The mania surrounding food photography is a pretty recent phenomenon. In the last decade, what used to be a niche in photography took social media by storm and ever since has been one of the favorite topics for a huge amount of accounts. It is supposedly the second most popular subject of photography fanatics on Instagram after the selfie tsunami. I sat down to talk with Hein van Tonder, a food photographer carving his way into the food royalty.
For years, Instagram has been cultivating a community of some of the best photographers and creatives from around the world. They continue to grow at an astounding pace, and one of the best parts of the app is their InstaMeets, which were started by their own members in the early years. If you have never been a part of one, be sure to host or partake in one near you this weekend!
Some photographers call themselves artists, some photographers only think they’re photographers. Regardless, we all aspire for success. Maybe that means finding your work in galleries or gracing the cover of Vanity Fair. Even if you aren’t a photographer (how did you get here?), everyone strives to succeed. It’s different for everyone, that’s why it’s a difficult thing to chase. It’s tough to advise someone on how to succeed if you don’t have the same dream. There is, however, some common ground. Casey Neistat, the master Youtuber, shares his mantra, his guide, and what seems to be his daily lifestyle for pursuing his dreams and succeeding.
Now, photographers and models have their own Tinder-like mobile app called Romey.co. Romey.co is a global marketplace, connecting companies, bookers, models, and photographers where everyone is empowered, and everyone wins, changing the paradigm in an industry notorious for being cutthroat. Models and photographers download the app (iOS and Android) and use it to match intelligently with each other so they can keep active portfolios and network. The app's algorithms match you based on your profile and preferences, so you spend less time searching and more time connecting.
I am calling this the "Dani Diamond Experiment", because he has done this before, and I thought the end results were fascinating. See, Dani's been known to offer a totally unedited raw file of an image he shot as a free download, asking photographers and retouchers to have a go at finalizing the shot however they see fit. Rather than specifically ask anyone to retouch the image in any particular style or use any particular workflow, the idea is to simply offer the raw file with no instructions beyond "Edit it!" and see what happens.
Instagram is an amazing platform for sharing your work and following great artists that can inspire you. As you follow more and more people, Instagram will even recommend other users who fall into line with the type of people you normally follow and interact with. The problem though is that most of the suggested users are people that already have a significant following. So what about the people that are up and coming or are new to the platform?
If you are active in a Facebook Group, you most likely have wished at some point in time that you could stream what you are doing live to them. The connection with a tight-knit community makes you want to share with them often. Until today, you would have to invite people to come view you somewhere else: Periscope, Facebook Live on your personal page, or any number of other options. It was unreliable, as people often don't want to have to access things through another app, especially if it involves a download for them of something they have never used before. Now, you can stream directly to a Facebook Group using the Facebook Live feature.
I'm sure you're all fatiguing a bit with the Instagram news lately, but this time, it is positive. Since its introduction in June 2013, video on the social media platform has been a success, especially for advertisers. Recently, they appealed to more advertisers by switching from video "likes" to video views. Now, the platform has announced they are extending the video duration allowed extensively.
Well, it's official. The app once known for its convenient, chronological order of posts is no longer. As I woke up this morning and did my usual routine of running through emails and social media, I noticed something odd. I opened Instagram, and the first post wasn't the most recent. It looks like the rumors were true, at least for me.
You might find today very interesting for Instagram. It seems like everyone on your feed is posting a hefty range of different photos telling you to "turn on notifications" on their feed. If you missed Andrew's regarding Instagram changes, check it out to find out the latest on how Instagram handles feeds. Changes will definitely be happening whether you like it or not. But is that something to worry about?
As many of you have seen and made clear on your feeds across various social networks this week, Instagram is changing its algorithm and from the looks of it, possibly for the worse. Chronological feed to curated feed is the proposed plan for the Instagram team in hopes "to show the moments we believe you will care about the most." How exactly will they know what I want? Facebook seems to do pretty well in retaining users so they must be doing something right for the majority. Now what does that mean for us photographers and professionals? Who knows but change will come so adapt and get over it!
Ever since Facebook changed to curated news feeds, there has been endless grumbling in the photography community about diminished reach and post engagement. That shouldn’t stop you from trying to beat their algorithms. You can still have a ton of success with Facebook posts. You just need to know how to work the system.
Instagram has continued to transcend the way we share our work, our brand, and lives through our mobile devices. It's safe to say that it has taken over Facebook as the preferred mainstream social media platform to share our work. Fellow Writer Ryan Cooper recently put a great article together about features that could use overhauls and improvements. I decided to add some issues that I've run into time and time again and put together an Instagram suggestion box for the Fstoppers community.
Owning and operating a photography business can be a lonely task. Most hours of the day are spent at a computer with no one to talk to, no one to bounce ideas off of, and no one to help you when you struggle. Most photographers turn to Internet forums and Facebook groups, and these definitely have their place. But what if you could have all the benefits of online communication with the added bonus of working with local professionals that are in the same industry?
Since the birth of social media, almost every business, public figure, and of course, creative, like us, are discovering new, interesting ways to engage with their following to portray value. In our industry, engagement and creativity in garnering it is very essential because of the abundance of noise and content that exists in the social media world. By constantly looking for new ways to engage with their fans and projecting value to clientele, there are always innovative ways to fill the gap. With that being said, there’s a new kid on the block and its name is Snapchat.