Ten Creators to Watch on TikTok

Ten Creators to Watch on TikTok

A lot of people think TikTok is juvenile, or have not even heard of it. Yet, after 1 billion downloads and upwards of 500 million monthly users, the app is on the map. 

TikTok is a mobile app designed around displaying video set to music, voiceover, and loops. It allows you to take clips and string them together, essentially making an edit. But when you dig deeper, it is a lot more than that. TikTok’s videos are a whole new type of content that spans comedy, culture, and education. Their mission is to "inspire creativity and bring joy," I think that's something we can and should all get behind. Unlike Instagram, TikTok is primarily a video platform. But they do have a slide show feature that can be added to video clips or posted by itself. 

Instead of continuing to tell you why TikTok is an essential app for you to get to know as a creative, I'm going to show you ten photographers and cinematographers that are laying the groundwork for the rest of the creatives who are yet to join the platform. Hopefully, their content will educate and inspire you to create your TikTok content. This list is in no particular order. 

Zach King 

For those who are unfamiliar with Zach (AKA Finalcutking), he was a stand out star on Vine. Now that Vine dead, it makes perfect sense for him to jump on to TikTok. Zack is a filmmaker that creates video magic, literally. His videos are magic tricks created through editing. His style is elegant and straightforward. Zach's account usually is one of the top 10 most viewed accounts on the platform. 

Kyle Meshna 

Landscape photographer and YouTube filmmaker out of San Francisco Kyle Meshna may hold the keys to the TikTok Success. His content mostly consists of his beautiful landscape and street photography but is formatted into the type of content that blows up on TikTok. In other words, he knows how to ride the trends. He has a YouTube video that breaks it all down. 

Brittany Rose

Brittany is a Pet photographer and seamstress based in Virginia. Content consists of a BTS video of her creating set and costumes for her photo shoots. It's hard not to like what she is doing. 

Natascha Lindemann

There is nothing I love more than comedic retouching. Beauty photographer and retoucher Natasha Lindemann has found a way to flip the script and do retouching in a way that will make you laugh out loud. She does this by warping her beauty edits into caricatures then unwrapping them back to the finished edit. It reminds me of the famous meme Art Director Pablo Ratchet.  

Derrek Harris

Derrek is a photographer from the Bay Area who has dedicated his account to doing portraits of strangers he meets on the street or at the mall. His strategy has paid off because he hit a million followers in a matter of months. 

Derrick Freske

Derrick Freske is already huge on Instagram. His conceptual portraits scream vibes. His approach to TikTok is a lot different from the rest. It looks like he uses a lot of continuous light in is work, which means he can easily create moving portraits. The new style seems to be popular on the app. 

Frank Linbz

India has 20 million active users so that I would be doing you a disservice not to mention at least one creative from the region. Truthfully I could do a whole post TikTok creators from Southeast Asia. Franklin is a cinematographer in India's independent film scene. His content is mostly BTS, but they keep my attention. In his posts, you can find him sitting on top of an ancient looking jib (often barefoot) as he directs his crew. 

Jeremy McGraw

Jeremy is part of a team that shoots luxury hotels. On TikTok, he likes to talk to his audience about this journey and photography philology. He also posts BTS videos; one of them has hit over 800k likes. Jeremy proves that you don't have to be Gen Z to find success on the app. 

Mark Philips

Video creator @markup.sf is taking the less is more approach to TikTok. He made behind the scenes a high art. With over 150k likes in only five posts, I'm guessing this is only the beginning for Philips on TikTok. 

Lawrence Becker

Stop motion has been around since the beginning of filmmaking, but in the last few years, it has exploded onto the social media landscape. @samplertimes is leading the pack of stop motion animators on social platforms. I first found him on Instagram and thought he was a big deal. But on TikTok Lawrence is a major player, 13 million likes type player. He creates felt art animations and dancing superhero characters. He has done collaborations with Will Smith and Lizzo. Becker uses TikTok's React feature to juxtapose a completed animation with him live animating. He also uses the duet feature to show how he modeled dancing action figures after kids on TikTok dancing. The best part about his BTS content is that every once in awhile, he posts clips of him modeling the dance moves he's animating. Plus, it looks like he's doing everything out of his garage. 

Right now, brands are scrambling to have a presence on TikTok while it's still in its wild west phase. Even if you don't want to start making your content on TikTok, you will need to learn about it because your clients will want it to be a part of their marketing plans. Let's be honest, successful creatives are often the ones who market themselves the best. But if you are proactive on the app now, it could be life changing in the way Instagram changed the fortunes of a lot of photographers in its early years. It won't take a lot of extra work to do. Unlike YouTube, it’s short form, so it should take less time to create. Focus on creativity, and don't overthink it. Test the waters by experimenting and looking at what other photographers are doing. When you decide to make your content, you can put your spin on it. Similar, but different is never a bad way to go. 

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34 Comments

Deleted Account's picture

First time I've heard of it.
I'll pass. Thanks.

It's also a spy tool. Literally. Thanks but no thanks.

I'll pass, too. Aside from being a time-waster Tik Tok is likely a genuine Chinese spy app. Don't think so? Just ask the U.S. Army which has, just days ago, banned the app from all Army phones due to deep concerns over its origins.

Rocco Zoccoli's picture

I love the first 3 comments on this post. Scared boomers of a chinese app, too old to keep up with times.

Deleted Account's picture

I'm not bothered about Chinese, it just looks shite and not worth my valuable time. Knock yourself out with it though. No skin off my nose :)

I love how you think I'm a boomer because I refuse to install chinese spyware on my phone. Let me clue you in, most boomers don't even know wtf spyware is.

Really? Let me clue YOU in. "Boomers" gave the world rock and roll, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement, the gay rights movement, the end of the war in Viet Nam, a golden age of cinema, and the personal computer. Maybe you have heard of these things?

Rock and roll came before boomers, civil rights movement came around after boomers failed at keeping segregation, boomers are literally ruining the environment right now by not caring about anything environmental and not understanding the implications of climate change; Vietnam (one word, by the way) war had nothing to do with boomers as they were still kids, or young adults at best. Golden age of cinema is purely subjective. In two words:

ok boomer

Perhaps your ignorance would be tolerable if it wasn't accompanied by generational arrogance. Learn about the spelling of Viet Nam here: http://www.asian-nation.org/vietnam-history.shtml#sthash.CQlDjOnB.dpbs

As to your other points, you are just pitifully, cluelessly wrong. Have a nice day.

At this point I just have to assume that you're a Poe and will go on with my day.

Deleted Account's picture

That saved me having to look up what a Boomer was. Thanks. Seems to be the thing adults get called a lot when questioning what the children are doing nowadays. Another day, another something learned.

Soooo clever. Guess your Chinese programmer never taught you about commas?

For a Chinese bot, your English is grammatical, almost.

Fristen Lasten's picture

I just can't keep up with the volume of Rocco's posts.

alan christie's picture

Just another "platform" for attention seeking, boring "creatives"

Fred Teifeld's picture

Nope. Banned by the US Navy, Army and under serious scrutiny by many security professionals.

Funny how none of that has been mentioned in this article.

Martin Van Londen's picture

That deserves its own article.

Actually no. The case of suspicion against this app is for stronger than mere innuendo. So strong that this piece probably shouldn't have been run but, at the very least, a caveat should be prominently in the text. It reads like a pure promotional piece.

"Scared Boomer"

David Wo's picture

Fun creators just wish there was a better platform for them or me rather. I try to stay away from companies or platforms from china. Vice just had an interesting video about facial recognition there

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLo3e1Pak-Y

Wolfgang Post's picture

Security aspects should always be included when it is about online tools or platforms. There's a massive outcry over minute legal phrases and terms in picture platforms and so this spy tool disguised as 'content creation platform' should get a critical view as well.

No, that should be the ONLY article. You should pull this down, and print an official retraction. This isn't a shade of grey kind of thing. This is support of something wrong.

Martin Van Londen's picture

So TikTok is going through a review process that should have happened when the merger with musical.ly happened. That's why the DOD recommended that it should not be on government issued phones.

But the army and navy DO allow personal to have it on their personal phones (with caution). This is because the threat is not that there is a "threat", the threat is that the DOD have not properly vetted TikTok yet. This will take a while and could cause the merger to be voided. If that happens TikTok could dissolve, or spin off and become musical.ly again (which was/is an american company).

I'm not saying there is no threat to using TikTok but the truth is that all social media use has risks associated with it. Facebook tracks your location, and it's been proven that they sell there data to foreign governments. So you are really not any more or less safe using any other social apps.

Dana Goldstein's picture

TikTok is for 15 year old boys (or older men posing as them) to watch 15 year old girls lip synch from their bedrooms. TikTok is a problem on so many levels, and that's before the Chinese issue. (And I'm not a boomer. Just an actual adult.)

Martin Van Londen's picture

That may be how it started, but TikTok has grown beyond teenages. Let's be honest, teenages are how all social media platforms became poplulized. Eventually the adults get into it, but they are alway a few steps behind.

Wolfgang Post's picture

To whom it may appeal ... I'll pass.

Spyware or not, I just find these painful to watch. Too choppy for me. I'd rather watch a YouTube video that has a thought out and edited story to tell. Also vine wasn't much better and I think TikTok may eventually have the same fate regardless of how popular it is right now.

Martin Van Londen's picture

Do you mean the gif I uploaded are choppy? Or the actual videos on TikTok. The short format is very fast pasted, and a lot of the editing is being done in the app. But a lot of people are editing videos premiere and aftereffects and uploading better edited content.

I think the biggest drawback for me is the short time limit. I get that's what was intended for that format, but for me I prefer longer videos to watch. I believe there are much more engrossing stories to tell with longer videos than what can be done on TikTok.

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