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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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Art, visual arts, writing, Black and White, brazil, sao paulo, User Feature, Instagram,

Shooting letters with @verenasmit

To see more photos of Verena’s play on words follow @verenasmit on Instagram

It all started with an old typewriter and some tired expressions. “I began playing with the clichés we hear all the time,” São Paulo visual artist Verena Smit (@verenasmit), says. “I’ll cross out a letter or a word, but make it so it can still be read. While there’s a part that rejects the cliché, there’s also a part that would like to somehow embrace it.”

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Art, Fashion, illustration, cartoon, rio de janeiro, brazil, User Feature, Instagram,

Between Dream and Life with @iamlubi and @iamfubi

To see more photos and videos from Lubi and Fubi’s colorful carioca life, follow @iamlubi and @iamfubi on Instagram.

Rio de Janeiro illustrator Luiza Bione’s (@iamlubi) portraits of herself as a colorful character named Lubi blur the line between daydreams and reality. Luiza has been documenting her life through colorful illustrations for as long as she can remember. As a small child she created a cartoon version of herself called Lubi and has been illustrating herself for the past 18 years. “Through illustration, even bad moments—like waking up with a bad hair day or sitting in traffic for hours—become funny. Drawing also makes virtually any scenario possible: if Lubi wants to visit the moon she can.” Luiza began using Instagram after her boyfriend Paulo Delvalle (@paulodelvalle) suggested it might be the perfect way to really bring Lubi to life, telling her story as if she were a real person. “Last year on Valentine’s day, Paulo made me a card asking me to be his girlfriend. He created an illustrated version of himself called Fubi, and that’s how (@iamfubi) was born. Since then, I’ve been drawing Lubi and Fubi based on our lives as well as all the things we dream of doing.”

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Instagram, brazil, rio de janeiro, Photography, beach,

Capturing the Moods of the Sea with @rochajuliana

For more photos from Copacabana’s moody shorelines, follow @rochajuliana on Instagram.

“I am not sure where Copacabana beach ends and Juliana begins,” says Brazil Instagrammer Juliana Rocha (@rochajuliana) of her #copacabanasentimental photo project. Each day, Juliana shoots Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach in an attempt to capture the beach’s daily moods through photography and witty captions.

Although she’s originally from Brazil’s Northeastern state of Ceará, Juliana has always felt a draw to Copacabana over the eight years that she has lived in Rio. “The beach is the place where the ocean meets the sky,” she says. “Its infinite nature symbolizes everything that is unknown about life.” Her photo series began on a day when she came up with what she describes as an “infuriated” sea. From then on, she felt increasingly in tune with the waters. “In the beginning,” she explains, “I was able to separate my emotions from the emotions of the sea. Today, it’s as if my feelings and the emotion in the photos blend together completely.”

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Architecture, street photography, brazil, sao paulo, User Feature, Instagram,

Coloring in the Gray Areas with @andersonangelico

To see more of Anderson’s colorful São Paulo, follow @andersonangelico on Instagram.

São Paulo might be best known for its gray cityscapes, but local Instagrammer Anderson Angelico’s (@andersonangelico) photos tell a more colorful story. “It’s not easy to find color here, but if you pay close attention you can find it. Colors bring happiness and remind me of something childlike,” says Anderson, who loves exploring hidden and winding streets. “My favorite colors are yellow and red, and the other day I was overjoyed to find a yellow building with red windows in São Paulo’s city center.” Whenever possible, he tries to place people in front of his urban scenarios. “Streets are incredibly inspiring to me. They are full of people, hidden colors and so many different situations just waiting to be captured.”

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design, interior, Animals, Helsink, finland, brazil, expats, living abroad, foreigner, User Feature, Instagram,

Home is Where the Heart is with @carolinavd

For more photos from Ana Carolina’s new home, follow @carolinavd on Instagram.

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, but if it’s true that home is where the heart is, then my home is now Finland,” says São Paulo native Ana Carolina Vieira (@carolinavd), who moved to Helsinki after falling in love 10 years ago. “Although I’m now officially a Finnish citizen, I often still feel as though I’ve just moved here. The midnight sun during the summer and the snowy landscapes in the winter still amaze me every time.”

As a decorator and merchandiser, Ana Carolina believes her visual aesthetic has evolved in her new home. “Long winters take up the vast majority of the year, making things naturally monochrome. Apart from that, life is slower here which translates into a clean and peaceful aesthetic,” she observes. Still, images of São Paulo’s hustle and bustle often make her homesick. “Pictures always remind me of the people and places that were part of my life back home. I start dreaming of everything I would do if I were there. To cope with being homesick, I spend time with my Finnish loved ones and try to see and enjoy the best of my new home. My dog Emma helps me a lot, too.”

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Art, design, street photography, symbology, saopaulo, brazil, User Feature, Instagram,

Circle Hunting with @marcelonava

For more of Marcelo’s circular life follow @marcelonava on Instagram.

“While studying symbology in college, I noticed the importance of shapes throughout history,” says São Paulo Instagrammer and creative director Marcelo Nava (@marcelonava). “Suddenly, I began to pay attention to the many circles in my everyday life. I started thinking about telling my story through circles.” Marcelo created the #roundseries hashtag, and his quest for the perfect circle has led to some interesting stories. “I recently found this amazing circular vent, which was unfortunately way too high for me to capture. I had to have two of my friends lift me up so that I could get the right angle,” he says. This event reminded Marcelo why circles were so meaningful as symbols. “They represent trust and collaboration.”

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food, Architecture, food art, Photography, brazil, User Feature, Instagram,

Reality Bites With @wkass

To see more photos of William’s miniature worlds, follow @wkass on Instagram.

“Using everyday foods in my creations is my way to call attention to the waste in the world and society’s consumer culture,” says São Paulo architect-turned-photographer William Kass (@wkass). William uses raw food and toy figures from his old architecture models to create edible worlds. “What really excites me is photography’s ability to transform everyday foods into something so enormous and surreal,” he says. “I ask myself: ‘If fruits and vegetables were giant, would we put an end to world hunger? If human beings were the size of ants, would there be enough room for everyone on the planet?’ I believe the answer would still be no.”

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Instagram, photography, rio de janeiro, brazil,

Waiting For the Perfect Shot with @deni_perez

To see more of Denise’s visual storytelling around Brazil, follow @deni_perez on Instagram.

Rio de Janeiro Instagrammer Denise Perez (@deni_perez) provides a glimpse into the vast country of Brazil. As she explains, her love for photography allows her to step into and share worlds that are not her own: “I love photography’s transformative power. It lets you reveal beauty in scenes which are often considered ugly or unworthy of attention.” Her patience allows her to tell many stories through photography, often catching her subjects in movement or with powerful facial expressions.

In one particular case, Denise captured an image of a bird flying past a woman on Rio de Janeiro’s beach, Praia Leme. “Most people see this image and think it’s a photomontage. I’ve heard it all, from the bird being a backpack, a costume or some sort of hair decoration. Some people even call it ‘the photo of the dead bird,’ and others attribute this photograph to pure luck.” For Denise, a good photograph depends on luck and a lot of patience, “I saw the pigeon coming and I waited for a really long time to get the shot as he finally landed in the perfect position.”

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os gemeos, graffiti, Instagram, Art Thursday, art, brazil, street art,

Entering the Colorful Kaleidoscope World of @osgemeos

To see more photos and videos from A ópera da lua, explore the Galpão Fortes Villaça location page and browse the #osgemeos hashtag.

A circular installation pulls spectators into the colorful world of Brazilian twin brothers and graffiti artists Os Gêmeos. Their new art exhibit, A ópera da lua (“The Moon Opera”), features paintings, sculptures and a video installation where works are connected by doors and windows. The artists are known for incorporating storytelling and fantasy into their exhibits, where surreal elements blend together in a multicolored collage as if seen through a kaleidoscope.

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Instagram, Location Feature, sand dunes, brazil, sandboarding, buggy rides,

Going Fast and Furious on Brazil’s Genipabu Sand Dunes

To see more photos and videos from the sand dunes, browse the #dunasdegenipabu hashtag and explore the Dunas de Genipabu location page.

Giant sand dunes attract adventurers from all over the world to the Brazilian beach of Genipabu. Those visiting Genipabu can explore on camelback, sandboard down the slopes to the lagoon below or—most popularly—zigzag through the sands in a thrilling buggy ride.”I’m fascinated by the dunes,” says Romanian Instagrammer Anamaria Pirea (@smochinaverde), a teacher working in Recife. “However varied the landscape is in Romania, we don’t have anything like that back home.”

"As much as I’ve enjoyed the beach for the last 10 months in Brazil, I have to admit that I miss winter sports—and sandboarding is pretty close to snowboarding. I especially enjoyed landing in the lagoon after sliding down the dune. I felt like I was a kid again.”

Anamaria spent four entire days just exploring the sand dunes. “After four days in Natal, I have no idea what the city looks like,” she says. “Most buggy drivers are friendly and flexible and will personalize your tour according to what you’re looking for. My friend and I went for the adventurous kind of driver who drove like crazy all over the dunes even jumping into the lagoon, and also avoided the touristy spots.” She advises fellow visitors to charge their mobile cameras before they make the trip. “The location is perfect for taking photos,” she says, “You can really experiment with optical illusions, especially with the backdrop of a clear blue sky and puffy clouds here and there.”