For more Oktoberfest festivities through Tilman’s lens, follow @devteros on Instagram.
(This interview was conducted in German.)
Dressed in traditional clothes like a scene from a bygone era, kids will still be kids on the streets of Munich, Germany. Tilman Haerdle (@devteros) says that dirndl dresses and lederhosen are not an uncommon sight in his hometown, especially during holidays and festivals, like Oktoberfest, which wraps up this weekend. Tourists have flocked to the city for the past two weeks making Munich “even more cosmopolitan than it is already,” says Tilman, who goes out of his way to photograph Bavarian traditions.
An annual tradition at Oktoberfest is the festive prelude – “Einzug der Wiesn-Wirte.” Tilman says the thousands of people who wait for the parade of flower-decked horse-drawn carriages, marching bands and pompous carts from local breweries come to a calm silence just before the show. And then they explode with excitement: “When the first division of the procession arrives, there is no holding back. The music-making and clapping go on and on,” says Tilman. “It’s a grand tryst of Bavaria’s traditional associations.”
For tips or to find an InstaMeet near you, visit community.instagram.com.
This weekend, we’re putting the Weekend Hashtag Project on hold for the 12th Worldwide InstaMeet.
The theme of #WWIM12 is to share #todayimet portraits of the people you meet this weekend. To help others connect to new and interesting people, ask the subject of your portrait about their favorite Instagram accounts, and include them in your caption with the #whoifollow hashtag.
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 weekend is Worldwide InstaMeet 12, and Instagrammers all over the globe will be coming together to connect with one another. To kick off Instagram Music’s October hashtag project, find an InstaMeet happening near you, meet someone new who shares your taste in music and share a portrait of them for your first entry to #MHPfanclub (be sure to use the #WWIM12 and #todayimet hashtags as well).
The project takes inspiration from music photographer Colin Kerrigan (@colinkerrigan), who has some tips to get you started:
Project Rules: Please add the #MHPfanclub hashtag only to photos taken this month and only submit your own. Any tagged image taken this month is eligible to be featured. Finally, please respect an artist’s wishes if they ask not to be photographed.
To see more photos of playful meals made by Rikako, follow @yur_rii on Instagram.
(This interview was conducted in Japanese.)
All parents have special tricks for communicating effectively with their children. Rikako Ezumi (@yur_rii), a cook and mother of a teenage daughter from Fukuoka, Japan, uses a method that draws on what she does best: cooking. “I’ve been continuing this for 10 years now,” explains Rikako. “I work from morning to midnight, and the least I can do for my daughter is to make her something cute for breakfast so that she won’t feel lonely when she has to eat by herself in the morning.” Surely, the meals Rikako prepares are made to put a smile on anyone’s face, with happy and playful characters peeking out from somewhere inside the dishes. The tradition further carried on into lunch boxes when her daughter started going to school. “This is how I’ve been raising my daughter all along, and seeing how well she’s grown up, I feel like I’m doing the right thing,” she says. “No matter how old my daughter gets — even when she moves up to high school and beyond — I will forever continue to decorate the meals I cook for her.”
For more ballet pictures, follow @balletandphotos on Instagram.
Laurent Liotardo (@balletandphotos) had his eye on becoming a ballet dancer when he was just 10 years old. “It wasn’t the easiest choice to deal with at school, as the other kids would make fun of me. But ultimately, I don’t regret my decision a bit,” he says. Now a member of the English National Ballet, Laurent also keeps an eye on other dancers from behind the lens of his camera.
“When I photograph dancers I try to focus on their individuality and unique sensibilities — capturing their physicality and athleticism is not my only aim,” says Laurent, who got interested in photography just a few years ago, but now says hardly a day goes by that he doesn’t think about it. “I have to let the space and the model bring their own part to the story.”
Laurent says photographing a live dance performance is more spontaneous: “Everything goes really quick — there is a lot of adrenaline, and the best moments come and disappear with a blink of an eye.” #worldballetday
To see more of Clare’s photographs, follow @clarewaightkeller on Instagram.
“Everyone always asks me ‘what inspires you? How do I create collections for Chloé (@chloe)? What is it like to be a designer living in Paris with your family?’ So my photographs are very personal. I love that I see responses from friends and fans. There is something fantastic about the possibility to be intimate but also global. This is #whoifollow.” —Clare Waight Keller (@clarewaightkeller)
For more culinary inspiration, follow @cozinhadalbo on Instagram.
This interview was conducted in Portuguese.
Complex cake recipes with many steps are chef Angelo Dal Bó’s (@cozinhadalbo) favorite challenges. “I really take pleasure in the creativity and manual work,” he says. Angelo was inspired to become a chef as a child. “I grew up in the kitchen watching my grandmothers cook for family lunches.” Today, as a photographer and food blogger in his native Brazil, Angelo is out to spread his inherited passion to others. “I realized that my relationship with food is not about selling a physical product. It’s about creating and sharing photographs, recipes and inspiration. I hope I can inspire people to cook more often and take risks in the kitchen,” he says.
Yonathan Garfias (@yonathangarfias) has played with the likes of Tame Impala, Tegan and Sara, Angels and Airwaves, Silverchair and many more. Primarily a bassist, he’s also recorded a number of experimental, ambient solo albums (last year, he simultaneously released five self-produced records). But then, this past February, he announced he was taking an indefinite break from music “unless and until it feels right again,” before unveiling his “final” album in May, the breathlessly named two-part Final Take or (remixing), or (a tribute), or (… the eschatology), or perhaps more accurately (Who Knows What is yet to come?). So, why stop now?
“I got a lot from music, and music got a lot from me,” the 25-year-old resident of Querétaro, Mexico, says. “I got to the point where I just sat in front of the console or the computer and started mixing some tracks I had, just because I had to do it. I didn’t feel the spiritual need to play music or mix or produce, so I felt stuck most of the time. Now I have a ‘normal’ office job, waiting for the feeling to begin once again.”
Yonathan currently works in human resources for the Mexican airline TAR Aerolineas, but he keeps his artistic side satisfied as an amateur photographer, creating a variety of psychedelic images. Lately, he’s posted a number of warped photos that feature colorful circular shapes, mirror-like manipulations of bridges and horizons and washed out collages. Listening to his electronic compositions, it’s apparent that Yonathan treats his photographs like he did his music.
“You like what you see so you shoot it,” he says. “Like music, you play what you feel. All the music I listen to, it’s so similar — alternative, experimental, rock and obviously psychedelic. They all are related to that kind of art.”
Part of the fun of looking at Yonathan’s visual work is how he captions almost all of them with a song lyric, often from an artist with whom he’s collaborated. A recent creation of cloudy swirls is accompanied by “smile on the face of the gods you made,” from the song “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide” by Australian psych rockers Pond, while another, of a beautiful woman in a red dress standing in front of a small house reads “you brighten my life like a polystyrene hat, but it melts in the sun like a life without love,” from Silverchair’s “Without You.” “Most of the time I wrote the caption as if it was the story of the photo or part of it, like a music video,” he explains.
For now, Yonathan is content to work his office job and save money while pondering a musical comeback. One of his goals is to open both a bar and a coffee shop. For the bar, he wants it to be a place where “you can listen to some good music, see bands live and [watch] sports,” like soccer, American football and boxing.
“And the coffee shop,” he adds, “would be a nice but not expensive place where we roast our coffee beans, where bands could play some live acoustic music and host a photo exhibition. It would be great for me!”
– Dan Reilly for Instagram @music
For more photos of Mujtaba’s journey, follow @mujtabajalali on Instagram.
Generations of refugees, driven by years, and decades of war, are landing on the shores of Europe. Among them is Mujtaba Jalali (@mujtabajalali), a 24-year-old photojournalist, born in Iran to parents who fled Afghanistan 30 years ago. “You hear news, every day, of refugees coming in,” he says, describing a journey that has taken him across three countries so far, “but you will never feel the moments when mothers sleep with their two-year-old kids in freezing weather in the mountains, and when they feel death very close on the sea, with no captain.” Determined to tell the story of hundreds of thousands of displaced people, Mujtaba, along with three Afghan friends, joined an exodus of desperate travelers from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Unlike previous generations of refugees, he stays connected to his parents over messaging apps — meanwhile, his sister is following his journey on Instagram. He reflects on his passage across borders, saying, “It’s humans’ right, regardless of their nationality, religion and skin color to choose wherever they want to live, in peace and security.”
For more sharp pencil photos, follow @cwpencilenterprise on Instagram.
In this increasingly paperless age, a boutique that specializes in pencils may seem antiquated. Yet for Caroline Weaver (@cwpencilenterprise), the owner of Manhattan’s C.W. Pencil Enterprise, business is booming. Curiosity has lured customers into her sharply designed, happy shoebox of a store. “A lot of adults just haven’t written with a pencil for a long time,” says the 24-year-old proprietor and art school graduate. “One of the most popular ones in my shop is a Caran d’Ache Black Wood, mostly because it’s beautiful. It’s an entirely black pencil and very chic. Then people write with it. It’s so buttery it glides across the page. Writing with a pencil can be just as pleasurable as writing with an $800 fountain pen.” It’s certainly less pricey — most of the two dozen brands Caroline carries can be paid for with pocket change. Still, there is a vernacular specific to pencil connoisseurs. “Point retention means how long you can write with it until you have to sharpen it again. The metal thing that holds the eraser at the end of a pencil is called a ‘ferrule.’ Otherwise, we try not to use the word lead because there was never actually any lead in a pencil,” Caroline says, decoding the language of pencil buffs. “We get called out for being nerds all the time.”
In 2005, Mel D. Cole (@meldcole) was working at a pharmaceutical company, wearing khakis and polo shirts, and transferring the organization’s physical files into digital copies. Five years in, he decided enough was enough and quit.
“It was the best-worst decision I ever made in my life,” says Mel, who was then hustling as a photographer on the side, taking photos at concerts and around New York City. “I didn’t have unemployment. I was eating Oodles of Noodles again. It was bad. I didn’t know how I was going to pay rent.”
Mel managed to luck out and find a better job with more flexible hours (and no dress code), allowing him to continue to shoot while making a steady paycheck. He would eventually quit that job too, but this time to focus on photography. By then he had become known as the “house photographer” for the Roots, a gig that began in 2006, at Radio City Music Hall, while he was still shooting part-time and working his desk job.
“It was just me and another photographer, and security thought I was official, so I just played the part,” says Mel, who later posted the pictures to the site Okayplayer, which was founded by Roots drummer Questlove. “One thing led to another, people got aware of it and the next thing you know I am friends with Questlove and off to shoot Diddy.”
It was an impressive landing point for someone who was essentially self-taught. “I didn’t know anything about photography,” admits Mel, who grew up in Syracuse, New York, before making his way down to Jersey City, New Jersey, where he has lived for the last 13 years. “It wasn’t a mistake, but I just started shooting by going to shows because of my love of music. I wanted to relive the moment, so I would take disposable cameras with me.”
Mel never assumed he would be a photographer, but he knew he had talent, particularly when comparing his work to that of the big music publications. “I was like, I think these photos that I have are just as good as what I am seeing in these magazines,” he says.
While he still loves shooting music, Mel is once again looking for the next big challenge. That’s why he started up a new account dedicated to his work around the homeless, where he takes portraits of people on the street and talks to them about their lives and struggles.
“I always want to be a music photographer, that’s never going to change,” he says. “But I want to do different things with the camera. I want to do more photojournalism. I want to travel the world. I want to go to places where I am not normally accepted. So that’s the challenge for me, just to do more. And maybe I can do that through my love of music. Music is the universal language — everybody loves some form of it.”
– Instagram @music
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 #WHPactionpacked, which asked participants to make photos, videos and illustrations that capture a peak moment of action. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.
For more of Eba’s doll photos, follow @ebavolvoreta on Instagram.
This interview was conducted in Spanish.
When Eba López (@ebavolvoreta) got an iPad as a gift, she didn’t anticipate that it would open the gate to a new passion — dolls. At 54 years old, Eba, who had never owned a computer before, discovered Blythes — fashion figures that are just under a foot tall, with customizable eyes, hair, dresses and accessories. “It’s another world and one that has given me so much life. It has made me meet new people,” she says. Now Eba, who lives in Bilbao, Spain, has a close-knit group of collector friends. “I was never into photography, or had thought about it, but now every day I take one of my dolls around the city to take pictures,” she says. The hobby, however, is not cheap. So, Eba has learned, through online tutorials, how to make her dolls’ outfits. She has even enlisted her family’s help. Eba’s husband, for instance, built the windows on her dollhouse.
To see more of Rob’s out-of-this-world photos, follow @frozen_light on Instagram.
A “blood moon” sounds like something ripped from a George Lucas script. Yet tonight — or in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, depending on where you live — a total supermoon lunar eclipse will occur and color the moon copper for the first time since 1982. Millions will stare in wonder, and Rob Simonsen (@frozen_light) likely will be among them. “I love space and I get so awe-inspired when I look at the stars and sky and witness the beauty in our world,” says the 37-year-old composer and college dropout, who has scored films like Foxcatcher and Bradley Cooper’s upcoming drama Burnt.
Manipulating and stitching together his photos on his phone with several apps, he dreams up a fantastical world in which the stars glitter and crackle, the sun spits fire and electricity shocks the moon. “I think that’s what I wish things looked like,” he says. “I draw a lot of inspiration from things that give a certain bend to perspective and [are] an interpretation of reality rather than a straightforward reality. [Screenwriting instructor] Robert McKee said a good story should introduce you to a world you don’t know, and in that world you find yourself. My photos are an opportunity to make that happen.”
Around the Community
Eight years ago, Caesar Sebastian (@caesarsebastian) recruited his sister and a few friends to help him sneak his professional camera and lenses into Coachella. Because when you’re an amateur photographer, those coveted press passes don’t always come through.
“Those are strategies that you learn when you’re starting out,” recalls Caesar, now 30. “It’s just like, all right, look for the nicest security guards, guys. Look, that person is high-fiving everybody, go through that line.”
Caesar no longer resorts to smuggling to get the job done. Now, he’s typically with the band. Most recently it was superstar DJ Steve Aoki. For the last four months, Caesar has been shacked up in Steve’s villa in Ibiza, documenting his every move — nightclub shows each Monday on the island, and then summer festival dates all over Europe.
“I was kind of hesitant,” admits Caesar, about first being offered to stay with Steve for the entire summer. “I didn’t want to be stuck on an island, to be honest. And then [Steve’s] like, ‘Hey, I have a show almost every single day, and we’re going to do all these festivals.’ So I was like, ‘You know what? I’ll go. I’ll definitely do that.’”
As you can imagine, living in Ibiza, a go-to destination for electronic music fans, for four months has been hectic. Still, while the Los Angeles-based Caesar misses the occasional stateside treat, like In-N-Out burger, his time abroad has given him a treasure trove of images of Steve, both onstage and off — in the studio, jumping off cliffs, goofing around. But he sometimes likes to change it up during shows, by turning his camera toward the crowd.
“When [the DJ is] playing, I have time to go explore the people who are experiencing the artist, and I photograph whoever is having the best time,” he says. “Some people wear really crazy attire — they get really into the whole show. And I think that’s important because it adds to the whole spirit of it. So I focus on them. Sometimes I don’t even talk to them. Sometimes I’m just an observer, so I just photograph them from afar because that’s the best way. I don’t want to kill their vibe.”
Though Caesar’s Ibiza adventures just ended, his travels are far from over. This fall, he’ll be heading to Japan, Thailand and China with Steve.
“You get to see the back end of the business, and you see how stressful it is to really tour, but also work on your music,” says Caesar, about the difficulties of traveling as a musician. “You know, it’s always kind of hard to find time for people. But it’s interesting to document that, too, you know?”
– Instagram @music
To see more of Helen’s paintings, follow @unskilledworker on Instagram.
At Wednesday’s Gucci runway show in Milan, there were models, hair stylists, makeup artists and so many gorgeous clothes — but only one painter. Helen Downie (@unskilledworker) was in attendance for the fourth time as the house artist, invited by Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s (@gucci) creative director. Helen’s role is to document, in portraits with solemn eyes and colors that seem to bleed off of one’s phone, the enchantment of a Gucci show. “Alessandro is creating something so magical at Gucci, they are clothes that whisper of stories and adventure,” says Helen, who taught herself to paint two years ago. “I want to make faces that people find themselves being drawn into. Imperfections and honesty are what make people interesting and warm. I want that to be reflected in my work.”
Bands don’t typically use end-of-world scenarios as source material for their music. But Tokyo-based duo Roth Bart Baron (@rothbartbaron) thrive on doing just that: Their feature-length debut, The Ice Age, released last year, speculated on a sudden glacial shift blanketing the earth, while upcoming sophomore effort, Atom, draws on vocalist Masaya Mifune’s childhood visions of an apocalyptic future.
“Atom was inspired by the ‘80s and ‘90s science-fiction that I watched when I was growing up — movies like Terminator, Total Recall and Blade Runner,” explains Masaya. “As a child, I used to imagine a future where nuclear war could turn the world into a dystopia. Of course that didn’t happen, but it meant thinking of the idea that everything could end as something actually positive: it meant not having to think about the future.”
It’s a timely thought, given that Japan is still collectively and culturally coming to terms with 2011’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, with a strong anti-nuclear sentiment frequently visible at protests and demonstrations. “The government is optimistic that stopgap festivities like the 2020 Olympics might make a difference, but make no mistake, Japanese people are calling out for new ideas and real change,” says Masaya. “It’s hope mixed with despair. That’s what we were thinking of when we made Atom.”
While that could make for somber listening, Roth Bart Baron excels at creating ruminative soundscapes, and its detached view on humanity lends the music an unmistakably ethereal quality. The band recorded and mixed down Atom at Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s renowned Montreal studio Hotel2Tango. The influence of the Canadian post-rockers can be felt in the group’s attention to intricacy and analog warmth. Although Masaya mainly plays guitar, alongside percussionist Tetsuya Nakahara, the addition of extra instruments, including traditional taiko drums, mandolins and fiddles, gives each track a subtle depth.
The recording process for Atom also indirectly highlighted another of the members’ qualities: their keen eye for visuals and aesthetics. The group had already experimented with video, creating time-lapse clips of their gigs during their tour of America in 2014, and this time took the idea a step further, uploading footage from the recording studio. Rather than just documenting the process in a straightforward manner, Masaya, who studied film at university, decided to add a darkly conceptual twist to the proceedings. Visually, the clips are fascinating in and of themselves, utilizing 360-degree camera technology to turn simple, everyday moments like the group’s walk to the studio into something more otherworldly. But it’s Masaya’s reasoning behind the videos that’s even more interesting, as he looks to critically comment on contemporary society’s transformation into a surveillance state.
“Given that Google Maps means that we can already practically peer [at] our houses from our computers at any time of the day, there’s a danger that as-yet-unfinished technology like 360-degree cameras could also intrusively invade our lives,” he says. “So with these videos I wanted our fans to monitor as if we were prisoners. I wanted the viewers to try and assume the role of a fearsome jailer.”
Although it doesn’t feel as if there’s any malice in Masaya’s view of technology — if anything, it’s the same coolly removed viewpoint that seems to run through Roth Bart Baron’s body of work — it certainly contrasts with the band’s view of nature. Just as The Ice Age seemed to actively welcome the prospect of nature overpowering humanity, the band’s Instagram feed is full of photos of vast expanses of sky, verdant landscapes and epic vistas.
“Japanese forests are different from those in North America or Europe; they’re leaden with humidity, and you can get this terrifying sense that some unidentified creature might be lurking within — anyone who’s seen Hayao Miyazaki’s films will understand,” says Masaya. “Sometimes walking through places where there’s no sign of any humanity is a nice feeling. The sheer scale of nature is definitely something that’s connected to our music. I hope that everyone who comes to Japan will try walking through the forests here. You might feel afraid, but that’s what makes it so enjoyable!”
– Mike Sunda for Instagram @music
Remember that the theme of the October 3-4 #WWIM12 is to share #todayimet portraits of the people you meet, asking them for their favorite Instagram accounts so you can include them in your caption with the #whoifollow hashtag.
Minneapolis social worker Dana Marie Grethen (@danamarieku) had never considered visiting northern Europe until she started following Nordic Instagrammer Sandra Linnell (@sannalinn). After years of exchanging likes and comments, Dana hopped on a plane to Stockholm for #nordicmeet2015, an InstaMeet hosted by Sandra and other local Instagrammers. Finally connected in person, the pair spent the day touring Sweden on bicycles, visiting Utö island and tasting popular summer treats, such as chokladboll (a chocolate pastry) and flädersaft (a sweet elderflower drink), and later smoked shrimp. “We pedaled miles together that day,” Dana recalls, “telling one another stories from our lives, laughing as we raced together down the gravel roads, and taking breaks to eat our sandwiches and enjoy the views of the island.”
On another evening, the group went to shoot photos in a wheat field outside Stockholm. Struck by the lowering evening light, Dana wanted to take a portrait of her new friend. “When taking any portrait, I think about how I might best capture a mood or personality of the subject,” she explains. “In this case, the setting itself brought out the attributes of Sandra that make her unique. The glow of light on her hair demonstrates her charisma and dynamic character; the sun in her eyes brings about a look that illustrates her inner strength and resiliency; her body in-hiding and facing away represents her ability to move quietly, but with intent. It’s interesting how little it can take to capture such a meaningful moment.”
Outside of Instagram, Dana enjoys travel, coffee, competitive volleyball and her pet Chihuahua, Isabelle. “I’ve found great value in building friendships with individuals who may be very different from me, despite our common bond over taking photos, and all that can be gained from surrounding myself with good people who have a wide variety of lifestyles and interests. InstaMeets provide opportunities to broaden our scope in all sorts of ways, and every meetup I have attended has certainly gifted me with positive, noteworthy experiences,” she says.
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.
The goal this weekend is to make photos, videos and illustrations that capture a peak moment of action. Inspired by National Comic Book Day in the US, here are some playful ways to make images that pop with energy:
PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPactionpacked 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.