If a can of Campbell's Soup can become art, why can't Cheerios?
The photos featured on travels_with_cheerios, an Instagram account, suggest that the little Os can, and the work has caught the attention of the cereal's Minnesotan maker.
In its blog, General Mills says it "spotted" the photos because the uploader, a photographer the company identifies as "Emily," uses the #cheerios hashtag when sharing her pictures on social media.
But Emily's work isn't the sort of material that usually carries a corporate hashtag; the pictures are artful, even poetic, and have a professional touch.
They show the Cheerios in all manner of interesting places – like dewy leaves, spiderwebs, and in the lap of a garden gnome, for instance. Here's a sampling of what the account has to offer:
Amazingly enough, when General Mills did some digging, they found that Emily is a 14-year-old sophomore at Oak Harbor High School in Whidbey Island, Washington. Perhaps not so surprising is that she took a photography class last year (which seems to have paid off) and this year joined the yearbook staff, the company says.
Teen reveals Cheerios inspiration
We know what you're thinking: why, of all things, Cheerios?
Emily told the company the Cheerios muse came to her during a family camping trip, when she noticed a bag of the cereal against a "cool background" and decided to take some pictures.
Encouragement from family members then inspired her to start her Instagram account, and since then, she's been snapping the cereal-themed pictures on the weekends, General Mills says.
“Most of the time, I’ll just walk around, and it will come to me. ‘Oh, there’s a crack in the sidewalk. That’s a cool idea,’ or ‘There are holes in the stop sign post," she said. "I wonder if I could put them in there, if they would fit.’ I kind of walk around and get inspiration.”