This is the official class blog of Journalism 4270/5330.001, the strategic social media class of the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. All content is student (or instructor) generated, and opinions are our own. Comments are welcome and encouraged.
The older I get, the more I realize I really, really hate change. In a world that is constantly changing due to the effects of growing technology and the world’s desire to connect, this can be very difficult. When I heard about the new update on Instagram that allows you to post more than one photo at a time, I was instantly annoyed.
“We already have photo albums on facebook, and can post a whole day’s worth of content on snapchat,” I complained, “why do we need yet another platform to allow us to fuel our vanity?” Even though I know I spend far too much time pondering which photo has the lighting and colors just right, it never occurred to me that there would be benefit to updating Instagram so that I didn’t have to make that choice.
When I first heard about Instagram’s latest big update, I rolled my eyes and thought about the albums of selfies and fake candids I would have to scroll through. A large part of me thought about the friends I have who are members of greek life and how I would now have to sit through not just one but four photos of them claiming their Big is perfect like they didn’t get matched up like a blind date. However, recently I have come to realize the benefit that Insta-albums could have for brands. I mean, I already knew that sponsored posts could post multiple photos, and I accepted that things made sense like that, but I completely forgot about smaller organizations in communities or at UNT that could benefit from this.
This weekend was the BIG Event my organization, The Terry Scholars of North Texas, participated. Our current PR chair posted 4 photos of people participating today, and for the first time since the launch I realized this might not be such a horrible idea after all.
I have recently been introduced to the term “Copy” in the social media world for about two years now. Before I only thought what people wrote under their photos on Instagram , or your latest twitter post was referred to as a caption. Which I suppose is,but not the “proper term,” copy isn’t something I picked up over night, it’s definitely something I’m still crafting and shaping. I found this article by Hootsuite“How to Write Great Instagram Captions That Drive Engagement.” This article in particular is focused on how writing copy can totally drive your engagement, which my personal experience I completely agree with, good copy gets me every time and makes me want to share it.
Let’s paused for a moment and acknowledge that the new non chronological order with our instagram feeds are TERRIBLE. It forces content to fight other content, which okay I can see how there are pros and cons. Nonetheless as both a user, and someone who works as a social media organizer it has made post that more that challenging. (okay may that’s a pro too.)
Back to scheduled feature
Hootsuite’s article does such a smooth job with explaining all of these new changes, as well as 12 great tips in creating and shaping what you write to be so much better for your branding and most importantly your audience.
Starting with knowing your audience, get out there check out your followers and see who’s attention you have. From there, you have to know who you are; no not just as your own person that’s another blog. Hootsuite is talking about “Identifying your brand’s voice.” Which makes total sense, because how could we write about what we’re doing before we know who we are, what we’re about and how we want to communicate that. They then go into those tedious things we should all know and do, here they are in a brief line up. With minor commentary by me..
Consider length- Very important
Place the most important words at the beginning of your caption – remember our attention spans are 8 seconds
Edit and rewrite- Let’s look like we know what we’re doing, but actually know.
Use hashtags, but use them wisely – stay relative to your brand and what’s trending.
Pose a question- ENGAGEMENT KEY
Give a shout-out with an @mention – People love this, if they say they don’t, they’re lying.
Encourage engagement with a call to action- Because if there isn’t any action what’s the goal?
Don’t be afraid to use emoji – always a good go-to
Try using quotes – love me some inspo
Schedule your Instagram posts for optimal engagement – oh my gosh, if this is something you can make yourself get in the habit of, it will save you from insanity.
To get the full details I recomment checking out the article here ***
In this day and age, every millennial with a smartphone thinks they are a photographer. With all the assortments of apps, filters and fancy flash, automatic adjustments can be made to any picture to make it seemingly post worthy. But photography is about more than just the point and shoot, young Padawan. An experienced photographer can tell you that photography is much more than meets the eye.
This is especially true where food photography is concerned. Having an eye for the composition and detail of an exceptional food photograph takes practice and skill. I have been a photographer for the past 8 years and I am STILL nowhere near where I should be in terms of making photo greatness…but it’s a daily and sometimes even monthly endeavor.
So how does one improve? The first thing I always tell my friends is to STUDY! If you truly care about something, whether it’s a topic or situation or even a hobby, you learn what you can about it to make sure you are in “the know.” This applies to food photography as well. Find a favorite photographer or a favorite site and study the photos. Pay attention to how the photographer composed the picture, the supporting cast, the angle, the backdrop. This will give you an idea of how you should “see” when you are shooting. Obviously having a decent camera will help in this endeavor, and there are TONS of articles on the web to help you select the best one for you. If it’s a beginner’s hobby, or if you just don’t have the funds to invest in a new camera just yet (college struggles) then practice with a smartphone to work on improving the same items.
Some of my favorite sites for photo tips are Sarah Wilson and the Digital Photography School. The photography school offers photo tips on EVERYTHING you could possibly think of if you are trying to expand your overall skill with a camera, but specifically for food photography I’ve consolidated some of their tips in 5 PHOTO BASICS:
1: The best way to go, A’ Naturale. Natural lighting is absolutely your friend where food photography is concerned. When shooting, try shooting from different points to incorporate different lighting. A diffuser may be helpful in some lighting, but overall, let the sun shine in.
3: Color is GOOD! Think of what draws you into a food photo: What catches your eye. One element of that is probably that pop of color and allure that grabs you when you see a picture. Color in photography can be adjusted via editing, but pay attention to it when shooting as well. The less you have to edit, the better you are becoming as a photographer.
4: Details with food are like women and makeup. She may already look nice, but if you add a little lipstick here and a bit of blush there, BAM! Diva status. Food is the same way, if the details in the photo are evident then it enriches what may have been an already stellar photograph.
5: Last, Composition is KEY! Placement in photographs is extremely important. It provides balance and makes the entire image more aesthetically pleasing. Learn about different methods of composition: leading lines, the rule of thirds, etc. These are ALL used in food photography and the more you know about them, the more options you have when shooting.
Photography is becoming an increasingly popular career and hobby. This rise in popularity is in large part due to social media, which has provided not only masses of photographs and stories of photographers to provide inspiration, but has also offered a platform for those with an interest and/or talent in photography to connect with and learn from others – including professionals. For professional photographers, social media has become essential to marketing their product and services.
On all social media platforms, millions of photographs circulate to reach clients and provide inspiration. Perhaps of all social media platforms, Instagram has had the greatest impact. It has been the catalyst in the creation of many amateur photographers, causing people to find a love for photography they did not previously know they had. In some cases, this has even led to people pursuing a photography career.
Going hand-in-hand with this, social media provides a multitude of opportunities for these budding photographers to learn important photography and editing techniques, as well as instruction as to how to run a photography business should they choose to go that route. YouTube is full of such tutorials, as are other websites such as Digital Photography School, Phlearn and CreativeLive – all of which have a strong social media presence.
For professional photographers, social media has become a key role in their marketing. It is now how they reach most of their clients, who often find them on social media platforms. Social media has allowed photographers to grow their business, becoming a place where they can share their work among thousands, as well as announce any events or specials.
Altogether, social media now plays a significant part in the photography industry. Whether it is influencing amateur photographers or helping professionals expand their business, social media has had a very positive impact on photography.
Seems to be that everyone is a “photographer” these days, myself included.
But, no really, I am a professional photographer – just look at my Instagram.
There used to be a time where social media platforms such as Instagram, VSCO , Facebook, or even websites created for the purpose of exposing our work, talents, and the creative services we can provide weren’t even around. Branding yourself wasn’t such a huge concept as it is today. But actually having physical hard copies in hand, i.e PORTFOLIOS to show what we work our asses off to produce. Not a link to a website, or sharing a Facebook post of your bestfriends photos to help amp their audience and network.
We are in an age of time that it’s changing the game for creatives and even the general workforce. How many people do you personally know that use another source to find someone that can take family portraits, create a graphic, design a website, the list goes on. People are creating personal accounts, as well as accounts to display their craft. Instagram and Facebook have utilized this by linking together and allowing Instgram being a professional’s contact page while displaying their work through their feed. By having that plug drawn back to their “business” Facebook profile.
So many freelance jobs have happened through connections through social media. Essentially, people can do away with the old school leather bind, plastic covered casings of a classic portfolio and simply hand out their social media handles, blog or designated website to potential clients, and possibly, hopefully land a job. It’s a part of the evolution of the digital age. And we’re embracing it more, taking a hold of it every single upload at a time, multiple times a day. Don’t take my word for it, that you DON’T NEED a legit portfolio in your line of work-
But let’s not discourage the power of these platforms.
Technology is absolutely incredible. We are learning about new advancements practically every single day in the technology world. We have only had computers for a short period of time, but the things we have done with them is almost unimaginable. The tech world is truly where art and science meet. The things people can do with design software are beautiful. Digital artists are extremely innovated and creative. They can create masterpieces out of thin air.
Digital artist Jean-Charles Debroize was put up to the task, by the creative software company Adobe, to re-create a historical lost painting using nothing but stock photos that were preloaded into the software. The painting he was tasked with was the beautiful Caravaggio’s Saint Matthew and the Angel. This painting was destroyed during the second world war in an allied bombing attack.
The painting features a Saint Matthew and an angel and was originally created as an oil on canvas piece by Caravaggio in 1602. The Contarelli Chapel in Roam commissioned him to do the piece.
Source (Actual Painting on Left, Recreated on Right)
Jean-Charles Debroize’s rendition of Saint Matthew and the Angel is strikingly similar to the original piece. Through it’s beautiful digital rendering we get a sense that our lost art can be brought back to life through digital media. What was once considered “gone forever” can now be remade with a skilled digital hand.
Artists can do so much with the new technology that is constantly developing. It is so amazing to see all the wonderful and beautiful things that people are creating. As technology advances we can do so much more and really make the world a more beautiful place. It is so exciting that artists are using technology to enhance their art.
Humans beings are visual creature and 90% of the information we take in is visual. So, it goes without saying that appears matter. In terms of social media, ones of the most visual networks is Instagram. Instagram is a photo and video sharing social network site. Viewers typically take square photos and videos in a style very similar to Polaroid film.
However, to succeed, your Instagram feed need to be goof. What make an Instagam feed good or bad? The pictures. Duh! Having good pictures helps, but the pictures are likes a part of a whole. A good theme can help you ensure that your photos in your Instagram feed look more professional. When somebody sees a cohesive Instagram, it makes them happy because the human brain is trained to search for patterns and meaning.
How can you create these patterns to appease the human brains of people? It’s actually easier than you might think.
What color is you Instagram?
Your posts won’t look like a true collection of the colors are radically differently. If you have post with super saturated colors, black and white ones, heavily muted ones, and then normal ones, it’ll look off. Think of the paint section of the home improvement store. The store has colors that are grouped together by color and then arranged by intensity. If you grab swatches from the same area, they go together, but if you grab at random, from different sections, you’re likely to class. Look at a bag of M&M’s Candy. The colors are all different, but they are of the same intensity, so they work together and not against each other.
It’s About the Angles.
The setup can help with your Instagram theme. For example: all of your photos can be taken from above (a bird’s eye view), really close up, or from straight on, or at a particular angle. The reputation of shooting everything from the same position just adds an element.
Pick a Filter …and stick with it.
Instagram comes with several filter options for your images. You can even choose the intensity level of the filter. If you were to use the same filter on all of your images, it will make them that much more harmonious.
To Crop …or not to crop.
Be consistent. Just because you can add a border to your Instagram photos doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It doesn’t look good if some of your images are narrow, some of them are long, and or if some of them have decorative borders and the rest are bare.
It’s much easier for brands and requires a lot of discipline, but if you’re only photographing one subject matter (ex: selfies, your pet, your outfit of the day, your meals, etc.) you’re feed will look that much more harmonious. I personally don’t do this, but serval people have found succession on Instagram by being very niche.
With these tips, you can create Instagram posts that will come together to make a more cohesive theme.
Greenwood, S. (2015, August 17). Instagram Demographics. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/2015-08-19_social-media-update_09/
Instagram. (2016, June 21). Instagram Today: 500 Million Windows to the World. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from http://blog.instagram.com/post/146255204757/160621-news
Parker, S. (2016, July 21). Top Instagram Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-demographics/
Scientific American. (2013, October 3). Brain Seeks Patterns Where None Exist. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/brain-seeks-patterns-where-none-exi-08-10-03/
Valdueza, R. (2013, January 11). We are 90% visual beings. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from https://ernestoolivares.com/2013/01/11/we-are-90-visuals-beings/