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Instagram Spotlight: Love’s Long Journey

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Left: Resting on Illiniza Sur (5,126 m) in Ecuador. Right: Nahuel at 2 days old.

They say that with great risk comes great reward. But risk is still … well, risky.

Risktaking uncannily seems to be a near-universal trait of photographers. For photographer Ivan Kashinsky, many of the risks he’s taken have been for love, work, adventure, and family—all wrapped into one. Kashinsky met his wife, photographer Karla Gachet, in photography school at San Jose State University. They fell in love in the darkroom of the school newspaper. After they finished university and several rounds of internships in 2004, Kashinsky took a leap and moved with Gachet to her homeland of Ecuador, despite being a “California surfer kid,” to seek out new experiences.

Kashinsky and Gachet are partners in more than one sense of the word. They collaborate on photo projects, share a collective they call Runa Photos, and are parents together. Their son, Nahuel, was born in January of 2014.

When his wife was pregnant, Kashinsky decided to start a project a bit closer to home. Fascinated by indigenous cultures and the effects of globalization, he began to look at the cultural and structural shifts happening in his own backyard in Ecuador. Made strictly with his iPhone, “Project Mi Barrio” has helped Kashinsky connect with the world immediately around him. It also allowed him to be home and close to his family, whom he captures in some of his photographs.

Here’s a small selection of his adventures north and south of the Equator.

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

The open road is a symbol of freedom and adventure. This road leads down to surf spot called Shipwrecks in northern Baja, Mexico.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

A father and his son head down from the summit of #Pasochoa (4,200 m), an extinct volcano, in Ecuador.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

Dreaming in Mompiche. Assisting Karla babysitting Nahuel.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

Palm roots and a plastic bag in Mompiche, Ecuador.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

Project Mi Barrio – Nahuelito y su Abuelito.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

Redwoods stand tall outside my bathroom window at dawn in Big Sur, California.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

Barbed wire digs into a penco plant on the back roads of Atuntaqui, Ecuador.

A photo posted by Ivan Kashinsky (@ivankphoto) on

Karlita looks over the Pacific as the sun sets near Sand Dollar Beach in California.

Follow Ivan Kashinsky on Instagram.

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