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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, portrait, fashion, Architecture, Kenya, Nairobi, user feature, Sarah Waiswa, instagram,

Capturing Nairobi’s Essence through Portraits, with @lafrohemien

To see more of Sarah’s portraits, follow @lafrohemien on Instagram.

“I tend to put my subjects against a backdrop that will not only tell a story about them, but also about the city,” explains Kenya Instagrammer Sarah Waiswa (@lafrohemien). “Nairobi is a diverse landscape and it is important for me to show that in my photos.”

Originally drawn to Instagram as a way to see the world through the lens of others, Sarah now shares her own photographs that reveal her city’s unique juxtapositions. She says, “Nairobi is one of the few places in the world where you can capture wildlife with the city skyline as an unexpected backdrop.”

For Sarah, sharing her city through photos of its inhabitants opens up new avenues for storytelling. She hopes her portraits reflect the nature of Nairobi: “It is alluring and mysterious at the same time.”

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Who I follow, User Feature, kenya, nairobi,

#WhoIFollow: Kenya’s @asayf

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Asif and his favorites, follow @asayf, @jnsilva, @anthonyn1cholas and @umarali on Instagram.

"I like photographers who capture humans interacting with their environment and thus follow accounts that inspire me to look at life from a new perspective," says traveling Instagrammer Asif Khan (@asayf), who lives in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Asif recently started the #AbandonedNairobi hashtag series with other Instagrammers to document some of the human stories behind derelict places in his home city. “They all have such interesting stories behind them,” he says. “The first place we picked was originally a hospital. In a country that is desperately short of such facilities, having an abandoned hospital just doesn’t make sense.” Asif often looks for the human element in photos: “We are not separate from our surroundings,” he explains, “We leave our mark wherever we go.”

He regularly goes out shooting with fellow photography enthusiasts Samir Dave (@samdave69) and Ahmed Salim (@ahmedsalims). Some of his favorite Instagrammers to follow from Africa also include Steven Chikosi (@stevenchikosi) and Roy Potterill (@roywrench). Asif says he met some of the most important people in his life through Instagram and recently traveled to New York to meet some of them in person. Here’s his list of favorite people to follow:

  • J.N. Silva (@jnsilva) – “He’s one prime example of a guy who’s taken it on himself to grow the Instagram community in New York City and who gets more and more people shooting. Of course, his photography is brilliant. I learnt a lot from him.”
  • Anthony Nicholas (@anthonyn1cholas) – “His photography from New York and New Jersey is phenomenal, and he’s so humble! Always a good quality to have.”
  • Umar Ali (@umarali) – “His photographs documenting life in the Pakistani city of Lahore are mesmerizing. His photos take what seems like small moments and make it so much more.”

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user feature, photojournalism, Kenya,

On Assignment in Kenya with @balazsgardi

To see more photos and videos from photojournalist Balazs Gardi’s work in Kenya and elsewhere, follow @balazsgardi on Instagram.

Photojournalist Balazs Gardi (@balazsgardi) has spent the past decade documenting the effects of the unfolding global water crisis. Balazs’s work has taken him to more than 20 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, he finds himself in Kenya: “With the changing climate, the people of Kenya’s already arid Turkana region suffer greatly from the consequences of prolonged droughts,” he explains.

It was Balazs’s grandmother that sparked his interest in photography. “She had it in her head that photography was a good path for a young man with no patience for authority or office work,” he says. “She was right, and I discovered that photography was a way to learn about people, their situations and problems, and about the world.”

As he learns and shares the stories of people affected by the water crisis, Balazs says Instagram “has become a vital tool to share work that matters to me and allows me to put the image in context and deliver it directly to my audience.”

Balazs hopes his photos and videos will stir people to action. “By passing on my experiences, I’d like not only to inform but also to spark meaningful public dialog. As time goes on I hope my audience takes action that either directly helps people in great need or changes their own behavior for the better.”

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spotlight, user feature, kenya,

Spotlight: Kenya

Spotlight Since launching, we’ve seen Instagram spread from our headquarters in the Bay Area to every corner of the globe. In this series we highlight Instagrammers from countries and cities with thriving communities.

On the eastern coast of the African continent sits Kenya, a country of 44 million that straddles the Earth’s equator.

In addition to its diverse and picturesque scenery—from the 5,188m (17,021ft) tall peak of Mount Kenya to wildlife-rich savannas—Kenya is also home to a thriving Instagram community.

Experience life in Kenya through the lenses just a few of the many Instagrammers that live there:

  • Mutua Matheka, Kenyan photographer — @truthslinger
  • Eston Whitfield, Nairobi-based pilot — @eston
  • David Ndirangu, Kenya-based photographer and graphic designer — @davideandr3
  • Erik Hersman, Nairobi-based engineer — @white_african

For a closer look at Kenya, explore the country through some of its most popular destinations: