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Sarah Louise Price

The world of photography and Instagram

Film-makers Marketing & Social Media Tools

With so many platforms to choose from, how do you choose the correct one for you? From Twitter to Pinterest, they all offer different features that can benefit you in different ways, dependant on your target audience and aims. There is a constant stream of new networking sites opening up, current platforms that are no longer deemed useful, therefore you need to be constantly reviewing and updating your online profiles.

Good Online Presence

In order to connect with your target audiences, you need to have a strong online presence and ensure you market your content and profile correctly. For film-makers it is important as it is a way to present your professional profile, making it possible to reach audience all around the world with just a few clicks. Ensuring your profile is always professional is just as important. Potential employees/clients can Google you and have your history up within seconds. So remembering this when making future posts is key. Driving traffic to your profile can be more effective if you build a strong presence online, it tells your potential audience that you are reliable and trustworthy which is key to being successful online. Klout allows you to find out how strong your social presence is online. Once joining and connecting all of your social media accounts, you get a score out of 100. This can be accessed by potential employees, so it is useful to know what your score is beforehand so you can improve it if need be. The site also shares with you recent new/posts from your chosen topics. You are able to choose twenty topics and share the content on Twitter and Facebook. Doing this would give your audience constant and reliable content that they can then share themselves. All of this contributes towards your Klout score and improves your presence online.

Cahootify

Different platforms online can either be classified as a social network, online community or both dependant on the different features. A social network is a place to share your content and be able to access other users, for example Facebook and Twitter. Whereas an online community is when you are sharing your content with people for the same purpose. For example student room online is a group discussion between students all working towards gaining the same answers, Mumsnet is a similar online community for mums.

Cahootify is a new and upcoming platform created for film, media and entertainment professionals to show off their portfolios and meet others professionals in their field; offering opportunities to work on new projects. Cahootify is an online community platform. Everyone on there has shared interests and goals, with even smaller communities within it. For example when film-makers work on the same project, they form a small community of their own. However the taxonomies and folksonomies of Cahootify make the argument that it is also a social network. As mentioned in my previous post, taxonomies are a structured form of classification and folksonomies is a system developed through the tags and keywords that the user users. The taxonomies of Cahootify are your username, unique to each users and is a way to identify yourself on Cahootify. As soon as you open up Cahootify if offers you the opportunity to find people with skills or projects. You then have the opportunity to search for the appropriate role/person. Using the tags that are personal to each user will determine the information Cahootify show you.  Cahootify has two kinds of tags, green tags which is when you can evidence a project you have worked in. Grey tags are when you have no evidence of the work you have done but still want people to know you can/will do that role. This would be classified as a taxonomy; you can design the tags yourself.

Driving traffic to your Cahootify profile is another way to boost your online presence. This is key for new film-makers on the platform needing to build networks. Using other social media platforms can be a useful tool to do this. Twitter is a useful platform to do this, with the video feature playing automatically for clips thirty seconds or less; it would be a good way to present a small snippet of your work for free. Getting involved in current events/topics around film making is a good way to network with people in your field, you can do this through the use of hashtags. Hashtags are a main folksonomy of Twitter, for more information visit Angie’s Folksonomy and Taxonomies of Twitter post. Twitter also offers you the opportunity to create your own hashtags. Another way to engage your audience and connect with others in your field. Creating chats with a relevant hashtag is a way to promote what you are doing and encourage other to get involved and share you content. Your Twitter profile can also be used to market yourself and your work. That’s why keeping it up to date is so important. For example, your profile picture should represent you or your company clearly. Using the same picture for all your online profiles will also make yourself more recognisable. Your header photograph on Twitter could also be used to promote any upcoming projects, using the calls to action technique; offering followers a chance to engage with you online.

Advertising

Paying for advertising space is another key way to promote yourself. Facebook and Twitter promotes different content on an individual’s timeline, it isn’t as expensive as you may think and may be a good route to go down if you have the funds to do so. However not all advertisement cost money as all social media platforms gives you the ability to post your content, you just have to know how to market it correctly and effectively for each platform. Take a look at my recent post on how to market yourself on Twitter. Facebook has a feature that allows you to create a page or a group for either a business or event. Creating a page or group for an upcoming project would be an effective way to connect with others, you would be creating you own online community. Staying active and present online is an important element in boosting your online presence. An easy way to do this is find other film makers and comment on their work. Share/retweet it, this encourages them to do the same with you. Follow people in your field regularly and constantly update your social media, a key way to boost your online presence. Set yourself a target, an experiment by Peter Casier showed that 25% of people follow back if you are active on your Twitter account.

Shooting People

Finding online communities for film makers or current film groups is another way to network and keep your online presence active. The online community Shooting People has some similar features to Cahootify. Once creating your own account, it offers you the opportunity to find work or recruit people to work with you. If you are in need of funding towards a project, it gives you advice and help to get the funding/bursaries you require. As well as being able to enter competitions from other organisation, you can enter their own film of the month competition. Finally, it shows you current training available, giving you the option to search for key words/locations. Shooting People also has a community page, giving you further links to an ask page, where you can ask questions or even respond to others. A discussion page, a good way to get yourself involved with people in your field or maybe even a project you hope to work on. An events page, showing all the current events, with the option to search for ones local to you. The blog page, post from staff members, similar to the newsletter page which is a fortnightly post. Finally a members page, letting you search for people in your area or people with certain skill set.

There is a variety of networks and platforms out there for new and current film makers. Cahootify offers lots of opportunities to get involved, along with Shooting People which maybe has more features and networking opportunities for Film-makers. Using other social media platforms to market yourself and boost your online presence is key to succeeding. It’s a way to network with others in your field and become part of online communities.

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Feeling Festive

Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year. From the moment the decorations go up, I feel like I’m 6 years old again unable to sleep from the excitement. Do you remember the days when you marked every single item off the Argos Catalogue that you wanted? Those were the days. I hate how people lose the Christmas spirit once growing up. I mean don’t get me wrong, it was better as a child, but now I just appreciate spending the time with my family more. Which is what Christmas is really about. Not just about receiving presents. Oh and lets not forget the Roast Dinner. Unable to move for about 3 hours because you’ve consumed so much food. And how is it that we can be so full, yet always have room for pudding?

So when is it acceptable to start putting the decorations up? Some say the 1st of December, others say 12 days before. Personally I can’t wait to put them up after Halloween, yet come Boxing Day I’m always eager to rip the down. It just makes me realise I’ve got a whole year to wait before the fun starts again.

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On the run up to Christmas I always enjoy visiting Blackpool lights. I haven’t had the time these past few years, so this year I made sure I kept a Saturday free. And what a disappointment it was. It definitely isn’t how I remembered. We walked around for a good hour or so, absolutely freezing may I add and generally admired the illuminations. They just didn’t seem as extravagant as they did when I was child. Maybe that’s my old age catching up with me. One thing I can’t fault is the food. The smell of hot doughnuts draws me in every time. Delicious.

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A trip to the Christmas markets is also a must. Manchester markets are definitely one of the best, but maybe that’s me being biased. I will however pay a trip to the Leeds Christmas markets this year and hopefully they will be just as good! I remember going to Germany with my school one Christmas and  visiting the markets, it was amazing. Rather cold, but definitely worth it. I had to buy an extra pair of gloves whilst I was out just so I didn’t lose a finger. Regardless of the weather, the food was to die for. Proper German sausages and ginger bread. Yummy. It also traditional as some would say to drink mulled wine, I’ve never fancied it myself. Can’t beat a good cup of tea.

 

I’m A Celebrity 2015

So I’m afraid to say that lately my Twitter has been full of I’m a Celebrity tweets. I just can’t help it, it’s become part of my nightly routine. Shameful I know. But even if I missed an episode, Twitter would tell me exactly what’s gone on and who did what. Within minutes there’s guaranteed to be a meme of the latest incident. Lady C seems to be the latest target of the memes on Twitter, and probably for good reason. Does that woman ever want to do anything? I mean come on, what did you expect going into the jungle. But then again I suppose that’s what makes good TV.

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This is definitely my favourite meme so far. ‘Why on earth should she take part? It ludicrous.’ Well Lady C, I’m afraid that’s the point of the show.

Tonight however, Lady C was unable to take part so it was Vicky and Ferne who did the trial. Vicky is currently my favourite, but the two do make a funny pair. They participated in the trial ‘Terror Flying Circus’ were they dresses as clowns and Ferne had to walk along the track blindfolded. Vicky had to be her eyes and guide her along. This is all good and well, when you know you left from right. So as you can imagine it was like watching the chuckle brothers. They only got 6 out of the 12 stars available so of course the camp went hungry. I mean rice and beans can’t be that bad. It sounds better than half the food they win. Octopus was tonight’s meals, not something I’ve ever fancied.

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Some of the costumes over the years have been hilarious. As if they don’t look silly enough, shove them in a giant yellow wig and dress them like clowns.

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Last year, Edwina dressed as a spider and Jake was a fly trap. Smooth.

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Of course we can’t leave Joey Essex and Alfonso out in  2013 – dressed as cockroaches.

Who on earth comes up with these ideas? Well it gives me a giggle atleast.

 

10 Tips for beginners – sunset photography 

The sun is a beautiful object to capture. It creates so many colours in the sky, it’s literally a piece of art. So capturing it in its finest moment can be tricky. 

  1. First of all, find the perfect foreground. Beaches, ponds and interesting buildings can be perfect. It adds more depth to the photograph. 
  2. Don’t forget to take in all your surroundings. The sun creates a nice warm lighting. You may find the perfect canvas right behind you. 
  3. Remember the rule of thirds. It may seem natural to position the horizon in the middle, but place it either on the bottom third or top third – depending on the foreground. 
  4. Silhouettes in the foreground make a good subject to complement the sun. Find buildings/objects that have recognisable shapes. However make sure it doesn’t take all the focus away from the sunset. (Tip for creating the silhouettes – increase your shutter speed.)
  5. Reflection – water is perfect for this or even glass/buildings. The duplication of colour creates an image all on its own. 
  6. Don’t leave straight after you capture your photograph. The sun creates a second sunset once it’s dips below the horizon. So wait about 20/25 minutes and you’ll get a beautiful image full of colour.
  7. Avoid filters – they can ruin the image all together. You can create the perfect sunset without excessive filters. 
  8. Experiment – try shooting a panorama, the contrast between the clouds create good colours. 
  9. Plan ahead of possible. It’s good to have an idea of where you’re going and what time the sun is setting at. However all that said, the best photographs are sometimes the unplanned ones. 
  10. Use a tripod if possible – this helps create a sharper image. 

Victoria Secrets Fashion Show

So a little different from my usual blog post but I decided to take a look at fashion photography and of course New York hosted one the of the biggest events in Fashion on Tuesday evening and I felt this was the perfect place to start. Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary in style with some live performances from Ellie Goulding, Selena Golmez and The Weeknd. But with 47 models walking the catwalk, it was Kendall Jenner who hogged the lime light. Both Kris and Caitlyn showed up to see their daughter walk the runway. Although the other Kardashians didn’t attend, they did show their support by posting their little sisters’ moment on Instagram telling her how proud they were.

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Kendall was also joined by bestfriend Gigi Hadid, she tweeted beforehand “Anyone that grew up w/me knows that this show has been a dream of mine 4ever! THANK U VS & Ed! Brought me to tears.”  The young model wasn’t just handed it on a plate though, she was rejected from the show twice before making it onto the catwalk.

All the angels looked fantastic on the catwalk, wearing underwear literally worth millions. Lily Aldridge wore the floral fantasy bra ensemble worth 2 million alone.

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The show will be aired on 4Music on the 9th December at 9pm. But in case you miss it, here’s a preview of some of the outfits.

Elsa Hosk’s psychedelic outfit.

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Behati Prinsloo’s bohemian ensemble

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Martha Hunt’s get-up, complete with these thigh-high boots

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Lais Ribeiro

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Taylor Hill – the youngest model at just 19.

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For a closer look at some of the new angels hitting the catwalk this year, visit Angie’s blog – Full of the latest fashion and trends!

Halloween Masterpieces

I don’t know about you but for the past month my Instagram has been flooded with photographs from Halloween. Show casing their amazing costumes and make up. Is it just me or does half the population seem to have taken a master class in face painting. What happened to the days when you were shoved in a black dress, drew on whiskers and had tacky ears. And of course celebrities are looking tip top this year, looking fabulous at some of this years big events. Some going for more of a pretty look than scary.

Casper Smart and Jennifer Lopez at the Heidi Klum’s 16th Annual Halloween Party, opting for the popular skeleton look – that J Lo called ‘Haute courture skeleton’. Also wearing a lovely Michael Costello lace dress. Jennifer-Lopez-Casper-Smart-Skeleton-Halloween-Costumes

But its not just celebrities going all out this year. Make up artist Jill Marie published some amazing photographs of her work. Adding her own spin, love the skeleton design down the back of the model. The composition of the zombie photograph also helps add to the ‘scariness’ of the image. The attention to detail really pays off, almost if she has just stepped out of a horror movie. Definitely worth checking out some of her work.

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Capturing Your Good Side

We have all tried to take the perfect selfie at some point. 50 photographs later and we think we mastered it. Don’t feel disappointed though as according to Kim Kardashian-West in takes her around 300 selfies to get the ‘perfect’ image.

So here’s my top tips to create the perfect selfie.

  1. Get the right angle. We all have a more attractive side, so experiment, find the side that works best with the camera. Positioning the camera slightly above your eye line is also a great way to avoid a double chin.
  2. Lighting is key. Avoid have shadows across your face. There great for some images but not a selfie. Posing in natural light doesn’t always work best; the sun can create glares and shadows that you just don’t want. Sunrise and sunsets make the best lighting. Shooting by a window with some natural lighting can be nice. Experiment with different angles and different times of day. You’ll soon find the best lighting that works for you.
  3. Show some expression. The same old pose can be boring, try smiling, pouting or even frowning if you wish. Be creative.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use a filter. We all do it, however don’t go over board. Your image can soon become unrecognisable.  A simple Valencia filter on Instagram works great or even putting your image in black and white can hide some flaws.
  5. Choose your background well. Nobody wants to see your messy room or unmade bed. Try something plain in your background. Avoid filling the whole frame with your face, you start to become unrecognisable again and this isn’t a great look.
  6. FINALLY. Have some fun! Don’t take it to serious, its just a selfie after all.

Remember practice makes perfect.

Marketing My Tweet

Twitter is an ever growing platform on which people like to socialise, follow celebs and even promote themselves. So what better way to get yourself out there than to join the ongoing trend. So we have created a short podcast with some of the best tips on getting yourself heard online.

Instagram in a nut shell

The most common way to be identified on Instagram is through the use of usernames. Usernames are unique to the user as no two usernames can be the same, this therefore makes it easier to search someone you know and want to follow. When you first open Instagram up you will see the most recent posts from those who you follow and together these make up the most common taxonomies of Instagram. Taxonomies are a structured form of classification – in simpler terms it’s the way Instagram organises information to suit you.

Another way to be identified on Instagram is through the use of hashtags, as on Instagram the hashtags are one of the key features. They are used more commonly on Instagram than they are on other social media sites as on here hashtags are a way of getting your posts seen. Some of the most common hashtags used are – likeforlike, followforfollow, food, friends, party, girl, boy, love. When you go to use a hashtag it shows you how popular that particular hashtag is, this then encourages you to search that hashtag and look at what other posts people have put with that particular one. Using brands as your hashtags, for example coca cola and Topshop, also makes your posts more noticeable as these are defined brands that everyone knows and loves. Doing this has become sort of a trend and as each day goes on more and more people use brands as their hashtags. In technical terms, hashtags are practically Instagrams main folksonomy. For Instagram a folksonomy is the system developed through the tags and keywords that the user uses.

Time is another important element when it comes to posting on Instagram, the peak times are 11-2 and 5-7 on weekdays, and Sunday is a really interactive day with most users being active for the most part of the day. However one key tip is to not post too often but still stay active as you don’t want to discourage your followers interest.

All the features we have discussed above would be useful to anyone starting out on Instagram and wanting to get their posts noticed.

 

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