For more photos from Tony’s life and poetry, follow @emolabs on Instagram.
For Texas Instagrammer Tony Ciampa (@emolabs), Instagram serves as a place where images and creative writing come together as a form of self-expression.
After moving to Texas from his native Boston, Massachusetts, Tony took to Instagram to make friends and build a community of his own—and his photos reflect their adventures together. It wasn’t until later when his experiments in poetry began.
"It was a Saturday night, and a girl I was having a fling with wasn’t texting me back, so I was just sitting out on a hill that overlooks the skyline drinking a beer. It felt like this quintessential moment in the life of a young adult, so I wrote down what was in my head, took a photo and posted it," Tony explains. "It was the first poem I’d written since high school, so it was really cool for me to see people respond positively to it." With that post, Tony’s #fourpartpoems series was born, and he’s posted a poem every day since.
As for his aesthetic, handwritten poems photographed in front of sweeping landscapes, Tony cites another artist on Instagram for the initial inspiration. “I follow @lidiagulyas on Instagram, and the photo style comes from her. She does a lot of hand lettering and in one of her photos from a few months ago she had written the phrase ‘I want you’ in a notebook and held it out in front of an out of focus cityscape. It was so moody and really stuck with me.”
Tony writes all of the poems himself, first pouring out his emotions from the day through free writing, then distilling out his rhymes from there. “In my mind,” he says “that keeps the emotion as authentic as possible.” He then embellishes them with line drawings and sets up his photo before dusk, his self-imposed deadline for posting his work.