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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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Instagram, Photography, design, coffee, User Feature, hashtag highlight,

Fake coffee branding with @luftaffe

To see more photos of Illarion’s designs on coffee cups, use a #fakecoffeebranding hashtag and follow @luftaffe

“If you want to create a coffee-themed design, coffee cups are the best choice,” says Russia Instagrammer Illarion Gordon (@luftaffe), who posts photos of coffee cups that he has illustrated with unusual drawings. “My wife is a barista, and I use coffee cups as a place for my ideas. I just took a felt tip and drew a design on the white cup.” As a designer by day, Illarion’s experimentations on coffee cups has allowed him to explore a new perspective on branding and develop his illustrations. “I create cups with melancholic and existentialist designs that would never exist in real life from real coffee brands.”

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Instagram, portrait, hashtag highlight, Photography, portraits, portraitwithoutface, User Feature,

Capturing Portraits without Faces with @the69th

For more portraits without faces, browse the #portraitwithoutface hashtag and follow Anna Pavlova (@the69th) on Instagram.

“‘Why is the person in the portrait always turned away from you’, everyone asks me,” says Russia Instagrammer Anna Pavlova (@the69th), whose #portraitwithoutface hashtag series features photos lacking faces. “My photos have people who don’t show their faces, but there are still people in the shot,” she explains. “Portraits without faces are like an open-ended romance. Everyone can think what they like about the shot. Is this person in the portrait happy or not? Maybe the person is excited or just calmly enjoying the world around.” Want to try taking a #portraitwithoutface shot of your own? “Use different angles and props for the shot,” Anna advises. “For example, use green leaves, basketball balls or matte glass to cover the face in the shot.” She adds, “Do not forget about backgrounds such as a picturesque landscape or a colorful wall—there are a lot of angles worth exploring to make your faceless portrait unique!”

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photography, design, portrait, art, self portrait, new york city, artists on tumblr, user feature, hashtag highlight, instagram,

Finding a Creative Complement with @wadejeffree and @letasobierajski

To see more imaginative portraits from Leta and Wade, follow @letasobierajski and @wadejeffree on Instagram.

“Usually we send each other ideas, sketches and imagery throughout the week leading up to our shoot,” says Leta Sobierajski (@letasobierajski), who collaborates with partner Wade Jeffree (@wadejeffree) on Complements, a weekly series of unconventional portraits. “We’re inspired both by hilarious couple photography from the Internet and beautiful imagery from couples in history.”

Wade, a graphic designer, and Leta, an art director, shoot the photos in their Brooklyn apartment. “We wanted to collaborate,” explains Wade, “but the opportunity hadn’t arisen.” So the duo decided to explore their creativity—and relationship—through collaborative portraits. “The portraiture often becomes surreal, funny and romantic,” says Leta, “and it helps depict our personalities and the way we think together.”

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art, landscape, photography, hashtag highlight, user feature, instagram,

Seeking Inspiration Midair with @manonwethly

To see more of Manon’s artfully captured images of #flyingstuff, follow @manonwethly.

For Dutch designer Manon Wethlij (@manonwethly), the contents of her arresting #flyingstuff photos are less important than the conversations they provoke. “People are free to see or feel whatever they want in the shapes,” Manon says. “I love that they make people talk to me and ask questions.”

“I studied architecture for two years, then graphic design, but the thing that has always made me happy is photography.” When she found Instagram, Manon says, “it was exactly what I needed to keep my photography enthusiasm alive. I was taking lots of photos every day and just storing them in my computer for no one to see.”

These days, it’s the response to her photos on Instagram that keeps Manon evolving creatively. “Everybody’s enthusiasm encourages me to try new things,” she explains, “It’s sort of addictive.”

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Berlin, photography, User Feature, hashtag highlight, pink pipes, Instagram, Architecture, infrastructure,

Understanding Berlin’s Pink Pipes with @Berlinstagram

To view more photos and videos of the pink pipes in Berlin, browse the #thatpipeagain hashtag and follow @berlinstagram on Instagram

Berlin is one big swamp—or at least it used to be. Distinctive pink pipes twist through the city to the nearest river or canal. As groundwater levels are very high, this prevents the city from submerging into a giant puddle.

The pipes are designed to withstand shrinkage or breakage in extreme temperatures, and the distinct pink color is the result of a study which found this color is preferred by both youth and older generations who are young at heart. Berlin Instagrammer Michael Schulz (@berlinstagram) created the #thatpipeagain hashtag to capture them. “The pink pipes are quite iconic for Berlin,” he says. “When I first visited the city 20 years ago and came across them, I was fascinated and irritated at once—and those pipes stuck to my mind as a characteristic thing of the city.” Now, people all over Berlin use the hashtag to spark conversation about the pink pipes and capture them from different angles throughout the city.

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food, bread, hashtag highlight, south korea, Instagram,

Hashtag Highlight: Sampling South Korea’s Bread Culture Through #빵스타그램 (“breadstagram”)

For more photos and videos of the wide variety of breads found in South Korea, browse the #빵스타그램 (“breadstagram”) hashtag.

In South Korea, bread has historically never been a prominent part of the daily diet. As European bakeries expand their businesses into Seoul, however, local’s love for the food has grown. Bread has even taken in root in the culture to the point of becoming a popular topic for local TV shows and magazines.

While classic croissants and baguettes populate the regular lineup, the most common types of breads from these bakeries contain sweet fillings such as red bean paste, sweet potato paste or whipped cream. Bakers sometimes also add sweet rice in the flour dough for chewiness, top the bread like pizzas or make animal shapes out of them to add an extra creative twist. Local Instagrammers have picked up on documenting this new wave of bread culture by adding the #빵스타그램 hashtag (bbangstagram or, translated, “breadstagram”) to their photos and videos of bread to share their personal favorites and reviews with the Instagram community.

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photography, cameras, vintage, Instagram, User Feature, hashtag highlight, medium format,

Looking through #viewfindersofthepast with @littlecoal

For more perspective-bending photos from vintage camera owners around the world, browse the #viewfindersofthepast hashtag. To see more of Eric’s life in Ohio through the lens of his Bosley, follow @littlecoal on Instagram.

When Ohio schoolteacher and Instagrammer Eric Ward (@littlecoal) received an old film camera that had belonged to his wife’s grandfather, the connection was instantaneous. “I immediately fell in love with the glass and the unique feel you get looking down through a viewfinder of that age,” he says. “I imagined all that he had seen through the same viewfinder and wanted to find a way to continue what he had started.”

Eric continues that story on Instagram with his camera, a Bolsey Model C Twin Lens Reflex from the 1950s with a top-down viewfinder. By taking a photo from above with his phone, Eric discovered he could capture two subjects at once: the camera itself and what the camera “sees” through its lens. “For me, it connected the camera’s past with today’s reality,” he says.

He started the #viewfindersofthepast hashtag to keep track of the photos he was taking, and over time it took off in the community. “Others have started to add photos from a variety of other film cameras,” he says, “which I think is perfect!”

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hashtag highlight, notmynonni, Italy, grandparents, photography, portraits, Instagram,

Remembering a Generation with @notmynonni

To view more photos and videos of nonni all over the world, browse the hashtag #notmynonni and follow @notmynonni and @tianapix on Instagram.

Italy Instagrammer Tiana Kai Madera (@tianapix) captioned one of her photos “not my nonna,” using the affectionate word for “grandma” in Italian. When her community was amused by the happy nature of the shot, she started the account @notmynonni (nonni means “grandparents”) to capture quintessential Italian scenes of elderly people going about their daily lives—in the streets, in winter coats, or standing next to old cars. “The older the nonni, the more moved people get—and I hope to capture Italy and all of its nonni,” she explains.

Tiana’s grandfather, to whom the account is dedicated, had Sicilian parents. She says she feels closer to him after moving to Florence from Miami. “I see my grandpa in many nonni that I photograph,” she says. “Some I stop and chat with, others I smile and move on and sometimes assist them if they need help down a step. Each of us has a nonno or nonna inside these strangers.”

Other Instagrammers joined in, using the #notmynonni hashtag to share photos of other people’s grandpas and grandmas.

Tiana feels the love for the account comes from the fact that “everyone has an elderly figure that they love,” and she enjoys seeing people share affectionate photos of nonni all over the world.

"This project reminds us to be kind, to love our family and others."

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Architecture, roofline_envelope, geof newsum, hashtag highlight, User Feature, Instagram,

Flipping Perspectives with @slowjam98 and #roofline_envelope

For more from Geof’s creative series, browse the #roofline_envelope hashtag and follow @slowjam98 on Instagram.

Phoenix, Arizona, Instagrammer Geof Newsum (@slowjam98) first downloaded Instagram to follow his wife, Ayanah (@ayanah), but after the two attended a local InstaMeet, Geof was inspired by the community to tap more deeply into his creative interests.

While on a lunch break one day, Geof snapped a photo of the roof of a nearby building. “After flipping the photo, it struck me that it looked like an envelope,” he explains. With that, the #roofline_envelope hashtag was born. “I came up with the tag and got stuck on the idea, posting two more that week. I’m now at 41 and counting.”

Since starting the series, Geof has watched it spread throughout the community and continue to pick up steam. As for where he wants to take it next, he says, “I’ve been wanting to create a special series based on endangered historic homes in Phoenix. I love the stories found in local architecture.”

Want to try out taking a #roofline_envelope of your own? Geof has some tips to share:

"Start with a gable wall—a flat wall under a pitched roof. Make sure there aren’t any wires or branches breaking the line of the roof. Take a second to position yourself dead center. When composing the shot, get linear elements from the roofline to perfectly meet the corners of the image." From there, rotate the image 180º and you’re ready to go!

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hashtag highlight, User Feature,

Hashtag Highlight: Protect your Melon #amelonaday

To see more photos of creative melon sightings, browse the #amelonaday hashtag and follow @digsapparel on Instagram.

When New York Instagrammer Maz McWilliams (@digsapparel) started documenting himself carrying a melon for 100 days to promote awareness for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), he did not expect it to grow into the collaborative movement it has since become.

"Everyone I know calls a melon slang for a person’s head. It has this hard exterior, a soft inside and it’s just this beautiful thing. To me, the melon is a relatable and powerful symbol for TBI awareness." When people started asking him questions about the project, he encouraged them to join in creating their own creative melon images, and the hashtag #amelonaday came to life.

This is a labor of love for Maz, who lost his brother Tim to complications from TBI in 2005. “My brother was 100% my hero, my idol. I get so emotionally overwhelmed working on this in his memory. My wife said, ‘Do you realize you’re looking your brother right in the eyes all this time and you don’t even know it?’ He is a part of everything that I do.”