Finding Vibrant Moments in High School Life with @markotto

For more bold, bright snapshots from the new school year, follow Mark Otto (@markotto) on Instagram.

Seventeen-year-old Mark Otto first started experimenting with color when he was living abroad in Hungary, away from his family and friends. “I realized the city felt a little too dark and it made me a little sad,” he says. “I started to use Instagram to showcase the few colorful things I could find.”

After he returned to Ohio this year, he continued to use photography—and minimalism—as a way to express himself. “Minimalism kind of showcases the color as the subject instead of the background,” he explains. “I’d have to say that colors are probably the best thing to happen to our universe.”

Mark makes a point to frame unextraordinary objects—things that his friends see around them every day—as a way to emphasize his particular perspective on the world. “People get to see how I see things,” he says.

And it’s not just about him. From Polaroids of his friends to a back-to-school pencil set, his Instagram feed also uniquely, and unabashedly, explores what it’s like to be in high school. “I believe that our generation is using the Internet to make connections and showcase our art,” he says. “Young adults totally own the Internet world.”