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Instagram Spotlight: Making Friends Along the Way

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Left: Palm Beach. Right: Tamira Cahana

Some photographers have an incredible gift for building strong relationships with their subjects and connecting with communities. For Kitra Cahana, this has meant living on a bus with nomadic youth, chasing around partying teenagers at a Texas high school, and getting to know a secluded Inuit community.

When then Editor in Chief Chris Johns wanted to do a story in National Geographic magazine on the teenage brain, Cahana was a photographer who came to mind. This is because she bonds well with many different types of people—especially youth—and makes subtle, touching images. When on the road, Cahana even gives some of her subjects a miniature box of her photographs to say thank you.

Not only is she talented at gaining intimate access from strangers, Cahana is also unafraid to share personal stories; she has devoted herself to photographing her father, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana, who is a quadriplegic. In two separate TED Talks, she shared her experiences with her father and her past life documenting nomadic teens. She recently moved to New Orleans and is capturing daily life in the city ten years after Hurricane Katrina.

Here is a selection of Cahana’s Instagram images from New Orleans, Palm Beach, Montreal, and Nunavut, Canada.

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

New Orleans street scene. Lee Circle. February 2015.

A photo posted by @kitracahana on

The Mississippi River. New Orleans. February 2015.

A photo posted by @kitracahana on

Palm Beach Weird. Jan 2015.

A photo posted by @kitracahana on

Palm Beach Surreal. Jan 2015.

A video posted by @kitracahana on

Kate Tiktaq asks her daughter Olivia for a kunik, a traditional Inuit kiss, in their home in Arviat, Nunavut, Canada. A kunik is an expression of affection in the Inuit culture, and can have slight variations from region to region. Part of an independent documentary film I’m working on with Ed Ou about the Inuit experience in the Arctic.


A photo posted by @kitracahana on


A photo posted by @kitracahana on

I just made a new batch of Itsy-Bitsy photos in tiny signed boxes.

Follow Kitra Cahana on Instagram.

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