PhotoPlus Seminar Report: Using Instagram Wisely

PhotoPlus Seminar Report: Using Instagram Wisely

Four photographers who have used Instagram to raise money, promote their work and land assignments explained how they curate their Instagram feeds during a seminar at PhotoPlus Expo. They also explained how they handle clients’ requests and expectations about sharing assignment images with their followers, and how they interact with their audiences.

When outdoor photographer and director Chris Burkard was crowdfunding the documentary “Under the Arctic Sky,” he promoted it through Instagram. He created a Google calendar to plan and schedule social media posts that highlighted different pitches. After the film was finished, he made a trailer promoting a worldwide tour to screen the movie, then cut a second, shorter version for Instagram. “You need a 30-second cut down for social media,” Burkard said. “This is the way we digest information.”

Malin Fezehai, who uses both Instagram and Instagram stories to share images she has shot while on assignment for UNICEF, the Malala Fund and Water Aid, noted that some of her nonprofit clients have seen increased donations via social media. This is thanks in part to the Instagram Stories swipe up feature, which makes it easy for viewers to make donations. Like other panelists, Fezehai asks clients who hire her if they want images or outtakes shared while she’s in the field, after the assignment is published, or never.

Dina Litovsky said she was always “bad about self-promotion.” She says that through Instagram, potential clients can see her work “without me pushing it in their in-box.” As her following grew, she says, she began paying attention to the images and captions that work well on the platform. She loves layered images that fill the frame with information, but when posting on Instagram, she says. “I think the graphic, simple ones with a lot of colors work best.” People check Instagram while commuting to work, Litovsky notes, and she views Instagram “as an entertainment platform.” She keeps her captions short, with few hashtags, and strives for humor. She uses a DSLR and flash on assignment, and picks one or two images to post on Instagram, she says; iPhone imagery “was not my look.”

Litovsky, like the other panelists, never posts more than twice a day. She notes that she’s “unfollowed” people who post too often.

When Ryan Pfluger began making road trips to explore what it means “to be queer in America,” he would post images in the morning and at night, offering a glimpse of his process. He showed, for example, an image of his car broken down by the side of the road.

Sharing his struggles “builds camaraderie,” he says. When a client publishes an image he’s shot, he posts the image on Instagram, always thanking the subject, stylists and photo editor. “I think other photo editors see that, for me, it’s a collaborative process.”

Many of the celebrities he photographs repost his photos. In his agreement with celebrity publicists, he notes that his credit must appear with all his photos.

Panelists emphasized the need for an authentic, intimate voice on social media. “As a photographer you’re asking people you photograph to be personal, so I feel it’s important to be personal yourself,” said Fezehai. Moderator Conor Risch, senior editor of PDN, noted that Burkard uses a “heart on his sleeve” tone in his captions and his interactions with followers. “I’ve placed emphasis on getting to know followers,” Burkard said. “If you don’t like people, you shouldn’t be on social media.”

Burkard says every commercial assignment “now has a social component.” Some commercial clients ask his advice on how to appeal to the climbers and outdoor enthusiasts who follow him. “If they’re trying to market a product to your demographic, they want to know what you think,” he says. He added that he’s talked to book publishers “who take into account your following” when evaluating an idea for a book and its potential market.

Burkard says that when he submits a bid for commercial jobs, he makes his fee to share on social media a separate line item on his budget. Once, he said, a photographer could shoot a job for Toyota one week, and shoot for a competing car company the next. However, when photographers mention a client on social media, competitors notice. These posts are an implied endorsement that may hinder a photographer’s ability to get work from a competitive brand.

The panelists see Instagram as a supplement to their portfolios. “Don’t put work out there that you don’t want to shoot,” Burkard advised. Certain commercial jobs he’s done that don’t fit his usual style or favorite subject matter are found deep within his website, but not on his Instagram feed. While his portfolio is more “carefully curated” selection of portrait, landscape and fine-art work, Pfluger says, any client following him on Instagram “could see the consistency of my visual language regardless of what I’m shooting. It looks like me and feels like me, no matter what I’m shooting that day.”

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PhotoPlus Seminar Report: Using Instagram Wisely

Copyright Watch: In Apparent Retaliation, CBS Sues Photographer Who Sued Them for Copyright Violation

Copyright Watch: In Apparent Retaliation, CBS Sues Photographer Who Sued Them for Copyright Violation

 

CBS Broadcasting Inc. has filed a lawsuit against photographer Jon Tannen for allegedly posting images from a television show on social media. The complaint appears to be an attempt to retaliate against Tannen for trying to protect his copyright. In February, Tannen, a New York City-based photojournalist, sued CBS Interactive Inc. for willful copyright infringement after a sports website owned by the corporation allegedly published two of Tannen’s images without permission.

Tannen’s suit, filed in in U.S. district court in New York City, claims that 247sports.com, published two of his images without permission. The suit alleges that 247sports.com, a sports news website owned by CBS Interactive, willfully violated Tannen’s copyright when it took two images of a standout high school football player off of Tannen’s Facebook page and ran them in a story about the player. The suit also claims that 247sports.com falsified and/or altered Tannen’s copyright by adding their own watermark and credit to the photographs.

Tannen is seeking either actual damages—including any profits CBS made from the violations—or statutory damages up to $150,000 per image for the copyright infringement. He is also seeking up to $25,000 for each instance of falsification/alteration of copyright management information, plus his expenses and attorney’s fees.

CBS’s suit against Tannen, which was first reported last week by Torrentfreak, alleges that Tannen posted images from a 1958 episode of Gunsmoke, a rerun of which recently aired on classic TV network MeTV. CBS owns the copyright to the Gunsmoke television series, which aired from 1955-1975. In their complaint, lawyers for CBS Broadcasting wrote that Tannen “hypocritically engaged in this act of infringement while simultaneously bringing suit against Plaintiff’s sister company, CBS Interactive Inc.”

Tannen hadn’t yet registered the copyright for his images at the time 247sports.com published them on January 23, 2017. Tannen applied to register his copyright for the images three days later.

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Source: PDN Pulse

Copyright Watch: In Apparent Retaliation, CBS Sues Photographer Who Sued Them for Copyright Violation

Thursday Tip: Build a Network of Career Advisers

Thursday Tip: Build a Network of Career Advisers

A network of advisers is helpful as you plan your career or just make difficult decisions, says Danese Kenon, Deputy Director of Photography for Video/Multimedia at Tampa Bay Times. She has taught multimedia through organizations such as The Diversity Institute Scholars at the Freedom Forum, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and Kalish Workshops.

“I encourage all young journalists to develop a network. You need almost like a personal board of directors. I call my network The Great and Wise Photo Counsel. There are eight of them: men, women, black, white, Latino. They’re the people I’ve clung to. I can say: ‘This is what I’m dealing with, what do you think?’ or ‘This is what I’m thinking of: Can you check this?’”

See “Danese Kenon on Educating and Nurturing New and Diverse Talents

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Thursday Tip: Build a Network of Career Advisers

N.E.R.D. Stages A Comeback With New Music Video Featuring Rihanna

N.E.R.D. Stages A Comeback With New Music Video Featuring Rihanna
Pharell Williams is once again back at the mic, reviving his N.E.R.D. project by teaming up with pop sensation Rihanna for the latest track called “Lemon”—which features a minute-long rap verse the hit-maker.
The video, directed by Todd Tourso and Scott Cudmore, opens as Rihanna shaves a woman’s head in a hotel room—who ends up being the focus of the video as she dances in a flea market. One can only hope that the track is a preview of what’s to come from a N.E.R.D. album in the w…

Keep on reading: N.E.R.D. Stages A Comeback With New Music Video Featuring Rihanna
Source: V Magazine

N.E.R.D. Stages A Comeback With New Music Video Featuring Rihanna

Macphun Unveils Luminar 2018 to Take on Adobe Lightroom

Macphun Unveils Luminar 2018 to Take on Adobe Lightroom

California-based software developer Macphun (soon to be Skylum) has announced Luminar 2018, a digital photo editor and organizer that’s aiming to be a direct competitor to Adobe Lightroom.

Unlike past versions of Macphun software, Luminar 2018 is available for both Mac and Windows users. Not only that, but the new software boasts “major speed boosts” compared to its predecessor.

“We’ve taken the time to listen to photographers, and what they want is performance and quality. The less time photographers have to spend in front of computers, the more time they have for taking pictures,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO of Macphun. “Our mission is to get Luminar streamlined with just the tools and controls photographers need. The goal is simple: enable the best-looking images with the least amount of effort.”

Offering “everything a modern photographers needs,” Luminar 2018 has many of the features and functions that will be familiar to Lightroom users.

There are new filters, powered by artificial intelligence, that make it easy to get a “great-looking image” in seconds. Intelligent filters alongside real-time noise removal look to create a pleasing and easy user experience. Want to keep things really simple? There are over 100 one-click presets you can apply, as well as over 40 image enhancement filters.

A new RAW Engine means that the software can “handle high-quality images faster.” Lens correction features will help to eliminate vignetting, distortion, and color aberration. A new transform tool will help to sort “unwanted perspective problems.”

Luminar even has stackable layers, as well as brushes and an advanced layer masking system. Object removal is possible too, thanks to the software’s clone stamp tool.

You can also apply LUTs (Lookup Table Adjustments) that will allow you to easily perform black and white conversions or creative color styles with a single click. If you have Lightroom presets, you can easily convert those into LUTs for Luminar with a free 3rd party tool.

Looking to move over from Lightroom but worried about your catalog? No problem – coming in 2018, Macphun will be releasing a free update with a digital asset manager for Luminar that will support Lightroom catalogs.

Luminar will work as a stand-alone application, a plugin to run within Photoshop or Lightroom, and even as an extension for Apple Photos.

Luminar 2018 is available for pre-order on the Macphun website for a special price of $60, with upgrades to current Luminar users for $40. After that, the software will retail at $70. During pre-order period, you will receive a signature preset and textures pack, an exclusive pack of LUTs, and a 1-year Power plan from SmugMug.

Out West: A Visual Narrative of China’s Westernmost Region

Out West: A Visual Narrative of China’s Westernmost Region

Borrowing from romanticized notions of the American frontier, synonymous with ideals of exploration and expansion, I captured a visual narrative of China’s westernmost region, Xinjiang. Whereas the American West conjures images of cowboys and pioneers, of manifest destiny and individualistic freedom, the Chinese West has not yet been so defined.

It is a place of pluralities—of haunting, expansive landscapes, of rough mountains and vivid lakes, of new construction and oil fields, of abandoned structures in decaying towns, of devout faith and calls to prayer, of silence and maligned minorities, of opportunity and uncertain futures. It is a land of shifting identity. In essence, Xinjiang is the new frontier to be conquered and pondered.

Literally translating to “new frontier” in Chinese, Xinjiang is a land apart, and has been so for centuries. More than twice the land area of France with a population less than the city of Shanghai, the Chinese province of Xinjiang once connected China to Central Asia and Europe as the first leg of the ancient Silk Road. Yet it remains physically, culturally, and politically distinct, an otherness within modern China.

Its infinite sense of space; its flowing Arabic scripts and mosque-filled cityscapes; its designation as an autonomous region; and simmering beneath, its uneasy relationship with the encroaching, imposing, surveilling East.

For China’s ethnic Han majority, Xinjiang is once again the new frontier, to be awakened for Beijing’s new Silk Road — China’s own manifest destiny — with the promise of prosperity in its plentiful oil fields.

For me, Out West is as a much a story of the region as it is his own, as much a documentation of a contemporary and historical place as it is an emotional journey of what it means to strive, and for what. There exists an inherent fascination in the region — as both key and foil to the new China — and a siren’s call to its vast limitlessness that instinctively incites introspection and desire.

Showcasing a romanticism of the frontier, Out West presents Xinjiang via the lens of its present day, in photography that speaks of the surrealistic tranquility — and disquiet — of the unknown.

Out West offers an experience of Xinjiang that highlights its estrangement from contemporary perceptions of the new China, accentuating undercurrents of tension and the mystique it has cultivated—whether in their minds or ours.

At its core, Out West is a question of perspective: What is the West but the East to another?


The text of this photo essay was co-written by Bonny Yau.


About the author: Patrick Wack is a French self-taught photographer who worked in China from 2006 to 2017 as a freelance photographer in the fields of portraiture, documentary and commercial photography. Patrick also focuses on long-term personal projects and is part of the German agency LAIF. His work has been exhibited in Shanghai, Beijing, Berlin, Singapore, Paris and Bordeaux. You can find more of his work on his website.


Source: PetaPixel

Out West: A Visual Narrative of China’s Westernmost Region

This Guy Ruins His Friends’ Instagram Food Photos

This Guy Ruins His Friends’ Instagram Food Photos

In the age of Instagram, snapping a photo of a picture-perfect meal before eating it has become something of a ritual (science also suggests it helps food taste better). But one guy has made it a ritual of his own to ruin his friends’ Instagram food photos and capture their horrified expressions.

Kevin Freshwater posted a compilation video showing how his friends react to having their Instagram food snap ruined as it’s being shot (warning: there’s some strong language):

It seems there’s some kind of universal disdain for this type of Instagram photo. In less than a week after being posted online, Freshwater’s video has gone viral, racking up over 250,000 views on Instagram and 41 million views on Facebook.

(via @kevinfreshwater via Mashable)


Source: PetaPixel

This Guy Ruins His Friends’ Instagram Food Photos

PhotoPlus Seminar Recap: Photography Directors at Major Publications Discuss Hiring Photographers

PhotoPlus Seminar Recap: Photography Directors at Major Publications Discuss Hiring Photographers

Directors of photography from Bloomberg Businessweek, The California Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Refinery29 and Topic spoke about the hiring practices of their publications during a seminar at PhotoPlus Expo over the weekend, and also discussed the qualities they look for in the freelance photographers they hire.

Moderated by Businessweek Director of Photography Clinton Cargill, “What Photo Editors Want Now” gave photographers in the audience insights into the photography needs of several publications and information that could help them in seeking editorial assignments.

The issue of gender and racial diversity in the photography industry was raised by an audience member during the question and answer period, and there was a consensus among editors that they need to “do better” in hiring photographers with a range of perspectives. But they also shared some of the positive steps they’ve taken to that end. For instance, Jacqueline Bates, the Photography Director of The California Sunday Magazine, which has received the National Magazine Award for Photography for two consecutive years, pointed out that women had shot all of the magazine’s covers in 2017 (their last issue for the year had gone to press at the time of the talk). This wasn’t coincidence. Bates said she’d made it a “personal goal” to have women photographers’ images on the cover of every issue this year.

Toby Kaufman, the Photography Director of Refinery 29, said that it was “paramount to me” that her organization hire women, and that they do a quarterly check-in to gauge their progress. As of their latest assessment, women were responsible for 76 percent of the photography published in Refinery29 this year, Kaufman said. Earlier Kaufman revealed that Refinery29 gives roughly 600 assignments per year, and that one of the magazine’s overall missions is to “embrace women of all shapes and sizes.” Kaufman also mentioned that Refinery29 has partnered with Getty Images to create a capsule collection of stock photography that reflects that vision. They’re accepting submissions for that capsule collection, Kaufman said, which can be “a good way” for photographers to get into working with the publication.

Joanna Milter, the Photography Director at The New Yorker, outlined her magazine’s photography needs in print, which are limited, but she said she has space to run more images online. The New Yorker runs one full-page image to open their “Goings on About Town” section of local events in New York City; they generally run one photo with each story in the feature well; 47 times a year they publish a conceptual photo or illustration to open a short fiction story; and they have a chance roughly five times a year to publish a photo essay in print, Milter said.

Caroline Smith, the photography and visuals editor at Topic, a long-form storytelling site created by the publisher of The Intercept, says she’s publishing photographs, video and illustrations. Smith is particularly interested in combining stills and motion in the same story, and shared a couple of recent examples, including a story shot by Juno Calypso about women freezing their eggs. Topic follows a monthly publishing cadence, like a magazine, Smith says, rather than publishing new content each day. And Topic is interested in receiving pitches from photographers. She wants pitches that are “succinct and pointed” she said, that have a strong point of view, and that are well-researched.

Rolling Stone’s Ahmed Fakhr said he’s often looking for festival coverage and wants to hire photographers who can also shoot video, even if the still images remain the focus of assignments. (For more from Fakhr, see our in-depth interview with him from the October issue of PDN.)

Bates said that the imagery in The California Sunday Magazine, whose stories focus on California and the West, and Asia and Latin America, is generally about people and the places around them, so little to none of their photography is shot in a studio. Bates says it’s important to her to meet with photographers, and likes to hire photographers who are local to an assignment because their familiarity with a place can elevate a story.

The panelists gave examples of the qualities they look for in the photographers they hire. Kaufman said she likes “a collaborative spirit,” a sense of maturity and an “ability to problem solve.” Flexibility and a desire to learn in-depth about the subjects they’re photographing appeal to Bates. Milter said she also appreciates photographers who do their research, while Fakhr emphasized the importance of organization in delivering images and a respect for deadlines. Cargill appreciates a “strong sense of curiosity” and says he also notices when a photographer over-delivers. For instance, if they’re photographing a portrait subject, Cargill appreciates when photographers make other pictures they see during the assignment, or when they work to deliver additional setups.

The panel spoke about what photographers should do when reaching out to introduce themselves. Cold calling is not a good idea. Personalized email does well, and, as we hear constantly from photo editors, photographers would do well to show that they have some knowledge of the publication they’re targeting and why their style might be a fit. Editors still receive too many cold emails from photographers whose visual language doesn’t make sense for their publications. Kaufman asked that photographers appreciate that editors are under pressure and can’t respond to every email, even to say “no, thank you.” She encouraged photographers to reach out when they have new work. And Cargill said it never hurts to send emails alerting editors when you’re traveling in case they have a photo need. Bates said that if you meet with a photo editor and don’t immediately hear from them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to hire you. It can sometimes take a year or more for an editor to find the right project, she said.

All of the panelists said that they try to hire photographers locally rather than paying for travel. To that end, geotagging some of one’s Instagram posts can be useful because it allows editors to see where a photographer lives or travels frequently. Panelists said they use Instagram as a tool for tracking what photographers are working on and to find new talent. One panelist mentioned using topic-based hashtags to find photographers.

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THE CINEMATIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE CALIFORNIA SUNDAY MAGAZINE

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Source: PDN Pulse

PhotoPlus Seminar Recap: Photography Directors at Major Publications Discuss Hiring Photographers