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
Photographer Ragnhild Vaaler Furulund (@ragnhildsvisuelledesign) found the perfect curtain to filter the morning light in Norway. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @ragnhildsvisuelledesign
A good splash in the suburbs stars in our #BoomerangOfTheWeek. On a rainy day in New York City, photo editor Kruti Kothari (@o_bani_thani) ventured to New Jersey to visit with a friend over a cup of coffee. “The sun came out just before sunset and gave everything new life. All the kids were running out of their houses with a sense of freedom after a long day at home,” says Kruti. “Adulthood is so much about issues that we forget to lose ourselves in simple joy.” Add #BoomerangOfTheWeek to your next Boomerang’s caption — yours might show up here on @instagram. #Boomerang by @o_bani_thani
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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPnaturalbeauty Our planet is a timeless source of discovery, wonder and inspiration. This weekend, let’s celebrate Earth’s beauty. Here are a few tips to get you started: Spend time in a majestic landscape. Mountains, beaches, plains, forests — our land is diverse and grand, and it would take lifetimes to experience it all. How much can you capture within the frame of one photograph or video? Look for action and movement within the larger scene. Focus on the smaller details. Our planet may be vast, but there are millions of tiny, beautiful moments playing out in front of us every day: a blooming flower pushing through the cracks in the sidewalk, a trickle of water feeding a small pool in the forest or a tree swaying gently in the breeze. Keep an eye out for how nature weaves its way into man-made scenes. City and country alike have their own elements of natural beauty. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPnaturalbeauty 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 @livingitrural
“Child marriage is a root cause for a lot of the issues that girls face,” says photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair (@stephsinclairpix). Her ongoing 15-year series “Too Young to Wed” (@tooyoungtowed) sheds light on the challenges girls face — cyclical poverty, curtailed education, psychological trauma, sexual violence and, at times, the transmission of HIV — when forced to marry at a young age. The work has taken her to numerous countries where the practice is common, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Yemen. “While it has similarities in certain parts of the world, it has differences,” Stephanie says. “There’s different cultural nuances in each place.” Today in Washington, D.C., the International Women’s Media Foundation (@theiwmf) is celebrating Stephanie with the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. “It’s a little bit bittersweet because the award is in the name of a colleague whose life ended doing this work,” explains Stephanie. “It means even more to be recognized with an award with Anja’s name. We crossed paths several times in Iraq and Afghanistan. I just don’t want to go without saying — it means a lot.” Photo by @stephsinclairpix
Hello, world! It's time for a hair-raising edition of #WeeklyFluff. Apparently, one cat’s trash is Ryo Yamazaki’s (@rojiman) treasure. Maru (pictured) is one of the three felines whose shed fur is recycled and carefully crafted into hats for cats. Follow @rojiman to keep up with this creative haberdasher’s designs.
In the US Pacific Northwest, Joseph Watrous (@gemini_digitized) waited for the perfect morning light to hit the farmland in front of him. “I could wake up here every day and never miss the city!” #WHPgoodmorning Photo by @gemini_digitized
It took Amy Corson (@amy_corson) a few tries at setting a timer on her camera and hopping under the covers to get a shot she liked, but the playful result was worth the effort. “Good mornings and coffee are pretty synonymous,” she says. “You can’t have one without the other.” #WHPgoodmorning Follow along to see more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project. Photo by @amy_corson
Ülevus (@ulevus) is a Brazilian brand on a mission to make gender equality more widespread. Paola Penna met her co-founder and girlfriend Larissa Rodrigues while in college. “We were already indignant with what the fashion industry had to offer us, so we decided to create a brand without gender division that could withstand the demand of young consumers like us who were tired of stereotypes,” says Paola, who’s now 22 and lives in São Paulo. “On October 12, 2014, we opened a store for online shopping. Since that time, we have been applying the concept of not having a gender division in our clothes.” Paola and Larissa stay motivated knowing they provide an open, inclusive and stylish destination for shoppers. “We want to make the place where we live a more egalitarian place even with our differences,” says Paola, “which in the end, make us all human.” Watch our Instagram story to learn more about Ülevus. Photo by @ulevus
Coffee just tastes better when you drink it outside — especially in the early morning light of Valencia, Spain. ☕️ #WHPgoodmorning Photo by @andrescarrionbaz
In the world of R&B, 21-year-old singer Kehlani (@kehlani) is an artist making moves to the front of the pack. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Kehlani is fresh off the release of a new album and is kicking off a North American tour at @coachella. “I attended the festival two years ago, but this is my first time performing!” says Kehlani, who’s in the lineup with artists like Lady Gaga, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar. She’s most excited for Kendrick’s performance, but Kehlani is also looking forward to checking out artists she’s never seen before. “I know I’ll discover some great ones here,” she says, pictured here with Khalid (@thegr8khalid). Explore the sights and sounds of Coachella with Kehlani right now on our Instagram story.
Food lovers from around the world flock to @coachella for a reason. The annual music and arts celebration pays careful attention to their curation of food, bringing together a list of vendors ranging from Los Angeles’ finest gourmet chefs to food truck favorites who give a festival twist to their signature dishes — think fruit-filled acai bowls, Peruvian-Mexican burritos and fresh ceviche topped with uni. Afters Ice Cream (@aftersicecream) is one vendor scooping flavorful cones this weekend. “We use local ingredients when possible, and we do everything by hand, in house,” says Joshua Stevens, who manages festivals and catering for the small-batch ice cream company. Founded in Fountain Valley, California, Afters’ flavors range from Vietnamese-influenced jasmine milk to a play on the traditional cookies and cream – a vibrant blue-colored ice cream with Oreo chunks called Cookie Monster. “Whether you’re 6 months old or 99 years old, everyone loves that flavor. The color really sticks out.” Photo of @aftersicecream by @jnsilva
Eight hundred sakura trees live in Tokyo on the Meguro River. Takashi Komatsubara (@takashi_komatsubara) captured one in all its glory at night. 🌸 “The Japanese strongly feel the four seasons in their daily lives,” explains Takashi. “Many people love the cherry blossoms in spring.” #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @takashi_komatsubara
A biker brigade — with bouquets on back — glides through the streets of São Paulo. 💐 This photo from artist @azumamakoto depicts part of his installation that rides around the city until May 7. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @azumamakoto
“Hey! My name is Myles Loftin (@goldenpolaroid) and I live in New York City. I’m a 19-year-old freelance photographer and student at Parsons School of Design. I was always interested in art and creating, but it wasn’t until five years ago, when I took a trip to Italy with my family, that I realized photography was what I was really interested in doing. **Three things I’m grateful for:** 🙌 @egyptique. My friend Anzie is very determined about what she wants to do. She moved to New York from Texas, and I’ve seen her grow a lot since she’s been here. She’s also very supportive of what I’m doing; I always know that I can count on her if I have something that I’m worried about or something that I just want to get off my chest. 🙌 @bandrybarry. I photographed director Barry Jenkins once, and when it was later published, he took the time out of his day to acknowledge me. The fact that he remembered me and had such positive things to say about my career was incredible. 🙌 @teenvogue. They’re empowering young people to be active politically. I think they’re doing a really good job of that.” If you could give a 🙌 to three Instagram accounts who support or inspire you, who would they be? Post using #🙌🙌🙌 for a chance to be featured on Instagram. Photo by @goldenpolaroid
Gwen Coyne (@gwencoyne) may spend her weekdays in a cubicle, but the digital marketing manager, who works in San Francisco, uses her weekends to explore California with her family and her camera. “I live in such a beautiful place that if you watch and wait, something magical usually happens,” says Gwen. After working with film and digital photography, Gwen began taking photos with her phone after the birth of her now 6-year-old daughter, who has asthma and has been in the hospital a few times over the course of her young life. As a manifestation of her concern, Gwen turned her phone’s camera lens toward her daughter. “I want to create images that help remind us of the time between the more intense periods,” she says. The black-and-white quality of her photographs helps to further remove the scenes from reality. “I’m more interested in collecting snippets rather than documenting specifics,” says Gwen. “I want my daughter to be able to fill in the gaps with her imagination when she gets older.” Photo by @gwencoyne