@ThugLifeForevs and the Art of the #ChameleonPortrait

Emily Blincoe (@thuglifeforevs) is an Austin, Texas-based professional photographer and a prolific creator of creative, thematic hashtags.

"Instagram really sparked my interest in doing things in a series," says Emily. "Hashtags make it easy to group the photos together and to check out what other folks are contributing to the pool."

"My idea of fun is taking one simple idea and seeing how many different ways I can rework it." From #colorsorganizedneatly to #thisampersandthat to #sayitwithscissors, Emily’s experimentation has sparked the creativity of her followers and has created communities around the themes she’s imagined. “There have been some really creative contributions!”

A favorite theme is the #chameleonportrait, where the subject of Emily’s photo blends into the background.

"The first few chameleon portraits I took were self portraits," says Emily. "I was up late one night and the idea just popped into my head and I got to work on it. After my first few #selfies I transitioned the subjects to my friends and family."

Chameleon portraits allow Emily to experiment and add a twist to a classic genre. “I love shooting portraits more than anything. I think they are really important and lasting and meaningful.”

Emily offers some tips for those who want to try their hand at a #chameleonportrait:

"There are many simple ways to blend into your background for one of these portraits. You could simply wear a yellow shirt while standing in front of a yellow wall. Wear green clothing and lay in some lush grass or wear a floral dress in front of some floral wallpaper. Stripes on stripes, polka dots on polka dots, fabric, paint, nature, paper."

The most important thing, Emily says, is to not worry too much about the outcome. “Every idea is worth exploring a little and you never know what it might turn into.”