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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Local Lens, Istanbul, Turkey, Location Feature, User Feature,

Local Lens: Capturing Istanbul’s Colorful Streets and History with @sezgiolgac

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. For more vivid moments from Istanbul, follow @sezgiolgac.

"I owe a lot to the inspiring streets of Istanbul,” says jazz singer and writer Sezgi Olgaç (@sezgiolgac), who has called Turkey’s largest city her home for the last 17 years. “Living in such a multi-layered city fills my soul with the passion and the creative spirits I need every day.”

Rich with Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history, the ancient and photogenic city straddles the mighty Bosphorus straight, meaning half of Istanbul stands in Europe and the other half in Asia.

Karaköy is where you can take a walk by the Golden Horn, gazing at the iconic silhouettes of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and New Mosque,” says Sezgi. “Walking across the Galata Bridge is sheer joy for an Instagrammer with its fishermen, ferries and seagulls.” On the other side of the straight sits Kadıköy, “which offers the best views of the Marmara Sea” and is home to the majestic Haydarpaşa Garı railway station.

For the seeker of narrow cobblestone alleys, Segzi suggests Beyoğlu. “Packed with music, bookstores, museums, cafés and a nostalgic tram, Beyoğlu is full of precious moments to capture.” Within walking distance sits Galata, an area steeped in history and home to the 600-year-old Galata Tower that, at 66.9 meters (219 feet), offers spectacular views for miles in every direction.

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weekend hashtag project, WHPmamatoldme, mother's day,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmamatoldme

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday, the goal this weekend is to share a creative photo or video that represents the best piece of motherly advice you’ve ever received. Some tips to get you started:

  • For a photo, you can experiment with staging a scene that best illustrates that motherly advice, whether it’s as concrete as sharing a video of a household cleaning trick or abstract as a photo of a symbol from a major life decision.
  • Sometimes faces tell the best stories. Don’t be afraid to share a portrait of your mom or the mother figure in your life and share their advice in your caption.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPmamatoldme hashtag to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs and videos to the project. Any image or video taken then tagged over the weekend is eligible to be featured right here Monday morning!

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friezenewyork, friezeny, art, current event,

Instagrammers Capture Frieze New York 2014

For more photos and videos from the fair, follow @friezeartfair on Instagram and browse the #friezeny hashtag.

From Friday to Monday, May 9-12, fans of fine art head to Randall’s Island Park in New York City for the third annual Frieze Art Fair New York (@friezeartfair). There, under white tents, in a location that feels somehow both close and far from Manhattan, artists, gallerists, collectors and art lovers will gather to view works exhibited by more than 190 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries. To see Frieze from the inside, follow these Instagrammers in attendance:

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art thursday, Location Feature, spain, sevilla, metropol parasol,

Finding Shade Under Sevilla’s Metropol Parasol

To view more photos of the Metropol Parsol, explore the Metropol Parasol location page and browse the #metropolparasol hashtag.

The Metropol Parasol provides a modern aesthetic against the medieval backdrop of Sevilla, Spain’s old quarter. Arguably the world’s largest wooden structure, it towers 28.5 meters (93.5 feet) over La Plaza de la Encarnación. Inside, one can visit a farmer’s market, archaeological museum, bars, restaurants and an elevated plaza providing beautiful panoramic views of the city. Most importantly, the stunning structure of interlaced panels (supported by concrete and steel) provides the people in the sweltering capitol of Andalucía with a precious resource: 5,000 square meters (53,819 square feet) of shade.

Completed in 2011, no two parts of the Metropol Parasol are the same. It stirs conversation among residents and tourists alike, and is described differently by nearly every person who sees it. Whether one compares German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann’s intricate design to waffles or mushrooms (one popular local nickname for the structure is Las Setas de la Encarnación or “The mushrooms of La Plaza de la Encarnción”) many appreciate the six connected parasols that replaced what was previously a car park.

Another fun fact? The structure in the center of hot and sticky Andalucía also claims an additional record—as the world’s largest structure held together by glue.

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refinery29, Who I follow, piera gelardi, hokaytokay, shantell martin,

#WhoIFollow: @pieraluisa’s Path to Discovery

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Piera and her discoveries, follow @pieraluisa, @okrichie, @marawa, @clayhickson, @adamscarpenters, @shantell_martin and @hokaytokay on Instagram.

For Piera Gelardi (@pieraluisa), a co-founder of Refinery29 (@refinery29), a fashion and style website, photography is a crucial part of her work. “I probably take 100 photos a day on my phone,” she says. “Photography is my way of sketching. It gets my imagination going.”

Photography—and Instagram—also lead Piera and her team to new collaborations and ideas. “For me, Instagram is a rabbit hole of inspiration,” she says. “I’ll see a photographer’s image in my feed and see that they tagged a set designer. I’ll click through to the set designer and look at their work. Then I’ll see that they tagged another photographer, and so it goes. 45 minutes later, I’ll have found this whole world of creative people that I didn’t know about before.”

Sometimes these discoveries lead to real-world connections. “I often direct message people whose work I like and try to meet up with them in person,” she says. “Me and my team and I have discovered people on Instagram to photograph, illustrate and model for Refinery29. It’s amazing to find these communities of talent worldwide that you may never discover otherwise.”

  • Richie Talboy (@okrichie) – “We were so impressed that we hired him to shoot our 2014 creative calendar. Upon meeting him we discovered he is still in college (!) but radical and talented beyond his years.”
  • Marawa Wamp (@marawa) – “Incredibly cool and vivacious. She’s coming in to do a hula hoop fitness video for us.”
  • Clay Hickson (@clayhickson) – “I bought some zines from Clay and reached out to him to let him know I was a fan of his work. When we had a junk food illustration project come up, he was the first person who came to mind. @He nailed them
  • Adam Carpenter (@adamscarpenters) – “A friend tagged me in one of his videos. He’s going to do a collaborative dance video with me and my team – all in muumuus!”
  • Shantell Martin (@shantell_martin) – “We shot her for a story."
  • Amanda Jasnowski (@hokaytokay) – “I went to Amanda’s studio after admiring her work on Instagram.”

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Paris, Location Feature, love locks,

Romancing Paris on the ‘Love Lock’ Bridges

To view more photos and videos from the love locks on the bridges of Paris, explore the Pont de l’Archevêché and Pont des Arts location pages, or browse the #cadenasdamour and #lovelocks hashtags.

In a city like Paris, finding romantic spots isn’t too difficult—but for Parisians and visitors alike, the French capital’s bridges have a special draw all to themselves.

Rows of padlocks, known as cadenas d’amour, or “love locks,” adorn the Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archevêché as timeless symbols of love. Those able to find a free space will often inscribe their names on the padlock, latch it to the bridge and then toss the key into the river Seine as a sign of their everlasting commitment.

In recent years, the romantic gesture has captured the hearts of those outside Paris. Love locks can now be found in cities across the world from London to Seoul.

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hashtag highlight, catband, cats,

Hashtag Highlight: Getting the #CatBand Together

To see more videos of people “playing” their cats (or patient felines putting up with their owners), explore the #catband hashtag.

It all started when Philadelphia Instagrammer Julie Amalone (@julieamalone) posted a video in which she “played” her cat Lily like a ukulele.

"@julieamalone, can Sketchie and I join your band?" fellow Philadelphian and designer Kenny Kim (@beggarsnthieves) asked in the caption of a video where he pretended his cat was a bagpipe. Kenny tagged his reply with #catband—and a new meme was born.

Since then, cats from around the world have been transformed into pretend pianos, trumpets, trombones, harmonicas and even theremins.

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Location Feature, venezuela, angel falls,

Venturing into Venezuela’s Angel Falls

To view more photos and videos from Angel Falls explore the Angel Falls location page and browse the #angelfalls and #saltoangel hashtags.

Venezuela’s El Salto Ángel, or Angel Falls, is the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. Towering over Canaima National Park at 979 meters (3212 feet), the waterfall is 19 times the height of Niagara Falls.

To access Angel Falls in the heart of Venezuela’s isolated jungle, visitors must have an adventurous spirit. After first flying to Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar to reach the park, visitors are taken to the base of the falls by guides in dugout wooden canoes.

Though originally known as Kerepakupai Vená (“Waterfall of the Deepest Place”) in the indigenous language of the Pemon people, the falls came to be known by their current name in 1937 after American pilot Jimmie Angel’s plane crashed at the mouth of the falls.

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behind the instameet, instameet, indonesia,

Behind the InstaMeet: @boylagi, Jakarta

In this series, we hear from the Instagrammers organizing InstaMeets in different parts of the world. To view more photos and videos from the InstaMeet in Kenawa Island, browse the #explorelombok2023 hashtag and follow @boylagi on Instagram.

For Jakarta Instagrammer Boy Hardy (@boylagi), Instagram is not only a place to share his creativity, but also a channel to develop new friendships and explore his home country of Indonesia. Over the past two years, Boy has organized more than 20 InstaMeets across Indonesia, ranging from small groups of five people to large-scale meets with more than 50 people. One of the most memorable InstaMeets for Boy is #explorelombok2023, a meetup he organized with Instagram friends from different cities at a tiny resort destination called Kenawa Island.

Inspiration

Boy’s inspiration always comes from meeting people, especially those he has never met before in person. “We always like, comment and joke around on Instagram, and I thought why don’t we go outside and meet up—it would be fun to get to know these cool friends in real life,” he says.

The Kenawa Island meetup grew out of a conversation with some visiting Instagrammers he was hosting. The casual idea soon became reality: “I called my Instagram friends in Lombok and asked them to join and also help us with logistics. There also was one new friend, a traveller, who joined the trip,” he explains.

Organization

Boy says it took two months to organize the trip to Kenawa Island, but for this and other InstaMeets, he has a few simple tips for organizing an InstaMeet:

  • Spread the word about your InstaMeet: “I usually tell my friends one by one or through group chats on messaging apps. I don’t always announce the InstaMeet to everybody and will decide who to inform depending on the size I want.”
  • Look for great locations: “The most important thing is ‘safety first.’ There are so many awesome places to explore, but it’s generally easier if someone in the group is familiar with the location (or locations—it doesn’t have to be just one spot).”
  • Have confidence in the attendance: “Don’t be afraid no one will come to your InstaMeet. Even if it’s a small group, they will join.”

Reflection

Boy considers the past InstaMeets to be some of the most influential moments for him. “I’ve met so many new friends, and we’ve become a big family of Instagrammers in Indonesia. ‘From strangers to friends, from friends to family’—that’s what happens every time, but there still is something new in every InstaMeet.”

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User Feature, Architecture, south of france, chateau de gudanes, french architecture, france,

Bringing the Stately @cheateaugudanes Back to Life

For more photos and videos from the restoration of the chateau as it progresses, follow @chateaugudanes on Instagram.

When Australian couple Karina and Craig Waters began the search for a French cottage, they had little idea of the adventure they would ultimately find: restoring the regal Chateau de Gudanes (@chateaugudanes).

As they embarked on their venture in French real estate, the options they turned up were disheartening—so much so that they nearly abandoned the dream. After their son stumbled upon an online listing for a large abandoned chateau in the Pyrénées, however, they ventured back to France.

"We had no idea where the Pyrénées were geographically," Karina explains. "We drove from Paris to Toulouse then headed towards the Midi-Pyrénées. By the time we drove past fields of sunflowers, towards snow capped mountains linking earth to heaven and then entered the little village and saw the chateau tucked gently in a glorious valley, we were speechless. We made an offer a couple of days later."

At long last, they had found Chateau de Gudanes, a stately home and grounds that dated back to the 13th century before being reconstructed by famed French architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel as a lavish home for the Marquis Louis Gaspard de Sales.

The dilapidated chateau required substantial work after years of disuse—an undertaking Karina and her family have embraced wholeheartedly. With nearly 100 rooms including a central chapel and a newly discovered underground chamber beneath the basement, the challenges of structural renovation form a constant process around which Karina has developed an eager community on Instagram. “I make a coffee, post a photo and then hours later from the other side of the world, I receive a comment from someone saying, ‘This is the best part of my day, making a coffee and seeing what the photo is for today.’ I love being here onsite, sharing what I love, experiencing it and knowing that someone else feels the same way.”