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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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photography, art, narni, landscape, italy, umbria, Location Feature, instagram, narnia, cs lewis, chronicles of narnia,

A World of Childhood Fantasy in Narni, Italy

For more enchanting photos and videos from Narni, Italy, explore the Narni location page and browse the #Narni hashtag.

There are stunning similarities between the real-life town of Narni and the fictional world of Narnia: blazing green hills, clear blue skies and picturesque stone structures.

In fact, the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C.S. Lewis in 1950, is rumored to have been inspired by this small Italian town 50 miles north of Rome. According to biographer Walter Hooper, Lewis was fascinated by ancient history, and Narni—named “Narnia” in Roman times—was highlighted by the children’s author in his personal atlas.

Whether Lewis visited Narni has never been confirmed, but even today, its cobblestone streets and castle fortress look like they belong in a magical, medieval novel. And while there are no mythical, talking creatures roaming the land, Narni still feels like a place pulled straight out of our childhood imaginations.

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the week on instagram, TWOI, Instagram,

The Week on Instagram | 144

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Photography, dance, yoga, Artists on Tumblr, breakdancing, flexibility, germany, User Feature, Instagram,

Feats of Incredible Strength and Flexibility with @rubberlegz

For more breakdance contortionism, follow @rubberlegz on Instagram.

Professional dancer Rauf Yasit (@rubberlegz) can stretch into such seemingly impossible shapes that you might think he has no bones in his body. His self-portraits on Instagram are called “Freezes” that he says require him to “click, run, and quickly get into the pose.” Some positions he can hold for only a few seconds, others for much longer. “With time you get to know your body,” he says. “You grow into it.”

The son of a folk dance teacher from Kurdistan who would make him perform traditional Kurdish dances at weddings, Rauf fell in love with breakdancing as a 12-year-old in Germany. His life as Rubber Legz began when an early back injury forced him to take a different approach, shifting his focus from acrobatics to flexibility. He started watching contortion videos and integrated elements of yoga into his breakdance moves. Rauf is now a full-time dancer with his stage group, Flying Steps, who are currently on tour in Germany. He’s also at work on a book that will feature his poses across the landscapes of Reykjavik, Iceland. He says he wants to “express pure and beautiful things” with his dancing and credits the Instagram community as a motivation for pushing the boundaries of his art—and flexibility.

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photography, design, portrait, art, self portrait, new york city, artists on tumblr, user feature, hashtag highlight, instagram,

Finding a Creative Complement with @wadejeffree and @letasobierajski

To see more imaginative portraits from Leta and Wade, follow @letasobierajski and @wadejeffree on Instagram.

“Usually we send each other ideas, sketches and imagery throughout the week leading up to our shoot,” says Leta Sobierajski (@letasobierajski), who collaborates with partner Wade Jeffree (@wadejeffree) on Complements, a weekly series of unconventional portraits. “We’re inspired both by hilarious couple photography from the Internet and beautiful imagery from couples in history.”

Wade, a graphic designer, and Leta, an art director, shoot the photos in their Brooklyn apartment. “We wanted to collaborate,” explains Wade, “but the opportunity hadn’t arisen.” So the duo decided to explore their creativity—and relationship—through collaborative portraits. “The portraiture often becomes surreal, funny and romantic,” says Leta, “and it helps depict our personalities and the way we think together.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPtodayimet, Photography, portrait, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtodayimet

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and 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.

The goal this weekend is to get outside of your comfort zone, make a new friend and share a portrait with his or her story in your caption.

Some tips to get you started:

  • This project is as much about the caption as it is the photo. Approach someone, introduce yourself and only ask to take a portrait after you’ve been able to chat for a while. As you talk with people, don’t be afraid to ask surprising questions: ask about their pasts, learn about their goals and try to discover what inspires them.
  • If you’re not feeling up to chatting with strangers, strike up a conversation with a coworker or neighbor you’ve always wanted to get to know better. For those starting school, use this project as an opportunity to meet new classmates, people in your dorm or even teachers and professors.
  • When shooting your portrait, think about how the photo can help tell the person’s story. Elements like environment, body language and even the lighting can say a lot, so be sure to keep them in mind.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out Instagrammer Branden Harvey (@brandenharvey), the creator of #storyportrait, and his tips for learning about new friends.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPtodayimet hashtag to photos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs to the project. Any tagged image taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday morning.

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design, interior, Animals, Helsink, finland, brazil, expats, living abroad, foreigner, User Feature, Instagram,

Home is Where the Heart is with @carolinavd

For more photos from Ana Carolina’s new home, follow @carolinavd on Instagram.

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, but if it’s true that home is where the heart is, then my home is now Finland,” says São Paulo native Ana Carolina Vieira (@carolinavd), who moved to Helsinki after falling in love 10 years ago. “Although I’m now officially a Finnish citizen, I often still feel as though I’ve just moved here. The midnight sun during the summer and the snowy landscapes in the winter still amaze me every time.”

As a decorator and merchandiser, Ana Carolina believes her visual aesthetic has evolved in her new home. “Long winters take up the vast majority of the year, making things naturally monochrome. Apart from that, life is slower here which translates into a clean and peaceful aesthetic,” she observes. Still, images of São Paulo’s hustle and bustle often make her homesick. “Pictures always remind me of the people and places that were part of my life back home. I start dreaming of everything I would do if I were there. To cope with being homesick, I spend time with my Finnish loved ones and try to see and enjoy the best of my new home. My dog Emma helps me a lot, too.”

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Photography, art, design, food, crafts, cake, interiors, user feature, art thursday, Instagram, Scott Hove,

The Sweetly Scary Creations of @scotthove

To see more from Scott Hove’s strange and beautiful cake-themed series, follow @scotthove on Instagram.

The sweet but sinister works of Los Angeles artist Scott Hove (@scotthove) are characterized by fierce jaws and other dangerous elements ensconced in ornately decorated cakes. “Are these themes in conflict or in harmony?” asks Scott, who seeks to at once draw-in and repel with his creations.

“Cake decorating is not normally associated with the fine arts,” explains Scott, “but when I saw the emotional power of the medium, it was apparent it needed further investigation.” With that, Scott’s “Cakeland” series was born. While his works of art are not edible, Scott’s methods—chronicled on Instagram in great detail—are drawn from baking. As he explains, “I enjoy learning diverse traditional decorative techniques as a hobby and applying them to my art.”

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Photography, Art, design, illustration, thailand, video, watercolor, User Feature, Instagram,

Drawing for Happiness with @jiranarong

For more photos and videos of Jiranarong’s illustrations, follow @jiranarong on Instagram.

“I use a lot of drawing techniques, but right now I especially love watercolor and ink,” says Bangkok art director and illustrator Jiranarong Wongsoontorn (@jiranarong). While Jiranarong uses various online channels to share his daily snaps, Instagram has become a place for him to showcase photos and “making-of” videos of his artwork.

Jiranarong’s favorite themes to draw are things that make him feel joyous and peaceful, such as children, flowers and cats. “The main concept of my work is happiness, which means that the photos and videos I share are also made from my happiness,” he explains. When capturing his artistic expressions, he also uses natural light to show the texture of his paper and bring out extra liveliness in his illustrations.

Through Instagram, Jiranarong feels that he is sharing more than just images of his drawings: “I’m very glad to know that many of my followers can feel the same happiness through my work—I am often inspired and learning new things from the people I’m following as well.”

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Photography, Art, sculpture, shiflett, shiflett brothers, comic art, comics, comic-con, SDCC, User Feature, x-men, wolverine, Instagram,

Geeking Out with Comic Book Sculptors @shiflettbros

For more photos of stunning creatures from the world of fantasy and comics, follow @shiflettbros on Instagram.

“Sculpt what you love” has been the life-long philosophy of artists Jarrod and Brandon Shiflett (@shiflettbros)—and the self-described “comic book nerds” are making their living doing just that.

“Jarrod and I started sculpting about 20 years ago because of a mutual love of comic books,” says Brandon. “We wanted to see our favorite comic book characters in three dimensions.”

The Texas brothers’ joint Instagram account showcases some of the most impressive pieces in their collection, ranging from favorite comics characters to many of their own fantastical creations.

"Comics are huge in scope, and we felt like they try to say some really profound things about the human struggle," says Jarrod. "These stories are modern day myths and legends for us."

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Instagram, norway, skrova, lofoten islands, fjords, explore, nature, nature photography, Photography,

Bracing Nature “At Its Most Raw and Wild” in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

For more photos and videos from Norway’s Lofoten Islands, explore the Skrøva location page, browse the #@skrova hashtag and follow @eivindnatvig on Instagram.

Nestled among the craggy mountains of Norway’s northern coast, the Lofoten Islands are some of the most idyllic on earth. Situated on a small group of islands, the fishing village of Skrøva is home to just a few hundred residents, and tourists flock to the area in the summer months seeking retreat from the modern world. The natural arctic surroundings provide the perfect setting for hiking, watching whales and spotting the Aurora Borealis in the clear night skies. With just a few daylight hours for most of the year, long sunrises and sunsets bathe Skrøva’s white sand beaches and jagged mountain backdrop in a pink light.

Living in Skrøva also lets you experience weather “at its most raw and wild,” says local Instagrammer Eivind Natvig (@eivindnatvig), who captures breathtaking moments from Skrøva’s natural landscapes on Instagram. “Skrøva is somewhere you can experience human vulnerability to the elements,” he says. “When storms come in, we are often isolated from the rest of the world, which provides a wonderful freedom but has its own set of challenges.”

"As one of a handful of people lucky enough to live on Skrøva, I have the unique opportunity to witness and share the daily changes in our incredible nature with Instagrammers around the world," says Elvind. "I hope my photography can bring something different to the way people see Lofoten."