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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.

Photoset

landscape, flowers, plants, cactus, echinopsis, succulant, time-lapse, user feature, video feature, instagram,

Immersed in the Vivid World of the Echinopsis with @echinopsisfreak

To see more vivid time-lapse videos of Greg’s diverse echinopsis family, follow @echinopsisfreak on Instagram.

Three years ago, Greg Krehel (@echinopsisfreak) encountered a cactus that would change his life. “I’ve always loved cacti and succulents,” he explains. The sogginess of his hometown Miami, however, always killed his desert-loving plants.

All that changed with a cactus Greg selected at random from a local garden store. Not only did it survive—it thrived. “Moreover, the flowers it produced were knockouts,” he says. “Over six inches in diameter and an incredible mix of colors.”

After some sleuthing, Greg realized he was in the possession of an echinopsis, a genus of cactus that thrives in humidity. Not only that, there were hundreds of other varieties out there. “My single echinopsis acquired by accident was soon joined by 5… 25… 50… and now I’m at 100 other echinopsis species and hybrids.”

"My passion for the cacti themselves soon morphed into a passion for imaging them," says Greg. Echinopsis flowers bloom in a day, and peak for only an hour or two. "Their brief existence pushes you to photograph the heck out of them." Inspired by his videographer son, Greg began using time-lapse to capture his cacti’s blooms and quickly found a community of like-minded people on Instagram. "It’s just a kick sharing my passion for this super type of cactus."

Photoset

Photography, Instagram, flowers, flower portraits, portraits, crafts, User Feature, Cansu Tüzan, Turkey, color,

Facing the Foliage with @cnstzn

For more flower portraits, browse the #facethefoliage hashtag and follow @justinablakeney and @cnstzn on Instagram.

Inspired by Justina Blakeney’s (@justinablakeney) #facethefoliage hashtag, Turkey Instagrammer Cansu Tüzan (@cnstzn) started to bring her portraits to life. Using everyday objects including flowers, seashells, metal scraps and jewelry, the student living in Gelibolu, Çanakkale, arranges objects on her desk before creating a character. “When I travel or walk anywhere, I am trying to look for all the details. I am always looking very carefully at everything as all the dried branches, flowers and leaves help me to create new characters.”

Cansu explains how she puts together each photo. “I try to shape hair and eyes, then I realize that the portrait is starting to look at me,” she says. “After I design the portrait, I wonder where it lives or whether the face belongs to a real person. Some of my followers claim my portraits look like their friends or relatives. This feeling makes me happy, as I am dreamer and I love showing my dreams through my works.”

Photoset

howishoot, User Feature, nicole franzen, flowers, plants,

How I Shoot: Photographing Flora with @nicole_franzen

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about the process behind their photos and videos. For more of Nicole’s photos and videos of plants, food, and day-to-day life made beautiful, follow @nicole_franzen on Instagram.

For Nicole Franzen (@nicole_franzen), a self-taught lifestyle photographer, springtime is very special. “In New York,” she says, “the winters are so long and grey. When we finally start getting green back into our lives, it’s almost spiritual. I can’t seem to get enough.”

Nicole says that she’s always been interested in things that grow. “When I was a kid, I would help my neighbor in the garden, asking lots of questions,” she says. “I typically have flowers in my home and admire them every day. Like most of the things I photograph I feel that it all connects.”

Here are Nicole’s tips for capturing the perfect picture of a plant or flower:

Camera

iPhone 5S

Vantage Point

"No right or wrong answer here. It depends on where the plant or flower lives. Get in close or pull away. Rows of lilacs, a close-up shot of a peony’s layers or a desert botanical scene–you can do no wrong."

Shooting

"Ideal scenarios include fog, mist, dew and a fresh summer’s rain. A common misconception is that a sunny day is ideal for a photo, but sometimes it’s actually really harsh. For the best light, get up early and catch that morning light and dew in the garden. You won’t be sorry."

Editing

VSCO Cam