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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.

Follow Friday: Tattoo Artists on Instagram

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Tattooing has been around for many centuries spanning numerous cultures throughout the world. The art form may still have a few remaning taboos surrounding it, but its popularity has been on the rise and many artists are gaining notoriety for their craft. Tattoos may not be your cup of tea, but there is certainly no denying the beauty and skill behind this artform.

Here are just a few of the many tattoo artists from around the world sharing the progression and final results of their work on Instagram:

Eva Schatz - Salzburg, Austria

Nick Chaboya - San Francisco, California

Jo Harrison - World Traveler, from England

Kris Magnotti - New York, New York

The photo at the top is by Horitake - Japan.

The NFL Draft on Instagram

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In just under an hour, the NFL Draft will kick off at Radio City Music Hall. Follow all of the action live on Instagram via the hashtag #nfldraft, or through one of the official team accounts:

@49ers

@patriots

@officialbrowns

@steelers

@houstontexans

@neworleanssaints

@atlantafalcons

The photo at the top is by @reddusfoximus

Follow Friday: Visual Arts on Instagram

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The visual arts and Instagram are a match made in creative heaven. Every day galleries and museums take us behind the scenes, photographers share their craft, and painters and sculptors offer a peek into their processes. Here are a few of the visual artists and art institutions that have caught our team’s eye.

@jr_artist

Mysterious French “photograffeur” who won the Ted Prize in 2011. JR posts behind-the-scenes pictures of the installation of his massive photographs on public buildings. 

 

@arrestedmotion

Run by the founder and editor of ArrestedMotion.com, online magazine covering contemporary, low brow and street art. 

 

@toykio

German Pop/Street gallery sharing shots of their artists and artwork.

 

@osgemeos

Twin brothers and two of the world’s most famous graffiti artists. They post pictures of their work in progress, from the streets of São Paulo to the galleries of New York. 

 

The photo at the top is by @pietparra

The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Instagram

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The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs started yesterday. The top 16 teams in the National Hockey League (@nhl) made the cut and will battle over the next two months until one team is declared the Stanley Cup champion.

Many NHL teams are using Instagram to give fans a behind-the-scenes look into their playoff runs. On the Boston Bruins (@nhlbruins) account, the players themselves often take over the feed, posting photos from inside the locker room or on the plane ride to their next game. Take a look at these photos from some of the NHL teams on Instagram, and be sure to check out the list of teams at the end of this post and follow your favorite team!

The NHL on Instagram

Photos by @agreco33, @nhlbruins, @officialcolumbusbluejackets, @detroitredwings, @predsnhl, @bigfella8, @thenyrangers & @canucks.

The Making Of: A One-of-a-Kind Chandelier

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Adam Wallacavage, also known as @awallacavage on Instagram, is not your typical chandelier maker. The words you would associate with “chandelier” might include “crystalline,” “opulent” or even “stodgy,” but prepare to see things in a different light!

In addition to being an accomplished photographer, Wallacavage has taught himself the art of ornamental plastering, which he has used to marvelous effect in the creation of whimsical—and at times, haunting—chandeliers.

Adam’s Instagram followers are regularly granted a behind-the-scenes look as he plans, molds and paints octopus tentacles and medusa heads for his latest creations. And followers even get the occasional glimpse of his suboceanic-themed South Philadelphia town home.

Check out Adam’s first Philadelphia solo show opening May 17 at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and follow @awallacavage on Instagram.

Know of any other Instagram users giving their followers behind-the-scenes access to their craft? Send us a note through Tumblr.

View From the Top: @NatGeo & @TheNorthFace Climb Everest

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We had a sneaking suspicion that Instagram users were all over the world, even in the remotest of places. But this past week, National Geographic & The North Face confirmed it for us: Instagram is headed to Everest!

Along the route, The North Face global athlete team has been sharing images to Instagram through the tag #oneverest and on the official National Geographic’s Instagram account, @natgeo. According to @conradclimber, leader of the 2012 National Geographic Everest expedition, “We will be sharing images from Nepal as we trek to #basecamp and on the mountain. If we are lucky we might even share from the summit!”

At the start of the expedition they had the opportunity to take photos in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, where they visited the Bodnath Buddhist temple and witnessed an artist painting at the Thanka School.

Namache Bazaar is a beautiful hillside village in north-eastern Nepal. It is the main trading center for the Khumbu region and the gateway to the Himalaya. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to climb up from the river to Namche, and at 3,500 meters, altitude sickness here is a possibility here so most stay a few nights in order to acclimate.

Along the way, expedition members have had the opportunity to meet people (and animals) living in the hillside villages of Nepal. @andy_barton shared an image of a yak along their trek, as well as a beautiful photograph of a monk named Sonam Pintshok, who lives and prays in the Tengboche monastery. @emilyaharrington captured a heartwarming photograph of children listening to a story at the Magic Yeti Library in Phortse, all captured at about 3,800 meters into their climb.

With views of Ama Dablam standing at 6,856 meters in the distance, National Geographic shares with us how their health is tracked along their climb:

"Mayo Clinic custom made, ultra sophisticated body monitoring devices worn 24/7 by Everest Education Expedition members @conradclimber, @bookofsamuel, @emilyaharrington, and @coryrichards. The devices are ultimately intended for patients with cardiovascular issues to help in early detection and treatment. It samples our heart rate and movement around 15,000 times a minute.”

To continue following Everest Expedition 2012 on their journey to the top, check out @natgeo and #oneverest on Instagram!

Know of any other exciting adventures being documented through Instagram? Send us a note through Tumblr.

Instagram Takeovers

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Want a fun way to change things up on your Instagram account? We’ve been noticing a growing trend as of late: users and brands are inviting other Instagrammers to take over their feeds for a day!

Food Republic (@foodrepublic) has had a few guest Instagrammers, including chef Tom Colicchio and the band Wavves. This week, they asked popular Instagrammer @samhorine to take over their account while he travels through Italy, sharing his food exploits exclusively with their followers.

Not sure how to reach out to your biggest Instagram fans? Host a contest! General Electric (@generalelectric) did just that, offering one Instagrammer a trip to the GE Aviation facility in Wales to snap behind-the-scenes photos. @adamsenatori, a photographer and pilot from Wisconsin, was the lucky winner.

Last fall, Burberry (@burberry) invited Instagrammer @mikekus to London to photograph behind the scenes during the Burberry show at London Fashion Week. @mikekus had access to the show’s facilities leading up to the event, which allowed him to capture the atmosphere surrounding the event both before and during the show.

The Making Of: A Perfect Cup of Coffee

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Have you ever wondered how your morning pick-me-up made its way to your coffee cup? If so, you probably aren’t getting your caffeine fix from Sightglass Coffee, or following their Instagram feed, @sightglass.

Sightglass doesn’t just serve up some of San Francisco’s finest coffee. They provide their Instagram followers a behind-the-scenes look at the whole latte production cycle: from farm to foam.

Sightglass’s Instagram feed takes users from its shop in downtown San Francisco to the far-flung origins of its coffee, like El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The simple act of creating a visual bridge between consumer and producer cultivates a deeper, more personal appreciation for an already outstanding product.

Follow @sightglass on Instagram.

Know of any other Instagram users giving their followers behind-the-scenes access to their craft? Send us a note through Tumblr.

In the Studio: The Making of ParaNorman

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Name: ParaNorman, @paranorman

Bio: Little pictures from the set of the biggest stop motion movie ever made.

Website: paranorman.com

Location: Oregon, USA

ParaNorman, an animated zombie comedy to be released this August, is the story of an 11-year-old boy who must use his ability to speak with the dead to save his town from an ancient curse, a hoard of invading zombies, and their own small-mindedness. More than 300 people at LAIKA animation studio are responsible for bringing the film’s hero, Norman Babcock, to life — and they’re sharing the story of the film’s creation through Instagram. Here’s what they had to say about their photos!

Norman Babcock is a kid who’s never quite fit in with the other people in his small East Coast town, Blithe Hollow, because he has the ability to see and speak with the dead. His parents and his older sister, Courtney, don’t quite “get” him, but his (deceased) grandmother lends a sympathetic ear whenever he needs it. But when a 300-year-old curse rears its ugly head, the very powers that make Norman different are all that stand between a horde of invading zombies and the town that mistrusts him.

Every part of the world that you see on film is made and animated by hand, a process that takes several years. If you look closely, you’ll see that there are no straight lines in the entire film, which creates an interesting visual style. We’re obsessed with the details of the world; there’s so much more that goes into it than ever appears on camera, and that makes it feel real to us. We’ve also pioneered the use of a rapid prototyping color 3-D printer. It allows us to unite the versatility in design and mechanics of CG with the richness and solidarity of a physical object. You can achieve some really beautiful effects, like the translucency of human skin.

LAIKA employs about 450 people, each of whom is blessed with incredible, unique talents. About 300 people worked on ParaNorman. There are people who build the armatures that allow the puppets to be posed with precision, hairstylists, animators, riggers, set dressers, visual effects specialists, an art department, a model shop, rapid prototypers, production technology people and postproduction people — it’s a big operation. We each started out as awkward kids with differences that made us not quite fit in with the people around us, but here at LAIKA, we’ve created a family of like-minded artists.

Know any other interesting accounts we should feature on our blog? Let us know in the comments or by sending an email to contact[at]instagram.com

Featured: Singer-Songwriter Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear

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Name: Ed Droste, @edroste

Bio:  I’m in a band. We’re called Grizzly Bear. I love travel almost as much as music.

Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

Singer-songwriter Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear is on Cape Cod with his bandmates recording a new album. Ed has no computer with him, but he does have his phone. He uses Instagram to share small glimpses into the band’s recording process. On his feed, you’ll see late-night photos from the studio as well as beautiful shots of the landscapes that surround their isolated Cape Cod house. Together, Ed’s photos tell the story of his album’s creation.

While recording, my bandmates and I are staying in an old drafty house on Cape Cod, without neighbors for miles. My bedroom often gets the heavy SE winds. The door is old and barely stays shut on a still day, so I’ve learned each night to rig it shut with a heavy boot tied to the knob, draped over an old chair, that’s then pulled back. It’s done the trick so far but is generally annoying!

I first started using Instagram as a way to share photos with friends while on the road in SE Asia. It wasn’t until this winter that I started to poke around more and discover all these amazing other people taking fantastic photos. You leave a few “this is great” comments here and there and sometimes a conversation strikes up. This is how I came to “meet” @trashhand, who not only has been so supportive of my photos but also helped me navigate the rocky road of editing a picture. He follows so few people I decided to check out some of the people he follows and got to discover amazing work from a variety of people, some of whom I enjoy saying a friendly hello to daily. I also follow friends back home and some fans who’ve commented on my photos and whose photos I liked.

After music, travel is my number one passion. I’m lucky to have a job that allows me time to travel and takes me to new places. I love feeling lost and disoriented and out of my element and am always game to try whatever street food, even if I do get a lil’ sick. I don’t own a house or apartment or a car. I’m very happy constantly moving and get restless easy, so I choose to spend a lot of my time traveling and exploring. I’ll never get sick of it, and luckily my husband @chadmcphail feels the same way. I plan to share photos from life on the road once we’re finished recording.

Be sure to follow Ed’s Grizzly Bear bandmates Chris Bear (@crbear), Daniel Rossen (@drossenbro), and Chris Taylor (@cee_taylor) on Instagram for more photos!