USAMiriam Subbiah


USAMiriam Subbiah

Making friends through Instagram, and other stories



I moved to Seattle unintentionally and rather by accident. I only knew one other person. In June of 2014, I drove my car up I-5 from LA to Seattle and spent my first evening biking down to Golden Gardens and watching the sun set over the sharp outline of the Olympic mountains. And that was it.

I slowly met friends through friends, but for a long time I did not really know a solid group of girls to do things with, particularly things outside.

A little over a year ago now, I sold a film camera on eBay and noticed the address was to a photographer in Seattle. I looked him up and ended up following him on Instagram because we already had some follows in common. Another 6 months later, in the middle of desperately looking for both a new job and other women to hang out with, I direct-messaged this photographer's girlfriend to learn more about her job in the outdoor industry.

We met for coffee at Miir and immediately hit it off. Instead of talking about her job, we both quickly started scrolling back in photos on our phone, sharing stories about the best hikes we had been on and places we wanted to backpack over the summer. Not long after, I went camping with her and 12 other people — and thus blossomed a network of friendships that started as completely digital strangers.

A few months later, She Explores posted about a hike meet-up on Instagram. Without knowing anyone else going, I immediately signed up for the hike and started the next weekend by driving out of Seattle at 6am with 2 other girls I'd never met before. We were all camping together in Oregon 2 weeks later.

At least every month since, these girls and I have spent weekends outdoors together, holding creative meetings in between to discuss photos, brand collaborations, and anything else we're each working on.

These are our first photos. 


photographer & creative director

Seattle, WA