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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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User Feature, art, argentina,

Going 3D with @elo_____

For more photos and videos from Eloísa, follow @elo_____ on Instagram.

“I like the way I can turn my designs into something flat or three-dimensional depending on the color combination, light or point of view,” explains Argentina graphic designer Eloísa Iturbe (@elo_____).

Eloísa, who likes to maintain simplicity and neatness in her artwork, has always been interested in painting and drawing. She explains, “At first I was actually more drawn to textile design. Right after high school, I went to London for 6 months and took a textile design course there. The whole experience in London was quite amazing, as I came from a very small town in Argentina’s countryside. When I returned to Argentina, the only career I found related to textile design was fashion design, and I wasn’t interested in that, so I chose graphic design instead.”

Nowadays, Eloísa runs her own design studio in Buenos Aires and says Instagram has become a great medium for sharing her artwork. “For some time I had been longing to do other kinds of creative projects besides my work at the studio. I wasn’t exactly sure about what that looked like, but only knew it had to be away from the computer. I tried a few different things, but they never lasted. Then I found Instagram, and everything fell into place. The medium of photography suddenly felt right! I found a place to share my work and the motivation to keep it going. It’s been very inspiring and a lot of fun too!”

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user feature, poetry,

#fourpartpoems with @emolabs

For more photos from Tony’s life and poetry, follow @emolabs on Instagram.

For Texas Instagrammer Tony Ciampa (@emolabs), Instagram serves as a place where images and creative writing come together as a form of self-expression.

After moving to Texas from his native Boston, Massachusetts, Tony took to Instagram to make friends and build a community of his own—and his photos reflect their adventures together. It wasn’t until later when his experiments in poetry began.

"It was a Saturday night, and a girl I was having a fling with wasn’t texting me back, so I was just sitting out on a hill that overlooks the skyline drinking a beer. It felt like this quintessential moment in the life of a young adult, so I wrote down what was in my head, took a photo and posted it," Tony explains. "It was the first poem I’d written since high school, so it was really cool for me to see people respond positively to it." With that post, Tony’s #fourpartpoems series was born, and he’s posted a poem every day since.

As for his aesthetic, handwritten poems photographed in front of sweeping landscapes, Tony cites another artist on Instagram for the initial inspiration. “I follow @lidiagulyas on Instagram, and the photo style comes from her. She does a lot of hand lettering and in one of her photos from a few months ago she had written the phrase ‘I want you’ in a notebook and held it out in front of an out of focus cityscape. It was so moody and really stuck with me.”

Tony writes all of the poems himself, first pouring out his emotions from the day through free writing, then distilling out his rhymes from there. “In my mind,” he says “that keeps the emotion as authentic as possible.” He then embellishes them with line drawings and sets up his photo before dusk, his self-imposed deadline for posting his work.

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Sara Catherine Pierce, User Feature,

Hunting for Colors, Shadows and Reflections in Los Angeles with @sara_cath

For more of Sara’s portraits, follow @sara_cath on Instagram.

"I’ve been drawn to color and shape since a very young age. I grew up believing the best thing about school is art class and the best thing about going to stayaway camp was getting to shoot photos on a disposable camera," says Los Angeles photographer Sara Catherine Pierce (@sara_cath).

"I’ve found that I have an affinity for those three things in photography: color, shadow and reflection. I use these to highlight what I find dear to me in my every day life," she says. Often, Sara turns to her friends for her photos, snapping colorful portraits of @clickinkris, @qualiitea, @keeegman and others in Los Angeles.

"An introspective portrait can be taken anywhere if draped in beautiful light and if the color surrounding pops," she says. "Color coordination makes me giddy. I’ve been squealing a lot these days when I find a particular shade of teal to photograph!" To catalog her shadow photos, Sara also started a series of shadow portraits with the #hishadowhi hashtag.

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User Feature, mytoyplane, putaplaneonit, macau,

Chasing Toy Planes with @vnthota

For more of Varun’s photos, browse the #mytoyplane hashtag and follow @vnthota on Instagram.

As the son of a helicopter pilot, Macau Instagrammer Varun Thota (@vnthota) developed an early love for flying. “I used to play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator for hours and even used it to train for my mock pilot’s certificate as a kid,” Varun remembers.

Now in his late twenties, Varun is still simulating flight patterns but has taken to Instagram to explore his fascination with aviation in a series he calls #mytoyplane. “I decided to start the series when my dad picked up a limited edition Kinder Egg chocolate pack, which included five Airbus A330s inside them,” says Varun. Drawing inspiration from the #putaplaneonit hashtag, Varun adds, “A lot of the photos using that hashtag are quite amazing and it was interesting to see how people even blended in photos of planes with insane backgrounds. I wanted to do something similar, and the idea of using the perfectly sized Kinder Egg planes with someone holding it to add perspective was what I decided to try.”

The results are an imaginative set of photographs that playfully weave viewers through skyscrapers, city streets and the Macau countryside. When it comes to choosing his locations, Varun says, “I try to pick them when I feel they are realistic enough to have actual planes fly over or by them, so this is usually over resident buildings or estates. One of my favorites is looking up through a fire exit ladder.”

More than anything, what Varun looks forward to about the #mytoyplane series, and Instagram in general, is the relationship building: “The thing I enjoy most about the series is how fun it is to include other people in it. It’s always fun to show people the plane, tell them the story and then ask them for a helping hand in taking the shot.”

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user feature, Tibet, monks, Buddhism,

A Peek into the Life of a Tibetan Monk with @gdax

For a peek into the daily life of Tibetan monk དགེ་འདུན་དབང་ཕྱུག (Gedun Wangchuk), follow @gdax on Instagram.

དགེ་འདུན་དབང་ཕྱུག, or Gedun Wangchuk, (@gdax) is a Buddhist monk living in Tibet, where he uses Instagram to share scenes from his daily life atop one of the highest locations on earth. The region boasts an average elevation of 4,900 meters (16,000 feet) and is home to some of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mount Everest at the Nepal border to the southwest.

"Mankind shares and lives on planet Earth as one family with each continent having its own different nationalities, religions, faith, customs, unique culture and languages. But aside from such differences, we all have the same common desire for happiness," Gedun says. "That’s why Instagram, as a window to this global family, is a joy."

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User Feature, Who I follow,

#WhoIFollow: Japan’s @koshi_another_side

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Koshi and his favorites, follow @koshi_another_side, @chikuwa91 and @laylah on Instagram.

For Japanese Instagrammer Koshi Nishijima (@koshi_another_side), the natural landscapes around his hometown of Fukuoka serve as his inspiration for photography. “My favorite place to shoot is Aso Kujū National Park. You can find valleys, wetlands, volcanos and grasslands with grazing animals, as well as a long strip of road that runs straight through all of this nature. It’s often quite foggy there and even icy in the winter, which brings out the mood,” he explains. He enjoys exploring nature with friends he’s met through Instagram, trying out different ideas to create surreal scenes. “I don’t shoot just to share pretty images. What I want to share is the moment and the ambiance of the time I spend with great people in my favorite places to shoot,” he says.

Koshi also experiments with his iPhone camera. “If the focus and exposure is just right, you can get very clear images and even create bokeh.” He then edits his photos based on his impression of the moment.

Looking for more natural scenes from Japan? Follow some of Koshi’s favorite Instagrammers:

  • @chikuwa91: “His work is so unique and always gives me a pleasant surprise. We go shooting together a lot, but it feels like he’s capturing things in a completely different demension.”
  • @laylah: “Her photos are just plain cool. I don’t know any other girl who takes such edgy photos.”

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Khalid Aljabri, Manama, bahrain, user feature,

Capturing the Streets and Walls of Manama, Bahrain, with @k_aljabri

For more photos and videos from Khalid’s life in Bahrain, follow @k_aljabri on Instagram.

"For the past four years, I’ve been documenting #manamasouq—the old market in the heart of Manama—and the rest of Bahrain, searching for the things we forgot or maybe have chosen to ignore,” says Bahrain Instagrammer Khalid Aljabri (@k_aljabri).

Khalid often photographs the graffiti and writing on Manama’s walls. “Once you write or draw anything on a wall it becomes something of great value. The streets are like the society’s archive,” he says. “Whether images of sorrow or joy, wisdom or pure silliness, they are all stories worth sharing.”

Khalid’s favorite place to photograph in Bahrain is the capital city, Manama. “I started wandering in the neighborhood where my late mother grew up, following her and my grandpa’s footsteps and rediscovering the beauty of the city she used to tell me about,” he explains. “I enjoy documenting the little hidden details between its tight streets and alleys because behind every corner there are generations of stories waiting to be discovered. After four years of documenting, I still feel lost in its streets and beauty.”

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User Feature, portrait,

Finding the Light with @fabsgrassi

For more photos and videos from Fabs, follow @fabsgrassi on Instagram.

"I believe in getting my hands dirty more than I believe in inspiration, but I can’t deny that a book, a song or a conversation can fuel my energy for shooting," says São Paulo Instagrammer Fabs Grassi (@fabsgrassi). “The idea that we have an infinite creative repertoire inside of us reminds me of the Ansel Adams quote, ‘You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.’”

Fabs, a fashion designer, considers himself just a regular guy. “I have a job and I like going out with my friends. Of course, waking up at six in the morning to catch the right light for a photograph does not seem normal to most people.” Recently, however, Fabs shifted his focus from street photography to portraits. As he explains, “In 2013 my street photography sort of hit a wall. I felt it was time to try and refresh my ideas and find something less frenetic. I started picking out songs by my favorite bands and attempting to recreate their atmosphere through photography. I got some friends of mine to pose for these shots. They were really nice and brave about being my guinea pigs.”

Fabs has also started incorporating shadows, once used heavily in his street photography, into his portraits. “Shadows help create a really unique atmosphere for each photo session, where light takes on a different form in each portrait. I try to create an intimate image, something that feels languid and not too sexy. Usually, the woman posing in the photograph greatly influences the final result, so a photo session might start one way and have a surprising outcome.”

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User Feature, photojournalism, anastasia taylor-lind, portrait, negative zero,

Through the Viewfinder with @anastasiatl

To view more of Anastasia’s photos and videos, follow @anastasiatl on Instagram and visit her website.

“Traditionally, photographers are taught not to share their work before it’s finished,” says documentary photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind (@anastasiatl). “What if someone steals your idea, or the work turns out completely different than what you told people it would be about? Photojournalism is all about being invisible, but I think it’s more honest to show how I work and how I make my photographs.”

Anastasia’s Instagram account stands as a deep look into her photographic process. Since October, she has been working on a long-term personal project called Negative Zero that documents population decline in 19 European countries. She’s shooting entirely on 6x6 negative film using her Hasselblad and Bronica film cameras, but by holding her iPhone above the viewfinder and making photos directly through the ground glass, what she calls “the view from my belly button,” she’s creating a whole new subset of photographs that can be published and shared instantly on Instagram.

For Anastasia, being so open on Instagram “allows me to muse on my own process. To sound things out and be encouraged. It’s a way of pondering what I’m doing.”

Her integration of digital and analog expanded to shooting video portraits when she found herself in Ukraine during the outbreak of anti-government riots in Kiev. With a custom-built flexible mount for her iPhone that attaches to the camera body, she devised a hands-free system to record video while making portraits of protestors inside the barricades of Maidan Square. Through these video portraits, we are able to watch her subjects prepare to have their portrait made: we see the slight shift in their stance, their gaze tilting, and ultimately, the precise moment Anastasia releases the shutter. These videos bring her subjects to life and provide an immediate, living connection to the images that Anastasia will release this summer in a book entitled MAIDAN - Portraits from the Black Square.

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User Feature, the netherlands, instameet,

Exploring the Netherlands with the #supersizoobrothers

For more photos and videos from the Sizoo brothers, browse the #supersizoobrothers hashtag and follow @bastiaansizoo, @willemsizoo and @bob_sizoo on Instagram.

Going on photowalks on bitterly cold mornings may not be every teen’s idea of fun—but for three Dutch brothers, Bastiaan, Bob and Willem Sizoo, this regular occurrence has fueled their creative passion.

"We started using Instagram around one year ago," explains Bob. "It has allowed us to give our creativity a boost. It was, and still is, the reason why we wake up early to go out and take photos in the fog together or to document our travels to foreign countries."

New York Instagrammer Ilitch Peters @ilitchpeters added the hashtag #supersizoobrothers in a comment on one of their photos, and Bob said they decided to keep adding it to create “a place where everyone can see who we actually are and what we do.”

Their photos, while often taken together, demonstrate different styles and approaches. Fog, sunsets, #jumpstagrams and city scenes, however, are staples in all the brothers’ feeds.

"As a family, we travel a lot," adds Bob. "Most of our photos are taken in the Netherlands on foggy mornings or during chilly sunsets. A lot of my photos are also taken in larger cities in the Netherlands like Amsterdam or Rotterdam. We regularly meet up in cities with friends who we met through Instagram; we then go out and explore the city. Sometimes we organize InstaMeets together.”

As one of the younger groups of InstaMeet organizers in the area, more experienced Instagrammers often speak of how talented the trio are, and they hope to see more young groups like them coming together.

"I hope to inspire the new generation on Instagram to explore the world, take photos with their phone or camera from places they visit and to go to InstaMeets and meet new people." says Willem.