Meet The Influencer #003: @airpixels

Meet The Influencer #003: @airpixels

Tobias Hogg, better known by his online alias, “airpixels”, is a photographer/filmmaker from Sweden. In the beginning of 2016, he decided he wanted to do something else. That something else was seeing places he had never seen before, from a perspective many of us are foreign to. His ariel visuals are something close to perfection, and his work has recently been showcased on National Geographic, The Telegrapher, and Daily Mail. He shares his adventures and unique perspective daily on Instagram. We had the pleasure of gaining a bit more insight into Tobias journey. 

Recently you have decided to take your passion and turn it into a full-time career, what advice would you give to others wanting to make the same decision?

Yes, well that is a kinda tricky question since i just started doing this full time. But in my case I wanted to do something else with my life. I wanted to see more of the world and see it from a different perspective. For me it has always been about learning and becoming better. And I have been determined when it comes to my film & photography to make it work. So my advice would be to work hard, trust yourself in what you want to do and then execute it as you want.

Tell us about your journey with Instagram?

My Instagram Journey started mid 2015 with no intention at all more then that I wanted to display some aerial videos I took as a hobbie. After a little while i realised people liked my content and after that I started to work hard to produce better and better content. So in a little less then I year I have now accumulated over 100k followers and I really appreciate every following since I know how hard it can be to actually gain 1.

What drives your creativeness to find a unique perspective?

What drives me is to see something for the very first time. To see it with my own eyes and to see it from a perspective that is uniqe really is something else. I look on the world in another way today then I did before. I see places and how they would look from an Aerial Perspective. Kinda cool but sometimes also frustrating =)

Take us through your planning process for taking the perfect photo?

In my opinion you can't really plan the perfect photo. You are lucky if you are in the right place at the right time. Thats what it's all about. But of course you can plan to be at a place at a specific time but then again you have to hope that the conditions of the weather is good. But i planned one place more then any other and that was the Black Beaches of Iceland. I wanted it to come out perfect and in my opinion a got some of my best images from there. I studied the place before i went and waited for sunset and that perfect light. I was lucky this day and for a brief moment the sun popped out from the clouds and gave me a little touch of gold in the ocean.

What is your favourite gear / editing software to use?

My favourite gear must bee the Sony A7rII when it comes to photography and of course the drone. When i edit my images i use Adobe Lightroom and my own presets i worked on to find my own style. When i Edit Film i do it in Adobe Premier Pro.

Who are some of your favourite people to follow on Instagram to find inspiration? Is there anyone you want to collaborate with?

Instagram is full of great Photographers and Filmmakers and I get inspired to do something pretty much everyday on there. My top favourites on Instagram though is @donalboyd and @muenchmax. I just love their work and would love to collaborate with them in any kind in the future.

Where are some of your favourite places to shoot? Where is one place you dream of going?

I don't really have any favourite places anymore, I know I had before and I visited them frequently. Now, it's more about finding new places and places I have never seen before myself. Iceland has for long time been a dream of mine and I traveled there last year, and I can't wait to get back. Favourite Destination right now is USA since that is my upcoming trip and I am really excited to see what I can find there. But yeah, As a drone operator I would say Iceland and the Maldives

What is best piece of advice you have been given?

 Im not sure, I have been handed so many advices from people in the business since I started. It's a small world and everyone wants to be at the top I guess so it's also very competitive. But the best advice I have been given I got from myself so I'm not sure this one works but it is to be yourself. Dont try to be anyone else.

Which type of photo do you find tends to get the most engagement?

The photos that get most attention for me is my aerial work. It's new for everyone and looking at trees from above is probably the ones who gets most attention still.

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You can follow Tobias adventures on social media @airpixels

Meet The Influencer #002: @lostleblanc

Meet The Influencer #002: @lostleblanc

Christian Leblanc, better known by his online alias, “Lost Leblanc”, is a former accountant that escaped the corporate rat race to unconditionally follow his passion. In January of 2016, he quit his job, prematurely closed his apartment lease, bought a one way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand and hasn't looked back since. He began to share his adventures on Youtube through daily vlogs and informational travel videos. In just over a year he has amassed over 215,000 subscribers on Youtube and roughly 100,000 followers on Instagram. We got the opportunity to gain a little more insight into Christian’s world.

You started working towards a life as an accountant, when did your passion for filming and travelling begin?

It all started about 2 years ago when I went on exchange to Bangkok, Thailand. I completed my last semester of university there. I decided to pick up a Gopro camera and film the whole experience. From there, film quickly grew on me and I kept trying to learn new ways to share my day to day as a traveler.

What drives your motivation creatively?

I am motivated by the things I see around me. When I sit on a remote tropical island surrounded by cerulean blue water, I don't relax. I begin thinking about how I can share this moment with others. Film has been my way to do just this. My motivation to share and my creativity have allowed me to teach myself a thing or two with filmmaking and it has led me to where I am today.

What advice would you give to someone that is looking to get out of the “corporate rat race” and follow what they’re passionate about?

When you follow your passion, you will almost always find a way to make your dreams come true. And even when they don't, it's an incredible learning process. Better to know it didn't work out than wonder "what if?" for the rest of your life.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do first?

I would make a YouTube video sharing my thoughts and experience from the life I have lived. Even at 23, I would consider myself to have lived a "full life". I certainly hope to grow old but I must say, if I had to go today, I would not leave feeling like there was something in life I had missed out on. I think it primarily has to do with having experienced following my passion and seeing that passion become a reality.

Do you have any tips for creators with smaller followings that are looking to collaborate with brands?

Contact the businesses you want to work with! When I had maybe 10K on Instagram, I was emailing brands like crazy. I got tons of free gear, hotels stays and experiences for free. It helped me grow to where I am today. Just create a nice looking email and convey your passion to them. The worst they can do is not respond and you would be surprised to see what you can get by asking.

Where is your favourite place to escape to?

Southeast Asia. All of it. It's such an incredible place with amazing culture, food and people. And it's very cheap for a Westerner which makes traveling around a lot more feasible. I also love spending a couple weeks each summer at my girlfriend's cottage in Ottawa. We spend our days on the boat not doing a whole lot. That's my ultimate escape.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Archeologist because I liked dinosaurs. Then I realized you didn't actually get to play with fossils and bones all day so I became more realistic and decided I would start my own business. Never thought it would be the kind of business I have today but I knew for a fact I would work for myself.

What’s one thing that you would say makes you unique from other people?

I'm extremely inquisitive. I like to question and challenge the status quo and my curiosity is one of the main driving forces behind my channel. It's the reason last year I asked myself the question "what if I quit my job to pursue a career as a YouTuber?". It's also one of the reasons my channel has done so well. A lot of my audience enjoys watching me because of my natural curiosity of the culture, environments, and people around me. My willingness to question and test has led me to doing things differently from others and it is in leaving the pack mentality that I have found success.

Who are some of your favourite people to follow on YouTube?

I don't particularly watch much YouTube because I'm usually so busy on the road or editing a video but when I have a little time, I do like to watch Ben Brown!

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Christian Leblanc will soon release “Black Tusk”, a documentary about the journey of two Thai elephants from a life of chains to freedom.

Get lost on social media with Christian: @lostleblanc

MEET THE INFLUENCER #001: @SHONDURAS

MEET THE INFLUENCER #001: @SHONDURAS

Shaun McBride better known by his online alias, “Shonduras”, is a professional "fun haver", Snapchat Pioneer, and YouTube sensation. He has over 925,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 600,000 followers on snapchat. Shaun’s social media success started on Snapchat, which includes art and his daily adventures. With this success, he then started sharing his adventures on a more permanent platform - YouTube, through exciting daily blogs.  Shaun has teamed up with Disney, AT&T, Samsung, AMC, and other major brands to create one of a kind content, all of which has recently landed him a spot on Forbes 30 under 30 for Marketing and Advertising. We got the chance to interview Shaun for our very first Meet The Influencer Series. See below for what we learned about Shonduras!

What motivates you creatively? 

Never being the same.  I look at my team and other awesome creators and try to push myself to get better and do more creative and hard things.

What would you tell your 17-year-old self?                                                                            

Keep skating and having fun! I would also say to turn the camera on YouTube doesn't exist yet but it will and you will have tons of fun.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Casey told me as I started Vlogging that I have to upload daily his words were "just keep uploading".  And we are now 900,000 and growing.

What is one tip you’d give to anyone wanting to become a YouTuber – or, in your case a "professional fun haver" 

You really have to have fun doing it.  I find a lot of people trying to hard to make it on YouTube.  If you are creating good content uploading daily and make some good friends who already have some traction you have a shot.

What does the future of Shonduras look like?  

After speaking at a TedX I love speaking in front of people and motivating them.  I also want to be more then just a daily vlogger but consult with brands on their social media execution.

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers/Snapchatters? What do you like about them? 

Casey Niestat hands down for YouTube. He is a dear friend and amazing creator of experiences.  On Snapchat I love Geeohsnap.

Instagram stories or Snapchat stories?

Snapchat because I love my audience Instagram has some cool stuff and you have the ability to be found easier then on Snapchat.

If you had to eat one cereal for the rest of you life what would it be?

That is hard but right now I am thinking I would go Honey Bunches of Oats.

How do you balance work life with family life?

There is no real balance there are times where I am in New York for 3 days but other times I am home for 3 days.  Its hard to find a solid schedule but when I am working I am all in and when I am home I am all in.

Have you ever had a “fan-girl” moment? If so who was it with?

Yeah this super cute red head and then we got married and have the cutest baby in the world!

What’s your favourite thing about fatherhood?

I love how Adley trusts me with anything.  It's a lot of pressure but I love spending time with her and helping her learn and grow.

If you and the family could travel to one place in the world, where would you go?

It would be awesome if our whole family went to Honduras cause I'm Shonduras :) 

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To follow Shaun's adventures check him out on social media @shonduras