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Capturing Portraits Without Faces with @the69th.

For more portraits without faces, browse the #portraitwithoutface hashtag and follow Anna Pavlova (@the69th) on Instagram.

“‘Why is the person in the portrait always turned away from you’, everyone asks me,” says Russia Instagrammer Anna Pavlova (@the69th), whose #portraitwithoutface hashtag series features photos lacking faces. “My photos have people who don’t show their faces, but there are still people in the shot,” she explains. “Portraits without faces are like an open-ended romance. Everyone can think what they like about the shot. Is this person in the portrait happy or not? Maybe the person is excited or just calmly enjoying the world around.” Want to try taking a #portraitwithoutface shot of your own? “Use different angles and props for the shot,” Anna advises. “For example, use green leaves, basketball balls or matte glass to cover the face in the shot.” She adds, “Do not forget about backgrounds such as a picturesque landscape or a colorful wall—there are a lot of angles worth exploring to make your faceless portrait unique!”

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The Week on Instagram | 143

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How I Shoot: Underwater Shark Photography with @michaelmuller7

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about their creative process. To see more of Michael’s photos from his shark expeditions, follow @michaelmuller7 and follow @discoverychannel as Michael takes over Discovery Channel’s Instagram account during Shark Week.

Michael Muller (@michaelmuller7) is on a mission to change the way we see sharks. “They are in a lot of trouble right now,” he says. “100 million are slaughtered every year, and I say slaughter because the majority of the time the shark is killed just for its fins.”

In his day job, Michael is a Hollywood-based commercial photographer renowned for his celebrity portraits and images used in box office billboards. But when he has free time, Michael devotes himself to documenting sharks in their native habitat around the world. He has even created an underwater strobe lighting system as powerful as the one in his California studio. “Realizing that I couldn’t bring the shark into the studio, I knew I would have to bring the studio to it,” he says.

The key to successful underwater shark photography, according to Michael, is staying relaxed. “Anxiety is the biggest obstacle,” he says. “If you let negative thoughts take hold then you are in for a really rough time.”

Michael uses Instagram to share images of his encounters in the deep. Here he tells us more about his process during and after his underwater excursions:

Equipment:

Phase One medium format with Nauticam, Nikon D800 with Subal Housing, Red Epic Dragon, GoPro and a “list of scuba equipment too long to enumerate.”

Vantage Point:

Because Michael rarely shoots from insides shark cages, he works closely with a team to be in the best position possible. “I have to constantly anticipate where the animal may go or do. What we look for always is what we call a ‘player,’which is a shark that is very mellow and curious that will stay around us. It is with sharks like this that magic happens.”

Shooting:

“It’s all about waiting for that right ‘moment’ to hit the trigger, which comes from 28 years experience. If you get too excited and go too fast then you miss that moment. If you wait too long you watch it happen and have the shot in your head, but no one else ever gets to witness it, so timing is everything.“

Editing:

Depending on the length of the shoot, Michael will return with between 3,000-10,000 photos. “I keep every image I take, I get rid of blank images but keep everything else,” he says. “With Instagram I usually post between 4-8 images from a particular trip.” For processing tools, Michael uses his own custom filters app MullerPhoto, and also the newest Instagram creative tools. “There are times I just go right into Instagram and just use its tools which are really getting more and more phenomenal.”

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Circle Hunting with @marcelonava

For more of Marcelo’s circular life follow @marcelonava on Instagram.

“While studying symbology in college, I noticed the importance of shapes throughout history,” says São Paulo Instagrammer and creative director Marcelo Nava (@marcelonava). “Suddenly, I began to pay attention to the many circles in my everyday life. I started thinking about telling my story through circles.” Marcelo created the #roundseries hashtag, and his quest for the perfect circle has led to some interesting stories. “I recently found this amazing circular vent, which was unfortunately way too high for me to capture. I had to have two of my friends lift me up so that I could get the right angle,” he says. This event reminded Marcelo why circles were so meaningful as symbols. “They represent trust and collaboration.”

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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPLineMeetsCorner

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend, we were inspired by Samah El Ali (@poeticwordvomit)’s precise compositions and the #linemeetscorner hashtag that Geof Newsum (@slowjam98) created for them. The project’s tag was #WHPlinemeetscorner, which asked participants to create photos where at least one line meets the corner of the frame. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, and be sure to check out the rest here.

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A Nostalgic Ride Through Russia with @dobryvolshebnik

To see more photos from Georgy’s journeys in his orange car, follow @dobryvolshebnik

"People on the road always spot this orange classic car. They remember their Soviet past—some of them had this model 20 or 30 years ago," says Russian Instagrammer Georgy Chernyshev (@dobryvolshebnik), who uses the retro vehicle to travel with his girlfriend across Russia and Ukraine. The car is a 1975 Muscovite (Russian “Moskvitch”—”Mосквич”), and Georgy says its distinctiveness helps him meet interesting people in his journeys. He also feels inspired to travel more. “You can feel a special nostalgia traveling in this car which you wouldn’t get in a modern car,” he says. “I feel its soul, character and history.”