Christian LeBlanc

Meet Christian LeBlanc, White Rock’s inventor of the ‘Elphie’

LeBlanc was travelling through Thailand, about to graduate from UBC, when he took the photo seen, shared, and retweeted around the world

Christian LeBlanc puts a lot of work into his Instagram account, and he figures he’s got a pretty good idea of what’s working.

“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,” the 22-year-old White Rock native, and Earl Marriott Secondary graduate, said Thursday. But even he couldn’t have planned what’s happened with his now-infamous snap, the self-coined ‘Elphie‘ that’s been seen, shared, and smiled at around the world.

In April, while visiting Koh Phangan, Thailand with his girlfriend Laura Reid, also 22, LeBlanc was feeding an elephant bananas and had his GoPro on the ‘Continuous Shooting’ mode. When he ran out of bananas, the mammal started “basically feeling me up,” he says, “looking for more food.”

“It was curious or interested and took my GoPro… Next thing I know I’ve got this selfie that’s taken over the Internet.”

Posted to his Instagram account this week, on Wednesday, the Elphie has picked up thousands of shares and been featured and covered by several of the world’s largest media outlets – BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, the Mirror UK, the CBC, Global BC, CTV, and of course now the Peace Arch News.

The English media grabbed ahold of it first, he said, before it quickly spread to Canadian and American front pages and news hours.

Now LeBlanc – who’s currently travelling through the Philippines, now a graduate of UBC’s Commerce program after finishing his requirements on exchange in Bangkok – is aiming for Ellen.

He’s posted to the talk show host’s Facebook page has encouraged his friends to Like the post and share it, and has started the hashtag #ElfieOnEllen to give it some attention.

“I’m making a push for it, I think it’s definitely the right content for the channel,” he said.

LeBlanc said he’s also now a ‘brand ambassador’ for GoPole, a selfie stick maker. He’s going to keep travelling with Reid, through Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan, before heading back home in July, and he says he’s got a job lined up with Ernst & Young in Vancouver.

He calls his status as this week’s toast of the Internet “just a fun little temporary celebrity status”.

“It’s been such a crazy couple days… It’s been a thrill ride, it’s been really, really fun.”

And fortunately, the Pachyderm didn’t eat his camera.

“I got it back with no problems,” he said. “It dropped it from like a foot high.”

*Below are more photos from LeBlanc, the first two submitted and the rest are some of the popular wanderlusty photos from his Instagram page. His girlfriend, Laura Reid, is pictured in many of his photos, as is his GoPole.

Instagram - Elbow

Instagram - Elphie

There were fewer smiles the way back after a broken phone and Gopro. #lifesabeach

A photo posted by Christian LeBlanc (@christian_leblanc) on May 21, 2015 at 10:12am PDT

Travel is temporary, selfies are forever. Had a whale of a time swimming alongside 10 of these gentle giants today!

A photo posted by Christian LeBlanc (@christian_leblanc) on May 20, 2015 at 9:52am PDT

Tag your friends to be entered to win a Nutella sandwich. #conditionsmayapply

A photo posted by Christian LeBlanc (@christian_leblanc) on May 15, 2015 at 8:03am PDT

Is that photoshopped? #nah

A photo posted by Christian LeBlanc (@christian_leblanc) on May 4, 2015 at 12:44pm PDT

insert motivational quote

A photo posted by Christian LeBlanc (@christian_leblanc) on Apr 25, 2015 at 10:54pm PDT

“Study” abroad. #Gopro #travel #thailand #gopole #goprouniverse #goprooftheday

A photo posted by Christian LeBlanc (@christian_leblanc) on Mar 9, 2015 at 9:30pm PDT

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ranil Prasad saw this poster near Surrey Central SkyTrain station on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. He said it expressed “some specific reference to white replacement theory.” (Photo: Ranil Prasad/@run_neil/Twitter)
Surrey man urges public to watch out for ‘white replacement theory’ posters

Ranil Prasad said he saw the messaging at a Surrey SkyTrain station

Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working vacuumed a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Nest of ‘murder hornets’ found near South Surrey

String of traps set up along border to capture Asian giant hornets

Construction of Douglas College's Surrey Campus in 1970. (Photo: Douglas College Archives)
PHOTOS: Douglas College’s Surrey roots at a B.C.-first campus in 1970

The official date of the Douglas/Kwantlen split was April 1, 1981

B.C.’s parliament building, Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
ZYTARUK: Votes come at a premium price. Time to pay the tab

Promises are rained upon the voting public much like confetti being blasted from the maw of a cannon, or particles of ash spewn from an erupting volcano

Loretta Hibbs (right), founder and president of Surrey-based City Dream Centre, with Kelly Voros (foreground), the organization's executive administrator. (submitted photo)
‘Pumpkin patch’ brought to Surrey inner-city schools where COVID cancelled field trips

Work done by volunteers with Surrey-based City Dream Centre

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and staff by parents must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

It’s been eight years since Gordon Spencer (pictured), and cousin, ‘Lil’ Bruce Mayo, were gunned down in a home in Langley, and Spencer’s widow is hoping someone who knows something will step up (file)
Eight years on and still no answers in Langley double murder

Wife of victim makes public appeal for people with information to come forward

Most Read