“It is difficult to describe in words what kind of atmosphere prevails in the forest in the fog! Trees and rocks come to life and make the most unusual forms,” says 27-year-old Sergey Vital’evich (@sergey_vitalevich) of his visit to the Crimean Mountains. “Magic is all around us.” #TheWeekOnInstagram. Photo by @sergey_vitalevich
At the water’s edge, a cat strikes the pose of a tiger stalking prey, only to find its own bright reflection looking back. Keisuke (@kei_tachibana1114) captured this moment in Aoshima Island, Japan, one of the country’s “cat islands.” Follow along as we feature more of our favorite moments from #TheWeekOnInstagram. Photo by @kei_tachibana1114
Wait a minute ... who’s pushing the swings in our #BoomerangOfTheWeek? 👻 As Josh Bailey (@ghostforestco) explored the winding trails and fall colors of a local park, he paused by this swingset. “I’m drawn towards motion, so I naturally look for that when I’m out and about,” the filmmaker from Portland, Oregon, said. Follow @boomerangfrominstagram to see more mind-blowing loops from our community. #Boomerang by @ghostforestco
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPinthestudio The goal of this weekend’s hashtag project is to photograph the places you or a fellow artist go to be creative. The project takes inspiration from London-based artist and guest curator Helen Downie (@unskilledworker), best known for her fashion-inspired portraits and paintings. Here are Helen’s tips to get started: Show off your unique studio space. “Concentrate on how important it is to have your own area — outside, inside, wherever, somewhere where you can just be,” says Helen. “I think that everybody needs that.” Photograph artists working, focusing on how different locations inspire people differently. “I sit in one chair to sketch. And then I go upstairs to a very small room to paint. And it’s always the same,” Helen says. “It’s just habit.” Experiment with Hyperlapse and Boomerang to capture the artistic process, whether a painting coming to life or behind the scenes of a photo shoot in video form. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPinthestudio hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week. Photo by @unskilledworker
All year long, David Whitemyer (@mahikerbiker) visits spooky sites across the country. “My love of history, architecture and exploring new places attracts me to abandoned buildings,” says David, a museum exhibit designer based in Boston. “I treat them with respect, never vandalizing and never taking anything.” He often combines eerie images with a clever pun or quip — this photo of a barber’s chair from the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania was captioned with the words “Shear Madness.” David is adventurous when it comes to seeking out new places to photograph, but come Halloween, he kicks back to take in the festivities: “I enjoy sitting on the front porch on Halloween night, with a glass of wine, and seeing everyone’s costumes.” Photo by @mahikerbiker
You nearly smell the earth and woods in Francine de Mattos’ (@fotografeumaideia) photos. A resident of Salete, a small town of 7,000 people in Santa Catarina, Brazil, she shares snapshots of the region’s scenery. “When I am not taking pictures for work, I go for a ride on my motorcycle. On these trips, I rediscover the place where I live,” the 25-year-old photographer says. “I love to hear a good story from someone who has lived for a long time.” Francine fell for photography 10 years ago while still in high school. “My motivation is nostalgia. I lost my maternal grandmother before I got a camera, and so I do not have a picture of her that I took. It is this absence that makes me want to photograph everything and everyone.” Check out @instagrambrasil to discover more stories from the region. Photo by @fotografeumaideia
Ziyah Gafic (@ziyahgafic) has his #EyesOn on a buried past, beneath a landscape once known as Yugoslavia. “I was a teenager during war time,” says the Sarajevo-based photographer, whose world was shattered when his nation was engulfed by ethnic conflict, some 20 years ago. “I was raised and shaped by war.” Now a professional photojournalist, Ziyah’s work has taken him around the world from Saudi Arabia to Zimbabwe. He uses images of his homeland to seek closure with its troubled history: “Nature overtakes us and covers our misdeeds.” Photo by @ziyahgafic
It’s ironic, but true — designer Ashley Rose (@ashleyrosecouture) can’t remember the last time she put on a costume for Halloween. “Even as a kid, I didn’t really do Halloween. I was always more fascinated with what other people were wearing.” A little more than five years ago, the 28-year-old from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, made her first corset dress on a form and posted a picture. “That was the motivation that I needed to keep doing it,” she says. Ever since, Ashley has been experimenting, collaborating with other artists and musicians and “making it up as she goes” with her sometimes-surreal, sometimes-macabre and always beautifully intricate dresses, jumpsuits, headpieces and more. Specific places inspire her designs — abandoned theaters, haunted Victorian houses — and her current collection is based off a home in Philadelphia; fairy tale meets circus, she describes it. What will she be doing on Halloween this year? “Passing out candy, and going to a party that I’m not dressing up for.” Photo by @mckenzieleekphoto
Starting today, you’ll begin to see Instagram Stories on Explore. We announced Instagram Stories in August as a new feature for sharing everyday moments. Now, with stories on Explore, it’s easier than ever to discover new stories you’ll want to watch. More than 100 million people visit Explore every day to discover photos and videos from people they don’t yet follow. The new suggested stories section highlights the most interesting stories from across Instagram’s vast global community — and like the rest of Explore, the stories you’ll see are personalized to your interests. To learn more about Instagram Stories on Explore, check out help.instagram.com.
Seaside lounging in Spain is the perfect way to spend some #WHPfreetime — striped socks optional. Follow along for more of our favorite submissions from last weekend's hashtag project. Photo by @venkatesulu
Friends take a sunny joyride in this #WHPfreetime submission from Chicago. Follow along for more of our favorite submissions from last weekend’s hashtag project. Photo by @aj_trela
“My version of #PerfectlyMe is letting go of the never-ending fight to be someone else. #PerfectlyMe invites ME back into the equation, not as a form of settling for myself, but as an act of welcoming that self home, accepting her singularities, celebrating her deviance.” —Rebekah Taussig (@sitting_pretty), a writer, teacher and PhD candidate who lives in Kansas City, Missouri. “Growing up with a disability, I developed a lot of coping mechanisms early in life — detaching from my body, always smiling no matter what I was experiencing on the inside, never admitting sadness or shame. Even when I received the positive affirmation I was seeking, it was never enough to make me feel full. With time — so much time — I’ve been working to shift that burden of acceptance to myself. Accepting myself frees me up to actually experience life — to use this instrument I’m living in. Why do we treat our bodies as objects to beat into submission, to criticize into doing better, to overcome and rise above? I want to work with my body. I think we’ll get further and fuller that way, but it’s slow. I’m learning.” Who or what inspires you to feel #PerfectlyMe? Use the hashtag to share your story. Photo by @sitting_pretty
“I like to think of myself as perfectly imperfect,” says Kelvin Davis II, the founder of Notoriously Dapper (@notoriouslydapper), a body-positive menswear blog. “I find beauty in the daily struggle of accepting yourself and your body. I wanted to show that men of all shapes and sizes could be just as stylish as the mainstream body type that’s always celebrated in the media and society.” Kelvin works as a middle school art teacher and football coach in Columbia, South Carolina, and in 2015, he started modeling for Chubbies Shorts after winning a contest based on a public vote. “I have found that when you wear, eat or surround yourself with things that make you happy it’s a lot easier to be confident in your own skin,” Kelvin says. “Surround yourself with others that are positive, wear what makes you happy and ignore the haters.” Who or what inspires you to feel #PerfectlyMe? Use the hashtag to share your story. Photo by @notoriouslydapper
Nacho Rodríguez Perez (@naseke) gave life to 37 balloons at once, all for our #BoomerangOfTheWeek. The filmmaker’s celebration of Instagram’s sixth birthday was no easy feat, but the added bonus = his daughter got a kick out of it. Our favorite element is the single bird flying high over Valencia, Spain’s clear, blue sky. Follow @boomerangfrominstagram to see more mind-blowing loops from our community. #Boomerang by @naseke
After attending an open ballet class with @cinqballet dancers, Daria Bylbas (@dashabylbas) captured this circle of tutus and pointe shoes. “When I look at this photo, I feel very inspired,” says the student from Moscow. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @dashabylbas