Caleb Thill (@calebthill) has some of the most beautiful lifestyle photos on Instagram, from food photos that you want to eat, to gorgeous travel snaps, and on-point fashion content. But what most people don’t know is he is also a full stack software engineer and is amazing at violin.
How did you start Instagram?
So I started Instagram seriously the at the end of Summer 2015. When I decided I wanted to start showing people my daily life in NYC . I had been in the city for 4 or 5 months and had started getting into a rhythm of visiting coffee shops around the city and exploring the city via bike and I thought it would be fun to show my family and friends back home what I was up too! I had no clue people "did" Instagram until my friend and co-worker at the time, Jackie Gebel (@noleftovers) invited me to come along as a plus 1 to an Instagram event. That's really when I saw exactly what Instagram could be used for and how powerful it was. That's when I started taking my content and posts more serious! If you go back far enough though, you can see all my old high-school and college pics before I took it serious... I didn't want to delete all those just because they are memories I want to be able to look back on.
Why do you do it and why do you think you gained the following that you have?
I love taking pictures, traveling and exploring places and have a passion for great coffee, food and menswear and I feel like those things really resonate with millennials and young people which is why I feel like people like to follow my account. I'm 100% real and don't try to create this image about me that's false and/or not true. What you see is what you get. I love posting in the moment and don't really like to keep a backlog of pictures because for me, getting content in the moment is more of a challenge and something that makes you get out of your apartment and explore the city to find awesome spots that you never knew were there.
Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you end up in New York?
My background is actually musical. I studied violin performance almost my entire life (since I was 7). I went to conservatory for it too for about a year until deciding I wanted to do something else. I had always been very entrepreneurial and wanted to start my own company at some point but with every idea that me and my best friend would think of, the main thing that would come up would be finding someone that knew how to code. That when I decided to start teaching myself. I ultimately got an apprenticeship and internship in Boston which then lead me to a full time job here in NYC and i've been here for about a year and a half.
What do you do outside of Instagram?
My “day job” if you will, is a software engineer! I work for an awesome digital mobile agency that specializes in mobile! From strategy, user experience, design and development we kinda handle it all! I also play violin. Even though it's not my occupation it’s something that i’ve done ever since I can remember. Whenever I can get away from the city I try and travel! Earlier this year I went to Iceland with my best friend and drove around the “ring road” (the road that loops around the Island)… Best road trip ever! I’m also going to Paris, Amsterdam and Portugal in a few weeks!
What are your favorite places to hang in New York?
Cafe Integral on Elizabeth street, Happy Bones, Piers in the west village on the Hudson river, Washington Square park on a nice day with some Stumptown coffee since it's right around the corner, the Garret in the west village!
What’s something people who only know you thru Instagram would be surprised to know?
Probably that I play the violin or can code!
Follow Caleb at @calebthill.