How One Photographer Got His Instagram Photos Into Sports Illustrated

The latest issue of Sports Illustrated magazine features 18 baseball photographs by sports photographer Brad Mangin across 6 of the opening pages. Not just any photographs, mind you, Instagram photos. Mangin has an interesting blog post on how the whole process happened:

By the time the regular season opened in April I felt like I was shooting baseball for the first time ever, through the lens of my iPhone and the square format of Instagram. I wrote a blog post for The Photo Brigade entitled “I Love My New Camera.” I wasn’t kidding! I started looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes from the moment I walked onto the fields in Oakland and San Francisco about three hours before each game. It was like I was a newborn photographer seeing things for the first time.

I was naturally drawn to the dugouts where I found many baseball-related pieces of equipment that made for good pictures. By the time the players came out and sat in the dugouts before the games I was ready to try and capture them getting ready. At first I felt pretty strange not using my Canon EOS-1 Mark IV and shooting with my iPhone instead. I eventually became more comfortable and started getting some pictures of the ball players that I liked.

How I Made Instagram Images That Were Good Enough for Sports Illustrated (via A Photo Editor)

Image credits: Photographs by Brad Mangin

  • JosephRT

    To me great photographs are great photographs no matter how they were captured. Problem is that people don’t seem to realize that just because they took a photo with Instagram it isn’t an exquisite piece of art. I imagine Mr. Mangin could go into the dugout with a Polaroid SX-70 and come out with some amazing shots

  • branden rio

    Cue a hundred obligatory “these photos would be better if they weren’t taken with Instagram” posts

  • branden rio

    Oh Lord, here come several dozen comments claiming these photos would be better if they weren’t taken with Instagram…

  • The Obvious

    These photos would be better if they were taken with Instagram

  • Mantis

    The folks who hate on Instagram tend to be those who earn a living off of photography, and see this as a threat to their livelihood.

    The same crowd who never whine & complain about effects created in Photoshop or presets added with Lightroom.

  • Jared Monkman

    Cue the obligatory comments about people commenting about people claiming these photos would be better without instagram…… ha

  • Steven Alan

    Cue the obligatory “Cue the obligatory ‘these photos would be better if they weren’t taken with Instagram’ posts” posts…

  • Thomas

    I have to agree. The reason I dislike Instagram is due to the overwhelming ammount of kids taking a shitty photo of some shitty chair, adding a shitty filter and them thinking they’re fucking masters of photgraphy.

  • NDT

    yes but the trick is knowing when to use a preset, and when not to.

  • Slash_Cynic

    You know you don’t have to follow kids taking shitty photos on Instagram right? Only follow photographers that take great photos you like.

  • Andrew


  • Antonio Carrasco


  • Sir_Elton_Juan

    The best photographers in history didn’t waste their time talking about equipment, other photographers or the latest trends, they simply went out and pursued their passions consistently. The focus should always be aimed at your own specific craft, the rest is just silly talk.

  • gabe sturdevant

    THIS is how to use instagram.

  • rtfe

    nope, the trick is making cash off any device necessary. sure, it is cute to cling to a purity in something that one feels passionate about, but in the end success matters. some people obviously don’t care about presets/filters like sports illustrated in this case. i hate instagram like a lot of photogs but if i were being paid good money to take instagram photographs with totally over-used filters, i’d do it. photography has always had whiners, remember the switching to digital???!! in 5 years instagram will not be what it is now, this we all know. there will be something even dumber

  • Dave Freakazoid Kooper

    I dislike Instagram because of its size on the limited space I have on my phone, thats all though. Im a photographer and no matter what you take your images on, a good photo is a good photo, end of story, you can take it with a pinhole camera or a 5D MkIII, but if you dont have an eye for it, they arent worth a dam. Well done to this guy.

  • Andrew

    Are you kidding? These are totally uninspired, lame shots.

  • gabe sturdevant

    So top left is lame? Guess all the photos of Babe Ruth are lame too.

  • Booezwax

    That’s a cute romantic notion.

  • Sir_Elton_Juan

    A snarky one liner is all you can come up with?