He’s based in one of Australia’s busiest cities, but freelance photographer Benjamin Lee (@itchban) thrives in nature. “There is so much unnoticed beauty in the world and everything that surrounds us — if only you take the time to look for it,” says the 30-year-old Sydney resident who left his office job two years ago to pursue photography full time. Benjamin hopes his work energizes other people to go explore. “It’s easy to get weighed down by your worries and not realize how big the world is and how small your problems actually are,” he says. “Get out there and enjoy what the world has to offer.” Photo by @itchban
In Brazil, Raphael Angelo (@raphaelang) was drawn to the shapes created by a goat peeking out from a square portal. “I could not escape the chance to capture that moment when I saw that goat, standing between shadow and light.” #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @raphaelang
“I like the shadows that are cast on the wall when the sun goes down,” says Stefan Turtzer (@nineoutoften), a resident of Berlin, who frequents the local Sunday market here. “I believe the picture celebrates the chill atmosphere and the late afternoon vibe, when people enjoy the last rays of sunlight.” #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @nineoutoften
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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPcolorstudy This weekend, the goal is to create photos and videos that celebrate one dominant color. Here are some tips to get you started: Capture light and dark versions of the same color to add more depth to your frame. All different tints and variations will make your color study shine. Sure, you could set up a still life. But challenge yourself to seek color in the wild. Find a moment where everything comes together for one great frame. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPcolorstudy 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 @codyguilfoyle
“I started being open about my experience as a person with mental illness, because there’s a real serious void in the dance world,” says professional ballet dancer Sydney Magruder (@theblackswandiaries), who has struggled with anxiety since childhood. “In January of 2015, after having mixed success auditioning in New York, I went and did a show in Boston. And then I’m not exactly sure what happened, but for nine months after coming back to New York, I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t go to class. I didn’t see my friends. I hardly talked to anybody except my wife. I’m just getting back to where I feel like I can audition again. In the ballet world, we don’t pay attention to people with mental illnesses. We kind of write them off and marginalize them as not being dedicated or hardworking enough. But I am one of the most passionate and dedicated people I know — anybody who knows me will also tell you that. You don’t have to pretend you’re not sick, but you do have to fight every day to make your life what you want it to be. Every day you do have the choice to get up and do something and be great. You can’t let anybody tell you you’re not worthy.” #hereforyou Photo of @theblackswandiaries by @rachelnevillephoto
#hellomynameis Malena Flores (@imalenaflores). I’m 23 years old and I’m an illustrator. I live in Itamari, a rural town in Bahia, Brazil, where I find the small moments of beauty that inspire me — like a clear night sky, where I hunt stars. Drawing has always been close to my heart. It was my favorite pastime as a child and is the best way I have to externalize my thoughts. I like experimenting with lots of different things; I’m incapable of sticking to a single medium. Art is freedom. Light, colors and flowers are the elements that characterize my work. Without them, what I do would be empty. Before, I used to draw on my own in my room. Illustration is a solitary pursuit; people spend a lot of time alone, creating. Today, I receive lovely messages from thousands of people, more than the entire population of my town. Knowing that what I do here reaches and inspires other people makes me feel that I have fulfilled my duty and gives me a warm feeling. May our future be filled with flowers.” Illustration by @imalenaflores
This portrait was quite literally a flash in the pan. Saeed Kouhkan (@skouhkan) found his sister’s reflection in the oil of a frying pan while cooking at his home in Behbahan, Iran. “It’s a mysterious portrait,” he says. “I like the contrast between the red lip and the dark background of the pan.” #WHPreflections Photo by @skouhkan
At home in Izmir, Turkey, Serkan Çolak’s (@serkanncolak) daughter played with a pocket mirror as her parents looked on. “This photo tells the story of me and my family,” says Serkan. Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to #WHPreflections. Photo by @serkanncolak
American athlete Christian Pulisic’s (@cmpulisic) first memories of soccer are with his father. “I remember my dad throwing a mini ball at me in the house and trying to score on him in the mini goal,” says the 18-year-old. Christian grew up in Pennsylvania, but moved to Dortmund, Germany, three years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Although adjusting to life in a foreign country is never easy — Christian’s biggest hurdles were “the language barrier and finding regular friends to spend time with” — he’s taken to life in his adopted hometown: he has his own apartment, a group of friends and speaks German fluently. Playing attacking midfielder for the Borussia Dortmund team in the German Bundesliga league eased the transition. “We have the best fans in the world,” says Christian. “They’re the most passionate in all of football. The game means everything to them.” And as for his young age relative to his teammates, Christian shrugs it off. “I was always the youngest on the team,” he says. “It’s normal for me.” Watch our Instagram story now to check out Christian’s adopted hometown.
Today we’re excited to announce two new ways to discover the world around you on Explore: location stories and hashtag stories. Now you can see what’s happening around you and find stories related to your interests. You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page. We’re also beginning to introduce hashtag stories on Explore. When you search for a hashtag, you may see a story ring at the top of the page filled with stories using that hashtag. Add a location sticker or hashtag to your story and you may be included in the larger story. If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list. From discovering new parts of your hometown to jogging alongside the #fromwhereirun community, location and hashtag stories help you share these experiences as they unfold. To learn more about location stories and hashtag stories, check out help.instagram.com. Location stories on Explore are available on iOS and Android as part of Instagram version 10.22 in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Hashtag stories will be rolling out over the coming weeks.
“Upside down and right side up,” writes Carla (@carlaeez) in the caption to her #WHPreflections submission. Follow along to see more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project. Photo by @carlaeez
Frida, a rescued Ibizan hound, and her human Miriam Behrendt (@tangoandfrida), took shelter from an approaching storm in a canola field. “We were on a walk and she instantly went there to hide from the weather,” says Miriam. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @tangoandfrida
With the blue hour waning along France’s Atlantic coast, a horse and rider passed by Pascale Fourteau (@halluci_nantes) as she took in the view. “The sound of the ocean empties my head and the sunset calms me,” she says. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @halluci_nantes
We’re swinging into the weekend with Orso the Corgi (@churchilly) — the star of our #BoomerangOfTheWeek. “Orso loves to swing. He has been doing it since he was a little puppy!” says Christon, Orso’s human. “We enjoy making people smile and remembering the pure, good things in the world ... like corgis in baby swings.” Add #BoomerangOfTheWeek to your next Boomerang’s caption — yours might show up here on @instagram. #Boomerang by @churchilly
Hello, world! It’s time for your dose of #WeeklyFluff. Cookie and Kanpei (@usausausa1201) are two rabbits from Japan who always manage to pose for the perfect shot. When they’re not chomping away on a leafy green snack, they do their best to stay on trend, regularly rocking new styles of bonnets, wreaths and other chic headwear. Follow @usausausa1201 to ensure you never miss a look. 🐰 🐰
“On the second night of our boat trip, the sea went rough and our boat leaked. One of the pumps stopped working and water was pouring in faster than the single pump could take out. The boat was floating in the sea like a matchbox.” Looking back at this photograph, photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor (@bbatoor) recalls his perilous journey in 2012 across the Indian Ocean, seeking refuge from Pakistan. Batoor is Hazara, a marginalized ethnic group from Afghanistan, his parents’ birth country. He grew up in Pakistan, but moved to Afghanistan to work as a photojournalist. However he found himself targeted in both countries for his ethnicity and his profession and was forced to flee. “I am far from my family, but Melbourne is my home now,” says Batoor, who, after nine months in Indonesia, was relocated to Australia through the UN refugee agency’s resettlement program. “I have been welcomed warmly here. Taking photos of everyday life is important for me now, because when I look back, I see what we had and what we have lost. #WhereIComeFrom, life was uncertain. You never knew whether you would come back home safe.” Watch our Instagram story to see more photographs of the global refugee crisis, installed in the streets of Melbourne, by the photojournalism collective Dysturb (@dysturb). Photo by @bbatoor