITE PAGE: COURTESY OF @ISABELARANGELA; PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF @MIJARES. OPPOSITE PAGE: COURTESY OF @ANDREAMINSKI