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Before she identifies as Canadian, photographer Nadya Kwandibens (@_anishinaabekwe) identifies as Anishinaabe. “I’m an Anishinaabe woman and an Anishinaabe artist,” she says. “In Canada, native people belong to different nations that are indigenous to this continent, which is known as Turtle Island. The Anishinaabe — which translates to ‘the people’ in our language — are just one of the many indigenous nations here.” Nadya lives on Anishinaabe land in northwestern Ontario, and her ancestors have called what is now Canada home for over 10,000 years. Nadya started Red Works Photography (@_redworks) to empower herself and other First Nations people through portraits, event photography and workshops. “By focusing on the strength and vibrancy that our people have, we’re changing that way that society sees indigenous people,” she says. “It’s important that my artistic practice shed light on the fact that indigenous stories have been largely silenced during most of Canada’s colonial history. But there is more willingness to make room for dialogue and collective understanding. I’m hopeful about our future.” #NationalAboriginalDay Watch our Instagram story now to learn about First Nations culture and art with Nadya. This story is part of #🇨🇦❤️ , a new series celebrating people all across Canada. Photo by @_redworks
As seen through a puddle, cobblestones and nearby apartments became #WHPstandout material to Alek Malachowski (@hashtagalek). “I like how the reflection of the building disturbs the structure of the pavement,” says Alek. Photo by @hashtagalek
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Three — that’s how many trainers Isabela Moner (@isabelamoner) had in the six weeks leading up to filming the @transformersmovie, when the 15-year-old actress was getting in shape for her role as the independent Izabella. “I was doing cardio, boxing and resistance training,” says Isabela. “I had to build up stamina and endurance for the long days that little old me would be running alongside Mark Wahlberg.” Tough workouts and extraterrestrial bad guys aren’t even Isabela’s biggest challenges these days — it’s balancing school and acting. “My mom said I couldn’t continue acting if I didn’t keep my grades up,” says Isabela, who calls Cleveland home. “I usually fit in as much school as I can on set, but it’s hard to switch gears. You go from quadratic formulas to dramatic death scenes. It’s complicated, but also rewarding — I have such a sense of accomplishment in juggling both my career and my education.” Photo of @isabelamoner by @adamchristopherphoto
It was only six years ago that Sebastián Villalobos (@sebbbbas) first borrowed his mom’s camera to create his own videos and post them online. “Growing up, we didn’t have a computer at home,” he says, “so I had to go to a cybercafé and pay to go online!” At 21 years old, Sebastián is now one of the most popular video creators in his home country of Colombia, with millions of fans who follow his channel of comedy sketches and music videos. “I believe that part of the success is because I’m not unreachable,” he says. “I’m just a normal guy with a bunch of dreams.” This week, Sebastián is headed to #VidCon, an annual celebration of video and video creators. Photo by @sebbbbas
Two brothers play with optical illusions on a beach in the Netherlands. #WHPstandout Photo by @chezdre
An average man and an average fish transform into one extraordinary creature in Tehran, Iran. #WHPstandout Photo by @anatiros
“I wanted to be a singer since I was a child, but the hunger and drive for it escalated when I saw Lady Gaga perform on her Monster Ball Tour,” says 18-year-old artist Trevor Moran (@trevormoran), who has since gone on to record two EPs and garner a following of loyal online fans. “The proudest moments of my career are when my fans tell me I inspire them to be their authentic selves,” says Trevor, who believes #KindComments are all about love, respect and, of course, kindness. “The most memorable kind comments I’ve ever received were the ones I got the day I came out online,” says Trevor. “People all over the world were showing me great acceptance. It brought tears to my eyes.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate #Pride2017. Join the celebration by adding your own #KindComments that uplift you and others in the LGBTQ community.
Actor Corey Fogelmanis (@coreyfogelmanis) has been performing since he was 6 years old, but it was around age 10 that it all really clicked. “I knew then that I wanted acting to be more than just a hobby,” says the 17-year-old California native, who’s spent the past decade performing onstage and on TV. Each setting brings its own set of rewards and challenges, but after working on a sitcom for the last three years, Corey is excited to take his acting chops back to the theater. “I love the intimacy of it, and that the audience and cast alike can experience something together that’s unique to a moment in time,” he says. “When it’s over, it’s over; it can only live on in our memories.” As someone who’s spent much of his life in the spotlight, Corey is no stranger to the power of #KindComments. “To me, it’s about people going out of their way to spread positivity and build others up,” he says. Join in by sharing your #KindComments — empowering comments that uplift you and others in the community.
Lucie the sheepdog gets far too hot in the Midwestern summers, so her human, Amy Powell (@amy.lynn.powell), brought home a kiddie pool for her to cool down in. “Lucie went ballistic with excitement, jumping and biting at the water,” says Amy. “Then she ruined my flower beds by rolling around in them. I had to give her a bath after that.” #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @amy.lynn.powell
As the dad of four children ranging in age from 15 to 5, photographer Rob Yaskovic (@robyaskovic) enjoys untold opportunities for capturing informal family portraits — with “enjoys” being the operative word. “Every day, I’m taking photos,” Rob says. “Every day, I’m thinking about photos, and my children end up in my pictures because I’m around them so often. When you have four kids with crazy schedules, that’s your life. Fortunately for me, it also happens to be pretty exciting.” At 38 years old, Rob has been a working photographer — five years at a New Jersey newspaper, then freelancing for magazines, shooting weddings and other gigs — for almost half his life. Explaining his passion for the craft of picture-taking, Rob cites another longtime pastime that has given him pleasure through the years: fly fishing. “It’s about the decisive moment. When you’re trout fishing, drifting a dry fly, you hold your breath, waiting for the strike. It’s like that with photography, too. It’s about eternal hope. You’re always hoping something amazing is going to happen on the river, or in front of your camera. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, it does.” Photos by @robyaskovic
The clashing colors, patterns and fabrics you see in Alexander Hernández’s (@hernalex_art) work are no accident — they represent the patchwork of the artist himself. “I like to mix different things together because that’s kind of my identity,” says the San Francisco-based textile artist and social worker. “I’m Mexican, but I also grew up with American pop culture. So, I’ve always been interested in edgy patchworks, in mixing patterns that shouldn’t work together, but do.” The metaphor extends to how Alexander hopes Pride celebrations continue to grow in acceptance of everyone’s patterns of identity. “We might not all see eye to eye,” says Alexander, “but being aware and supportive of each other is a start.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate #Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Alexander. Watch our Instagram story now for a look inside Alexander’s studio. Photo by @hernalex_art
In the lush greenery of Taiwan’s Yangmingshan National Park, Vivian Huang (@vivianhaung) stops to smell the hydrangeas. “The light coming down from between the clouds made these flowers even more dazzling,” she says. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @vivianhaung
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPstandout This weekend, the goal is to create photos and videos that capture one or several surprising elements — like this image by Ali Kate Cherkis (@cherkis). Here are some tips to get you started: Look for unexpected additions to a scene. Is there a child’s face peeking out from behind the couch during a family photo shoot? An animal standing in an urban setting where there typically isn’t one? Let your mantra be, “One of these things is not like the others.” Glance at your surroundings. What immediately catches your eye? Let yourself be drawn naturally to colors, shapes and movements, and then work those into your photos, videos or Boomerangs. Think of someone in your life whose personality stands out from the crowd. How can you capture that spirit or ethos in a photograph? PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPstandout 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 @cherkis
It worked out that 17-year-old fashion designer Shami Oshun (@bluexheeta) didn’t decide to go to prom until the week before — after all, she only needed one night to hand-sew her own gown. “I’m kind of a last-minute person. That’s where all my best ideas come from,” says the Hayward, California, native, who’s been sewing since she was 8 and now runs her own clothing line, @shamioshun. Shami credits her design success with letting her ideas flow, so that’s just what she did. The day before prom, she bought a few yards of purple tulle, grabbed some pins and her dress form, and got to work, putting the finishing touches on just before her friends came over to get ready. While Shami had no expectations that her dress would be as much of a hit as it was, she hopes young designers will follow her lead and make events like prom their own fashion runway. “If I make a fancy dress, what am I going to do with it? Just take pictures?” says Shami. “Take advantage of nights like prom — do what you love and show off your skills.” Photo by @bluexheeta
Photographer Annie Tritt (@transcendingself) has her #EyesOn the journey of transgender youth around the world. “The project started with an idea of authenticity, of what it means to be yourself,” says the New York-based photographer, who takes portraits of transgender children for her series titled “Transcending Self.” “The dynamics that young people experience vary a lot depending on where they live and who their parents are. The only commonality is that the kids who are happy are the ones who are embraced for fully being themselves.” Now three years in the making, Annie didn’t originally intend to dedicate so much time and effort to the project, but the outpouring of support convinced her to continue. “I get messages every time I post something about how ‘Transcending Self’ has changed someone’s life,” says Annie, “from the young trans man who did not see himself reflected in the media, to a 28-year-old who did not think his life was worth living anymore, to a mom who reconnected with her trans child. It’s a project that saves lives. Now that I know that, I can’t stop.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate #Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world. Photo by @trittscamera