The Story of Darcy, the Flying Hedgehog (@darcytheflyinghedgehog)

To tune in to Darcy’s daily poses, be sure to follow her @darcytheflyinghedgehog.

"I want to make Darcy the most famous hedgehog in the world." With this in mind Tokyo Instagrammer Shota Tsukamoto started a unique series of photos of his pet hedgehog, Darcy. Darcy’s account quickly took off in a way Shota never expected and (@darcytheflyinghedgehog) is now one of the most-followed pet accounts on Instagram.

The three-year-old hedgehog takes her name from D’arcy Wretzky, the former bassist of the “The Smashing Pumpkins,” who Shota explains resembles “a pointy, edgy girl.” Despite the origin of her name, Darcy’s friendly, lovable nature shines through in the photos that Shota takes. “Hedgehogs are usually very cautious animals, but that is not the case with Darcy,” he says. She especially finds comfort in her owner’s palms and, once she’s there, she is fast asleep.

Aside from how adorable Darcy is, there is a distinctive artistry in Shota’s photos. “I imagine a page from a children’s picture book,” explains Shota. “I want (@darcytheflyinghedgehog) to be a surrealistic story and I even want people to question whether or not Darcy really exists in real life.” For example, his favorite shot of Darcy is of her sitting face-to-face with a skull object. “No matter how many times I look back at this shot, I can never seem to imagine what the two are talking about,” he says. He also does not add captions to his photos because he wants to encourage people to come up with their own stories about Darcy.

Want to take charming photos and videos of your pet? Here are some of Shota’s tips:

Camera iPhone 4s, iPhones 5s

Shooting

  • Think about the composition first. Then find props that would perfectly match that composition
  • Use consecutive shooting to make sure that you capture the best moments
  • Blow air on it, give it snacks or make it sleepy to bring out different expressions
  • Try not to force a pose on your pet. The more unexpected its actions and expressions are, the better the outcomes are

Editing Shota likes to use the Camera+ app. The app allows for consecutive shooting, which is essential to his work. He also uses the light-tone filter of this app to better capture Darcy’s soft pink skin, because he thinks that the native iPhone cameras tend to give off a yellowy color in the resulting images.