Monthly Archives: January 2015

PODCAST EPISODE #24: Natalie Amrossi, @Misshattan


New York can be a competitive place.

Just look at Instagram.

As of this writing, the hashtag #newyorkcity had been used on more than 4 million Instagram posts. Even the less obvious hashtag #newyorknewyork had been used 200,000 times.

New York City may be the most photographed city in the world.

And my guest on this episode of the Telling The Story podcast may be its most popular Instagram photographer.

Natalie Amrossi is a freelance photographer who is better known by her Instagram name: Misshattan. She uses her account to showcase spectacular photos of the Big Apple, usually from an aerial or rooftop view. With barely a thousand posts under her online belt, Amrossi has already amassed more than 200,000 Instagram followers.

That accomplishment becomes even more impressive with the knowledge that Amrossi is not a full-time photographer … or, at least, she wasn’t until last November. She was holding down a corporate job when she decided, in part because of her Instagram success, to become a freelancer and make a living solely from her photos.

“It was definitely emotional the day I decided to leave my job,” Amrossi told me. “I haven’t looked back since. Whether I make it or I fail, it doesn’t matter. The fact is, I don’t want to look back and wonder.”

Amrossi is not a journalist by trade, but she is certainly a storyteller, and she makes for a fascinating interview. We discuss a variety of topics, including the paradox of showcasing her mural-worthy photos on the tiny screen of a phone.


3 GREAT STORIES: Starring clickbait, death row, and a $75 truck

Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.

The virologist (1/5/15, New Yorker): Happy new year, journalist and storyteller friends!

Want to start 2015 with a startling look at your industry?

Andrew Marantz fires a fastball high and tight in this long-form piece from the New Yorker’s first issue of the year. The writer profiles a content creator of a different brand: a 27-year-old named Emerson Spartz who, per the article, “has been successfully launching web sites for nearly half his life.”

What are these web sites? They are cold, hard generators of clickbait.

To read about Spartz’s operation is to peek into a calculated industry that shadows the journalistic experience while utterly ignoring its ethics. In this case, Marantz is as brutal a storyteller as Spartz is a content creator, refusing to hold back and expertly matching the tone of his work with the personality of his subject. Come for the sobering look at the industry, but stay for a well-written and thought-provoking piece of journalism.



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