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Instatraveller: the Russian Headstand Man

Anton Charushin's pictures certainly turn heads when compared to the usual travel portraits. 'Head' being the operative word. In each of his successful Instagram shots, @stolbyshkin is featured upside-down, doing a headstand. That's not something you see everyday. And it's why we really like him, and why we're not surprised his social media following his grown and grown. Here we catch up with him to find out how his head has such stamina in so many different destinations around the world:

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В очередной раз убеждаюсь, что если попадаешь к достопримечательности в непопулярное время, то есть в плохую погоду или не в сезон или с черного входа, то тебя обязательно ждет что-то необыкновенное. Вот и сейчас мы подъехали к Голубым озерам только к 7 вечера, полчаса ждали, когда закончится дождь, а потом шли по лесным дорожкам, на которых не было ни души, дышали чистым воздухом, лакомились черникой. А в конце пути нас ждало необычайной красоты озеро. Прозрачное, тихое, от воды струится пар. Так и хочется окунуться в его прохладу💦 А вы когда-нибудь попадали в подобные места при таких обстоятельствах❓ Озеро Глубелька One more time I made sure that if you get to the attractions at unpopular time, bad weather or during low season, you will definitely find something extraordinary. So, we got to the "Blue lakes" only at 7 pm, for half an hour we were waiting when the rain stops, and then walked along the deserted forest paths, breathed clean air, ate the blueberry. At the end of the path we were rewarded with marvellous lake. Clean, calm, with steam above the water. It attracted us to plunge into its freshness 💦 Have you ever been to such places in such circumstances❓ Lake Glubelka #stolbyshking

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When did you realise you could do headstands? And when did you decide to start photographing yourself in these stunning locations?

It started a few years ago in one of my trips. I decided to take an unusual photo and use my ability to stand on my head.

What's the reaction been like to your photographs?

The reaction of my audience, which was rather small at that time, really inspired me and I continued making such pictures. And then I thought out the name for this series: #stolbyshking. (this is derived from the Russian word 'stolb', which means something rigid like a pillar, post or pole)

Do you ever get inquisitive looks when setting up the shots?

Of course, yes! If a person sees somebody in front of him for no apparent reason suddenly turning upside down, it certainly attracts attention. People take out their cameras and start taking photos.

Do you have a favourite photograph you've captured?

Yes, this picture was taken in Vietnam at Halong Bay with tourists from Korea. They linger very close to me and started taking pictures of each other with me in the background.

How many countries have you been to?

I have visited not so many countries as I would like, about 20?

What's the most difficult picture you have done?

The most difficult photo was taken in Indonesia in Bali Uluwatu Temple. I had to stand on the edge of the cliff, make sure that the keepers of the temple did not notice me, and at the same time fend off monkeys who wanted to steal something from my bag.

How long can you stand on your head for?

I can stand on my head without hands for no longer than a second. And using hands I've never had an idea to note the time .

Who takes the pictures?

Photos are usually made by my friends under my strict guidance. For several times that I had to use the timer on my camera, as there was no one around.

Do you ever worry about injuring yourself?

I do not worry at all. But my beloved wife is very worried when I climb to some dangerous places.

Do you have a favourite place you have travelled to?

Yes, this is Norway and its unique fjords.

Where is home for you?

My home is Russia.

Where's next on the list?

The next country I'm visiting is Azerbaijan.

If you want to follow in his footsteps (or headsteps?), make an appointment to speak to one of our Travel Experts today and get planning your next adventure.

Written by Tessa Watkins

Formerly a local news editor and reporter covering court cases and crime stories, I’m obsessed with all things travel. Often found exploring a new city and seeking out the world’s best beaches, there are a plethora of destinations I remain desperate to discover. Tweet me @tess1977