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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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Photography, portrait, travel, africa, ghana, everydayafrica, Nana Kofi Acquah, user feature, instagram,

Moments from Ghana and Beyond with @africashowboy

To see more of Africa through Nana’s lens, follow @africashowboy on Instagram.

Africa’s relationship with photography is complicated, explains Nana Kofi Acquah (@africashowboy), a journalist and creative director-turned-photographer from Accra, Ghana. “Even though it is undeniable that African photographers saw the opportunity to fight stereotypes with their pictures, the truth was that cameras and film were extremely expensive and therefore not something to be wasted on unimportant casual moments. Today, how Ghanaians interact with photographs has changed rapidly.”

Nana’s work for businesses and non-profits takes him across Africa, and his Instagram photos reflects moments both profound and banal. “I don’t believe a photograph always needs to be dramatic, ecstatic, or tragic to pique people’s interest,” he says. “I am not afraid to photograph the mundane because I know posterity might appreciate it—and in that sense, I think like a historian. My audience is anybody who is interested to know more about Africa.”

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art, color, sketchbook, alia penner, portraits, los angeles, pop culture, User Feature, Instagram,

Chasing Pop Visions and Cartoon Dreams with @alia_pop

For more whimsical portraits and fantasy stylings, follow @alia_pop on Instagram.

“I want to create a fantastic world of hypnotic color and classic dreaminess,” says LA-based artist, Alia Penner (@alia_pop). “I have painted on people, horses, bouncy castles and even a school bus.”

Bold patterns and colors are everywhere in Alia’s work, which ranges from high-profile fashion shoots to giant, painted Starbucks cups in Hollywood. But her Instagram account feels more like a special curation of the art she makes at home—a bright mishmash of celebrity face collages and quirky magazine cutouts.

“Just for fun, I started coloring in the New York Times every Sunday, using it sort of like a sketchbook. I added color to the iconic black and white images of starlets, then put them on Instagram,” she says. “They really popped.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alia’s daily sources of inspiration are just as eclectic as her art: she lists balloons, polish movie posters, hand-tinted films and unopened paint cans, among others. At the end of the day, though, her job is about having fun.

“My favorite projects are the ones that feel like play from start to finish,” she says. “I’m a child at heart.”

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photography, music, crafts, oslo, norway, violin, cello, user feature, the making of, instagram,

Bringing Stringed Instruments to Life with @jacobvdlippe

For more moments from Jacob’s workshop, follow @jacobvdlippe on Instagram.

“With a new instrument, the musician can actually shape the sound in the first years, making it an integral part in their way of communicating music,” explains Norwegian violin and cello maker Jacob von der Lippe (@jacobvdlippe). “Instead of doing repairs, I focused on making new right from the start.”

For Jacob, who took up cello at age eight, music has been a lifelong pursuit. “My parents were passionate about music, and encouraged my playing,” he says. At 17, he built his first cello as a school project. “From then on, I was hooked.”

“Being able to work with a craft merged with music was something that really appealed to me,” explains Jacob, who spent five years in Cremona, Italy—the violin’s birthplace—studying the trade. Fourteen years and nearly sixty violins later, Jacob’s creations have found their way into the hands of musicians around the globe.

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photography, travel photography, travel, michael matti, landscape, hiking, seattle, waterfall, user feature, instagram,

A Hiker’s Ever-Changing View from the Tent with @michaelmatti

For more from Michael’s adventures in the Pacific North and beyond, follow @michaelmatti on Instagram.

Even though his photography has taken him around the world, Michael Matti (@michaelmatti)’s heart—and Instagram feed—belong to beautiful landscapes near his home in Seattle.

“The amazing outdoors scene in the Pacific Northwest inspired me after college,” he says. “There is so much to see with its sea-stack-filled beaches, rugged mountains and cascading waterfalls.”

Michael frequently frames nature shots through tents, a technique he says is common among his peers. He also includes a human or animal figure against every backdrop—no matter how small they appear in the image.

“People give scale to nature,” he says. “A waterfall shot with a tiny person in the frame helps to really add a sense of wonder to the falls.”

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Art, visual arts, writing, Black and White, brazil, sao paulo, User Feature, Instagram,

Shooting letters with @verenasmit

To see more photos of Verena’s play on words follow @verenasmit on Instagram

It all started with an old typewriter and some tired expressions. “I began playing with the clichés we hear all the time,” São Paulo visual artist Verena Smit (@verenasmit), says. “I’ll cross out a letter or a word, but make it so it can still be read. While there’s a part that rejects the cliché, there’s also a part that would like to somehow embrace it.”

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sam stern, food art, food, food photography, cooking, recipes, user feature, instagram,

Meals from the Creative Mind of a Young Chef @sam_stern

For more photos and videos of Sam’s favorite dishes, follow @sam_stern on Instagram.

Sam Stern (@sam_stern) published his first cookbook when he was 14 years old, but the young British author has been cooking since before he can remember.

“I come from a large family with lots of taste preferences, so I was always in the kitchen helping out my mum,” he says. “I gradually moved from the little jobs to eventually taking over the kitchen.”

Now at 24 years old, Sam is practically a veteran chef, with six books under his belt and another one on the way next year. But he uses Instagram to share a different, more personal display of recipes: the meals he makes at home, for his family and friends.

“I like to imagine the possibilities of various taste combinations, trying out new ingredients and timings,” he says. “If it starts in my imagination then triumphs on the plate—that is the ultimate rush for me.”

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Art, Fashion, illustration, cartoon, rio de janeiro, brazil, User Feature, Instagram,

Between Dream and Life with @iamlubi and @iamfubi

To see more photos and videos from Lubi and Fubi’s colorful carioca life, follow @iamlubi and @iamfubi on Instagram.

Rio de Janeiro illustrator Luiza Bione’s (@iamlubi) portraits of herself as a colorful character named Lubi blur the line between daydreams and reality. Luiza has been documenting her life through colorful illustrations for as long as she can remember. As a small child she created a cartoon version of herself called Lubi and has been illustrating herself for the past 18 years. “Through illustration, even bad moments—like waking up with a bad hair day or sitting in traffic for hours—become funny. Drawing also makes virtually any scenario possible: if Lubi wants to visit the moon she can.” Luiza began using Instagram after her boyfriend Paulo Delvalle (@paulodelvalle) suggested it might be the perfect way to really bring Lubi to life, telling her story as if she were a real person. “Last year on Valentine’s day, Paulo made me a card asking me to be his girlfriend. He created an illustrated version of himself called Fubi, and that’s how (@iamfubi) was born. Since then, I’ve been drawing Lubi and Fubi based on our lives as well as all the things we dream of doing.”

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photography, art, design, crafts, embroidery, Australia, nature, user feature, Art Thursday, Instagram,

Embroidering Nature’s Patterns with @meredithwoolnough

To see more of Meredith’s nature-inspired creations, follow @meredithwoolnough on Instagram.

“I have been collecting skeletonized leaves for as long as I can remember,” explains Australian artist Meredith Woolnough (@meredithwoolnough), whose elaborate embroideries mimic coral, leaves and other forms from nature. “I have always found inspiration in the natural world.”

Meredith’s particular method of embroidery is well-suited for patterns inspired by nature. “I work with a unique technique that allows me to create embroidered structures that exist without a base cloth. It’s not your typical embroidery.”

A near perfect Scribbly gum leaf Meredith found inspired her largest work to date. “I mapped out the internal structure of the leaf and translated the design into a dense network of stitches,” she says. “It took me months to complete and it almost sent me mad, but I am so happy with how it turned out.”

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Photography, landscapes, portraits, australia, sydney, Local Lens, User Feature, Instagram, street style,

#LocalLens: Documenting the Forgotten Scenes of Sydney

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. To see more photos and videos from Vinh’s explorations around Sydney, follow @vinhphams on Instagram.

“I love capturing the scenes of Sydney that have been forgotten, whether it be new or old,” says Sydney Instagrammer Vinh Pham (@vinhphams) for this month’s edition of #LocalLens. An avid participant of local InstaMeets, Vinh often goes out on photo-walks with fellow Instagrammers he met through meet-ups, looking for interesting angles of the city and its people.

“This photo was taken at an abandoned tire factory called the Dunlop Slazenger Factory,” explains Vinh about one of his photos. “I framed the image upside down, because I wanted to capture a different perspective of my subject,” he adds. Other spots he likes to shoot include the rarely used staircases at Redfern Station, a pathway running alongside the Sydney Harbour Bridge at a quiet time of the day and an empty section of the campus at University of Technology, Sydney. “I view Sydney as an unexplored playground, which I embrace through my photographic adventures.”

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Photography, photojournalism, india, chandan khanna, delhi, south asia, documentary, user feature, travel, instagram,

Photographing across India with @khannachandan

To see more scenes from Chandan Khanna’s journey across India, follow @khannachandan on Instagram.

“I enrolled in a Business Administration course in Delhi,” says Delhi-based Instagrammer Chandan Khanna (@khannachandan), “but could not finish it as my passion was always photography.”

Chandan instead became a photojournalist, traveling across his home country of India and sharing his journey on Instagram. “The uniqueness in inanimate objects differentiates one place from another,” he explains, “but the people remain the same, their hopes and despairs remain the same.”

Chandan credits technology for creating a new generation of Indian photographers. “We have plenty of gigabytes to fill in, now we can experiment more than the photographers could earlier,” he says. “We could research more, explore more, see whatever is happening in the world without even moving our head sometimes.”