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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, 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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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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portrait, WHPtodayimet, weekend hashtag project, Photography, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtodayimet

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPtodayimet, which asked participants to get outside of their comfort zones, make new friends and share portraits with their stories. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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Photography, food, design, sunday suppers, nana hagel, karen mordechai, copenhagen, New York City, todayimet, Instagram,

#TodayIMet with @nana_ha and @sundaysuppers

In this series, Instagrammers share the stories of meeting people in real life after discovering their work on Instagram. To see more photos and videos by @nana_ha and @sundaysuppers, follow them on Instagram and browse the #todayimet hashtag.

Copenhagen food and travel journalist Nana Hagel (@nana_ha) landed an internship in New York City through Instagram. She had been following the Instagram images of Karen Mordechai, founder of Sunday Suppers (@sundaysuppers). “I immediately fell in love with her style,” Nana says. “I saw that she was looking for help and I knew I had to apply.”

Nana joined the team on Wednesday. “Meeting Nana from across the world and having her come to collaborate with us at the studio is one of the things I love about Instagram,” Karen says. “It really is about expanding your vision and community. It affords us the chance to meet amazing people that we wouldn’t have a chance to connect with otherwise.”

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photography, art, narni, landscape, italy, umbria, Location Feature, instagram, narnia, cs lewis, chronicles of narnia,

A World of Childhood Fantasy in Narni, Italy

For more enchanting photos and videos from Narni, Italy, explore the Narni location page and browse the #Narni hashtag.

There are stunning similarities between the real-life town of Narni and the fictional world of Narnia: blazing green hills, clear blue skies and picturesque stone structures.

In fact, the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C.S. Lewis in 1950, is rumored to have been inspired by this small Italian town 50 miles north of Rome. According to biographer Walter Hooper, Lewis was fascinated by ancient history, and Narni—named “Narnia” in Roman times—was highlighted by the children’s author in his personal atlas.

Whether Lewis visited Narni has never been confirmed, but even today, its cobblestone streets and castle fortress look like they belong in a magical, medieval novel. And while there are no mythical, talking creatures roaming the land, Narni still feels like a place pulled straight out of our childhood imaginations.

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Photography, dance, yoga, Artists on Tumblr, breakdancing, flexibility, germany, User Feature, Instagram,

Feats of Incredible Strength and Flexibility with @rubberlegz

For more breakdance contortionism, follow @rubberlegz on Instagram.

Professional dancer Rauf Yasit (@rubberlegz) can stretch into such seemingly impossible shapes that you might think he has no bones in his body. His self-portraits on Instagram are called “Freezes” that he says require him to “click, run, and quickly get into the pose.” Some positions he can hold for only a few seconds, others for much longer. “With time you get to know your body,” he says. “You grow into it.”

The son of a folk dance teacher from Kurdistan who would make him perform traditional Kurdish dances at weddings, Rauf fell in love with breakdancing as a 12-year-old in Germany. His life as Rubber Legz began when an early back injury forced him to take a different approach, shifting his focus from acrobatics to flexibility. He started watching contortion videos and integrated elements of yoga into his breakdance moves. Rauf is now a full-time dancer with his stage group, Flying Steps, who are currently on tour in Germany. He’s also at work on a book that will feature his poses across the landscapes of Reykjavik, Iceland. He says he wants to “express pure and beautiful things” with his dancing and credits the Instagram community as a motivation for pushing the boundaries of his art—and flexibility.

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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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weekend hashtag project, WHPtodayimet, Photography, portrait, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtodayimet

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

The goal this weekend is to get outside of your comfort zone, make a new friend and share a portrait with his or her story in your caption.

Some tips to get you started:

  • This project is as much about the caption as it is the photo. Approach someone, introduce yourself and only ask to take a portrait after you’ve been able to chat for a while. As you talk with people, don’t be afraid to ask surprising questions: ask about their pasts, learn about their goals and try to discover what inspires them.
  • If you’re not feeling up to chatting with strangers, strike up a conversation with a coworker or neighbor you’ve always wanted to get to know better. For those starting school, use this project as an opportunity to meet new classmates, people in your dorm or even teachers and professors.
  • When shooting your portrait, think about how the photo can help tell the person’s story. Elements like environment, body language and even the lighting can say a lot, so be sure to keep them in mind.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out Instagrammer Branden Harvey (@brandenharvey), the creator of #storyportrait, and his tips for learning about new friends.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPtodayimet hashtag to photos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs to the project. Any tagged image taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday morning.

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Photography, art, design, food, crafts, cake, interiors, user feature, art thursday, Instagram, Scott Hove,

The Sweetly Scary Creations of @scotthove

To see more from Scott Hove’s strange and beautiful cake-themed series, follow @scotthove on Instagram.

The sweet but sinister works of Los Angeles artist Scott Hove (@scotthove) are characterized by fierce jaws and other dangerous elements ensconced in ornately decorated cakes. “Are these themes in conflict or in harmony?” asks Scott, who seeks to at once draw-in and repel with his creations.

“Cake decorating is not normally associated with the fine arts,” explains Scott, “but when I saw the emotional power of the medium, it was apparent it needed further investigation.” With that, Scott’s “Cakeland” series was born. While his works of art are not edible, Scott’s methods—chronicled on Instagram in great detail—are drawn from baking. As he explains, “I enjoy learning diverse traditional decorative techniques as a hobby and applying them to my art.”

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Photography, Art, design, illustration, thailand, video, watercolor, User Feature, Instagram,

Drawing for Happiness with @jiranarong

For more photos and videos of Jiranarong’s illustrations, follow @jiranarong on Instagram.

“I use a lot of drawing techniques, but right now I especially love watercolor and ink,” says Bangkok art director and illustrator Jiranarong Wongsoontorn (@jiranarong). While Jiranarong uses various online channels to share his daily snaps, Instagram has become a place for him to showcase photos and “making-of” videos of his artwork.

Jiranarong’s favorite themes to draw are things that make him feel joyous and peaceful, such as children, flowers and cats. “The main concept of my work is happiness, which means that the photos and videos I share are also made from my happiness,” he explains. When capturing his artistic expressions, he also uses natural light to show the texture of his paper and bring out extra liveliness in his illustrations.

Through Instagram, Jiranarong feels that he is sharing more than just images of his drawings: “I’m very glad to know that many of my followers can feel the same happiness through my work—I am often inspired and learning new things from the people I’m following as well.”