Instagram

Get the free app for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone

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.

Photoset

User Feature, Japan,

Capturing the Beauty of Wagasas with @atsuko12

For more photos and videos from Atsuko, follow @atsuko12 on Instagram.

"My first encounter with wagasas (Japanese umbrellas) was when I started working at a shop that sells them,” says Kyoto Instagrammer Atsuko (@atsuko12). “When I first held it in my hand, I was immediately drawn to the beauty of the traditional craftsmanship that shines through them.” For Atsuko, this was not only the beginning of a job, but the start of a mission to spread her passion for the umbrellas with their hand-carved handles and oil-paper tops.

Through her work, Atsuko came to discover the decline in the overall traditional craftwork industry and felt alarmed by it. “Currently, the number of artisans who produce the wagasas are decreasing, and they are aging with very few successors. There are only four stores left in Japan that specializes in selling them, of which three are in Kyoto. As much as we want to preserve these traditional crafts, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.”

Atsuko decided to start a series on Instagram to express the elegance of wagasas and send this message to the world. “I want people in and outside of Japan to understand the beauty of the traditional umbrellas and familiarize them in people’s lives. That’s why in the photos of wagasas I share on Instagram, I like to intentionally go outside of the classic Japanese settings and arrange them in artistic or everyday scenes.”

Atsuko takes the wagasas to the historical and modernized districts of Kyoto, where she captures them in the seasonal landscape of the city or blending in with the surrounding architecture. “Most of the portraits with the red umbrellas are self portraits, but I also have friends and other Instagrammers who shoot me and model for me,” she says. The figures with the wagasas are often dressed in western clothing, fusing modern and traditional cultures. “When I shoot the wagasas, I always keep in mind to tell at least one interesting thing about it in each of the photos I take.”

Photoset

instameet, instameet roundup,

InstaMeet Roundup | 12

Are you participating in an InstaMeet soon? We want to hear about it! Tell us more here.

Over the past several weeks, Instagrammers around the world gathered to take photos and videos and share them on Instagram. Several Instagrammers crossed country and state borders to join InstaMeets and physically unite diverse communities.

For the first time ever, Indonesia and Malaysia came together in East Java, for #InstaMeetJiran, a four-day InstaMeet on the active volcano Mount Bromo. In the United States, Instagrammers from several neighboring states gathered in Little Rock, Arkansas, for the #Arkansawesome InstaMeet. Europe Instagrammers from across the continent also congregated in London for the #LondonMeet_Feb14.

To see what it’s like to attend an InstaMeet, browse the photos and videos from each meet’s hashtag page:

Photoset

promposal, hashtag highlight, photo feature,

Hashtag Highlight: #promposals on Instagram

To view more proposal photos and videos, explore the #promposal on Instagram.

Prom season is officially underway in the United States. Prom, short for “promenade,” is a high school dance typically held at the end of a student’s senior year.

Elaborate, creative or funny “promposals”—asking someone to the dance—can reach mythic status, and students have been sharing some of their proposal experiences on Instagram.

Photoset

the making of, bookbinding, peg and awl, books,

The Making Of: Bookbinding with @pegandawl

For more from Margaux’s life and works, follow @pegandawl on Instagram.

For Philadelphia artisan Margaux Kent (@pegandawl), her love of bookbinding—and of Instagram—has its roots in journaling. Having made books since she was a child (“The first book that I made was called Circis Acters for Mommy. I must have been 6.”), she took up the craft in earnest after taking it upon herself to repair a beautiful book that had fallen apart.

Once preferring to build large-scale books, she turned to her signature miniature style as a matter of efficiency. “I use only antique and vintage leather to cover my books, so naturally, I had lots of gorgeous scrap,” Margaux explains. “I made a few miniatures to draw attention to my other journals one year at Renegade Craft Fair and they ended up selling first. I got into minis from there.”

Together with her husband, Walter, and a team of a few others, Margaux crafts for Peg and Awl, a small business creating products out of “treasures found and recovered from misfortune and neglect.” Her books and other handiworks—photographs, jewelry, writings and more—populate her Instagram account, which she sees as a new extension of her past journaling habits.

"When I used to write all of the time, I would write to my imaginary children and grandchildren of the future. I always had to have a someone out there who was reading," she says. "Instagram has become the voice that once belonged to the pages in my book. ‘Fill me! Identify something worth identifying!’"

Photoset

las fallas, current events, spain, valencia, ayjoselito,

Firecrackers and Giant Monuments for Valencia’s Las Fallas Festival

To view more photos and videos from Las Fallas, explore the Plaça de l’Ajuntament and Plaza del Ayuntamiento location pages and browse the #fallas, #lasfallas and #valenciagram_fallas2014 hashtags.

Each year, the city of Valencia, Spain, celebrates the beginning of spring with one of its biggest festivals: Las Fallas. Throughout March every day at 2:00PM the mascletà takes place where firecrackers are set off in Plaça de l’Ajuntament. Tapas, drinks and fiestas throughout the city follow into the evening.

The Las Fallas festival originated as the burning of parots—overhanging structures used to give light that were no longer needed as the days grew longer in springtime. The festival is also tied to the Patron Saint of carpenters, Saint Joseph and many people would burn old furniture in the street. Nowadays, neighborhoods decorate their streets with lights and create their fallas—giant handmade polystyrene figures from popular culture that are paraded on floats down the city’s streets from March 15-19. Often grotesque and satirical, these artistic monuments take months to create and later become huge bonfires across the city. Awards are presented for the best falla, as well as for the best street lights, and the festival culminates in an impressive firework display called Nit del Foc, or “Night of Fire,” that attracts visiting and local Instagrammers alike.

"The spring light changes every single corner of the city. These are the days to walk the streets, to go out and see the monuments, the light decorations, days to hang out with friends, to go to the mascletà everyday in the city center, to watch the fireworks at night by the river Turia at Paseo de la Alameda,” says Valencia Instagrammer Jose (@ayjoselitoo).

"Thousands of tourists visit Valencia in these magical days. Valencia welcomes spring and every single tourist and local with its shiny sun, its lovely blue sky and the smell of azahar flowers (orange blossoms) in the streets.”

Photoset

Location Feature, brazil, fernando de noronha, praia do sancho,

Diving into Baía do Sancho

To view more photos and videos from Noronha, explore the Baía do Sancho location page.

Nature lovers from all over the world hike up the cliffs at Baia de Sancho beach, 354 km (220 mi) off the Northern Brazilian coast, for a view of two enormous volcanic rock formations emerging from the water. Known as Dois Irmãos (“two brothers”) because of their almost identical shape and close proximity, the rock formations are one of Brazil’s natural wonders.

Considered by many as Brazil’s most beautiful beach, Baía do Sancho is one step on the island chain of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site of 21 islands. The island is only accessible by plane or boat from the northern cities of Recife or Natal, and once there visitors must brave a steep, rickety ladder to access the beach. These difficulties don’t faze a steady stream of adventurers, however, who make the trek to snorkel in the crystal waters among turtles, baby sharks and exotic fish.

Photoset

behind the instameet, indonesia, malaysia, jiran, instameet, mount bromo,

Behind the InstaMeet: @firmanaldianto, Mount Bromo

In this series, we hear from the Instagrammers organizing InstaMeets in different parts of the world. To view more photos and videos from Mount Bromo, browse the #InstaMeetJiran hashtag and follow @firmanaldianto, @moriesadhtya and @rino_adlis on Instagram.

In late February, 12 Instagrammers—five from Malaysia and seven from Indonesia—gathered for #InstaMeetJiran, a four-day InstaMeet on East Java’s active volcano, Mount Bromo.

Inspiration

”#InstaMeetJiran happened because of the Malaysian Instagrammers,” explained Firman Aldianto (@firmanaldianto), an Indonesian Instagrammer who helped organize the meet-up.

"Since the last Worldwide InstaMeet,” says Malaysian Instagrammer Razieff (@razieff), “a group of us have organized several InstaMeets.” When they learned of last year’s meet-up on Indonesia’s scenic Mount Bromo, however, they were inspired to make a pilgrimage of their own.

"It was the first international InstaMeet I ever attended," Razieff says.

Organization

Firman says Malaysia Instagrammer “Shafiq (@shafiqanaksaleh_) contacted us Indonesian Instagrammers who live in Malang and told us of their plan to visit Indonesia.”

Alongside friends Mories Adhtya (@moriesadhtya) and Rino Adlis (@rino_adlis), Firman then spread the word to their friends throughout Indonesia. “First I told my friends from Malang,” explains Mories, “then I called some Instagrammers from Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya and Makassar.”

In the end, the group included Instagrammers from Malaysia, Malang and Surbaya, many of whom were meeting for the first time.

Reflection

"This was a truly unforgettable experience," says Firman. Beyond Instagram, "we shared and learned about one another’s culture, tourism, cuisine and more."

Says Razieff, “Even though we’d never met in real life before, we all became close and still keep in touch.”

Photoset

weekend hashtag project, WHPdancers, dance, ballet,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPdancers

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.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPdancers, which asked participants to take creative photos and videos of dancers. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

Photoset

St. Patrick's Day, current events,

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Across the World

To view more photos and videos from St. Patrick’s day celebrations, browse the #stpatricksday hashtag on Instagram.

Green-clad, shamrock-decorated and probably drinking a pint of Guinness, people of Irish descent across the world will take to the streets and pubs to celebrate Irish heritage for St. Patrick’s Day on Monday. The first Feast of St. Patrick honored the 5th-century patron saint of Ireland and the arrival of Christianity in the 1600s. Restrictions on eating and drinking for lent are lifted on this day, adding to the merry St. Paddy’s Day atmosphere. This year Ireland also celebrates winning the Six Nations rugby title, after defeating France on Saturday. A public holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland, March 17 is also widely celebrated across the world by enthusiastic expats.

Photoset

current event, holi,

Capturing the 2014 Holi Festivals on Instagram

To view more photos and videos from Holi festivals, browse the #holi and #holi2014 hashtags on Instagram.

On Monday, Hindus everywhere celebrate Holi, an annual festival of colors that marks the beginning of spring. The festivities start out with bonfires held on the eve of Holi, which symbolize the victory of good over evil in Hindu mythology.

On the day of Holi, thousands of people take to the streets to celebrate the abundant colors of spring by throwing colored powder and water at one another in mass gatherings. In Hindu temples, devotees enter into a shower of colors as they gather for holiday prayers. The festivities are traditionally held by Hindu communities in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, and nowadays are spreading across non-Hindu communities as an opportunity to engage with the Hindu culture. Drawn by the vibrant colors, many Instagrammers taking part in the celebration are capturing and sharing this joyous and colorful day with the world.