*This article was originally published on Black Press’s network of B.C. sites, by Kolby Solinsky…
You remember the Elphie, right?
Of course, it’s only been two months since this photo sorta broke the Internet, and made an Instagram star out of its snapper, 22-year-old Christian LeBlanc. But the lifecycle of something viral is exactly as its adjective would seem – viral, meaning “becoming very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the Internet,” which also means it lives hard and dies fast.
Viral, meaning the more popular it is, the quicker it circulates, the sooner it will be regurgitated for something else new, famous, and fleeting.
But LeBlanc and his girlfriend, Laura Reid, are staying on top of the Instagram game. The couple – both from White Rock, B.C., where they graduated four years ago from Earl Marriott Secondary – have been travelling Asia and its oceans for months now, after he finished his UBC degree while studying in Bangkok.
“I’ve always felt that my Instagram was very entertaining and kind of well done, so I’ve been looking at ways to get publicity to my account,” he said in May, in an interview for the Peace Arch News, after his Elphie blew up.
“It’s been such a crazy couple days… It’s been a thrill ride, it’s been really, really fun.”
They’ve been to 10 countries in a seven-month period, LeBlanc told BuzzFeed News, and were originally planning to return to B.C. and Vancouver in July. (The couple were in Ontario last week, in Toronto and Ottawa.)
And LeBlanc’s Instagram account, now bulging after a lifetime’s worth of experiences and destinations, is much more than the Elphie.
“We have had awesome experiences like swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines, going to the full moon party in Thailand, and we even drank ‘cat poo coffee’ in Bali,” he told BuzzFeed.
“We plan to keep travelling the world and this style of photo is an awesome way to bring our followers with us.”
LeBlanc says his favourite ‘Follow Me’ photo is his shot seven weeks ago from Apo Island, where he and Reid were surrounded by sea turtles.
His account now has almost 23,000 followers.
That photo and several others have been embedded below for your scrolling pleasure…
Photos below are from Christian LeBlanc’s Instagram profile (@christian_leblanc):