Tommy Edison: Instagrammer, Film Critic, and Blind Since Birth

Tommy Edison is an incredible person. Born blind, he has managed to lead a successful, fulfilling life as a film critic, receiving national attention for his spot on reviews of movies like “Water for Elephants.” But in addition to successfully reviewing a genre most would consider to be in the domain of the sighted, Mr. Edison is also a prolific Instagram user.


Going by his universal moniker blindfilmcritic, Edison has managed to amass almost 2,500 followers on the image sharing service, producing photos that often make the rest of us look bad. Using his iPhone’s accessibility features, he’s able to take pictures, apply filters, and share his experience of the world in yet another way.


The best part, however, is that even though he many not be able to see the photos he’s taking, in this way he too gets to experience them. By having his iPhone read the comments to him, he gets a description of the work he’s creating.

To learn more about Thommy Edison you can visit his website, check out some of his recent film reviews, or, of course, go scroll through the 182 photos on his Instagram account.

(via Photojojo)

P.S. Here’s a video that was making the rounds lately — it shows Tommy sharing his thoughts on the subject of color:

  • bgrady413

    Are you kidding me?!
    Not trying to put a guy down, but I guess I should just give up on compisition and focus all together, good for him, terrible for me. Stupid intagram popularity contest, I need a gimmick, I know I will take pictures of my kid, no wait done, my cats? Crap done too, I know every plate of food I have ever eaten? Thats never been done.
    Just another reason to leave Instagram right?!

  • Kevin Wildt

    This man’s attitude is awesome. I love it… Get out, shoot, live life, laugh.

  • Mansgame

    unfortunately to become known in photography, one has to have a gimmick now. An “AWWWWW” factor helps too…”Oh look that guy is in a wheel chair, so inspiring! Awwwww” “That girl is only 15 and got invited to shoot concerts…awwww!” “this guy can’t see what he’s shooting…so brave…awwww!” “This cute girl uses old cameras….she’s so deep. awwww!”.

    Somewhere, the actual picture gets lost in the process.

    For the record, I will not eat steak prepared by a vegetarian either.

  • Samuel

    I am stuck in a liberal bind now but it has to be said, surely an art such as photography which is far more capturing something than creating something like painting is fairly limited by not being able to focus, compose and find. His instagram is pretty much identical to 80% of other instagrams which says a lot.

    As for the film critic aspect, surely if you are a photographer who reviews films you’d be reviewing them in a visual way. Fair game if you’re blind and want to take photos go crazy, photograph everything, but the publicity surrounding this story seems a little misplaced.

  • Joey Duncan

    I see all this new Instagram photography as a gimmick culture. People want something new and this is new, he used a trend to capitalize, do it I say. But I hope he gives credit (and potentially money) to all the assistance that help him get where he is. That’s what I see, people helping him get where he is, no because he’s blind and helpless, but because if you take a picture of a tree, you have to know the tree is there first. People are helping him. I know it’s a little off topic to how I started. Instagram photos are instant pretty people spent a lot of time getting that emotion into the filters and it literally makes anything more artsy and “better” to the masses. I’m not saying he isn’t a good guy, or isn’t good at what he does but I’m just saying he has help in more ways than one.

  • Joey Duncan

    maybe I should exploit instagram too. “Photographer on dialysis” I’ll travel around taking normal pictures of things, slapping a filter on it and complaining about how I can’t eat cheese and expressing how wonderful the world is. Maybe then people will like my photos! (P.S. for the record: I really am on dialysis just do people don’t think I’m talking about faking things)

  • elispector

    I completely respect this man for his positive spirit, but I just don’t see why he puts so much energy into a pure visual endeavor like photography. It much frustrate him to no end not to see the fruits of his labor.

  • Ripley

    His photos look the same (if not better) than all the instagram photos I’ve seen.