In Kentucky, a glowing trail of 5,000 carved pumpkins transports visitors to a Halloween wonderland: the Louisville Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. “It’s not spooky, but it is magic,” says Kara Renee Bubenchik (@__karadise__), a local artist who has been carving intricate pumpkins for the event the past four years. “You’ve got beautiful artwork on these 80- or 90-pound [36- or 41-kilogram] pumpkins that are surrounded by thousands of different types of jack-o’-lanterns. You can’t walk through this trail and not feel in complete awe.” While the celebration only lasts about three weeks, in Kara’s house, the anticipation starts to build at the first signs of fall: “My 7-year-old daughter usually starts asking me right around September, ‘When does Pumpkin Land start? When does Pumpkin Land start?’” Photo by @__karadise__
Tasneem Alsultan (@tasneemalsultan) has her #EyesOn the people of Nepal — and a new respect for their resilience after the devastating earthquake that struck in 2015. “I see hardship,” the photojournalist from Saudi Arabia says. “They’ve had years of struggle — from war, poverty and even natural disaster — but there’s a sense of pride and humbleness.” As an exhibiting photographer at Photo Kathmandu (@photoktm), Tasneem brings images of Saudi marriage traditions to Nepal’s only international photo festival where images are installed in public spaces of the city’s winding streets. Just as her photos confront misconceptions about Saudi women, Tasneem marvels at the unexpected in Nepal: women toiling on construction sites in Kathmandu alongside their children. “My project here, amazingly, has made Nepali visitors realize that we’re similar.” For more scenes of Photo Kathmandu, check out Tasneem’s Instagram story. Photo by @tasneemalsultan
The first time Ryan Burke (@ryburk) set foot in a night club he was on his way to developing a new career path. “I started getting into nightlife and dressing up, and I used photography as a way to connect with other people who performed or dressed up,” says the New York–based makeup artist and photographer. Never formally trained, Ryan, who studied computer science, learned how to apply makeup through experimentation, online videos and lots of practice. There’s no rhyme or reason to his inspiration — once Ryan gets an idea or picks a mood he wants to express, he runs with it. For Halloween, he’ll be rocking a “stars and stripes” look for one party and “twisted bride” for another. “I want to be fake-stabbed on the dance floor, with blood and red glitter all over me,” Ryan says, laughing. “I don’t know if I can get away with that.” Photo by @ryburk
Pausing on a work in progress, Ruth Speer (@septemberwildflowers) reveals more about her life outside the studio. “If I put my hand there, it wouldn’t work,” says #WHPinthestudio guest curator Helen Downie (@unskilledworker). “There’s a tenderness to it. She’s painting someone she has a close connection to.” The woman Ruth is drawing is the same person who drew the henna art on her hand. Photo by @septemberwildflowers
A portrait with big personality extends into real life in this #WHPinthestudio submission from Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Meritxell Soler (@mevisualartist). “It’s playful and fun; I like the expression on her face and the way the hair matches the door,” says guest curator Helen Downie (@unskilledworker). “She’s chosen very well where to make this come to life.” Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions this week. Photo by @mevisualartist
Trees ablaze, pointy hats and black cats — it’s the season of the witch, and Courtney Brooke Hall (@light_witch) could not be happier. “I’ve always dabbled in Wicca. I believe there’s something to be found when you tune into nature,” says the New England photographer and artist. “October is just this wonderful dance of decay, and Halloween is the moment when the sun is no longer ruling over the sky. You know you get to have a season of hibernating and a time to reflect coming up.” Courtney lives in a horse barn in the “middle of nowhere,” the perfect backdrop for her eerie, otherworldly compositions that often feature Courtney herself wearing sweeping capes as she slips into the forest. Photo by @light_witch
A beach photo shoot becomes a pastel dreamscape in this image from Japan by @shiiki_studio. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @shiiki_studio
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
No #tinycanvas challenge is too great for nail artist Aki Hirayama (@aki_newnail.ny) — even if it involves creating portraits of pop stars or pop artists. “Recently someone asked me to paint all the different faces of Marilyn Monroe on their nails, an exact replica of Andy Warhol’s artwork,” says Aki, a manicurist who lives in New York. “It took four hours to complete.” Aki also loves the collaborative nature of each manicure. “I would love to do Mariah Carey’s nails someday,” she says. “She demands perfection and I would be up for it.” Photo by @aki_newnail.ny
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
The first time actress and singer Victoria Justice (@victoriajustice) saw “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” she was 11 years old. Flash forward (or do the time warp) 12 years, and Victoria is starring in the new version of the 1970s American cult classic, airing tonight on FOX. “I dreamed of getting the role of Janet in Rocky Horror and it happened,” says Victoria. The song “Don’t Dream It, Be It” was Victoria’s favorite scene to shoot: “It’s visually beautiful and we’re all in the water, moving really gracefully.” What’s up next for Victoria is still in the works. “I’m curious to see what project makes me feel really excited that I’ll want to be a part of it,” she says. Watch our Instagram story to follow along with Victoria as she gets ready and heads to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” premiere with the rest of the cast. Photo of @victoriajustice by @hollyjophoto
Today, singer, songwriter and actress Sabrina Carpenter (@sabrinacarpenter) is taking us around Nashville, Tennessee — the first stop of a 37-show sold-out tour for her album EVOLution. Tap our profile pic to watch our Instagram story and hang with Sabrina as she explores the city for the first time and gets ready for her big night.
“We were exploring some of the galleries at the Sharjah Art Foundation in United Arab Emirates, and at the same time looking for spots to take group photos,” says Mark Anthony Hebres (@est0y) of his #WHPfreetime submission, which captures his favorite pastime — hanging with friends. Photo by @est0y
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