Instagram Blog

Subscribe to Instagram Blog feed
Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of photos.
Updated: 2 hours 45 min ago

California Dreaming with Singer-Producer Alvin Risk To see more...

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:41

California Dreaming with Singer-Producer Alvin Risk

To see more of Alvin’s photos, check out @alvinrisk on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

It’s not unusual for musicians to move to Los Angeles. The city is a mecca for successful creatives. It’s where artists go when they’re ready for the “next level.” And yet, Washington, D.C.-bred Alvin Risk (@alvinrisk) is finding it hard to concentrate.

“I didn’t have an option before, really. It was either be cold or be inside. Now, it’s like the world is my oyster,” he says, laughing. “You’re like, ‘Why am I sitting in this studio just working myself to death when I could be outside? I could go to the beach.’”

It’s a new feeling for the singer-producer. Music has always been his outlet, his means to express his wild and boundless imagination. He may admire and draw inspiration from the urban murals around him, the fine work of a skilled designer and the musings of sci-fi authors, but the man knows his medium.

“It was just the only thing that I would do, the only activity that existed that made me feel like time didn’t exist,” says Alvin. “I was super restless growing up. I was a big troublemaker. Everything was boring, I thought — until I found music, and that wasn’t boring.”

Since he was 10, music has been both his escape and his voice. In the beginning, it was guitar, though it’s been through the futuristic sound of electronics that he’s made his name. There’s so much room for experimentation, and Alvin is nothing if not sonically adventurous. His last EP, Venture, explores everything from reincarnation (“Alone”) to nuclear proliferation (“Dark Heart”). Each track serves as a window into a corner of Alvin’s mind, a small universe of his own creation. They’re not merely songs, but rather “its own little documentary.” If he can dream it, he can give it a beat, and it’s in that openness that he finds the appeal.

“Everything just has a relative period of time that it’s here or that it’s noticed, that it’s seen or remembered,” he says. “The odds that we’re here in this time and in this environment, for this short little speck, it’s miraculous. It’s amazing. It’s a reason to just celebrate. Really, we should just be partying all the time.”

And yet, you can’t party all the time, even as the perfect weather of California’s eternal summer calls your name. It can be a bit of a struggle, but for an overactive mind, the momentary pain is worth the reward.

“Since I moved here, I definitely am trying to get more stuff done during the day, it’s just weird,” he says. “I can do work all day and nothing will happen. You’ll just be going in circles, and then it gets dark, and you’re all tired and strung out, and then something will happen. You’re in that weird zone where you’re kind of uncomfortable and a little bit desperate and anxious because, man, it’s not happening, but that’s when the good stuff comes.”

—Kat Bein for Instagram @music

Sticking to It with @jennxpenn For more of Jenn’s life in...

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 15:58

Sticking to It with @jennxpenn

For more of Jenn’s life in photos, follow @jennxpenn on Instagram.

“#hellomynameis Jenn McAllister (@jennxpenn) and I’m 19 years old. Before making videos, photography was my first big, huge passion. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and I remember my mom always carrying her camera throughout my entire childhood, taking pictures of anything. Being outside is just my favorite thing ever, so I like taking pictures of the environment.

On my Instagram, I’m very particular; it’s like an art, you know? My friends and I are so into how our Instagrams look. I choose photos that match my overall aesthetic — as stupid as that sounds — but I want people to see that there is beauty in everything.

I do try to make people laugh in my captions, but my overall goal has never been to impress everyone. It’s to make people happy. If you’re passionate about something — like, truly, truly passionate — don’t stop doing it, no matter what people think. That’s the biggest thing my fans can get out of my story: If you stick to it, you can accomplish anything.”

Showcasing the Story Behind a Product with @rodrigo_noriega To...

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 22:21

Showcasing the Story Behind a Product with @rodrigo_noriega

To see more behind-the-scenes moments of product and furniture creations, check out the hashtag #proveedordiseñoserie and follow @rodrigo_noriega on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Spanish.)

Objects for sale have a story — and Rodrigo Noriega (@rodrigo_noriega) wants to tell you about them. The 25-year-old furniture and product designer from Mexico City started the hashtag #proveedordiseñoserie (design supplies series) to collect the intimate processes of artisans, and pay them homage in a visual way.

“I like to show that Mexico is an incredible country that produces almost everything, and that projects are more difficult than what they seem,” says Rodrigo. “We don’t have a lot of opportunities to see what’s behind an object and who’s behind it. I try to show you something that you may not even imagine.”

The Band Perry Is Seeing Yellow To see more of The Band Perry’s...

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 17:11

The Band Perry Is Seeing Yellow

To see more of The Band Perry’s photos, check out @thereidperry, @neilperry, @thekimberlyperry on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

The Band Perry, the country music sibling trio out of Alabama, approaches each new project with a different visual component. For their first record, they opted for softer colors to match the romantic vibe. Their second album, Pioneer was a bit more intense, which explains the punky black leather outfits they wore on the cover. And then there’s the soon-to-be-released third record, Heart + Beat, which is all about showcasing … yellow? Lead singer Kimberly Reid (@thekimberlyperry) is here to explain.

“For us, the visual is intrinsically woven into the music,” she says. “That color of yellow, which is a very specific one, Pantone C, was the vision we had in our minds while making the music. We thought, maybe for the first time ever, while making Heart + Beat we could do whatever we wanted to do. We were electrified. It was a very spirited recording process — so yellow was just the color that kept coming to mind that brought that to life.”

Over the last several weeks, that shade of yellow has been splashed everywhere: in their music videos, on promo images, on their faces — even in their selection of lip-syncing and karaoke clips they frequently share.

“Karaoke is interesting. We can all make a run for it,” says drummer Neil (@neilperry), on who the best karaoker of the band is.

Reid, the group’s bassist, can certainly make his case — particularly in this clip, where he mimes the lyrics to the band’s new song, “Live Forever” while rocking a yellow tank top.

“I am always a big fan of behind the scenes stuff, so I always try to find a moment where I am like, ‘Hey that’d be cool if people saw this.’”

— Instagram @music

The Adventures of a Make-Believe Pet with @ibird_art For more...

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 16:15

The Adventures of a Make-Believe Pet with @ibird_art

For more of iBird’s adventures, follow @ibird_art on Instagram.

Thirty-six-year-old Jordanian Saeed Attari (@ibird_art) is an investment banker based in Bahrain. But what this dad of two does in his spare time has very little to do with finance and everything to do with the pet he’s always dreamed of having.

“I was dying to get a parrot at home, but my wife was dead set against it,” says Saeed. So he created iBird, a fun-loving, adventure-seeking and peace-promoting bird that happens to be a hand-drawn character. “The bird is a reflection of my own personality. I’m an outdoor person who enjoys having fun and traveling,” he explains.

The iBird interacts with objects like Saeed’s food, phone and even his kids’ toys or their favorite cartoon characters. “The bird is always on my mind,” he says, adding that he even gets up in the middle of the night if he has an idea for his make-believe pet. Saeed’s children are the iBird’s biggest fans. As for his wife, she wishes Saeed wouldn’t spend quite so much time doodling.

“The iBird has become her nemesis,” he jokes.

Scanning the Next Best Sandwich with @scanwiches To see more of...

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 22:09

Scanning the Next Best Sandwich with @scanwiches

To see more of Jon’s scanwiches, follow @scanwiches on Instagram.

Jon Chonko’s (@scanwiches) favorite sandwich is the one he’s going to eat next. “Sandwiches are something you can take a risk on,” the designer from Brooklyn, New York says. “You can specialize them to your tastes, your preferences, your mood at the time. Whatever you want to put inside of one, you can.” Jon started documenting sandwiches — cut in half, photographed with a scanner, of course — in 2009 to encourage himself to be more of an adventurous eater. He has never scanned the same sandwich from the same place more than once. And, Jon doesn’t spend extra time thinking about scans of sandwiches past. “I don’t think it’s necessarily healthy to be nostalgic about sandwiches,” he says. “The next one could be the best ever.”

The Brat Pop Sounds and Futuristic Disco Western Style of...

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 16:56

The Brat Pop Sounds and Futuristic Disco Western Style of HOLYCHILD

To see more of HOLYCHILD’s photos, check out @holychild on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

New music genres are usually a) ephemeral, and/or b) hilariously desperate. But once in a while a group comes along and introduces one with a snazzy name and a little bit of substance. Take HOLYCHILD (@holychild), who affectionately call their songs brat pop.

“It’s essentially sarcastic pop music, which is talking about the role of genders in our culture, and our culture’s obsession with fame, beauty, money, age, youth and health,” says lead singer Liz Nistico.

Hey, if you’re going to give your songs a never-before-heard description you might as well make it catchy. That’s the way Liz is approaching the group’s style too, referring to their current look as “futuristic disco western.”

“I didn’t really grow up with that much money, and my mom always said, ‘It’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it,’” says Liz. “Things will come in and out of our lives, and it’s just like, ‘All right, how are we going to put this together and make it look cool?’”

That works just as well for Louie Diller, the group’s other half.

“Liz is our de facto stylist,” he says. “She collabs with a couple stylists in L.A., and the three of them just kill it. I mean, it’s so nice to have ‘em because I just sit there and they just hand me the coolest f—ing clothes in the world and tell me to wear ‘em. And I happily oblige.”

— Instagram @music

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPspooky Weekend Hashtag Project is...

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 22:37

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPspooky

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s prompt was #WHPspooky, which asked participants to create spooky videos filled with suspense, inspired by Halloween in the United States. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

The Science of Art with @yosuke_ueno To see more of Yosuke’s...

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 16:01

The Science of Art with @yosuke_ueno

To see more of Yosuke’s artwork, follow @yosuke_ueno on Instagram.

This interview was conducted in Japanese.

As a child, Yosuke Ueno (@yosuke_ueno) loved wowing his friends with his artwork, and it continues to be his biggest motivation to draw to this day. The characters he paints have an element of fantasy and reality, with big, disproportionate heads and porcelain-white faces — or sometimes their heads are shaped like the moon or flowers. The modern art creator from Tokyo draws inspiration from his daily encounters and his interest in science. “I think there’s something in common between scientists and artists,” says Yosuke. “The act of conducting experiments to open up new frontiers and the challenge of creating work that goes beyond your imagination share the same spirit.” People categorize Yosuke’s artistic style as “pop surrealism,” but that is less of a concern for him. “My initial impulse was to make my friends happy with my work,” he says. “I just want to create art that beams with positive energy.”

Visiting Day of the Dead with ‘Las Catrinas’ and...

Sun, 11/01/2015 - 22:20

Visiting Day of the Dead with ‘Las Catrinas’ and @elchadsantos

To discover more Catrinas and Mexican portraits, follow @elchadsantos on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Spanish.)

Day of the Dead found Mexican photojournalist Iván “Chad” Santos (@elchadsantos) at a very early age. “When I was four or five years old, I was told that on the 1st and 2nd of November the souls of the dead would come to my house,” he says.

Iván’s initial shock turned into a passion over the years, and now he annually documents the “Catrinaje,” a word he uses to describe those who are disguised or painted as “La Calavera Catrina,” an early 20th-century illustration by Mexican painter José Guadalupe Posada that depicts death.

Iván captures representations of La Catrina because he considers them ephemeral: “Sugar skulls, pan de muerto [bread of the dead] and papel picado [perforated paper] haven’t changed that much since I was a child, but the makeup and characterizations of people last just one day,” he says.

Through his photos, Iván wants to share this tradition with those living outside Mexico. “These are my favorite days of the year, and I try to convey a part of it in each picture.”

Singer Lou Doillon Learns to Embrace the Selfie To see more of...

Sun, 11/01/2015 - 18:57

Singer Lou Doillon Learns to Embrace the Selfie

To see more of Lou’s photos, check out @loudoillon on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

For the cover of her first album, Places, singer Lou Doillon (@loudoillon) used a professional photograph. And why wouldn’t she? For someone who’s modeled for everyone from Givenchy to Gap, she deserved an image that was best in class. But when it came time to design the artwork for her second album, Lay Low, she took a decidedly different route.

“Everyone has taken the selfie to whatever direction they wanted to take it to. I had fun having it as a kind of testimony of something bare,” she says, about the colorful album artwork of her sophomore record. “There is something in a selfie that is really funny. There is the smart side of having flipped the image — it’s the image you’re seeing in the mirror; I feel like I know myself better that way. And also, it’s me taking a picture of me, so it’s not a collaboration or a point of view of another photographer. When I had to choose an album cover, the music was just so personal and so raw, I realized that all the [professional] pictures that I had were in a way too beautiful.”

— Instagram @music

The Week on Instagram | 207 News Observer: This Woman’s...

Sun, 11/01/2015 - 16:12

The Week on Instagram | 207


Get Involved

Around the Community

@mahlimae’s Sculptures Are Made from Earth, but...

Sat, 10/31/2015 - 23:55

@mahlimae’s Sculptures Are Made from Earth, but Otherworldly

For more photos of Nicole’s sculptures, follow @mahlimae on Instagram.

Stones, clay, thistles, feathers, bones and moss — these are the natural elements Nicole Watt (@mahlimae) finds on her property to create her 4-inch-high (10 centimeter) sculptures. But they add up to something that feels very otherworldly — and that’s the intention. “I’ve had these little creatures in my head since I was a child,” says Nicole. “Even though I’m a mixed-media artist, I’m inspired more by words than visuals — folklore, myth, ritual. They stir something in me.” Eight years ago, Nicole moved from mainland Australia to remote Tasmania, a wild environment where her art has flourished. “In the city, my connection to nature languished. I grieved for that. When we found this piece of land it brought my creativity back to me. Now I live in the same world — the trees, the mist — that I picture [my sculptures] living in.” And that is the urgency behind these hollowed-eyed mystical figurines. “I see people moving away from their innate sense of connection to the earth,” says Nicole. “We’re forgetting something as people — parts of our history and humanity. For me, they’re a reflection of where we’re at right now. That’s why they’re so melancholy.”

How Slipknot’s Clown Spends His Halloween To see more of...

Sat, 10/31/2015 - 15:58

How Slipknot’s Clown Spends His Halloween

To see more of Shawn’s photos, check out @6cl6wn6 on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

His photos are a nightmarish mix of black eye makeup, crooked teeth and clown masks with blotched skin and mangled lips. Who takes pictures like this? More importantly, does anything scare the person who does?

“I live in my imagination almost 100 percent of the time,” says Shawn Crahan (@6cl6wn6), also known as Clown, the co-founder of the heavy metal outfit Slipknot and the man behind the most terrifying account on Instagram.

For a guy who plays in a band known for its ghoulish attire, Shawn is surprisingly frank about what freaks him out: simply speaking, it’s not what’s in front of his face, but what isn’t. Being scared of the invisible means a worst-case scenario where anything and everything can come charging out from the edge. It all stems back to Shawn’s days as a kid, particularly on Halloween, where he spent time wandering around his neighborhood and staring off into darkness.

“What I like more than anything is to walk around on Halloween and just interject thoughts in my own mind,” he says. “Yes, it’s Halloween. We’re dressing up. We’re going to walk around. But I like to step outside of the brainwashed minds and go deeper into the intriguing thoughts of why people choose to be what they are and the real essence of what Halloween is.”

For most of the year, Shawn chooses to be a clown — at least on stage. The drummer and percussionist has had several different iterations of the clown look over the years, but typically opts for one with white makeup and neon orange hair.

“I’ve never really tried to make Slipknot Halloween, because it’s Slipknot. It’s a rock and roll band,” he says. “But because we do dress up, it’s kind of like we do live Halloween all the time.”

Perhaps that’s why Shawn doesn’t typically jump into costume at the end of every October. The last time he did, he was dressed as a professional welder that had been in an accident and had his face melted off. Shawn is a cryptic person by nature, so whether he’s in disguise or not, the core idea behind Halloween goes hand in hand with his thoughts and mediations. Today, while the holiday feels more in your face — it’s all about showing off everything that is happening right now, in the moment — he prefers the slow burn.

“I can remember being a kid and just walking around and going, ‘Anything I can imagine can be in those woods.’ And that was always scariest,” he says. “So my plans are always to look in. I live for the glitches in life.”

— Instagram @music

@mabgraves Combines Creepy and Innocent for #drawlloween For...

Sat, 10/31/2015 - 15:11

@mabgraves Combines Creepy and Innocent for #drawlloween

For more photos from Mab, follow @mabgraves on Instagram.

It’s hard to believe that Mab Graves (@mabgraves) – one of the most popular leaders of the #drawlloween community – didn’t celebrate Halloween when she was growing up. Her fantastical drawings of endearing, creepy girls grew from her own wrestling with her conservative Midwest upbringing, where she says she felt like a “misunderstood monster” herself. For the #drawlloween challenge, a month-long project where artists create and post a different piece every day, Mab likes to go deeper with the same theme that features in her art year-round: finding the innocence in things generally seen as dark, and the knowing sadness in a subject generally seen as innocent: little girls. But it’s one little boy that really brings the holiday home for her. “I’m not a mom, just an auntie, but I’m super close to my nephew. I want him to have all the magical memories I missed out on. Halloween is our special holiday together!”

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPspooky Weekend Hashtag Project is...

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 21:19

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPspooky

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

Inspired by Halloween in the United States, the goal this weekend is to create spooky videos filled with suspense. Here’s how to get started:

  • Natural sounds play a big part in hair-raising moments. Whether it’s chilling silence, or the creepy creaking of a floorboard — find ways to incorporate ambient noise in your videos that adds to the scariness of the scene. If you use music in your video submissions, please be sure to only use music to which you own the rights.
  • Build up suspense in your videos by starting with a quiet scene that culminates in a shocking payoff. Make videos with surprise spooky endings — and don’t be afraid to use humor for a more playful ending as well.
  • Costumes and props are central to Halloween. Dress up with your friends to create frightening-looking characters, and film a bone-chilling video around them. Be sure to find a location that adds to the haunted vibe.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPspooky hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday.

Instagram @music’s Monthly Hashtag Project: #MHPfanclub Monthly...

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 15:23

Instagram @music’s Monthly Hashtag Project: #MHPfanclub

Monthly Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @music on Instagram.

This month’s prompt was #MHPfanclub, which asked participants to make photos of music fans at concerts, taking inspiration from photographer Colin Kerrigan (@colinkerrigan). We selected some of our favorite submissions from the project, above, but be sure to check out the rest here.

Being Your Own Hero with @strawburry17 This photo is a part of...

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 14:58

Being Your Own Hero with @strawburry17

This photo is a part of Meghan Camarena’s (@strawburry17) cosplay portrait series on Instagram. Check out #spideymurdermystery to learn more.

“Something really crazy happens when I put on a costume. I start walking a little bit taller; I start embodying that character,” says Meghan Camarena, better known to her legion of fans as @strawburry17. As a longtime digital creator living in Los Angeles, Meghan has taken on many roles in her online life: director, producer, singer-songwriter, anime enthusiast. But offline, #cosplay — dressing up as fictional character — helps her find her true identity. “There’s no way you can take off that costume without having that confidence boost,” says the 28-year-old. “That’s what cosplay has done for me — it really got me comfortable in my own skin. I start to see the hero in myself.”

Creepy-Crawly Clay Art with @dogzillalives For more photos of...

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 01:33

Creepy-Crawly Clay Art with @dogzillalives

For more photos of Karen’s sculptures, follow @dogzillalives on Instagram.

Karen Main (@dogzillalives) can create one of her bewitching, multi-tentacle polymer clay pieces in one day, with another day to paint them. Not bad for an artist who only began working with polymer five years ago just for the fun of it. “I was doing beadwork for a while,” says Karen, who lives in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. “There were cool things online incorporating polymer clay, so I started trying it. It’s easy to work with.” However the glass eyes, which feature so prominently in her work, are a bit more of a challenge. Unable to find them inexpensively, Karen started making her own and strives to keep making them more detailed. As for the slithery tentacles? “I have a lot of love for weird sea creatures,” she explains. Yet, while her sculptures might give some people goose bumps, she has no plans for Halloween. “I’m just normally very quiet and I don’t like to talk to people,” she says. “I sit in my own little world and make monsters.”

Dream-Inspired Fairy Tales with @ancient_hearts For more fairy...

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 20:50

Dream-Inspired Fairy Tales with @ancient_hearts

For more fairy tale-inspired photos from Sarah, follow @ancient_hearts on Instagram.

In a misty, shadowy forest near Bocholt, Germany, the mood is set for a Brothers Grimm tale, and Sarah van der Biezen (@ancient_hearts) is making her art. Not only does Sarah find the woods meditative, but they are the perfect backdrop for her fairy tale-inspired images. “Fairy tales are huge here in Germany. It’s what your grandparents read to you. It’s what you fall asleep with,” she says. With those images planted before bedtime, Sarah says the primary inspiration for her work is that first moment of wakefulness, when you don’t know if you’re still dreaming. “The moments where you wonder, is this magic?” she says. Putting herself in the narrative with her self-portraits also allows her to engage in a deeper level of role-play, letting go of her work week, juggling being an artist and mom, and immersing herself in an ideal world. “I have a good picture of who I want to be in my head,” she says. “In my art I can practice being her.”