Before Danielle Villasana (@davillasana) found her professional path, she roamed the world. At 18, she waitressed in her home state of Texas to support months abroad in Europe and Africa. “I was in West Africa and I started to really grapple with the question of what can I do as a person to try to make this world a more equal, just and fair place,” says Danielle, now 30, whose experience in the region compelled her to pursue photojournalism as a career. Recently, she was on assignment for The New York Times, highlighting five of their “52 Places to Go in 2017.” “Travel can really open up your mind to how others live around the world,” says Danielle of her work on the project. “It’s so important to have those cultural exchanges with people so that we realize that collectively, as a human race, we have so much more in common with each other than differences. I try to express that most places are actually very safe and full of friendly people.” Check out @nytimestravel to see more from “52 Places to Go in 2017.” Photo by @davillasana
Patrick Sister (@patricksister) caught two revelers as they sprinted along the beach on stilts during a Carnival street parade, or bloco, in Brazil. “My favorite part is people on the streets in costumes, having fun!” says Patrick, who plans to be photographing celebrations nonstop until Wednesday. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @patricksister
“We could not take our eyes off the tower, even though the weather was awful, a strong wind blowing and it was very cold,” says Anna Toporkova (@toporkova.pro), of capturing Ostankino Tower illuminated at night. Anna, a lifelong resident of Moscow, only discovered this vantage point recently. Follow along as we feature more of our favorite moments from #TheWeekOnInstagram. Photo by @toporkova.pro
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After discovering this tree during a hike last spring, Christoph Schlein (@christophschlein) and his girlfriend returned eight months later for a closer look. “It was something like 15 degrees below zero — usually the lake is not frozen and it was something special to walk on it and see everything from a new perspective,” he says. “Nature can create such impressive places and it’s our task to take care of it.” Follow along as we feature more of our favorite moments from #TheWeekOnInstagram. Photo by @christophschlein
Growing up, Ava DuVernay (@directher) would wait outside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles with her Aunt Denise and sisters to watch Academy Award presenters go into rehearsals. Today, she’s the first black female director to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Her film “13th” digs into the 13th Amendment, the change to the US Constitution ending slavery, and analyzes its entanglement with the criminalization of African-Americans today. “I’m grateful to all the activists and scholars who allowed me to interview them and feature their ideas and insights on this important issue,” says Ava, who interviews almost 40 people in the documentary, including social justice activists like Angela Davis and politicians Cory Booker and Newt Gingrich. “Each person was like a professor and I was a happy student in their masterclass.” Photo by @directher
A group of new friends who met on Instagram fell into our #BoomerangOfTheWeek spot. Muhammad Dian (@semuabaper_), an 18-year-old student who lives in Batam, Indonesia, captured this moment while exploring the country he loves. Do you love taking Boomerangs? Add #BoomerangOfTheWeek to your caption. Yours might show up here on @instagram. #Boomerang by @semuabaper_
Favelagrafia (@favelagrafia) is a photo collective, bringing together nine photographers living in nine Rio de Janeiro hilltop slums known as favelas. “The objective is to show the potential of these places and to tell the stories of important characters who make up the favelas,” says 29-year-old Josiane Santana dos Santos (@eujosiie), a photographer, journalism student and one of the founders of the project. “We want to break down the barriers of prejudice and stereotyped visions that exist.” This is one of Josiane’s favorite photos, featuring her friend, a 23-year-old dancer named Ygor Raphael. “I made this photo to show the artistic and cultural potential that the Complexo do Alemão favela has, showing that our main weapon is art,” she says. For more stories from Brazil, follow @instagrambrasil. Photo by @eujosiie for @favelagrafia
Josh Wool’s (@joshwool) self-described approach to portraiture is incredibly slow and unapologetically simple. Using equipment and techniques that are more than a century old, the Brooklyn, New York-based artist painstakingly extracts his images from a process that begins with photographic plates and developing chemistry that he makes himself. From there, his portraits are crafted from a conversation, natural light when possible and the removal of any extraneous details or distractions. “The folks in these pictures are artists, musicians, photographers, creatives and friends,” says Josh. “There’s a certain intangible thing that draws me to choose the people I photograph. In most cases, it’s some aspect of their persona — sometimes it’s their strength, others it’s a sense of vulnerability. With others, it’s something I just can’t put my finger on, but I know I need to photograph them.” Photos by @joshwool
Surprise! 🎉 Swipe left on the post above to see more. Starting today, you can share up to 10 photos and videos in one post on Instagram. With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. When uploading to your feed, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. It’s easy to control exactly how your post will look. You can tap and hold to change the order, apply a filter to everything at once or edit one by one. These posts have a single caption and are square-only for now. On a profile grid, you’ll notice the first photo or video of a post has a little icon, which means there’s more to see. And in feed, you’ll see blue dots at the bottom of these posts to let you know you can swipe to see more. You can like and comment on them just like a regular post. This update is available as part of Instagram version 10.9 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play. To learn more, check out help.instagram.com.
With just a few marker strokes, pro doodler Jon Burgerman (@jonburgerman) turns two New York City traffic barrels into a couple of surprised characters. #WHPiseefaces Photo illustration by @jonburgerman
Aravis Dolmenna (@aravisdolmenna) set out to make a splash with this coffee-sipping character for #WHPiseefaces. ☕️ Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions from last weekend’s project. Photo by @aravisdolmenna
Last weekend, 17-year-old Hannah Barker (@nxtures) traveled from Essex to Margate, England, to attend Geek 2017 — a three-day gaming festival for all ages. For Hannah, a student and part-time Disney princess, work and play don’t look much different: “The cosplay masquerade was the highlight for me,” she says of the event, which housed retro games, virtual reality and more inside Dreamland, an amusement park that dates back to the 1800s. “I dressed up as Rapunzel. It’s the first costume I ever made myself. I’ve added lights and 1,000 rhinestones to the skirt by hand. Eventually, my dream is to design costumes for Disneyland.” Check out our story to see more of Hannah’s time at Geek 2017.
This week was sentimental for friends Akihito Nagata (@abu888) and Yurie (@yuuuuuriiie), who began collaborating after they met on Instagram, because Yurie will be moving to Tokyo. “I love this circular window,” says Akihito. “It perfectly frames the cityscape of Osaka and the backlight creates solid silhouettes.” #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo of @yuuuuuriiie by @abu888
A self-described “crafty gal,” Holly Fox (@hol_fox) always had a project. She bejeweled pumpkins, built gingerbread houses — and then she shifted her focus to cookies when she realized royal icing mixed just like paint. “I’m constantly thinking about composition and color,” says Los Angeles-based Holly, who became a graphic designer straight out of college. “My styling and cookie shapes reflect my graphic design style — nice and tidy. I’ve really tried to make colorful and clean my signature style!” She started posting sets of cookies three years ago and, according to Holly, she hasn’t slept since. 😉 #MadeToCreate Watch our Instagram story to see Holly bake and decorate a batch of these beauties. Photo by @hol_fox
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPiseefaces The goal this weekend is to find faces in surprising and unexpected places — like this one by @olafbreuning. Here’s how to get started: Slow down and take in your surroundings. Look down at the sidewalk for shapes that resemble facial expressions; turn your attention up to find faces in buildings, clouds and trees. Change your perspective — sometimes a face is revealed when you turn your view sideways or rearrange the food on your plate. Use stickers and Instagram Stories drawing tools to add props and personality to a face that you found in the wild, then share the creation to your feed. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPiseefaces 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 @olafbreuning
“Our passion for photography and filmmaking came first, then drones,” says Jampal Williamson, who runs @saltywings with friend Michael Goetze. “In late 2015, we had an idea to explore and photograph the West Australian coastline with aerial technology,” says Michael, 29. That idea grew into a video production house in Perth, where the duo works on daily posts. Using their experience as surfers to wait for perfect weather conditions, they fly and film just before sunrise or after sunset to capture a warm glow on the landscape. “Aesthetically, we are looking to capture a sense of wonder in our photographs,” says Jampal, 25. “We want our work to provide people with an escape to a beautiful place — an eternal summer holiday.” Photo by @saltywings