Self-taught photographer Alex Spurway (@spurwaya) first picked up a camera three years ago. “I am motivated by the people I shoot with, the desire to spend any second of free time I have out creating and never missing any opportunities,” says the 20-year-old from Brisbane, Australia. “Once an idea for a shot comes into my head I won’t stop chasing it.” During his university studies in 2015, Alex co-founded OzShot Magazine (@ozshotmag), an independent photography magazine. “When people see my work, I want them to feel inspired to try something out of the ordinary, travel somewhere new, get out of their comfort zone.” Photo by @spurwaya
I would like to jump from there
camera shooting is fun,please be careful your foot can slip sometimes.
Heyy...! Sooo high. .... Up 2 U....lol
Wonderful
Wow!
💓💙💚
After driving along the twists and turns of Switzerland’s Maloja Pass, Jonas Skorpil (@zrodyr) released his drone to take this nighttime shot. “I set it to a long exposure and tried my luck,” he says. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @zrodyr
“I can’t really say I had any female riders to look up to,” says motocross champion Vicki Golden (@vgolden423). As a three-time X Games gold medalist, and the first female to qualify for Supercross and Arenacross, the 24-year-old from Southern California is paving the way for female riders. Despite concussions and major injuries, Vicki has one motto: never quit. “Broken bones and all that stuff is just part of the game,” she says. This post is in celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout March, we’ll be highlighting the stories of women doing extraordinary things around the world. Photo of @vgolden423 by @matt_cordova
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“I don’t normally shoot flowers,” says Yosuke Nishida (@yosuke_0312), but these blooming camellias scattered along a woodland path in Japan changed everything. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @yosuke_0312
Paralympian Beatrice Vio’s (@bebe_vio) relationship with fencing started at age 5. “It was love at first sight,” says the gold medalist, now 20, from Venice, Italy. In 2008, Beatrice contracted meningitis, which resulted in the amputation of both legs from the knee and both arms from the forearm, with severe scarring to her face and body. “Getting back into fencing was the only thing I had on my mind,” she says. “Some people said it was impossible, but I did it!” Today, Beatrice competes in wheelchair fencing, using a special prosthetic device, created by her father, to hold her foil (a fencing weapon). “In wheelchair fencing, you can’t move backward — you can only attack,” she says. “This is the same thing that you have to do in life, and I always do.” This post is in celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout March, we’ll be highlighting the stories of women doing extraordinary things around the world. Photos by @bebe_vio
“At our core, Girlvana is empowering the next generation of women through movement and mindfulness,” says yoga teacher Alex Mazerolle (@allymaz) from Vancouver, Canada. Alex is the founder of Girlvana Yoga (@girlvanayoga), a community on a mission to support teenage girls through yoga, meditation and mentorship. “I grew up competitively dancing. I had an eating disorder. I doubted myself and my place in this world. I came to the yoga mat as a physical practice — I thought it was going to keep me flexible and strong. What it ended up being was a big overhaul of my life. After I had been teaching yoga for four years, I realized if someone had taught me how to breathe, if someone listened to me from a place of compassion at 14 years old, my life would’ve looked a lot different. The work I do with Girlvana keeps me so accountable, and so real and transparent about my relationship to my body and food. Embedded in its philosophy, yoga has this this intrinsic self-care and kindness that this is your one chance, your one vehicle, and to honor and find love and compassion for your body is much more fruitful than being at war with yourself.” Photo by @allymaz
The Embassy of Kindness (@theembassyofkindness) all started at an InstaMeet in Melbourne, Australia. Kanesan Nathan (@legojacker) and Amal Bleed (@toffyinc) led a photo walk around the city, documenting what kindness looked like with fellow, local Instagrammers. Then, they started talking to strangers. “Our very first portrait of kindness was a man called Philip. He was kind but he was skeptical about the power of kindness to change the world,” explains Kanesan. “We looked at each other and thought, ‘Challenge accepted.’” Today, through their portraiture and captions, The Embassy of Kindness seeks to exemplify how kindness can connect us all. “Any act, no matter how big or small, has the power to change a person’s life in a profound way,” says Amal. “It’s about celebrating our shared humanity.” For this Worldwide InstaMeet (#WWIM15❤️), Kanesan will lead an event from Canberra, where he now lives, at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and Amal will host from Melbourne’s city center. Both InstaMeets encourage participants to start conversations about kindness and create portraits that have become the basis for The Embassy’s photo project. @theembassyofkindness photos by @toffyinc and @legojacker
Last September, we made a commitment to the community to keep Instagram a safe place for everyone. This year we will continue to act on that commitment and also focus on fostering kindness. The first step is to celebrate the kindness our community is already known for. On March 25 and 26, Instagrammers will come together for Worldwide InstaMeet 15. Join an InstaMeet near you — or spread kindness by leaving an encouraging comment, giving an inspiring person a like or sharing a message of support with a friend. As part of our goal to build a safe environment, we also have some updates to announce. Soon you may notice a screen over sensitive photos and videos when you scroll through your feed or visit a profile. While these posts don’t violate our guidelines, someone in the community has reported them and our review team has confirmed they are sensitive. This change means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app. If you’d like to see a post that is covered with a screen, simply tap to reveal the photo or video. We also have developed a new, easy-to-use site where you can learn about keeping yourself safe on Instagram. Check out instagram-together.com for more information. Our teams are focused on making Instagram a kind, welcoming place for everyone, and we’re just getting started. Kevin Systrom Co-founder & CEO
Photographer Daniella Zalcman (@dzalcman) has her #EyesOn a stolen generation. Starting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, indigenous children across the United States, Canada and Australia were taken from their families and placed in boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into western culture — and to strip away their own. Phyllis Kitching (pictured), an Aboriginal Australian, recalls her childhood to Daniella. “No one could ever understand what I experienced,” Phyllis says. “I can describe it and you might understand my words, but you'll never understand what I lost in that place.” Using portraits, artifacts, oral testimonies and composite images, Daniella explores the enduring legacy of these programs. “The story, at its core, is about memory and intergenerational trauma and how much that can affect not just a population and its cultural identity, but that of future generations as well,” she says. Explore more of Daniella’s work on our Instagram story. Photo of Phyllis Kitching by @dzalcman
“We should all enjoy the simple things in life, whatever our age,” says Marcelo García Calviño (@marchi3003), who brought his best friend @veronarupes (whom he met through Instagram) to one of his favorite spots in Cabo de Home, Spain. “As soon as she saw that giant shell, she couldn’t resist the temptation to climb through as if she were a child again.” #WHPyoungatheart Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project. Photo by @marchi3003
If you’re in Tokyo on Sunday, March 26, be sure to head to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. There, teacher Hai Huynh, one half of @notesofnomads, will be co-hosting a #WWIM15❤️ where people will be creating intricate origami cherry blossoms to photograph and gift to strangers — it’s perfectly aligned with this Worldwide InstaMeet’s theme: kindness. “Everybody loves receiving flowers, and being the creative community we are, I believe that learning and making origami flowers with others will be a fun and unique opportunity,” says Hai. “It costs next to nothing, is very interactive and coincides with the coming of cherry blossom season here in Tokyo.” Hai is a big believer in the power of an InstaMeet, a gathering of people who come together to connect through shared experiences. “My favorite part is being able to meet wonderful people from all walks of life who share the same passion and sense of creativity and forming true friendships.” Watch our Instagram story right now to see more. Photo by @notesofnomads
Spotted in the Philippines: Timothy Genesis (@thykopi) laughs as he and a friend are knocked down by a playful wave. #WHPyoungatheart Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project. Photo by @thykopi
March 20 marks Nowruz, the #PersianNewYear and the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. For Iranian photojournalist Majid Saeedi (@majidsaeedi), the 13-day holiday marks some of his sweetest childhood memories, like family gatherings around tasty meals and sweet treats, participating in traditional ceremonies and picnicking outside on the final day. “It is a family holiday and spending a while with my family is the best memory that I have from Nowruz,” he says. Photo by @majidsaeedi
Communities of pushpins, pencils and erasers at odds with each other, trees that hug all day — animation director and writer Sean Charmatz (@sean_charmatz) breathes life into everyday sights. “The idea is that if you look close enough and take a moment to observe, you will see all of this,” says Sean. “To me, there is magic in seeing a story that was already happening between objects. I feel the magic, so believe others will too.” Growing up, Sean, now 36, was drawn to the characters and letters of graffiti in big cities like San Francisco and New York. Today, his work as an animation director and writer allows him to tap into that childhood joy and share it with others. “It means a lot to me that people enjoy the work and that it has changed the way they look at the world,” he says. “I want my account to be a place where everyone can feel creative and be inspired.” Photo by @sean_charmatz
A herd of deer wandering through the still-wintry countryside of Hokkaido, Japan, drew Hidetoshi Kikuchi’s (@hidetoshi_kikuchi) attention — and his drone, theirs. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @hidetoshi_kikuchi
“My art practice is born out of working on my bedroom floor with whatever resources are accessible,” says Aleia Murawski (@aleia), an artist who lives in Chicago. “My art has been shown mostly within DIY women-led art spaces and projects. It is a much different framework than the art world I studied in school. It is less about economy and more about forming relationships with other artists. I see this more and more: young artists starting projects to promote one another, to lift each other up and to create safe spaces and opportunities for each other.” This post is part of “In Search of Us,” a digital salon curated by @petrafcollins and @bellhoox. Their upcoming event #PopRallyxPetra at @themuseumofmodernart celebrates the representation of women by women. Photos and videos by @aleia