4 Tip and Trick to Take The Best Sh*ts

Have you ever taken a photo with a friend in the same place, time and lighting and then after comparing realize your SH*T is terrible compared to their photo and say to yourself ‘how did that SH*T happen?’

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

With the wave of social media platforms becoming more visually desirable, the need to have mind blowing photos are a must! Have you noticed how the pages with amazing photos are getting more followers or people showing off their fancy [Brazilian] assets are all the hype?

Photo by Gabriel Angelo Alves on Pexels.com

If you’re like me and prefer to put my best face forward (wink) but are struggling to take better picture or selfies with your phone camera that’ll catch a second look on your media platforms,  I’ve got 4 quick tips to help instantly improving your sh*t!

Blured Sh*t:

Let’s turn your phone into a camera. When opening your camera (iPhone) on your phone swipe on either side of the word PHOTO and click on PORTRAIT. Now, take a shot! This will give your photos the desired blurred background look and have people wondering who took that sh*t. Amazing right!!!!

  Sunset Sh*t

I live in Ottawa, Canada and there are very few months in the year that I get to enjoy the beach. I enjoy the sound of children splashing in the water, the wafting smell of a BBQ and at the end of the day the last picture I, like most people, want to Capture the sunset sh*t.  How do you create a memorable photo with all those hues of soft yellow and wind swept clouds of pink. Place your family or friend in the front of the sunset as it dances on the water. Don’t worry if the faces are not lit up, the silhouette will speak for it’s self. Take the sh*t!

That sh*t’s OLD

Have you ever seen your grandparent or great grandparents’ photos in black and white and became totally captivated with them? No matter who your grandparents where they looked like movie starts (starts). Before posting your next photo on social media play with the black and white filter. Adjust the brightness or contrast and boost the mood of your photo.

Photo by Collis on Pexels.com

Vogue sh*t

Have you ever seen a photographer in action? They are always bouncing around, standing on things, contorting their body’s or dropping to the floor. Have you seen it and asked why? They are after the angles!  Some would say you are being extra if you jump around with a phone camera but really they will love the sh*t after! There’s not shame in seeking just the right sh*t my friends! These are your pictures, own them and get your memory sh*t! 

I would love to see your photos after using these tips. Hashtage #chr8ive and I’ll feature your picture on my story. Can’t wait to see your sh*t!!!!

Oh and thank you for reading my post, I hope you found it entreating to read as well as useful.

**sh*t = SHOT

FACEBOOK : Looking for a quick way to improve your photos using your phone? Read my blog 4 Tip and Trick to Take The Best Sh*ts on:https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2020/09/19/4-tip-and-trick-to-take-the-best-shts/

#photooftheday , #phototips , #chr8ive

TWITTER : Start taking better social media pictures today with my four quick tips: 4 Tip and Trick to Take The Best Sh*ts

Instagram vs. Reality: Why Your Pose Matters

I think at this point we all know how social media can influence our self-worth and self-confidence. We constantly see photos of everyone else’s perfectly curated lives, which leads to unease within ourselves when we forget that Instagram isn’t real life. 

All of this posing creates a false sense of reality, not only for others, but for yourself as well. As a teen, once I learned that all it took was some sneaky poses, I would start doing all of these poses myself because I felt as if my reality wasn’t good enough. Once I saw how good I COULD look if all I did was pose properly, it became addicting, and would start to warp my own view of myself, because I started to see myself as this person I was trying to be, instead of the reality of who I really was and what I really looked like.

View this post on Instagram

Chasing perfection 🌿 Before I went on holiday I fell back into old negative thoughts and kept seeing photos of people in bikinis and wanted to look like them. I started disliking how my body looked because it didn’t look lean and toned 24/7. Don’t allow social media, or anything, or anyone else make you think you aren’t good enough. You shouldn’t have to suck in your tummy and make your body look a certain way to be happy with a photo. You shouldn’t feel the need to delete a photo of you having fun and making memories because your brain convinced you that you don’t look good enough. I can make my body look smaller from certain angles, by sucking in and flexing ridiculous amounts. But that’s not how I really look 99% of the time. Society has convinced us that this is “aesthetic”. But we need to realize there is beauty in everyone and in being human. You are not the negative thoughts that your brain tells you. You deserve to be comfortable in your skin and not worry about what you look like when you sit down and have your tummy touch your thighs. Don’t hate and punish yourself for things that are completely normal and human. Don’t think that your body needs to look any particular way, because its amazing the way it is now. You don’t have to change yourself. —————————————— . . . . #instagramvsreality #mybody #flatstomach #loveyourbody #selfesteem #loa #thankyourbody #youareworthit #youareunique

A post shared by Sara Puhto (@saggysara) on

A few years ago though, I saw a post on before and after photos (I can’t remember at all where I saw this, but if it sounds familiar and you know the source, please let me know!), specifically for detox teas, and how those before and after photos are often faked. The before photo was made to be purposely unflattering, while the after was strategically done with camera angles, and different poses to make the model look thinner, and as if the teas had worked a miracle. Here’s an article from the Huffington Post written by a fitness coach that shares a similar sentiment. He says his transformation photos are often taken 3 HOURS apart.

After I saw this post, it really opened up my eyes to the fact that not every post you see is reality, to the point that I would start to pick out these poses in before and after photos – and it gave me a sense of gratification almost. As if I knew better. But the truth is that I didn’t. I was aware that these poses were faked…. But it didn’t make me stop doing these kinds of poses myself. 

I was visiting some friends back home in Winnipeg this past weekend, so naturally, we took some pictures together, when one of my friends asked how I always pose so well in photos and she asked for some tips. I was immediately excited to give her some pointers, when I got to thinking about all of the things I think of in the span of the few seconds it takes for the photo to be taken. I was listing things off such as “stick your forehead out, touch your tongue to the top of your mouth to lift your chin, smile with your eyes, suck in your gut, angle your hips so your butt looks bigger, stand up straight.” How can one person possibly focus on all of this stuff in such a small amount of time? And why was it my posing that mattered in that moment, and not in visiting with the friends I get to see once or twice a year? 

Here is the photo in question (I’m on the right). In this photo I wasn’t thinking about how happy I was to be with my best friend for the first time in 6 months… I was thinking “okay tuck your shoulder back and down, suck in (even though you can’t see my stomach at all??), chin up, forehead forward.” 

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is anything wrong with posing in ways that are flattering on your body and that make you feel beautiful. The heart of the issue is the deception that is at play in trying to fool not only your followers, but also yourself, that that is what you really look like. The key here: being self-aware that you are doing these poses, and also being open about the fact that you don’t always look the way you do for posed photos on Instagram. 

There are a few influencers that I follow who I think do this really well. The first one is Allana Davison (@allanaramaa)  while she does post a lot of flattering and perfectly curated photos, she doesn’t hesitate to show posts that are a little more unflattering. Her Instagram stories are also constantly filled with images or videos of her with no makeup. 

View this post on Instagram

Always tired 🥱

A post shared by Allana Davison (@allanaramaa) on

Another FANTASTIC influencer, is Sarah Nicole Landry (@thebirdspapaya). She’s gone through a lot of fluctuations in her weight, from being overweight, to severely underweight, as well as having 3 kids, but due to this she struggles a lot with stretch marks and loose skin. Rather than try to hide these things, she is very open about sharing those parts of herself and exhibiting self-love, while showing others that their bodies are beautiful too. 

View this post on Instagram

“It’s because I’ve lost 100lbs” “I’ve had 3 kids” “My son was like 10lbs” “I’m genetically predisposed” “I just carry weight in my lower abdomen”. ⁣ ⁣ I’ve said these lines more times than I can count. I will say them again, I’m sure.⁣ ⁣ So why am I bringing it up?⁣ ⁣ Because they’re reasons. They’re whys. They are me asking permission for my body the way it is. Answering questions that I’m assuming are being asked. ⁣ ⁣ In the steps to self-acceptance these words helped pacify the feelings of self hate. They gave me reasonings. They gave me some peace. They helped settled my anger and resentment towards my body. ⁣ ⁣ And now I’m moving past them. ⁣ ⁣ Because I don’t want my body to come with fine print. ⁣ ⁣ My body is how she is. Whether I show her or not. She’s doesn’t need explain herself. She’s not open for a discussion beyond the ones I open up. ⁣ ⁣ I recognize that these images help normalize things we’d not quite seen before, and subject matters we were quietly suffering in. ⁣ ⁣ Just know while you digest the normalcies of the skin, the body, postpartum, weight loss, genetics, medical conditions or otherwise, we deserve to exist without the “I’m worthy because and even though…” sentences. ⁣ ⁣ We are worthy. Period. ⁣ ⁣ Full stop. ⁣ ⁣ The sentence can end there. ⁣ ⁣ As we move past the words that once followed them. ⁣ ⁣ The ones that asked permission. ⁣ And answered questions we assumed were being asked. ⁣ ⁣ Exist. Your worth is without question.

A post shared by Sarah Nicole Landry (@thebirdspapaya) on

Are there any other influencers or celebrities that you look to for inspiration on this topic? Please share their names below, if you do! I’d love to follow them.

Are you aware of how your pose in photos affect your self-worth? #SelfWorth #IGvsReality http://bit.ly/IGvRL

Does the way we pose in photos impact how we view our own bodies?

COM0015 – BLOG #4 – One more piece of the puzzle

As a photographer (working for federal government) I also have my side business and I understand what’s involved in the challenge of managing your own enterprise.

When I started this Social Media Course about a year and a half ago, I felt that Social Media and Photography would be a great complement to each other. I also knew that I wanted to eventually work on a plan for the Martial Art School I am attending. It is a small local business with an owner who comes from Venezuela and since I joined only a couple months following the opening, I get to witness the progress of his academy as one of the first adults in the group. I regularly have discussions with the owner about his school and processes, whether it concerns physical renovations or social medias posts and recruiting, etc.

Creating a social media plan and especially the SWOT analysis for a business that is outside my field (photography) and comparing its performance to other schools in the area was something that allowed me to analyze somehow outside my comfort zone.

I realized that I was really enjoying having an input into his growing business. Integrating Networking + Social Media + Business/marketing turned out to be very interesting. It felt as if everything was falling into place. Just the way I felt Social Media and Photography would complement each other. I think that, moving forward, I will be seeking some courses in marketing, as this is probably the missing piece of the puzzle.

Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 21.55.04 PM

Screenshot of ebomartialarts.com

COMM0015 – BLOG #3 – Make friends

At some point in my military career I was an official photographer for a VIP. During this time, I had the extreme opportunity to work and travel alongside some of the best news photographers in Canada and abroad.

Knowing that this assignment was only temporary, I was preparing the next phase in my career and I needed to work on a Plan B. I decided to register my business as a photographer and started to compare my workflow with what the other photographers were doing.


Prime minister Swearing In ceremony, November 2015 – Photo by Justin Tang

In order to gain access to their incredible knowledge, I had to extend my hand out, introduce myself, observe how they were working, ask questions and most of all, try my best to return the favor and I would even take some pictures of them while working some of the historic stories we had the pleasure of covering. Make friends. That was my strategy. And it worked.

Fortunately it was during the time that Facebook and Instagram were becoming popular so that helped me connect with them on the longer term. I have since continued to pick on their brain from time to time but the best of all is that I managed to follow their incredible work, daily.

Regardless of the network I am trying to create, online or in person, this is the strategy I would adopt in order to grow my own network:

  1. Be friendly,
  2. Ask questions,
  3. Try my best to give back,
  4. Stay in touch,

It has since become a habit to look around to see what my colleagues are doing and how I can connect them. I believe that once you have added this to your routine it just becomes second nature. I don’t believe much in competition; after all, we are never going to run out of light…

In the near future, I plan on growing my network by connecting with other colleagues within government to see how they manage Social Medias in their department. I will of course start with our own then go from there.

Would you know someone with a photography background that work in social media?

The Healing power of Art

People are visual beings. According to branding expert Ernesto Olivares, we are 90% visual beings. While animals like dogs and cats use their sense of smell, and bats have a heightened sense of hearing, people are undeniably visually stimulated. Research from 3M Corporation tells us that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Visuals catch your eye, grab and sustain your attention more so than text ever can, at a speed and rate that text cannot match. HubSpot social media scientist Dan Zarrella found that tweets with visuals are more likely to be retweeted 94% more than tweets without visuals. This is a statistic I have known for a long time, and not because I work in the field of  advertising/marketing. Here below is a famous advertisement from the 1930s advertising agency, Young and Rubicam. It is a classic example of how a visual can affect the way we feel and think.

From Young and Rubicam Inc., July 1930, Public Domain

Also, when I think of the magazine National Geographic, I visualize the iconic photo of Afghan refugee, Sharbat Gula, captured by photographer Steve McCurry. It remains a powerful image etched in my and the collective world’s memories.

Afghan girl, Steve McCurry, National Geographic, 1985

Donghwy An and Nara Youn of South Korea’s Hongik University write that “appreciating art induces inspiration, which in turn facilitates performance on creative tasks.” Their research show that simply displaying art in the work environment could enhance and intensify employees’ creative capabilities.

This research is no doubt part of an increasing amount of scientific evidence that has proven that visual art enhances brain function. It has an impact on brain wave patterns and emotions, the nervous system, and can actually raise serotonin levels. Art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world.

For me, looking at photos and artwork put my mind at ease. This could be the reason why I have loved going to art galleries around the world while on vacation. Whenever I go to London, I always visit the Tate Modern, and the British Museum. In 2018, I was fortunate enough to spend my birthday in New York City, where I visited the Guggenheim, The Met and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). It was a dream come true, and a bucket item I could tick off my list! When I spend time with art, I feel uplifted, inspired and transported to another time and place, and my momentary worries dissipate. Even if for just 5 minutes. Looking at art is for me, a healing balm in a sea of daily monotony and anxiety.

Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night 1889 at MOMA
Claude Monet, Water Lilies 1914-26 – at MOMA
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 at MOMA

On social media, I read posts that include a story with an image, or just a hashtag with a video. I find that as a hobbyist photographer, I love Instagram for the window it opens for me, to view other photographers’ work and to admire the creativity in art; in fact, it downright inspires and motivates me. When I am having a bad day, I spend time scrolling Instagram and being motivated by countless photos of food, landscapes, fashion and art, lifts me right out of the doldrums. Many times, posts don’t need words. Visual art speaks to me like no other medium can. I don’t have to process text, dialogue, nor lyrics. I don’t have to concentrate on the meaning behind the words, or the scene. I just have to stare at it, for possibly just seconds, and I feel its emotions, and connect with its message. That is the healing power of art and the visual medium.


Ernesto Oliveras (January, 2013). We are 90% visual beings. Retrieved from https://ernestoolivares.com/we-are-90-visuals-beings/.

Rachel Gillett (September 18, 2014). Why We’re More Likely To Remember Content With Images And Video (Infographic). Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3035856/why-were-more-likely-to-remember-content-with-images-and-video-infogr.

Image of Afghan girl, Sharbat Gula. Steve McCurry, National Geographic, June 1985. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Girl.

Scott Martin (July 10, 2017). Attention Grabbers: 5 Essentials to Make your Marketing stand out. Retrieved from https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/attention-grabbers/.

Tom Jacobs (November 23, 2017). Exposure to art inspires creativity at the office. Retrieved from https://psmag.com/news/exposure-to-art-inspires-creativity-at-the-office.

Renée Phillips (May 13, 2019). Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being. Retrieved from https://www.healing-power-of-art.org/art-and-the-brain/.

All other images of art from MOMA, taken by MKwok003.

COMM0014 – Blog #7 – There is always 2 sides to a medal.

As a photojournalist, telling stories is what my job is. There are always 2 sides to a medal and, as a staff photographer I get to show our side of it. The medias can take care of the other side.


Photo of the medals awarded to Lt.-Col. David Currie during the Second World War including the Victoria Cross. Photo by Serge Gouin

With a minimum of information, a time, place and a contact name, I need to be able to show up at any location with the appropriate gear, and document any event in a way that will go along the lines of what my client is hoping.

There is rarely only one client since, many department can benefit from these images. If I do it right, I can supply images for the event manager (most likely to promote the event the next year), the social media team, the recruiting team, our image bank and even the participants themselves.

Understanding your audience, the impact you are hoping to get is crucial. Learning to please most of it is something I need to deal with on a daily basis. Experience is the key and feedback is the most precious thing you can ever get.

Telling a story is not hard for me. That being said, the challenge is always there. What if the light is not as nice as you expected? What if only 10 people showed up to this rally? What do you do if it rains? …

You just need to find the right angle. Our angle. Our side of the medal.




If you wish to read about the medal’s story, click here

COMM0014 – Blog #6 – Photography was my plan B.

Sego Basic Training

Basic Training portrait taken by the base photographer, 2002.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to wear a uniform. As a teenager I wanted to become an Infantry soldier. But I wanted a plan B in case that did not work or I change my mind. I made sure to complete my High School and went to CEGEP (College in Quebec) in order to get a diploma in something else. This is where I started photography in a Photo club and I loved it so much that I chose to study it at La cite Collegiale in Ottawa.

Perfect timing: about a month before I graduated, a Military recruiter came to our class with openings in the dream job I did not even know existed: Imagery technician in the Canadian Armed Forces. “Where do I sign?” was my question when I raised my hand at the end of the presentation.

Sgt Serge Gouin

Portrait of me before I retired from the military in 2012. Photo by MCpl Pierre Thériault, DND.

Fast forward 11 years in my career as an Image-tech, it was time for us to make some tough choices and decided that we did not want our family to move anymore. I had to be realistic: photography is not a trade that offers a lot of permanent openings. As a plan B, I registered my business and started getting equipment and taking small jobs on the side. This way, even if I did not find work in my field, I could continue to work my art (and pay the bills).

Once again, I was lucky and I managed to score a position, as a photographer, within our federal government where I have been working for 6 more years now.

sego silhouette

Silhouette of me working in 2017. Photo by Rick Millette.

As the saying goes: “Timing is everything”, and if you have a Plan B, you increase your chances to be happy in life. At least it worked for me.

Do you have a plan B?

COMM0014 – BLOG #3 -Variable audience

As you may know by now, I’m a photographer . I have two kind of clients: 1- The strategists from my full time Job and, 2- my sideline photography business.

Serge photographe

Taking pictures of Garance

I quickly realized that I always have more than one client for my products of the same event. For example, if I take photos at a parade, I might take some close ups that can be used by the recruiting department and artistic photos for the social media teams. If I am lucky, the boss might use some for her twitter account and so on. The audience varies depending on the strategists and their specific projects and I try and bring home a variety of images that tells the story and will suit everyone.

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 20.51.04 PM

Screenshot @CommrRCMPGRC ‘s Twitter account using my pictures of a parade.

For my business, it is a totally different picture. My audience consists of my friends, my family, local families and businesses in my community. They usually come from my network, meaning people I work/train with, friends or mouth-to-ear referrals. They are mid-class to wealthy people (meaning they can afford professional photography services). I find it interesting when I look at my client’s sessions page. It gives me a visual of who they and who is reaching out for my services. My blog, website and Instagram are used to share my work with them, including what I do at work.

At this time, my strategy is not aimed towards getting a lot of clients. Since I work full time, I keep my online presence to maintain a reputation and, from time to time, find opportunities for assignments.

While we are here…

We are currently taking part in an international photo contest with one of my image! Head to this @Policenationale Instagram post and please like my picture to help us win! – and become part of my audience!

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 20.43.22 PM

Please vote for my picture on @policenationale ‘s Instagram account!



COM0011: Using images in your social media posts, 3 easy steps

Importance of imagery on social media

Let me ask you, when scrolling through your Facebook feed, how often do you stop to read a lengthy block of text? I can tell you my answer, and it’s ‘hardly ever’
In addition to that, unless you’ve read through that text, you’re not going to get the message let alone stop scrolling and ‘like’ it which would provide organic engagement.

Now let me ask you, how many times have you scrolled through your Instagram and saw a stunning image and ‘liked’ it without reading the text? For me, it’s all the time.
The value of images is so important for story telling and engagement on today’s social media channels.

According to HubSpot, a well recognized inbound marketing platform,
“Photos on Facebook pages received 53% more likes than the average post.
Photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post”
Above graphic courtesy of Hubspot.com

Where can you find images for your social media?

1. Try out a royalty free stock agency
Stock photography/vector sites’ accessibility and affordability have increased dramatically even over the past 10 years thanks to digital cameras and the amount of contributors.
Here are a couple I personally recommend from free to less than $1 per image:

Creative Commons
With 1 billion works and counting you’re bound to find exactly what you need to deliver your message. Always remember to credit the creator of the image.

98 million royalty stock free images available; there is a free content section and a paid one as well.
Even Narcity Canada is using Dreamstime images for their social media posts!

200+ million images available, from pay as your go to subscription or try the free image of the week
merry christmas

2. Make your own content: stage a photoshoot
Photograph your neon open sign to advertise your Spring hours or style a ‘Thank You’ card to accompany a personal shout out to your followers for following along.
The camera quality at our finger tips is crazy.

3. Leave it to the pros
Lifestyle/branding photography is huge right now. Consider spending a couple hundred dollars on a customized professional session to show off you and your business; in your work space or on location.
Images can include your products, headshots, or environmental shots of you working that will be eye catching and can be used to promote any of your services or make an announcement. Customers love to do business with people they can see so get in front of the lens.
1 satin-and-snow-brand-photography 2Bonus tip:
Only use relevant images to the topic you’re writing or posting about.

Add images to your posts and see the difference in your online reach!

How have images improved your social media experience? (Either as a business or a consumer)
Leave a comment below to join the conversation



The importance of images on your social media; 3 tips to include photos on your feed for 100% more engagement: https://bit.ly/2FeQnbu

3 easy tips for including images in your #socialmedia will have you questioning why you haven’t started yet: https://bit.ly/2FeQnbu


Hello fellow social media fans! My name is Mel and I’m here to improve my understanding of trends in social media and learn how to engage more personally with my followers and the followers of the brand account that I manage.
I’ve been in the creative field of photography for the past 15 years since graduating from the Algonquin College diploma program and am finding more and more how importantly photography and social media go hand in hand.
When I started photography, it was still film and social media wasn’t even a term, so I’m interested to develop my skills in this ever changing field and delve more into the benefits of trends I’ve been seeing pop up such as the popularity of stories and Facebook live, and how they can be applied to my photography based career.

To me, social media is the practice of online engagement: the producing of, sharing and commenting on content created by users for users via social media platforms. It’s truly fascinating how much content on any subject is available at our finger tips at any given time.
One of my favourite aspects of social media is blogs. I find the majority of blogs that I follow are photography related (occupational hazard) but what draws me into their content the most are use of images (is it appropriate for the blog content? Is it beautiful and eye catching? Is it original?) and the tone of the text in the blog.
When reading personal interest blogs I’m looking for a friendly conversational tone; I want to be included in the conversation and feel like I was there when I read the back story about the images that are sparking emotions as I scroll through.

Here’s one of my favourite blogs by Two Mann Studios, an Alberta based husband and wife photography team: https://twomann.com/blog/2019/02/26/kimmi-dwaynes-wedding-negril-jamaica-spa-retreat-boutique-hotel/

Copyright: Two Mann Studios (https://twomann.com/blog)

How do you feel about their latest post?