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Instagram Discovering — and telling — stories from around the world. Curated by Instagram’s community team. http://blog.instagram.com/
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#hellomynameis malena flores (@imalenaflores). i’m 23 years old and i’m an illustrator. i live in itamari, a rural town in bahia, brazil, where i find the small moments of beauty that inspire me — like a clear night sky, where i hunt stars. drawing has always been close to my heart. it was my favorite pastime as a child and is the best way i have to externalize my thoughts. i like experimenting with lots of different things; i’m incapable of sticking to a single medium. art is freedom. light, colors and flowers are the elements that characterize my work. without them, what i do would be empty. before, i used to draw on my own in my room. illustration is a solitary pursuit; people spend a lot of time alone, creating. today, i receive lovely messages from thousands of people, more than the entire population of my town. knowing that what i do here reaches and inspires other people makes me feel that i have fulfilled my duty and gives me a warm feeling. may our future be filled with flowers.” illustration by @imalenaflores

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“my first modeling contract was in japan when i was 13,” says model, photographer and tv and radio personality brandise danesewich (@antimodel). “i’m canadian, but i spent the majority of my youth in japan, korea, taiwan, hong kong and southeast asia before moving to new york, and later settling in los angeles. i was generally the black sheep, punk outcast among my modeling peers, so i quickly discovered music and photography as a refuge. i realized i could intimately access all my favorite worlds with a camera. my work flow is a little unconventional, but luckily it works for me and the way i see the world. i grew up in the last generation before the smartphone era, so i make prints and often re-photograph the prints, or even photograph my monitor or the back of my camera, adding in window light, artificial light sources, reflections, animate and inanimate objects. a few years ago, i left la for palm springs, california. i have always had an undeniable magnetic attraction to the desert — it’s a magical place. i spend more time on the road than at home and use the desert as a basecamp. i was born with sand in my veins. the desert is a great place to both come back to and to leave.” #whereicomefrom photo by @antimodel

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This portrait was quite literally a flash in the pan. saeed kouhkan (@skouhkan) found his sister’s reflection in the oil of a frying pan while cooking at his home in behbahan, iran. “it’s a mysterious portrait,” he says. “i like the contrast between the red lip and the dark background of the pan.” #whpreflections photo by @skouhkan

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By positioning her foster grandson and labradoodle, reagan, along the reflective waters of the columbia river in portland, oregon, sandi swiridoff (@reagandoodle) was able to capture two meanings within the #whpreflections theme. “the practice of yoga encourages us to reflect back on our own lives,” she says. photo by @reagandoodle

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At home in izmir, turkey, serkan çolak’s (@serkanncolak) daughter played with a pocket mirror as her parents looked on. “this photo tells the story of me and my family,” says serkan. follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to #whpreflections. photo by @serkanncolak

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Hello, world! today’s #weeklyfluff is a very good boy. meet golden retriever mambo (@mambohitsgolden), a therapy dog who is part of inataa, an animal assisted therapy organization from são paulo. mambo spends lots of time volunteering for people in need of some puppy power — often with a big crew of his canine companions. to learn more about mambo’s life and work, follow @mambohitsgolden.

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American athlete christian pulisic’s (@cmpulisic) first memories of soccer are with his father. “i remember my dad throwing a mini ball at me in the house and trying to score on him in the mini goal,” says the 18-year-old. christian grew up in pennsylvania, but moved to dortmund, germany, three years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. although adjusting to life in a foreign country is never easy — christian’s biggest hurdles were “the language barrier and finding regular friends to spend time with” — he’s taken to life in his adopted hometown: he has his own apartment, a group of friends and speaks german fluently. playing attacking midfielder for the borussia dortmund team in the german bundesliga league eased the transition. “we have the best fans in the world,” says christian. “they’re the most passionate in all of football. the game means everything to them.” and as for his young age relative to his teammates, christian shrugs it off. “i was always the youngest on the team,” he says. “it’s normal for me.” watch our instagram story now to check out christian’s adopted hometown.

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Today we’re excited to announce two new ways to discover the world around you on explore: location stories and hashtag stories. now you can see what’s happening around you and find stories related to your interests. you’ll see a new story ring at the top of explore filled with stories happening near you. you can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page. we’re also beginning to introduce hashtag stories on explore. when you search for a hashtag, you may see a story ring at the top of the page filled with stories using that hashtag. add a location sticker or hashtag to your story and you may be included in the larger story. if you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on explore, tap the x on your stories viewer list. from discovering new parts of your hometown to jogging alongside the #fromwhereirun community, location and hashtag stories help you share these experiences as they unfold. to learn more about location stories and hashtag stories, check out help.instagram.com. location stories on explore are available on ios and android as part of instagram version 10.22 in the apple app store and google play. hashtag stories will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

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Traveling photographer piku (@xxpiku) doesn’t need any reflective props for his subjects when nature provides them all on its own. #whpreflections photo by @xxpiku

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Thanks to a few carefully placed mirrors, hands emerge from the sand in sonora, mexico. #whpreflections photo by @pacodelosmonteros

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“upside down and right side up,” writes carla (@carlaeez) in the caption to her #whpreflections submission. follow along to see more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project. photo by @carlaeez

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Spanish sculptor isabel tomás (@lisatoms_dolls) dreams up creatures that don’t live in our world. “my greatest source of inspiration is nature itself, not just animals and plants,” she says. from her home studio in la sénia, spain, she invents personalities for all her special species. “i like to imagine how they’d behave, where they’d live, what they’d eat and other details, as if they were a real animal.” isabel designs, produces, sews, paints and varnishes all her creatures, which can be an arduous process since she does everything by hand, but she wouldn’t have it any other way — isabel loves being her own boss. discover more stories from the spanish-speaking community on @instagrames. photo by @lisatoms_dolls

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Frida, a rescued ibizan hound, and her human miriam behrendt (@tangoandfrida), took shelter from an approaching storm in a canola field. “we were on a walk and she instantly went there to hide from the weather,” says miriam. #theweekoninstagram photo by @tangoandfrida

comment 6,239 star 1m 3 days ago

Music has always been a part of british singer liam payne’s (@liampayne) life. “when i was 6 years old, i sang karaoke for my granddad,” says liam. “i knew then that i loved to perform, and now i’m doing something i’ve always dreamt of.” today, liam, now 23, performs around the world — first with the band one direction — and now as his own solo act. with a new single on the way, liam’s days are spent in the recording studio, practicing his dance moves and promoting his upcoming track, all while finding time with his newborn son at home in surrey, england. “it’s an exciting time, both professionally and at home,” he says. “i feel incredibly fortunate to be in the position i’m in.” watch our instagram story now to spend a day with liam leading up to the release of his new single. 🎤

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With the blue hour waning along france’s atlantic coast, a horse and rider passed by pascale fourteau (@halluci_nantes) as she took in the view. “the sound of the ocean empties my head and the sunset calms me,” she says. #theweekoninstagram photo by @halluci_nantes

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We’re swinging into the weekend with orso the corgi (@churchilly) — the star of our #boomerangoftheweek. “orso loves to swing. he has been doing it since he was a little puppy!” says christon, orso’s human. “we enjoy making people smile and remembering the pure, good things in the world ... like corgis in baby swings.” add #boomerangoftheweek to your next boomerang’s caption — yours might show up here on @instagram. #boomerang by @churchilly

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Weekend hashtag project: #whpreflections mirror, mirror, on the wall! this weekend, the goal is to take photos and videos of reflections, both man-made and naturally occurring. here are tips to get you started: notice reflections in all different surfaces around you. whether it’s a freshly polished mirror, a cup of coffee or a smooth lake, there are reflections ready to be captured everywhere. play with different forms of photography. a reflection that’s full of life and motion is an opportunity to experiment with boomerang, reverse video or hyperlapse. pay attention to light and how it changes throughout the day. this will affect the brightness, quality and movement of the reflections you see around you. project rules: please add the #whpreflections 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. featured photo by @ycxxxoy

comment 3,811 star 1m 5 days ago

Hello, world! it’s time for your dose of #weeklyfluff. cookie and kanpei (@usausausa1201) are two rabbits from japan who always manage to pose for the perfect shot. when they’re not chomping away on a leafy green snack, they do their best to stay on trend, regularly rocking new styles of bonnets, wreaths and other chic headwear. follow @usausausa1201 to ensure you never miss a look. 🐰 🐰

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Gabriel bouys (@gabrielbouys) discovered instagram thanks to his daughter. “i work as a senior photographer for agence france-presse (@afpphoto),” says gabriel. “i produce images for the media every day, but these are of specific subjects in specific contexts. on instagram, i’m free to be as creative as i like, with no time pressure, without any need to link the subject to the news. it helps me to remember that photography can be fun.” discover more stories from the french-speaking community on @instagramfr. photo by @gabrielbouys

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“on the second night of our boat trip, the sea went rough and our boat leaked. one of the pumps stopped working and water was pouring in faster than the single pump could take out. the boat was floating in the sea like a matchbox.” looking back at this photograph, photojournalist barat ali batoor (@bbatoor) recalls his perilous journey in 2012 across the indian ocean, seeking refuge from pakistan. batoor is hazara, a marginalized ethnic group from afghanistan, his parents’ birth country. he grew up in pakistan, but moved to afghanistan to work as a photojournalist. however he found himself targeted in both countries for his ethnicity and his profession and was forced to flee. “i am far from my family, but melbourne is my home now,” says batoor, who, after nine months in indonesia, was relocated to australia through the un refugee agency’s resettlement program. “i have been welcomed warmly here. taking photos of everyday life is important for me now, because when i look back, i see what we had and what we have lost. #whereicomefrom, life was uncertain. you never knew whether you would come back home safe.” watch our instagram story to see more photographs of the global refugee crisis, installed in the streets of melbourne, by the photojournalism collective dysturb (@dysturb). photo by @bbatoor

comment 5,239 star 781k 1 weeks ago