Delmarva Peninsula by Laura Pritchett in Sussex County

We love Laura Pritchett’s distinct and dramatic shots of her hometown of Sussex County, DE. Her eye for detail and playful portraits capture the contrasts of a small town on the rise. Get lost in the beauty of Delaware by following Laura at @bythebrush.

Name:Laura Pritchett

Place you live: Sussex County, DE

Place your Instagrams were taken? Sussex County, DE, close to the coast.

Can you sum up the place you live? It’s near the eastern edge of the Delmarva Peninsula. It’s sandy, flat, and generally quiet. Life on the water is a big part of the culture; there’s a lot of love for boats and fishing here. We experience all four seasons to their fullest and the farmland drastically changes with each one as the crops rotate.

What is a perfect day in Sussex County? An end-of-summer day spent wandering Towers Beach.

If Sussex County was a person or character who would it be and why? Oliver Douglas of Green Acres. Over the past decade there has been an influx of new residents moving here from larger cities north of us. They’re seeking an idyllic, rural lifestyle, but they often maintain the expectations of life in a faster-paced city. Picture a rusty tractor crawling down the highway with a BMW impatiently weaving behind it, unable to pass. There are moments when the contrasts are amusing.

How long have you been using Instagram? I created my account just a few weeks after Instagram launched, but I’ve only used it regularly for about three years. 

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? I shoot with my iPhone, DSLR, and occasionally with film, but most of my Instagrams are taken on my iPhone. To date, I’ve posted 460 iPhone-only photos and recently, two DSLR images.

What is your editing process? For iPhone photos I usually start in Snapseed to make minor corrections to contrast and then finish any color adjustments in VSCO. For DSLR, I edit in Lightroom.

Do you create images outside of Instagram? I do. I paint professionally and am constantly shooting to collect reference images for my work. I also create photos and content for brands with both my iPhone and DSLR. 

Has Instagram/phoneography affected how you shoot? Absolutely. Instagram has connected me to many talented photographers and artists who inspire me to improve. I owe much of my growth over the years to observing how people who are much more skilled than I am choose to handle light and composition in the images they post. Ironic that an app based on squares constantly challenges me to think outside the box.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Find your creative voice and stay true to it. Don’t ask for shoutouts. Photograph what you love to the best of your ability and people will naturally want to see it. Make quality your goal, not popularity.

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? It’s impossible for me to pick only three! I will say though that if you’re interested in seeing a different perspective of Delaware, my husband @nicholasjared focuses more on shooting the roads and architecture of the area. Another great follow is @joegannon. He has a gift for storytelling and capturing classic Delaware moments.

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


Name:Laura Pritchett

City:Sussex County

Best place to eat:

Half Full in the beachside town of Lewes is a favorite. Great artisan pizzas in a cozy, cedar shake house with wonderful windows.

Best place to drink:

Dogfish Head Brewery

Best outdoor activity:

Kayaking on the Nanticoke River.

Must do:

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard parasailing at Dewey Beach is a memorable experience.

Local tip:

Visit the shore in early September. The water is still warm,  the beaches are empty, and the parking is plentiful. Also, Delawareans have a unique pride for owning low-digit license plates. If you spot a local with one on their vehicle, compliment them for it and they’ll instantly forgive you for being a tourist.