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‘I hope my posts will inspire others’

Meet Lisa Graves, Concordia’s Instagram curator for May
April 30, 2018
By Allison Saunders

Tour today #selfportrait #imperialcityhue #vietnam. Thai Hoa Palace. | Photo by Lisa Graves Tour today #selfportrait #imperialcityhue #vietnam. Thai Hoa Palace. | Photo by Lisa Graves

Lisa Graves brings the people, places and programs of Concordia to life as a photographer for University Communications Services. As the #CUseenby Instagram curator for May, she aims to inspire others through her pictures.

“I love taking photos and sharing them on Instagram,” Graves says. “It’s my way of documenting memorable moments that inspire the capture of the everyday.”

Graves’s passion for photography is evident in the images she takes for the university — everything from labs and libraries, to the lives of students who call Concordia and Montreal home.

In 2015, she volunteered as a photojournalist for the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program in Uganda. Graves says she gained a better understanding of photojournalism during her trip and seized the opportunity to build a photo series.

The experience taught her to see the world differently and to step outside her own cultural references. The trip also helped Graves to “better understand that every place has its own rhythm and once you understand that, there’s a great sense of liberation,” she says.

Never one to ignore an opportunity for professional or personal development, Graves has been on a number of accredited international photo and media workshops. She recently returned from a cycling trip to Vietnam where she was never far from her camera phone.

Graves is excited to get out on her bike to capture some photos around Montreal.

“It’s a wonderful way to explore the city and truly understand that I live on an island,” she says. “May is the perfect time to get out there, and I hope my posts will inspire others to feel life while moving.”

Launched in 2016, #CUseenby invites a member of the Concordia community to capture their vision of the university and share it with Concordia’s Instagram followers, using the hashtag #CUseenby.

One student. One photographer. Three years at Concordia. Josie’s story is a photo essay that captures one Concordia student’s journey. Josie’s story is a photo essay that captures one Concordia student’s journey. | Photo by Lisa Graves

‘It’s important to have a strategy’

What are three or four of your favourite Instagram accounts?

  • @shantell_martin — Are you You/You are You is a very inspirational message. She is drawing her life into existence!
  • @featureshoot — A great site to see a large collection of creative and stunning photos.
  • @dollyandfife — She has a poetic way of capturing life in the everyday — it’s a consistent narrative theme.

What tips do you have for those who are looking to make their Instagram accounts better, or just take great photos?

  • Pick a theme — people need to know what to expect of you. It’s important to have a strategy.
  • Shoot with intention.
  • Let the light guide you.
  • Apply the basic principles of the rule of thirds — use the grid.

Follow Lisa Graves’s journey via the #CUseenby hashtag.

Interested in becoming a Concordia Instagram curator? Have a photo on your Instagram feed that best represents you and your Concordia? Send it by direct message from the app or email a link to your photo to:

Include #CUseenby in the subject line and give us a 200-word explanation of what theme you would be interested in exploring as an Instagram curator. If we like what we see, we’ll be in touch!


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