Eelco Roos was an IT specialist at IBM Amsterdam for over 10 years.
But his biggest passion was always photography, and after he saw his Instagram followers grow past 100,000, he quit his IBM job.
Now Roos is one of the most popular Instagram photographers, with over 433,000 followers. Some of the world’s biggest brands, including Samsung and Sony, reach out to him to collaborate.
Roos tells Business Insider his Instagram fame is “a dream come true.”
Here’s his story, and some of his most beautiful work.
'Working in IT was never my dream job. Photography has always been a big passion of mine, a creative outlet so to speak,' he tells us.
When he first downloaded Instagram's app, he didn't pay much attention to it. 'It was hard to believe that a mobile device would be able to take good photos,' he says.
Then one day, while waiting for a train, he was bored and started taking some photos with Instagram. He was immediately hooked.
He wanted to show others how great it was that you could take beautiful smartphone photos with just some basic photography skills.
Because most of the early Instagram users were Americans, a lot of the photos were from New York or San Francisco.
Instagram noticed his popularity, and put him on their Suggest User List, which grew his followers even more.
Once he hit 100,000 followers, companies and brands started reaching out to him. They wanted to work with him in creating online campaigns.
He's travelled to other countries like France, Ireland, and Switzerland to help promote events and cities.
As he grew in popularity and influence as an Instagram photographer, Roos couldn't keep up with his full-time job at IBM.
He was running out of vacation days pretty quick. On top of that, his IBM office was about to go through layoffs.
Eventually, he decided to quit his IBM job to fully commit to photography. 'I haven't regretted the decision yet,' he says.
He teaches people how to take better smartphone photos, and how brands could better use Instagram for their marketing campaigns.
One day, the museum let him and 19 other Instagrammers into the museum while it was closed take photos they couldn't take when there was a big crowd.
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