@ThugLifeForevs and the Art of the #ChameleonPortrait

Emily Blincoe (@thuglifeforevs) is an Austin, Texas-based professional photographer and a prolific creator of creative, thematic hashtags.

"Instagram really sparked my interest in doing things in a series," says Emily. "Hashtags make it easy to group the photos together and to check out what other folks are contributing to the pool."

"My idea of fun is taking one simple idea and seeing how many different ways I can rework it." From #colorsorganizedneatly to #thisampersandthat to #sayitwithscissors, Emily’s experimentation has sparked the creativity of her followers and has created communities around the themes she’s imagined. “There have been some really creative contributions!”

A favorite theme is the #chameleonportrait, where the subject of Emily’s photo blends into the background.

"The first few chameleon portraits I took were self portraits," says Emily. "I was up late one night and the idea just popped into my head and I got to work on it. After my first few #selfies I transitioned the subjects to my friends and family."

Chameleon portraits allow Emily to experiment and add a twist to a classic genre. “I love shooting portraits more than anything. I think they are really important and lasting and meaningful.”

Emily offers some tips for those who want to try their hand at a #chameleonportrait:

"There are many simple ways to blend into your background for one of these portraits. You could simply wear a yellow shirt while standing in front of a yellow wall. Wear green clothing and lay in some lush grass or wear a floral dress in front of some floral wallpaper. Stripes on stripes, polka dots on polka dots, fabric, paint, nature, paper."

The most important thing, Emily says, is to not worry too much about the outcome. “Every idea is worth exploring a little and you never know what it might turn into.”


Instagram Today: 150 Million People

Today we’re excited to announce that Instagram has grown to a community of more than 150 million people capturing and sharing moments every month.

Whether it’s documenting protests in Egypt, sharing the trip of a lifetime across the United States or snapping #petselfiez, this community continues to surprise us every day with your creativity, sense of adventure and unique perspectives on the world.

As the community continues to grow, it’s becoming more global too — now more than 60% of you are from outside the United States. Whether you’re in Moscow or Hong Kong, Berlin or Reykjavik, we’re more committed than ever to bringing you the best Instagram experience possible.

To the 50 million of you who’ve joined in the last six months, welcome. And from our team to all 150 million of you, thank you for making Instagram great. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create next.