The great thing about Instagram is that you meet people from different parts of the world who share their visual stories, one photo at a time. Social media is a gift for storytellers and people who loves to discover new stories, places and people. One of my favorite and must follow accounts on Instagram is the Instagram account of Elie Y. Obeid.
Elie Y. Obeid lives in Paris, the capital of France, situated on the river Seine, home of the most famous museums of the world, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Paris Fashion Week, don’t forget the French kitchen and it’s haute cuisine and three-star restaurants.
What is it about Paris?
Elie’s Instagram bio doesn’t say much about who he is and what he does and even though his Instagram pictures tells his daily stories, I thought it was time to learn more about Elie. Who is Elie, when and why did he start with sharing pictures on Instagram and what is it about Paris?
Interview with Elie Y. Obeid
Your Instagram pictures are mostly about Paris and I can’t help falling in love with Paris more and more. You make beautiful Paris look more amazing, one photo at a time. Seeing your daily photo’s makes me want to visit Paris again and discover all the places you have captured so beautifully.
You uploaded your very first photo on Instagram on March 4 in 2014 – yes, I scrolled all the way down to check ;-)
What was for you the main reason to start using Instagram and how is it different from the way you are using Instagram at the moment?
Elie: I’ve always been a photography lover. I never really got into social media (I don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account) but the “instant” concept of Instagram is what attracted me. I really liked the idea of capturing a moment and sharing it on a whim. It’s a simple network that allows you to connect with people who share your same interests. Today, I meet a lot of people and friends through Instagram. I also collaborate with restaurants, brands, communication agencies, tourist offices… which is a great opportunity to make new acquaintances every day.
When someone sees your Instagram feed for the first time, is there something you want them to know about you what you haven’t shared in your Instagram bio or pictures?
Elie: When people look at my Instagram, they often think that I have plenty of free time. I actually have a full time job and a normal life. I just love to walk around and discover new places.
What camera do you use and do you have Instagram in mind when you take a picture?
Elie: All photos on my Instagram are taken with my iPhone 6, because I could come across a beautiful scene at anytime and I like to instantly share it. But it doesn’t mean that I share every picture I take. However, I do have Instagram in mind any time I photograph food, because the main purpose of my account is sharing new addresses with friends and followers.
You have visited a lot of beautiful places in Paris and shared them on Instagram. What are your most favorite places in Paris and are there any you haven’t got the chance to visit yet?
Elie: What I love about Paris is that no matter how long you’ve lived here, you always come across new hidden spots. So I guess there are a lot of places I didn’t get the chance to visit yet. Concerning my most favorite places, I really love the Marais area and all its coffee shops. I also really like Ile Saint Louis (the area around Notre Dame de Paris), Jardin du Palais Royal with its galleries and passage (Galerie Vivienne, passage des panoramas…).
Where do you get your inspiration and who influences you?
Elie: Paris itself and the Parisians are my inspiration. It all started in this city and as you can see most of my photos convey the Parisian spirit. Few years ago I met a photographer called Jean Philippe Veron displaying his work in place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and I totally fell for his photography. He walks around in Paris capturing the Parisian style and elegance yet in an amazing simplicity. He has no website or gallery, he just sells his photos in the streets.
In my mind you are always outside discovering new places and buildings to shoot with your camera. Are there other things you do or like to do when you are not taking pictures and uploading them to Instagram?
Elie: I’m a cinephile. I go to the movies twice a week. I work most of day and I completely love what I do: I mainly work in a coffee shop, and as a community manager for other places in the food & beverage field. And of course, I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend, family and friends, but I’m not really someone who shares his private life on social media.
At the moment you have 12k followers on Instagram. Do you have any advice for people who are just starting with Instagram and want to improve their online presence and maybe grow their following?
Elie: Instagram for me is all about connecting with people who share your same interest, and I think it’s really important to embrace this idea by always exchanging with followers and why not meeting them. Also, singularity is key. There are so many people today with thousands and thousands of followers, this is why you need to find something that makes you stand out.
During my last interview with creative director Pablo Slenders, he asked me to ask you this question: Why are you doing what you are doing?
Elie: I love Paris, I love food, I love photography. Instagram allowed me to relate these three things. Today, I am able to show Paris the way I see it and share all the places (whether it’s restaurants, coffee shops, squares, little streets…) that keep me attached to this city. Last but not least, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, and after all who would say no to new friends every day? :-)
Thank you so much Elie for taking time to answer my questions. It’s really nice to learn more about you, your life in Paris and your amazing work. You inspire people from all over the world with your photo’s and Paris is very lucky to have you sharing your love for Paris with the world :-)
I am so glad we connected on Instagram and I look forward to see more of your photo’s and Paris.
Don’t forget to check out a few of my favorite photo’s below and follow Elie on Instagram: @elieyobeid
CAFÉ 💚 THÉ #paris #cafe #liveauthentic #parisjetaime #topparisphoto Een foto die is geplaatst door E L I E | Paris 🇫🇷 | 🍔 | ☕️ (@elieyobeid) op
I thought spring was supposed to look like this ☀️💐 #paris #palaisroyal #parisjetaime #topparisphoto Een foto die is geplaatst door E L I E | Paris 🇫🇷 | 🍔 | ☕️ (@elieyobeid) op
Last day of summer ☀️⛅️☁️ @leperchoir #aboutlastnight #paris #sunday #afternoon #rooftop #bar #summer #lemarais #marais #view #igersparis #liveloveparis #eiffeltower #hoteldeville @le_bhv_marais Een foto die is geplaatst door E L I E | Paris 🇫🇷 | 🍔 | ☕️ (@elieyobeid) op
Photo’s: Elie Y. Obeid @elieyobeid