6th Borough by Sofia Tomé in Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City is just 10 minutes from Manhattan on the PATH. Explore the (often overlooked) gems of this New Jersey town with local Instagram extraordinaire Sofia Tomé. Follow her here: @sofiatome

Name:Sofia Tomé

Place you live: Jersey City, NJ

Occupation: College Counselor

Preoccupation: Photography and Yoga

Place your Instagrams were taken? Jersey City!

Can you sum up Jersey City? The most magical place on earth 😉 Seriously, though, it’s a suburb of NYC (known as the 6th borough) and is the perfect combo of a big city with a small town vibe. I love that I feel a real sense of community in my neighborhood – can’t gush about Jersey City enough!

What is a perfect day in Jersey City? A leisurely brunch (I love Sam AM and Marco & Pepe), a visit to the farmer’s market to grab groceries for the week/connect with some of my local favorites, a stopover at Word to peruse the book recommendations and pick up a new read, an afternoon at one of our local coffee shops, reading my new book and chatting with friends, dinner in my hood, followed by a delicious cocktail (or maybe just takeout) – that would be my perfect day!

If Jersey City was a person who would it be? My unassuming, yet super cool bff who’s fun, ahead of the crowd, and down to earth, all in one!

How long have you been using Instagram? It feels like forever! I joined Instagram back in the Spring of 2011.

What do you shoot with? While I do shoot with both, all of my Instagram photos are shot with the iPhone. I studied photography at Parsons and have always been passionate about vernacular and instant photography. Back then I shot most of my work using medium format and Polaroid cameras; there’s a certainly evocative quality that comes from a photograph that’s made in a quick moment. To me, Instagram is an extension of this; my iPhone is like my modern day Polaroid.

What is your editing process? On the iPhone, I use VSCOcam for editing my images. As a photographer, I find that the app is super intuitive. The filters are gorgeous and I love that I still have a ton of control over more advanced settings like exposure or color correction.

Has Instagram affected how you shoot? While my photography has definitely been impacted by Instagram, the way I use Instagram has also been affected by my photographic background. My impetus for joining Instagram was to engage in a community where creativity was paramount. The second that I started viewing Instagram as a platform to share my work and my creative vision, my work outside of the app was influenced. I began to see my work as a whole rather than as individual images, which forced me to develop a greater level of consistency. I became more discerning in my edits, what I chose to shoot, what I chose to share, etc.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? First and foremost, view your iPhone as another tool in your belt. Technology is amazing and the iPhone produces images with amazing quality. Instagram is like a portfolio of sorts; post images that you love and that speak to you. It’s an awesome place to get feedback and build relationships; engage with photographers that you admire and with your own followers, too!

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? This is a tough one! In order to make it a little easier, I’m going to focus on Instagrammers rather than Instagram accounts that I love. @danrubin is an awesome photographer who has paved the way for iPhone photographers everywhere; he’s amazing! I love following @scooteromatours – her images make me want to run away to Italy and ride around on a Vespa. Lastly, I’ve been following @littleupsidedowncake for ages; I’m Portuguese and her images speak to my soul.

Want more Instagram tips and inspiration? Check out all of our Best of Instagram features and learn from the masters.

Want to be featured on our best of Instagram series and bask in the glory? Follow Global Yodel on Instagram and tag your best local shots with #GlobalYodel!


Name:Sofia Tomé

City:Jersey City

Best place to eat:

So many! For tacos, Taqueria. For noodles, Talde. for a quick Portuguese fix, Broa. (I could go on and on.)

Best place to drink:

Best coffee: ModCup – Best cocktails, The Archer or Dullboy

Best outdoor activity:

There are a million parks in Jersey City. Van Vorst Park is gorgeous in the Spring with such a vast variety of flowers that it’s on the verge of distinction as a Botanical Garden.

Must do:

Liberty State Park for unparalleled views of Downtown NYC and that skyline shot that everyone dreams of!

Local tip:

The PATH train runs directly from Downtown Jersey City to lower Manhattan/the West Village and is only a 10 minute ride!