Instagram

Instagram is one of my favorite spaces to write and to collaborate with photographers. The platform requires a unique kind of creative constraint, and for me it's a new form that echoes an old one: haiku and haiga, ancient forms of Japanese poetry and drawing. Click on an image to see the full story on Instagram. 

New series premiering on the @NatGeo feed, with pal + collaborator Randy Olson. We've been looking lately at water—how it runs through our work, sometimes obviously and sometimes by its absence leaving a mark. Join us for the journey @natgeo and on our personal feeds.

 

Photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 — One day he went into the forest alone. He had in mind what he wanted. Not every boy knows with such clarity who he prefers for a companion but he had decided on a baboon ...

Most of us are new. Only a few thought we would be soldiers. It’s not something most girls grow up wanting. But we change. The world offers a chance, or forces a choice. There is no other way to say it ...

 

photo by @yuri.kozyrev | words by @neilshea13 — We agree to be photographed only to confirm our survival. We hide our faces because they won’t help you understand. On this side, my daughter. On the other, the wife of my son. Both were captured, each was forced to marry an ISIS fighter ...

Jogyesa Temple, Seoul — When the time comes to build a shrine of your own, it’s best to maintain a sense of fluidity. Plans too serious or inflexible will, of course, only bring frustration, for any holy site eventually assumes a life far different from the one intended ...
 

photo by @salvarezphoto | words by @neilshea13 — Here in Madagascar’s forest of stone you will find no witnesses. The great avenues are empty, the towers steep and razor-edged. Occasionally tourists flit along the edges of this place, like strange butterflies in their sun-hats and tropical t-shirts. Sometimes honey-hunters enter from the villages, climbing after the dark dripping prize ...

Out at the edge of the refugee camp the kids are playing hide and seek. There is nowhere to hide, because the land just goes on forever, flat and treeless, shaped and shorn, and so the game is really about running. Up down around and around. Shaking it out, for hours. This is maybe the most important story of all: how childhood survives ...

The light is kind at this hour and in it Mary seems to glow. The beads circling her neck are heavy and she rarely removes them for here they are essential to beauty, a pedestal upon which the strong head rests ...

Lucky Fire, Idaho — Trees like flares along the meadow’s edge, popping one by one. Crackle, whoosh, roar. A rush of smoke, sear of heat, 50 years gone in a moment. Here a firefighter leans on his shovel and watches with calm approval ...

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