After being told, time and again, that Edmonton was unsightly, Brittney Punter set out to prove detractors wrong.

The local photographer began turning her lens on the city's most stunning landscapes, and its most interesting people — and showcasing it all online.

Four years after it launched, her 'Yeggers' Instagram page now boasts more than 31,000 followers and thousands of snapshots that prove Edmonton can be highly photogenic.

"When I really got into photography, I got a lot responses from people saying, 'Why are you even doing that? Edmonton is so ugly. Why would you even take photos of this city?' " said Punter.

"That kind of shocked me, and I don't agree with that. I think this city is beautiful, so I wanted to change people's minds."

The page has become a platform where local photographers share their work, and the collection has captured the city's often unappreciated beauty.

 

Punter often hosts meet-ups with contributors to the page. The group gets together every few weeks and hits the streets to capture new images of the city.

From eerie orange sunsets to breathtaking aerial views of the skyline, Punter loves sharing different perspectives of the city she calls home.

"It was very slow going in the start," she said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. "And in the last couple of months, I felt like it has taken off a lot more. It's really exiting to see what's coming up.

"I wanted to spread the message that it was really a beautiful place. And I guess people liked it."

'Edmonton is what you make it'

Yeggers has made converts out of some of the city's detractors. Among them, Robin Jones, a local blogger who joined the group to learn more about the basics of photography.

Jones had recently moved to Edmonton from Winnipeg and was less-than-enthusiastic about its looks. She changed her mind after just a few Yeggers meet-ups.

"I was one of those people who thought Edmonton was kind of ugly when I first moved here," she said.

"So it was really neat to see Edmonton in a new light and look at it from a more positive perspective and be able to find the beauty in the city. It's cool that Yeggers allowed a lot of people to find that." 

 

In the new year, Punter wanted to expand her reach, so she launched a new campaign called "Edmonton is …" to get even more people talking about the city.

The resulting video profiles Edmontonians speaking about what the city means to them, with responses such as "Edmonton is a place where the cold doesn't break us but makes us," and "Edmonton is underrated."

Punter is asking others to record their own short videos and send them to the Yeggers Facebook page so she can create an entire series of videos for the project.

She hopes her work will help show people fresh perspectives of the city.

"There are so many hidden gems in the city and you'll never know about them unless you get out and go explore," said Punter.

"Edmonton is what you make it."