An IBM engineer quit to become an Instagram star -- These 29 photos prove it was a good idea

EelcoTwitter/ @eelcoroosEelco Roos quit his IBM engineering job, and is now one of the most popular Instagram photographers in the world.

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.

Roos worked at IBM Amsterdam for over 10 years.

'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.

So he started sharing photos he took during his commute.

Because most of the early Instagram users were Americans, a lot of the photos were from New York or San Francisco.

He was in Amsterdam, so his photos stood out from the rest, he says.

Especially the landscape photos he took while travelling.

He quickly attracted a huge following.

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.

Like Samsung, who worked with him for its NX1 camera's campaign.

This one's taken with Samsung's Galaxy Camera.

He works with non-tech brands too, like Ducati for this one.

He travelled all the way to Scotland to take this photo for Johnnie Walker.

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.

Now he's a full-time photographer, focused on travel and lifestyle photos.

He also does workshops and consulting work in his home country, the Netherlands.

He teaches people how to take better smartphone photos, and how brands could better use Instagram for their marketing campaigns.

He's also done some work with Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands' biggest national museum.

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.

Like this one.

Roos is now pretty popular in the Netherlands, receiving national press coverage too.

Roos says his main source of income is Instagram campaigns with brands and tourism agencies.

'It's a dream come true,' he tells us.

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