How to "Win" at Instagram (What Not To Do)

So, if you're in the art and entertainment industry, if you're a teen, or you're a food addict...you've probably used Instagram....a lot...It's a fantastic platform for sharing your work, connecting with people, getting work, and just having fun with the masses on a global scale. Now, under Facebook's control, we've all seen a decline in reach and connectivity, (since even they have a pay-to-win business model), but it really is still the platform of choice for creatives out there regardless of the algorithm ups and downs. And because of these shifts in reach, "Feature accounts" have really begun to take over the whole platform...making things...well...in my opinion, just plain terrible!

Many of these accounts have HUGE followings 20-100k plus and more boasting about the "exposure" you'll get if they share your work...and frankly...if they are legit, it's even better than getting published in a magazine these days, because 20-100k+ WILL actually see your work and be able to instantly drive through to your social presence and connect with you directly. Thus, it's become a real attraction to struggling creatives out there...myself included.

The down side of these so-called businesses, is a LOT of them are fake, which makes things even worse for you and the platform as a whole in the long run. What makes it even more ridiculous, is these "elite" reach-accounts, are now trying to charge the artists for this "exposure."

Today I was contacted about my mens fashion work and at first i was kinda excited....until I read the rest of their pitch. (names are blurred as i don't want this company getting any more attention since i've reported them for potentially violating IG's terms of service anyway).  This is what frustrates me beyond belief. Making it as a freelance artist, is tough enough on it's own, but when you have these accounts who buy fake users to boast about reach you'll get, it makes things harder to achieve. 

Oh yes, the company who hit me up asking me to pay them to feature my work on their account? They grew by over 20k followers over night back in Sept....meaning they CLEARLY bought their account 

It's funny also as when you look at their accounts, they often have less interactions and likes than the users they spam do...

Basically, a true "buyer beware" moment for those on the market to grow their social followings and don't or won't do it organically haha. 

Anyway, as my friend Pratik said, it brings up more questions;

  1. How many accounts now do this? 
  2. How many people are paying to be featured? 
  3. Is there anything wrong with this, and how does this differ from paid advertising? 
  4. It's morally strange, but is it against Instagram's Terms of Service? 

He and I have the same opinion on this, and that it's a terrible way to grow a brand/business and following, BUT, it does beg the question if there are enough people paying, AND enough people actually gaining followers from it to make it commercially viable and profitable?

I believe this is a HUGE scam, and causes the REAL reach of your accounts to be messed with since Facebook and Instagram keep changing the way hashtags, shares, and the actual timeline work to combat these spam/scam accounts, which in the long run, just reduces the reach of everyone on the platform.

What about you?  Do you think these Pay to be Seen accounts are worth it? Are they Legal? Immoral? Or is it a new business model that is just at the starting phase of being accepted?

Pre Shoot Guide

Here's a little "User Manual" for everyone working with myself and my team so we're all on the same page for what to expect.

Altering Images

Aside from cropping for various social media platforms, please do not alter the images.  What does this mean? 

  • No additional filters from Instagram or other photo apps.
  • No black and white conversions.
  • No added text without permission.

BTS Photos

Doing a shoot can be really exciting, and sometimes it's really hard to be patient and wait to share about the experience. It's natural to want to have the instant gratification of taking an image with a cell phone. Unfortunately often times that quick cellphone snap that you share on social media is the one that ends up getting the most attention. Simply because it's what everyone saw first. What deserves to get the most attention are the final edited photos. That is the work that we are ALL working in part to achieve, and that's where we collectively should want the attention to go. Every creative will likely have a different thought on behind the scenes photos, and for many sharing what goes on in the process is fun and part of the magic. If BTS stuff is really important to you, my compromise is allowing it to be posted on Instagram or Facebook as part of a story that disappears in 24 hours. It should be an image that depicts what we're all doing, not a photo of a photo I'm in the process of taking (the over the shoulder sort of thing). And even though it doesn't take much time to make these BTS images, it can sometimes slow down the process - and having enough time can be a factor in a lot of shoots.

Credit

Any photo of mine you use _must_ be credited.

Crediting You

By default I will credit models with a Facebook tag (if it’s on Facebook), and your Instagram account everywhere else. If you have alternate preferences please let me know. If our shoot contains risqué images or content that you don't want linked to you, please let me know beforehand.

Wardrobe

In most cases I would rather plan out the apparel for our shoot rather than have you arrive with a big suitcase. I often will ask for quick cellphone photos of you with the outfit on before the shoot so I know how the clothes look (with the exception of lingerie).

Clothing should be clean, fit you properly, free of stains/holes, and be the color/look/vibe we pre-agreed upon. 

Sometimes wardrobe will be provided by a stylist. In this case we (the team) will need your sizes for fitting.

Communication

Facebook Messenger and texting are what I prefer to use to set up shoots. It's far to easy to miss messages via Instagram and other social media platforms.

Escorts

Safety First! I'm a huge advocate for safety and transparency on set. While a lot of sessions are one on one, It's very common for me to have a Hair/Makeup/Stylist or assistant on set during the session to help with touchups, lighting, and just general assistance. I always advocate for my clients to communicate with their team/family where they are going, what they are shooting, and if needed/wanted to bring an escort. That being said, I'll advise to bring someone who will _NOT_ be critical of you or the images we're creating. We can't have distractions while we work after all ;) Be aware, if you bring someone with you, I'll likely put them to work ;) haha.

Hair & Makeup

If our shoot includes the services of a hair and makeup artist please arrive with your hair clean and dryand fresh faced (i.e. moisturizer only – no makeup). If you’re doing your own makeup please avoid fake eyelashes, pink and/or orange tinted lipsticks. If you do your own makeup please bring anything you might need for touch ups. Also suggested: chapstick or lip gloss, and makeup removing wipes.

How many images? How do I get them?

When you shoot with me you get to choose your 5 favorite images for me to edit, which I do in addition to any I select myself. I usually deliver 10 or more from a shoot.

  • I do edits as quick as I can, but paid work always comes first for me. It could be a couple of weeks, it could be over a month if I’m super busy.
  • You have 7 days to make favorite selections from the time you get your proof gallery via email.
  • I offer proof galleries for people as a courtesy to make sure you receive the images that benefit you the most.
  • If selecting is too overwhelming or stressful just let me know and I will take care of it. I will provide detailed links to how to select images, and what to expect with retouching.

Implied / Nude / Risque Images

It takes great courage to be photographed wearing little or nothing, and I have great respect for those who are willing to do it. For some it can be a very big decision - and I never want anyone to regret a shoot. It's important to understand ahead of time that images from our shoot, can, and will be shared. This is how I usually share images:

  • My Website: I do not censor my website. Unless we agree prior, expect any finished images from a shoot to potentially be on my website. I refer to models on my website only by first name and links to their Instagram accounts. I can omit names and links if desired.
  • Instagram: I follow Instagram's TOS as I have no desire for my account to get shut down. Instagram allows for bare butts if they are not closeups - and everything else has to be covered or censored.
  • Facebook: I consider Facebook to be a safe for work, and I expect that you have family members on it who will see the images. I do not post anything suggestive or risqué on Facebook.
  • Other sites: If we submit the images for publication, you will be involved in that decision. Other sites I use sometimes are Flickr, Model Mayhem, 500px, and Twitter. None of those sites have any strict censorship rules, but I treat them the same as Instagram.

*I will not do an unpaid shoot if I am unable to use the images.

Instagram Feature Accounts

I ask that you consult me first before submitting my photos to a feature account. A “feature account” is basically an account that solely contains images of models and has no original content of their own. They very rarely credit photographers, and I've never seen one that has credited hair and makeup artists. For this reason I do not like my work being posted by 3rd-parties without my permission. If you are approached by one of these accounts, or want to be featured on one please ask me first. Remember my hard rule is that everyone must be credited wherever the images are posted.

Model / Property Releases

I do not photograph anyone without them first signing my model release. I require a separate release for each shoot I do. My current model release is as follows: 

"In consideration for value received, receipt whereof is acknowledged, I hereby give David J. Crewe of David J. Crewe Photography (the photographer) the absolute right and permission to copyright and/or publish or use photographic portraits or pictures of me, or in which I may be included in whole or in part, or composite or distorted in character or form. I certify that I am of legal age in the state of California. 

Licensing Terms  

  1. All images presented remain copyright © David J. Crewe Photography, and are protected by federal copyright law.
  2. Any images used for online purposes are required to be credited with a hyperlink to http://davidjcrewe.com or @davidjcrewe on Instagram. Any images uploaded to Facebook must be credited/tagged in the description.
  3. Images are considered finished works, and may not be altered in any manner except for cropping, and minimal sharpening which may be applied to images that are being resized from the full resolution files to smaller images suitable for web use. Any other changes must be made by David J. Crewe Photography, or written permission must be obtained.
  4. Images may be used for promotional purposes only, and may not be sold for profit without the express consent of David J. Crewe Photography.
  5. Any image used in print must be credited to David J. Crewe Photography in a manner that is clearly visible to anyone viewing the photograph.
  6. David J. Crewe Photography authorizes you to make reproductions of these images at the photo finisher of your choice, but we are not responsible for color accuracy or poor reproduction from third party vendors."

My model release is subject to change, but I will try and keep this up to date.

Skin Conditions - Scars - Tattoos - Piercings

I'm a decent photo retoucher, but I like to know what I'm getting into. I have tattoos and scars myself, so I know how stressful it can be. Just let me know ahead of time if you're experiencing skin issues that will be present during the shoot so I can assess the situation. It doesn't mean I won't shoot with you, but it can impact the sort of lighting I use.

If you have any scars, tattoos, or piercings that will be visible in our shoot that are not shown in your portfolio images, please let me know ahead of time! I have nothing against scars, tattoos, or piercings - I just like to be able to know what to expect in my subject's overall look.

Spray Tans

I don't care how pale you are. Unless I can actually see your organs through your skin, please, please - do not spray tan before a session with me. Whatever your natural tint is, be that tint. Spray tans (and fake tans of any sort) can be retouching nightmares.

“WPPIFresh” Places Special Focus on First-Time Exhibitors at Annual Expo for Wedding and Portrait Photographers

Special Area Gives Attendees Quick Access to New Exhibitors, Products and Services

New York – February 7, 2018 — The Wedding and Portrait Photography International Conference + Expo is rolling out the red carpet for first-time exhibitors with dedicated booth space dubbed “WPPIFresh.” WPPIFresh was added after research conducted by Emerald Expositions, owner and organizer of WPPI, found that more than 90% of Expo attendees wanted to quickly and easily seek out first-time exhibitors with new products, technologies, and services.

“We know that new and emerging businesses in the photo and video markets can sometimes feel like exhibiting at a trade show for the first time can be a little bit of a leap of faith. WPPIFresh was created to really make new exhibitors feel at home as we place a spotlight on their company and product offerings so attendees can easily identify and engage with them through physical booth space and various other marketing benefits,” said Mike Gangel, WPPI Show Director. “WPPI continues to gain interest from new photo and video exhibitors and we are pleased to provide them with a convenient way to introduce themselves to attendees.”

“WPPIFresh” Exhibitors

New exhibitors will each have designated booth numbers but all will be located in the WPPIFresh area.

Album Design Store – Booth #564

Album Design Store provides photographers and studios with a one-stop-shop for all their post production needs. Album Design Store assists photographers with custom album design, editing, retouching, and the ultimate expression of “wedding stories” in the form of hand crafted albums.

As a third generation family business, they bring exclusive and customized designs to photographers, along with fast, reliable and cost effective post production services. Album Design Store will help add value to customer services by saving them time and offering custom work that is unique and non-repetitive. 

Calotype – Booth #469

Calotype's end-to-end workflow management software is a photographer´s tool for every stage of the process in the high-volume photography business, from input to sale. With Calotype at their fingertips, photographers and studios will have access to technology that allows greater efficiencies with their business, and ultimately help increase their business. Calotype's goal is to empower independent photographers and studios and make a positive difference in their business.

Epilog Laser – Booth #363

Epilog is the leading designer and manufacturer of CO2 and fiber laser engraving, cutting, and marking systems that are able to engrave and cut a variety of materials. Stop by our booth for a demo and learn how you can etch treasured photos on all kinds of substrates!

Fractals – Booth #562

Fractals, a popular photography equipment company famous for their prismatic filters, is releasing a new product, dubbed the Fibonacci Set. Raising $60,000 on Kickstarter, Fractals debuted in 2014 and has been working hard to release its second product. “We’ve gone through dozens, if not hundreds of iterations,” said Nikk Wong at Fractals. “By combining unique refractive materials and doubly-faceted glass, we’ve produced filters that help photographers create amazing images.”

FrameALIVE – Booth #463

FrameALIVE is a new app that breathes life into images by combining image recognition with videos to produce pictures that “come to life with a click.” To create these masterpieces simply select a still photo or image and link it to a video in the FrameALIVE dashboard. With FrameALIVE you can literally bring your pictures to life! Photographers can add videos to their favorite photo albums, design moving portraits, make printed books with YouTube videos, and so much more.

Inter-State Studio – Booth #560

Inter-State Imaging Services helps photographers launch their school picture business. They provide all the support and resources businesses need. Whether companies are looking to reach the next level or just starting out, Inter-State Studio provides great turn-key solutions.

Lemonade and Lenses Collective– Booth #355

Lemonade and Lenses is proud to be one of the first family run photography magazines in the industry. As they embark on their 6th year of publishing educational, bi-monthly magazines for photographers, they also grew to a creative team of three! Their publication teaches photographers about business and marketing, branding and design, and photography, so they can care for every aspect of their treasured photography business. In addition, Lemonade and Lenses provides an inspirational blog, image competitions, educational and portfolio-building events, all within a safe, positive community to comfortably ask questions and share work! You can be a part of their community on Instagram @lemonadeandlense or by visiting the website.

Marcello Strada – Booth #558

Marcello Strada is an Italian-based company that produces photobook binding machines that work with pneumatic systems and do not require technical assistance. The company provides a system that offers high-end finishing, affordable entry points, and low operation costs. One of the leading European companies in this space, Marcello Strada has official distribution outlets in the U.S.

PQ Albums – Booth #367

PQ Albums  Professional Photographers and their customers. They understand that consumers demand more for less. At a time when profit margins are low for professional photographers, PQ Albums gives professional photographers quality at a price point their customers will love. Their albums are designed to preserve your clients’ special moments beautifully and in a range of materials and formats your customers can afford. PQ Albums is excited to join photographers on their business journey and become an integral part of the professional photography industry. Join them in booth #367 to celebrate love and families. Register online at www.pqalbums.com to receive your free swatch book.

Primera Technology – Booth #468

Primera Technology is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty printing equipment. Impressa® IP60 Digital Photo Printer is the latest addition to Primera’s portfolio, which includes the LX-Series Color Label Printers, AP-Series Label Applicators, and the world's smallest portable printer Trio. Impressa IP60 is suited best for event photography, photo booths, amusement parks, and more.

Speedy’s One Stop Repair – Booth #556

For over 40 years Speedy’s One Stop Repair has provided repair service for manufacturers, distributors, operators and end users.  Their trained technicians have years of experience in the electronic repair industry.  All services include a 45 day warranty.

Studio Ninja – Booth #454

Studio Ninja is one of the world's most user-friendly photography business apps, designed specifically for photographers, by photographers. Users can get setup in less than 30 minutes and then let Studio Ninja handle all your important business administrative tasks. Studio Ninja will help photographers manage their shoots, clients, leads, invoices, automation, workflows and more.

SWIT Electronics – Booth #568

SWIT Electronics will showcase their S-2610  Flexible LED light, a 24"x18" flexible Bi-color LED light, at this year’s WPPI Expo. The light can be used in nearly any environment. Its lightweight, thin, bendable, and waterproof design make it ideal for outdoors, indoors, narrow spaces, and just about anywhere you might need or want additional light. The panel mat features bi-color 3000K-5600K color temperature with a CRI over 97 and 0-100% dimming.  The external control box with LCD touchscreen allows users to control light value, color temperature, and view current battery levels. The S2610 light kit includes the S-2610 light, carry case, power adapter, control box & foldable X bracket.

3D Photographic Solutions – Booth #359

3D Photographic Solutions has a mission to bring the best and most affordable 3D imaging and 3D printing methods to professional photographers. They currently provide Information, Assessments, Training and Discounts for the best 3D methods and will soon provide Integrated Hardware, Software and Systems to make 3D imaging and 3D printing a standard professional photographic tool.

Yodabooth – Booth #465

Yodabooth is the perfect fusion of photo booth hardware and software. Based on years of industry experience, Yodabooth has everything photographers need to stand out in their market and offer clients a truly personalized experience

About WPPI

The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and now, filmmakers, specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding, portrait photography and filmmaking. Each year, over 13,000 professional and imaging professionals attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to help grow their business, experiment with new products from major manufacturers to improve productivity, and to use Vegas as a backdrop while expanding skillsets and portfolios.

The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is owned by Emerald Expositions, the largest operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States, with most of our shows dating back several decades. We currently operate more than 50 trade shows, including 31 of the top 250 trade shows in the country as ranked by TSNN, as well as numerous other events. Our events connect over 500,000 global attendees and exhibitors and occupy more than 6.9 million NSF of exhibition space.  We have been recognized with many awards and accolades that reflect our industry leadership as well as the importance of our shows to the exhibitors and attendees we serve. 

More information about WPPI can be found at http://www.wppionline.com

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WPPI Gets Extended Stay at Mandalay Bay Through 2020

Emerald Expositions Has Perfect Vision for WPPI; Company Signs Extended Stay Agreement with Mandalay Bay Through 2020

Restaurants, Nightclubs, and Expansive Expo Center Ensures WPPI Community Will Have an All-Inclusive Venue They Can Call Home for the Next Three Years

New York – February 1, 2018 – Emerald Expositions announced it has inked a deal with Mandalay Bay that will secure an all-inclusive and community-oriented home for the annual Wedding and Portrait Photography International (WPPI) conference and expo through 2020. The agreement ensures that WPPI attendees and exhibitors will have a comfortable environment conducive to learning, community gatherings, and an array of social activities they can enjoy together for the next several years.

“WPPI will continue to be the largest and most dynamic and inspiring event for photographers and securing Mandalay Bay as its home for the next three years will be instrumental in continuing to build our close-knit community,” explains John McGeary, senior vice president at Emerald Expositions. “Mandalay Bay offers a full range of restaurants, entertainment choices, and conference amenities that will allow all attendees to experience WPPI as it was designed – as an all-inclusive community.”

“We are so excited to have a long-term home for our WPPI community at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center,” added Mike Gangel, WPPI show director. “Our new home has everything we need to fulfill our 2018 mantra of ‘learn hard, play hard, recharge, and connect!’ The combination of comfortable conference space and a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs make this the perfect location for this incredible event.”

Registration for WPPI 2018 is currently open and attendees can instantly save $75 on a Full Platform Pass by becoming a PHOTO+ member. PHOTO+ members will also receive instant savings on Photo Walks, Master Classes, and PLUS classes.

About WPPI

The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and now, filmmakers, specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding, portrait photography and filmmaking. Each year, over 13,000 professional and imaging professionals attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to help grow their business, experiment with new products from major manufacturers to improve productivity, and to use Vegas as a backdrop while expanding skillsets and portfolios.

The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is owned by Emerald Expositions, the largest operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States, with most of our shows dating back several decades. We currently operate more than 50 trade shows, including 31 of the top 250 trade shows in the country as ranked by TSNN, as well as numerous other events. Our events connect over 500,000 global attendees and exhibitors and occupy more than 6.9 million NSF of exhibition space.  We have been recognized with many awards and accolades that reflect our industry leadership as well as the importance of our shows to the exhibitors and attendees we serve. 

More information about WPPI can be found at http://www.wppionline.com

Additional information and a complete schedule of seminars and activities are available online at wppionline.com.

Website:          http://www.wppionline.com

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/WPPIOnline

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/RFWPPI

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