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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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chocolate, food, design, Art, compartes, jonathan grahm, user feature, Photography, Instagram,

Inside the Sweet Life of a Chocolatier with @compartes

For more photos of Jonathan’s craft chocolate creations, follow @compartes on Instagram.

For Los Angeles chocolatier Jonathan Grahm (@compartes), the art of crafting sweets has been a lifelong project. As he explains, “I love chocolate. I think up recipes in my dreams and have a little book next to my bed where I write down flavor combinations.”

Jonathan first started making chocolate at the age of 15 and, driven by his passion, purchased a chocolate shop nine years later. Despite having no formal training, he has grown Compartes into an international brand producing small batches of over 200 different—and often unexpected—flavors.

In creating recipes ranging from blackberry sage to “Old Hollywood” (dark chocolate with smoked sea salt), inspiration often comes from Los Angeles itself: its traditions, its people and especially its farmers markets, where Jonathan finds and shares photos of the freshest ingredients. “I go to the Farmers Market on a Sunday, and on Monday morning at 10 AM when we open, there are people waiting to get the flavor of chocolate that I made with the ingredients that I was picking up.”

Channeling his upbringing and experiences in the city, Jonathan has ultimately molded Compartes into a reflection of himself: “It’s my world, likes, loves, passions and ideas spread out onto chocolate. The future only gets bigger and brighter—and more delicious—from here.”

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Instagram, Photography, sketchbook, sketch, User Feature, russia, drawing,

The Daily Diary of a Sketchbook Artist

To see more photos of Anna’s notebook sketches, follow @sally_mao on Instagram.

“The absolute truth appears in your drawing when you have no chance to change it,” says Moscow-based Instagrammer Anna Rastorgueva (@sally_mao), who creates an exquisite daily diary using only felt-tip markers. She takes inspiration from the detailed illustrations of botany and zoology books, a lifelong love of hers. “When I read ‘Brehm’s Life of Animals,’ I dreamed of meeting all the heroes from the pages of his book,” she explains. Anna draws anywhere, whether standing among thousands of people at a concert or even at a nude beach. For her, drawing is her personal space. “When I draw, I can dive deep into the moment and emotions. As Salvador Dalí said, ‘Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.’”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPthemakingof, makers, Art, sculpture, design, Photography, Instagram, video on instagram, hyperlapse,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPthemakingof

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.

This weekend’s prompt was #WHPthemakingof, which asked participants to roll up their sleeves and capture videos of things made by hand. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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photography, photoville, everyday projects, everydayafrica, culture, portraits, todayimet, instagram,

Today I Met: The Everyday Projects

To see photos from daily life from around the world, explore these Everyday Projects: @everydayafrica, @everydayusa, @everydaymiddleeast, @everydayasia, @everydaylatinamerica, @everydayiran, @everydayjamaica, @everydayeasterneurope, @everydaysrilanka, and @everydayegypt.

This weekend on the festival grounds of Photoville, a public photography exhibition in New York City, the contributing photographers of the Everyday Projects are meeting each other for the first time. “This feels like the ultimate modern moment,” says writer Austin Merrill (@austin_merrill), who along with photographer Peter Di Campo (@pdicampo) co-founded Everyday Africa (@everydayafrica) in 2012. “We’ve all been talking together for so long from across the world that to finally bring this incredible group together in person is electrifying. It’s like we are already family. There was no ‘let’s get to know each other’, we just hit the ground running.”

Austin and Peter’s project has become a global phenomenon, with international photographers creating and contributing to Everyday editions in their own regions. Austin says, “The Everyday Projects give important perspective and context to what life is like for people around the world, outside of just the bad things that happen.”

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Photography, TWOI, the week on instagram, instagram news, Instagram,

The Week on Instagram | 149

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Photography, portrait, travel, africa, ghana, everydayafrica, Nana Kofi Acquah, user feature, instagram,

Moments from Ghana and Beyond with @africashowboy

To see more of Africa through Nana’s lens, follow @africashowboy on Instagram.

Africa’s relationship with photography is complicated, explains Nana Kofi Acquah (@africashowboy), a journalist and creative director-turned-photographer from Accra, Ghana. “Even though it is undeniable that African photographers saw the opportunity to fight stereotypes with their pictures, the truth was that cameras and film were extremely expensive and therefore not something to be wasted on unimportant casual moments. Today, how Ghanaians interact with photographs has changed rapidly.”

Nana’s work for businesses and non-profits takes him across Africa, and his Instagram photos reflects moments both profound and banal. “I don’t believe a photograph always needs to be dramatic, ecstatic, or tragic to pique people’s interest,” he says. “I am not afraid to photograph the mundane because I know posterity might appreciate it—and in that sense, I think like a historian. My audience is anybody who is interested to know more about Africa.”

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art, color, sketchbook, alia penner, portraits, los angeles, pop culture, User Feature, Instagram,

Chasing Pop Visions and Cartoon Dreams with @alia_pop

For more whimsical portraits and fantasy stylings, follow @alia_pop on Instagram.

“I want to create a fantastic world of hypnotic color and classic dreaminess,” says LA-based artist, Alia Penner (@alia_pop). “I have painted on people, horses, bouncy castles and even a school bus.”

Bold patterns and colors are everywhere in Alia’s work, which ranges from high-profile fashion shoots to giant, painted Starbucks cups in Hollywood. But her Instagram account feels more like a special curation of the art she makes at home—a bright mishmash of celebrity face collages and quirky magazine cutouts.

“Just for fun, I started coloring in the New York Times every Sunday, using it sort of like a sketchbook. I added color to the iconic black and white images of starlets, then put them on Instagram,” she says. “They really popped.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alia’s daily sources of inspiration are just as eclectic as her art: she lists balloons, polish movie posters, hand-tinted films and unopened paint cans, among others. At the end of the day, though, her job is about having fun.

“My favorite projects are the ones that feel like play from start to finish,” she says. “I’m a child at heart.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPthemakingof, hyperlapse, pottery, crafts, makers, video on instagram, Instagram, Photography,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPthemakingof

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 roll up your sleeves and capture videos of making things by hand. Some tips to get you started:

  • Use this project as a moment to dust off your skills or try something new. Whether it’s blacksmithing, origami, pottery or cooking, don’t be afraid to be creative, get your hands dirty and—most importantly—have fun!
  • Don’t have a particular craft of your own? Seek out local crafters, bakers, artists and makers. Ask if you can learn about their work and share their craft through your videos.
  • For showing process, think about how to pace your video. In addition to normal speed, you can use slow motion to draw out a single detailed moment or time lapse to fit an entire project into 15 seconds.

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

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Instagram, horses, Animals, Photography, how i shoot, holland,

How I Shoot: Horses with @lindalaughs

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking process. This week, @lindalaughs shares her tips for taking photos of horses.

“Horses are very honest and pure. They have a calming effect on me. They respond to feelings,” says Instagrammer Linda Heidema (@lindalaughs), who likes to convey human emotions and expressions through her photos of horses.

Once a week, Linda gets four hours away from her hectic life as a mother and youth justice officer in Groningen, Holland, and drives out to the countryside to photograph animals in the meadow. “I used to ride horses, when I was a young teenager myself, but I had to quit,” she says. “When I discovered Instagram I started photographing nature. I came across the enjoyment of photographing horses by accident.”

Here are Linda’s tips for capturing these calm beings up close:

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Photography, Art, design, Artists on Tumblr, Architecture, kaws, honor fraser, los angeles, arthursday, Instagram,

KAWS’s Man’s Best Friend

For more photos and videos from Man’s Best Friend, explore the Honor Fraser Gallery location page and follow @kaws and @honorfrasergallery on Instagram.

Brian Donnelly's (@kaws) latest show Man’s Best Friend at Honor Fraser Gallery (@honorfrasergallery) in Los Angeles includes new sculpture, drawings and eye-popping, precise paintings on shaped canvases. “I try to understand why certain experiences stick with me and repeat over and over in my head while I go about my day,” he says. “I try to create work that will have this same effect.”

KAWS began as a graffiti artist and rose to international acclaim. His phenomenally popular work has even been featured as a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The show for Honor Fraser is a fresh approach to his bold yet cryptic reinterpretations of popular culture.“The work in this show is a marriage between the familiar and abstract, the stark and colorful,” he says.