Bloggers & Businesses: Instagram and Photography Workshop

Instagram Workshop Ottawa Marketing Digital Strategies Photography

If you follow me, you know that I am obsessed with my Instagram account. It’s truly the ideal medium for the person who loves photography and social media. I have been on it for a while now, almost 4 years, but it’s only since I started this blog that I realized the power of Instagram and the benefit it had for my blog, my business.

Many of the fancy events that I have attended are because PR companies have found me on Instagram. The modelling gig I got for Smithery’s Spring look book was all thanks to Instagram stalking. They found me, so I must be doing something right!

When I started out, I had about 300 followers, most of which were my Facebook friends. It’s only when I started using it more strategically, using better images, adding hashtags and engaging with people that I noticed the numbers climbing up, way up. At this very moment I am at 3670… but that can change over the course of minutes! It’s a numbers game, after all.

As an entrepreneur, I get inspired all the time and try to figure out ways that I can help small business in my city, thrive and grow. I knew I would have to educate small business owners first, on what they don’t know and what they are missing out on.

In my post Bloggers & Businesses: Ways we can work together I helped define the advantage of working with bloggers and the many different ways bloggers can collaborate with small businesses. In my subsequent post Why we love brands who engage I introduced the concept of engagement, the bread and butter of social media.

And today, I am excited to finally launch my first Instagram workshop in Ottawa, with my colleague and professional photographer, Debra Cowie. This workshop is targeted to small business owners, creatives and makers who want to learn how to use Instagram and learn how to maximize opportunities online.

Ottawa Instagram Photography Workshop Chantal Sarkisian

Introducing 9 Ways to tell your brand story: Photography and Digital Strategies for Instagram (May 14 2016, Ottawa)

We know that the secret to Instagram success is of combination of beautiful images and strategically planned content that will help to generate positive engagement and build a loyal following… and we want to show you how it’s done!

Whether on the fly, or perfectly planned, this intensive workshop will help you get the most out of your smartphone and teach you how to create beautiful images intend for Instagram. You will:

  • Learn how to use natural light and shadow
  • Learn to use composition and colour to create a compelling image
  • Learn secrets from a professional stylist on how to use props and creat backdrops to optimally display products
  • Learn how to edit your photos, create a signature style and make the most out of editing tools like the VSCOCam app

Once you have mastered your photography skills, you will learn how to tell your brand story using your new photos on Instagram. This social media planning component will help you:

  • Optimize your account
  • Plan your content
  • Build your following
  • Leverage hashtags
  • Engage with your followers
  • Grow your business

In the practical component of the workshop, you will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with your coaches: photographer, Debra Cowie and digital strategist, Chantal Sarkisian.You’ll have plenty of time to put all that you’ve learned into practice, so bring some of your own products to photograph. We will play with backdrops and props to help you create that perfect image paired with the right content for optimal Instagram sharing.

We are offering this first full-day intensive workshop at an introductory rate of only $168. That’a a crazy cheap investment considering you will learn about photography and digital marketing for your business. It will be worth every penny, I promise!

You can join our Facebook event page if you’re on the fence, or if I have managed to convince you, you can register on eventbrite.

I am really looking forward to sharing my knowledge and genuinely hope to help small businesses recognize that if they want to harness the power of social media and make it work for their business, there are a few tricks of the trade that will help them get there!

 

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What to wear: Holiday Family Photos

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I wanted to take a moment to wish you all, my dear gorgeous readers, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am so in love with these photos we did for Christmas, with Kristy Chapman. You would have already seen my holiday outfit post on “Festive Fashion“, but in these post I am sharing the family pics. But as you can see, the main focus in these pictures is my brand new kitchen, although renovated by my husband almost one year ago.

I know that figuring out the “family outfit” can be somewhat of a challenge. It’s a fine balance between not too matchy matchy, and well coordinated to get a cohesive look. This year’s theme was “Plaid”… and funny hats! Last year we went with “Canadian Tuxedo”. Awe, Victor is so much  younger in that pic (sorry, mommy moment).

Here are some great tips on organizing a family photo shoot.

 

 

 

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Simons Gatineau Haul: All dressed up and nowhere to go

Head to toe Simons, well almost! I love this outfit! It’s fun and flirty and perfect for the Holidays. It’s not a traditional holiday or winter colour scheme for that matter, but I don’t tend to stick with rules. This is a navy marino wool t-sweater paired with a pale pink tutu. I snatched up both pieces from Simons. I completed the look with a bright bib necklace and vintage Louis Vuitton Mary-Janes, and voila!

I don’t feel like doing a lot of talking, so let these gorgeous pictures speak for themselves! These are, once again, brought to you by the ever-talented Kristy Chapman Photography.

I have been hoarding these photos for a while, and I am so happy to share them with you, finally! This shoot was also meant to display my gorgeous kitchen… a.k.a. my bedroom. I love it! I live there 24/7! Thanks to my lovely husband who did all the work, almost 1 year ago!

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New Orleans Street Style

I went to New Orleans (NOLA) in June for exactly 36 hours with a good friend.

We spent 3 whirl-winding days of walking, shopping, boozing on the street, eating and sweating of the excess pounds from the heat and humidity. I was pooped, let me tell you. I barely had any energy left over for Jazz club hopping on Frenchmen street. It’s hard to travel fast. You want to see everything, go everywhere and do it all!

We visited some vintage boutiques like The Revival Outpost where I got my new glasses and Boho Kimono, the famous Bourbon French Perfume perfumery where I purchased a soft musk that smells fabulously clean.

New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Burbon French Perfume

musk Bourbon French PerfumeBut can I say something, NOLA is Street Style heaven! The streets are beautiful and the architecture has so much history, it’s almost palpable. That was my favourite part, well that and eating of course.

Here are some pics of the trip.

New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Porter Lounge
Posing for the good old fashion selfie stick in the Porter lounge.
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Porter flight
My Porter essentials
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Dunkin Donuts
My first cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee… very good!
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Cafe du Monde
Famous Cafe du Monde Beignets- what a powdered sugar mess!

New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Bourbon Street  New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Cafe du Monde Beignets

New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Carousel Bar Hotel Monteleon
Carousel Bar at the Monteleon Hotel
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Dat Dog
Alligator Hot Dog from Dat Dog with white trash fries.
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa DDM Cosmetics
Product testing my DDM Cosmetics- LED Lipstick
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa maison St. Charles Quality Inn Hotel lobby
Hotel lobby of the Maison St. Charles on St. Charles Street in the Garden District
New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Starbucks
Local Starbucks
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Gorgeous night market on Frenchmen Street
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Found this amazing abandoned derelict building.. STREET STYLE!!!

New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa maison St. Charles Quality InnNew Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Lafayette Cemetary    New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa street car train
As far as street style was concerned, it was quite disappointing. The retailers in the boutiques had a cute boho look to them, because they must dress for the heat! But overall, it was not an exceptionally fashion driven community. If only they realized the opportunities! Here are some fun shots we took.New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa street style 2 New Orleans Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Plus Size Blog Ottawa Street Style IMG_9400  IMG_9552

Travelabulous helped me build a map of all the sites I visited. If you are thinking of a quick trip to New Orleans, do check it out.

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