Five São Paulo Instagram Accounts to Follow

I know they say social media makes us less happy, but I have to argue that my Instagram lifts my mood. My aim is to post a photo a day of something interesting I see during my day. Sometimes I have days where I post nothing, sometimes I have the urge to post twenty photos, but I try to limit myself to one because I like the idea of picking a single image to sum up the day. This project has made me more mindful of my surroundings. Even though I do the same route most days, I find that sometimes just looking upwards leads to a new discovery.


I also love getting inspiration from other accounts on Instagram. Here’s a few of my favorite SP-centered ones:

1. Calçada SP
Calçada is full of well, calçadas, or sidewalks, featuring interesting details, odd trash or classic Portuguese tiles. The account is an interesting project with the goal of strengthening the citizen’s relationship with the physical city, as well as drawing attention to the rather neglected and haphazard state of São Paulo’s sidewalks. (I used to be frustrated that my photos were coming out crooked until I realized it was the sidewalk that was uneven.)


2. kato78
I’m not really sure how to describe K’s Instagram other than its good. He sometimes does straightforward shots, he sometimes uses unusual angles, but he always takes into consideration the geometry of the subject. They may be shots of landscapes, animals, food or buildings, but they’re always pleasing to the eye.

🍌 yes, nós temos bananas… 🍌 #VSCOcam

A post shared by k. (@kato78) on


3. Estilosos no Metrô
It’s a fashion Instagram, but not your typical slick photos of curated outfits provided by sponsors. Instead, creator Natália Nascimento snaps photos with her phone of a variety of people on the metro who are stylish in their own way. It’s refreshing, upbeat and fun.


4. SP em Cores
Photographer Marina Baravelli disproves the myth that São Paulo is a gray city with her colorful photos that are usually rather simple. It’s interesting to look at her main page to see her rainbow of photos.


5. dearaujo
Architect Décio Araújo manipulates images of landscapes, nature and buildings to create surreal portraits of São Paulo. He told Instagram’s blog, “I try to capture the city in unusual ways so that people might become more critical of the spaces in which they live.”

g a i o l a d e c o n c r e t o • XIV

A post shared by décio araújo (@dearaujo) on


And while he’s based in Belo Horizonte, I want to mention Rafael Mantesso and his funny dog Jimmy Choo. Since he went viral last year, he’s become tremendously popular and even collaborated with the brand Jimmy Choo on a line of accessories. He’s one of the few I go out of my way to check for updates because his images are all so simple and delightful.


If you know of any other great Brazilian Instagrammers, please let me know!


Curated Graffiti

One of my favorite things about living in São Paulo is not just being surrounded by street art, but being able to recognize different artists. They may not have famous names, but so many have instantly recognizable styles.

Recently some of these artists had their work displayed indoors for a change at the 3rd Bienal Internacional Graffiti Fine Art, which featured both Brazilian and international artists. In the past, I’ve tried to make sure people stayed out of my shots, but this time I felt like the viewers were sort of necessary to accurately depict the experience. (Philosophical question: If a piece of art is displayed but no one sees it, is it still art?)


Artist: Enivo (São Paulo)


Artist: Tinho (São Paulo)







Artist: Julio Barreto (São Paulo)



Artist: Gen Duarte (São Paulo)


Artist: Simone Sapienza Siss (São Paulo)


Artist: Cusco Rebel (Porto Alegre)


Artist: Alexandre Keto (São Paulo)



Artist: Daniel Marceli (Chiloé, Chile)

Artist: Zumi

Artist: Marina Zumi (Buenos Aires)



Artist: Mundano (São Paulo)


Artist: Atsuo Nakagawa

Artist: Atsuo Nakagawa (Osaka)



Artist: Bugre (São Paulo)




Artist: Leiga (São Paulo)



Artist: Derlon (Pernambuco)



Artist: Fhero (São Paulo)


Artists: Alexandre Keto (São Paulo) & Dalata (Belo Horizonte)


More works and closeup details on my Tumblr.

Brinquedos à Mão: Playtime is Culture

Brazilian toys

Caixa Cultural has an exhibition called Brinquedos à Mão, a collection of 900 handmade toys from northeastern and rural Brazil. Although I don’t have the same connection or sense of nostalgia as possibly other people at the exhibit, I still enjoy seeing how culture is manifested through traditional toys. Which one’s your favorite?

brazilian toys




The floral material is a traditional Brazilian cloth called chita.


It's hard to see, but the doll on the right is playing the triangle.

It’s hard to see, but the doll on the right is playing the triangle.


Bumba Meu Boi

Bumba Meu Boi


Alright, so not all of them are traditional. The two on the right are called cangaçeiros.

Alright, so not all of them are traditional. The two on the right are called cangaçeiros.

I wish i had this parque de diversão as a kid!

I wish i had this parque de diversão as a kid!


"So this is life..."

“So this is life…”

Brazilian dollhouse, complete with its rede, or hammock

Brazilian dollhouse, complete with its rede, or hammock



These are tiny as well.


I refer to this one as Freddie Mercury.

I refer to this one as Freddie Mercury.


I looked this game up and it's sort of similar to jacks.

I looked this game up and it’s similar to jacks.


Wooden puppets

Wooden puppets

A little hard to see because of the glass casing, but it depicts the dry sertão in the northeast.

The dry sertão in the northeast.