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Instagram  Discovering and telling stories from around the world. Founded in 2010 by @kevin and @mikeyk. Check out the #InstaGiftGuide 🛍 ⬇️

Video by @soapcurls_asmr
👋 See ya, 2018! 👋
With the year close to a close, we’re looking back at 2018 to highlight some of the ways our global community members expressed themselves, while getting closer to the people – and things – they love. ❤️
Head to our IGTV channel to see the top trends and defining moments of 2018 on Instagram. 📺

Photo by @kanda.le.lo
Vedang Kandalgaonkar (@kanda.le.lo) says #WHPNaturalLight sent him on the chase to find light in all sorts of different elements — and then he happened on this street scene. “I noticed the man reading the newspaper and spotted a golden light hitting from behind,” says the freelance photographer. “A perfect shadow was formed, making it picture-perfect for me.”

Photo by @tavepong_street
Street photographer Tavepong Pratoomwong (@tavepong_street) says natural light can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. Case in point: this hotel escalator in Tokyo. “I like the light that hits the color of the escalator,” he says. “It creates lines that lead the eye, and it makes confusing reflections.” #WHPNaturalLight

Photo by @heinke
Australian photographer Heinke Kriel (@heinke) found #WHPNaturalLight in an unexpected place. “I wanted to capture light in the way I see it when I’m underwater,” he says, “and to make others feel like they are right there in the moment.”
Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project.

Photo of @rastawhiteshepherd by @michelphotography_ch
Hello, world! It’s time for a very special wintry edition of #WeeklyFluff. Meet Rasta (@rastawhiteshepherd), a 5-year-old pup who can’t get enough of snow. Luckily for Rasta and his human Sylvia, they live in Winterthur, Switzerland, near the Swiss Alps, where the snow is plentiful. “For hikes, it is the most beautiful thin air on Earth for Rasta and me. You can feel freedom on top of a mountain,” says Sylvia. “Rasta and me? We just want to spread joy and fun, make people happy, take them on our hikes and show them how beautiful life can be.”
❄️ See more on today’s story and our IGTV channel. ❄️

Photo by @globalworming
“I was chasing light at this moment,” says photographer Aurélie Guisiano (@globalworming) of her #WHPNaturalLight submission. “I was driving around the place and I saw those shadows behind the sunrise over the Eiffel Tower. It was amazing — it looked like a bike ballet.” Lucky for us, she pulled her car over and took the picture. 📸

Photo by @mylenecybele
“When I’m taking pictures in nature, I always try to find the perfect light,” says photographer and videographer Mylène Sopacua (@mylenecybele). “Light can change a scenery – and in this case a picture – completely. And with this fox, everything was just perfect.” #WHPNaturalLight

Photo by @tom_juenemann
Tall shadows star in this drone-powered image from Tom-Christoph Jünemann (@tom_juenemann). “After I took some photos in the forest with great light, I decided to fly with my drone above the trees,” says Tom-Christoph. “I like the fact that it’s an image that made me think and also confused many other people at first sight.”
Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to last weekend’s hashtag project, #WHPNaturalLight.

Photo by @hellobaleen
Seattle-based jewelry line Baleen (@hellobaleen) believes in “good design for everyone!” (It says so in their Instagram bio.) “We started Baleen with that philosophy,” explains Leah Lawrence, who founded the company with fellow designer Billy Bartels in 2013, “with the goal to bring high-quality goods made with integrity right here in our ‘backyard’ to a larger, more diverse audience of people — not just those with big incomes. This philosophy really helps keep us smart in terms of design and fabrication, and in the end, if a piece is too expensive to make we don’t add it to the line.”
Leah and Billy met in 2008 while working in a shop in Seattle. “After a short time, we became good friends and eventually realized just how much we liked each other,” says Leah. “We’ve been together ever since and couldn’t imagine not working together every day.”
Baleen is one of the 34 businesses included in our first-ever #InstaGiftGuide, which matches popular hashtag trends from 2018 with🔥gift ideas.
Click the link in our bio to check it out. 🛍 You can also learn more about Baleen today in our story.

Photo by @smallstepsaregiantleaps
Greetings earthlings. This is 7-year-old kid astronaut and first-grader Harrison Sheldon. 🚀He’s the star of @smallstepsaregiantleaps, a photo project that his dad, editorial photographer and nonprofit media consultant Aaron Sheldon, started when Harrison was 4 years old.
Instagram: Aaron, is there a game attached to the project?
Aaron: When we decide to visit a place for the project, we talk about what we might see there. During our visit, I have Harry compare what we thought we might see with the actual experience. My favorite part of each shoot is hearing his thoughts about the places and what he liked about each place as we look at the pictures together over a post-mission doughnut, cookie or ice-cream cone.
IG: Astronaut Harrison, what’s the best part of being an astronaut?
Harrison: Exploring places, meeting astronauts, bouncing on hotel beds, having cool exploring gear and snacks.
IG: Astronaut Harrison, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Harrison: Superhero.
Aaron: What if your plan to create your own superpowers doesn’t work out? What would you be if you can’t be a superhero?
Harrison: Police officer and construction worker in space.
Check out today’s story to explore along with Harrison and Aaron on some of their adventures.

Featured photo by @hirokingraphy
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPNaturalLight
This weekend the challenge is to make images and videos that are illuminated with natural light, as in this photo from Hiroki (@hirokingraphy).
Start with the light source. Sunlight, moonlight or even starlight set the tone for different images, whether a landscape under the star-filled sky or a beach scene on a bright sunny day. More abstract effects of light can be found in rainbow light or a mass of fireflies dancing in the dark.
Scout your location. Look for places where light has a more dramatic effect, whether coming in shards through trees in a forest, bouncing off of a reflective building, glistening on the surface of a lake or pool, or simply coming through a window to add shape and contrast to your subject.
Time it right. Think about the time of day and how the quality of light affects your subject or scene. Whether the soft hazy light at dawn, the hard shadows of the midday sun or the colors at sunset, use these qualities of light to set the mood and atmosphere of your images or video.
PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPNaturalLight hashtag only to photos and videos shared over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. By adding the #WHPNaturalLight hashtag, you consent to and grant Instagram all rights to repost your photo or video. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video shared over the weekend with the #WHPNaturalLight hashtag is eligible for the project and, if selected, to be featured next week.

Video by @aleia
You would not know it from the creepy cast of characters in her miniature scenes, but Aleia Murawski (@aleia) didn’t always love bugs. “Snails were my gateway to overcoming my fear of creepy crawlers… except centipedes still kind of freak me out,” explains the 29-year-old artist, who found three pet snails with her friend and collaborator Sam Copeland a few years ago. “After watching the snails, we started to personify them and began imagining little worlds to build around them.” Now, all the stars of Aleia’s scenes have a home in her unique family: there are the star snails, Noodle and Buddy, the praying mantises, Deborah and Barbara, and even a frog named Froggo.
“My work is about the everyday, but it is also about imagining other possibilities,” explains Aleia. “The stories feel limitless, no matter how mundane. Working with snails has allowed me to process my own world and reinterpret my reality. Creating a scene with a snail up all night alone in the office, or two snails driving off into the sunset, helps me turn my own stress and intuitions into something playful and tangible.” Aleia’s parting words for the Instagram community? “A snail can do anything, and so can you.”
See more of her creepy cast in action on today’s story and our IGTV channel. 🐌🖤👽

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