‘Pictures have the power to transport us’
“Diversity has become part of our everyday life,” says student Justine Letarte when discussing the theme of her photos.
The first-year undergraduate student in the Department of Economics, has taken over as Concordia’s student Instagram curator for the month of February.
#CUseenby is a student-powered Instagram curation program. Every month, a new student is invited to capture the heart and soul of the university, and to share with followers of the Concordia University Instagram account their view of the university’s campuses, people, programs, activities and experiences.
Letarte is interested in exploring diversity in all its forms, including within Concordia’s services, spaces, activities and student population.
She is also curious about study spaces both on and off campus, and is showcasing them along with her constant companion: her sturdy coffee mug. This series carries the hashtag #samecupdifferentspot.
Follow Letarte’s journey via the #CUseenby hashtag.
We sat down with Letarte to get her take on why she was interested in participating in the program, what she hopes to showcase and to get a few tips on creating an engaging and active Instagram account.
1) Why did you want to be Concordia's Instagram curator?
I wanted to share my love for this university. I think that Concordia is amazing in every way, from its services, to its location, to the people. I want people to realize that they should be proud of their university.
I also wanted to discover more about the school and to help other people discover it, too. I want to show different angles to the school that we don’t usually notice because we are too busy.
2) What do you hope to do with the Concordia Instagram account?
I hope to not only help students discover things but to communicate an atmosphere through the pictures. When I’m on Instagram, I like to be transported by a picture, to feel what it is like to be there.
Pictures are not just worth a thousand words; they also have the power to transport us. By creating these sorts of feelings, current and future students might be more interested in trying new places or taking the time to discover more of what the university has to offer.
3) What are three or four of your favourite Instagram accounts?
I love high fashion; it is my reason for living! With Instagram, I can discover such amazing talent in lifestyle photography.
@songofstyle is a famous blogger who is perfect at organizing and grouping her pictures, but most importantly at making us dream. The colours are sensational and the photos are so diverse.
@shepelevich is a Russian entrepreneur who owns an online clothing store. She takes pictures of her clothes, with each outfit worn in a different place, mainly in Italy. She transports us into a very chic European lifestyle. I want to buy everything.
@iamgalla is a male blogger who builds stories into the grid of his Instagram account, all organized by colour. It is visually so pleasing because for nine pictures, grey will dominate, and he will slowly transition to, say, blue. The photo quality is unbelievable.
4) What tips do you have for Concordia students who are looking to optimize their Instagram accounts and/or take great photos?
For me, the most important thing about an Instagram account is colour. Pictures that have the same filter or the same tones become even more beautiful when put together. You should also consider the Instagram grid when organizing your photos. It is good to not only consider one picture at the time but the overall look when pictures are added to the grid.
A tip for taking better pictures would be to never put a single object in the middle. It is much more pleasing to the eye when an object is photographed slightly to the right or the left. It creates movement.
One of the biggest issues for taking great pictures is the lighting. When focusing on something, make sure that the light is coming from the back of your phone and not in front of it. I prefer when it is grey outside. The colours are much more pleasant and there are no reflections. It is also much easier to modify the photos with a filter.
Interested in becoming a student Instagram curator? Share your Concordia campus experience. Tag an Instagram photo with #CUinstagram. If we like your stuff, we’ll be in touch!