Snapwire's Perfect Day in NYC

Calling all New York City Photographers! Google has posted several challenges of landmarks and hotspots in the New York City area! Grab your camera and follow our itinerary for an action packed field trip through New York’s most popular tourist attractions and hidden gems. It is sure to be full of great photo ops and good times - whether you’re a pro or an amateur. 

 

Start your day on a morning cruise to Ellis Island. Golden hour will be a perfect time to capture Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with the New York cityscape as the background. Explore the island on foot. 

Make your way to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Not only is this a spot worth taking photos of, but it also offers great views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Continue walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, capture the unique architecture with a wide lens in order to include all the detail.

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Next on the agenda is a visit to the Battery Park. Meander through the ocean front park while photographing points of interest you find striking. Bonus points for aerial shots of the park! If you’re interested check out

Next stop is Webster Hall, the biggest nightclub in New York City and famous for its concerts.  If you’re ever in the area on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, stop in for a show or a drink. Don’t forget to photograph the exterior of the building and continue on to the Museum of Modern Art.

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The next few stops can be done at your leisure. Stop by the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, the American military and maritime history as the sun is setting. If you’re hungry make a stop in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood nearby for some good eats. 

Visit the iconic Radio City Music Hall once the sun has set and practice photographing the famous neon signs. Recommended camera settings are:

Aperture: between f/2.8 and f/5.6 (to avoid vibration and high ISO setting, which will result in increased noise)

Shutter speed: above 1/100th of a second (unless you are using a tripod, the shutter speed can’t be too slow, or vibration may be resulted)

ISO: between 400-1600 (high ISO will result in serious noise; while low ISO will lead to possible vibration)

Remember to be aware of environmental light, white balance and metering when taking photos in this area due to the bright lights. 

End your day on the Upper West Side with a stop at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and the Metropolitan Opera House. Once the sun has set, find a spot that shows off the entire building with all the lights from inside lit. This is key for capturing the most stunning shots when photographing architecture at night. Experiment from different angles to capture a unique shot. 

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All the photos you’ve taken can be submitted for Google’s New York Local Challenges on Snapwire!

Other day trips you can take in the area is to Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and the US Military Academy.

 

So Now What? An Investor Update

As an investor in Snapwire we are sure you have some questions after the closure of our StartEngine campaign and the start of our new campaign on WeFunder. 

1. How many shares in Snapwire do I own?

If you are unsure about how many shares you own in our company check your email for a confirmation email from Start Engine. The email contains the number of shares you hold in Snapwire! If you can't find the exact email you can contact us and we would be more than happy to pull up that information for you. 

2. What happened to the funds that I invested in Snapwire?

With your investment Snapwire has implemented new features that embody our mission and improve overall user experience. 

3. What about the perks?

If you are patiently awaiting the arrival of your perks, you should expect to receive them in the next few weeks! We have been hard at work to produce them. 

4. Why is Snapwire now funding on WeFunder?

Snapwire is changing gears because we think that WeFunder has a larger investor base and straightforward platform. On WeFunder we now have a lower minimum invesment rate of $100 instead of $500.  We know that this will allow more people- especially photographers- the opportunity to hold shares in Snapwire. 


We hope this post touches on the most pertinent questions you have had in regards to your investment. If you still have unanswered questions feel free to contact us! 

 

What's Selling + Insight Into Getting Your Photos Purchased

We often get asked: "What kind of photos are selling on Snapwire?" While we have various blog posts written on the subject, it is always helpful to take a look at specific photos to understand what buyers are choosing. To check out what has been recently purchased you can check out the recently purchased page to see what buyers are looking for and to get future inspiration. 

Congratulations to our request winners: Jordan Rodriguez, Bryana Likes, and Vera Cepic for their recently purchased photos! Here are the photos: 

Halloween 2016

 

Photo by: Bryana Likes

Photo by: Bryana Likes

Outdoor Lifestyle

Photo by: Jordan Rodriguez

Photo by: Jordan Rodriguez

Ready, Set, Jump!

Photo by: NewNow Photography by Vera Cepic

Photo by: NewNow Photography by Vera Cepic

All of these photos are clean and simple, with ideal lighting for their respective setting, and a limited use of filters. The jumping picture is an exception as there is an obvious filter at play, but it works because it is not too heavy and actually gives a smoother look to the sky, making the subjects stand out more. Also, the photos appear to be authentic, with relaxed smiles and natural facial expressions. Buyers are looking for distinctive captures of delightful moments with real people. 

Most importantly, what made these photos favorites for buyers is that they are great examples of visual storytelling! Each image has its own unique story to tell. Buyers are seeking out photos like these because they evoke certain feelings such as family ties, wanderlust, and celebration in viewers. 

Again, congratulations to the recent request winners. Let's get back to shooting!

 

Crash Course on Effective Keywording

Uploading your photos on to Snapwire is ridiculously easy! With a quick upload your photos are instantly available to be bought through your portfolio and eventually the marketplace by brands and creatives. However you have to ensure that your photos don't get lost in the sea of uploaded photos by adding relevant keywords. Intentional visibility will help your photos get the attention that they deserve. 

The biggest misconception about keywording is that the quantity will drive traffic to your images. However, the reality is that less is more when it comes to keywording. Make sure that every keyword you use is relevant to what your image portrays. It is helpful to ask yourself throughout the process: "If I were searching for this exact photo, what keywords would I choose to find it?"

Here is Snapwire's guide to effectively picking quality keywords for your images:

Focus on Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs

What are the objects or subjects at play in your photo? What do they look like on a physical level? What are they doing in the photo? The keywords generated in this step will help identify what is outwardly present in the photo. 

Larger Concepts At Play

This is what your photo represents beyond just the surface level. Image buyers purchase images in order to portray an idea, a feeling, and a way of life to their consumers. If you include keywords that tell an overarching story, your photos will offer more meaning for buyers. 

Location Is Key

Buyers often search for specific locations (countries, cities, or specific sites). Including the various locations of your photo will increase the chances that your photo will be found and sold. For example if you use the keyword "China" your photo will have to be sifted through 388 images versus if you also include "Beijing" which only includes 23 images. By getting location specific you narrow down the pool of photos that your photo will reside in, 

For a bigger picture let's take this photo as an example:

Nouns: traveler, nomad, woman, person, rocks, desert, road, route, hat

Adjective: barefoot, green, purple, red, dry

Verbs: wandering, exploring, walking

Concepts: journey, freedom, time off, wanderlust, leisure, landscape, scenery, travel, solo

Location: United States, America, American state, United States of America, Death Valley, Utah


As a rockstar photographer you must understand and get into the mind of a buyer during the processing stage. Taking great photos is only part of the equation. By using precise words to maximize the impact of your photos you can singlehandedly increase visibility and sales.

Introducing Batch Upload

2016 has been a big year for Snapwire with the new pay-per-shoot feature, thousands of localized Google requests, and the introduction of collections. Luckily for you, we are ending the year with a bang with our long awaited feature: batch upload! 

Instead of painstakingly uploading 1 photo at a time, batch upload allows you to upload up to 10 photos at a given time. This saves you both precious time and gives you the opportunity to post more photos in your portfolio and to requests. 


 

Here is how to get started:

1. From either your portfolio or a request press "Submit Photos" to get you to this screen: 

2. Select the photos that you want to upload from your computer and press "open"

3. Make sure that you selected the correct files and then press "upload" 

4. Wait for the platform to process your photos, it won't be long!  

5. Select keywords and write up photo captions/descriptions for your photos individually or at the same time using the control button (command on mac). 

6. And voila! Check out your portfolio and/or the request to view your uploaded images! 

We believe that the ability to upload more photos gives you more visibility to buyers which in turn will result in more sold photos. The Snapwire team can't wait to see what 2017 will bring to our community with all of our new updates. Happy New Years! 

 

 

DIY Faux Neon Sign

Gone are the times when neon signs were relegated to seedy dive-bars and billiard lounges. Neon signs have taken the world by storm and are now commonplace in upscale restaurants, showrooms, and homes around the world. If you don't take our word for it just check out the Pinterest  feed for "Neon Light Signs." What makes neon signs so fun other than the bright LED's are their  brief and alluring customizable messages. While some are positive and upbeat ("life is beautiful" and "good vibes only"), some take a more provocative tone ("bow down bitches" and "I still want to kiss you"), and some are just plain angsty ("take a selfie, fake a life" and "tea yes, you maybe"). 

Unfortunately neon signs are out of most people's budget, with custom signs going for upwards of $300. Although you could technically make your own, after reading this article we think it is best to leave that to the pros. Instead of bending and forming glass with poisonous gases, the next best option only requires a free afternoon, your imagination and wire. 


Materials:

1. EL Wire in the color of your choice (it comes with a battery pack!) I recommend buying EL wire from Amazon for $14

2. 12 or 14 gauge galvanized steel wire

3. 20-22 gauge steel wire to secure certain letters

4. Glue Gun

5. Needle-Nosed Pliers 

6. Clear thumbtacks or washi tape to secure the sign to your wall. 

7. Large white paper

8. Pencil


Instructions:

1. Sketch out your design on a large white piece of paper. Remember that you cannot cut your EL wire so you will have to draw whatever your word or phrase is in cursive.  If you are writing out a phrase measure the length of your letters with a string to make sure that you will have enough EL wire for your design!  

I decided on "Duende" because it is simple and sweet, and my favorite word in the Spanish language. If you're curious on its meaning check it out here. 

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2. It is time to take your steel wire and pliers and start bending the wire into its desired shape. Shaping wire can be frustrating because wire never does exactly what you want it to do, so it is key to be patient and know that unless you have a whole day to devote to this, the results won't be perfect! On areas where the wires overlap it can be helpful to secure it with thinner wire to make it more flat so that the glueing process will be easy. 

 

3.  Now is when the magic happens! Get your glue gun ready and start attaching the EL wire to your metal wire frame. I attached 2-3 inches at a time and held down the EL wire to make sure that it was securely on the metal frame. During the process it is normal for parts to unstick so simply add more glue and repeat. For that reason it is also common for globs of glue  to dry on the side of the EL wire. Luckily this can be easily removed after the glue dries.

4. Adhere the sign to a wall with clear pushpins or washi tape. The pins can hardly be seen when the sign is illuminated.  I didn't have a place to readily hide the battery pack so I created a zig-zag formation down the wall and put the battery pack behind my ottoman. 

5. Now put in some batteries into the battery pack and activate the EL wire! The results should be nothing less than mesmerizing. Unts Unts time to get this party started. 

We think that the end results aren't too shabby:

 

Check out some neon signs on Snapwire for some inspiration on creating your personalized neon sign: 

Photo by: Sarah Eiseman. 

Photo by: Sarah Eiseman. 

Photo by: Justin Ti. Shockley

Photo by: Justin Ti. Shockley

Photo by: Alexey Dulin. 

Photo by: Alexey Dulin. 

Snapwire Success Stories - 1st Edition

Have you ever wondered what sells on #snapwire? Check out the video "Snapwire Success Stories" to explore our favorite recently purchased photos on the platform!

Congratulations to Sam Ciurdar, Blake BronstadMitchel Lensink, Ogsupremephoto, Mac Kilduff, Fré Sonneveld, Alexey Dulin, Nik Palomares, Elizabeth Ormiston, Tyler Linahan, and Kelly Burnham!

 

 

Out With The Old & In With The New: Holiday Imagery

It's the second week of the holiday season and the floodgates of marketing campaigns have burst open. Since the sea of advertisements are so vast, the campaigns that bring the best results are obviously those that visually stand out from the rest. 

One reason why so many campaigns fail is that they choose the same run of the mill stock photo that thousands of other brands also use each year. You know what photo I am talking about, the one where the little girl is diligently writing a letter to Santa while her grandparents sit next to her heartily laughing. The background features a Christmas tree, a stack of presents, a glass of milk, and an assortment of cookies to really ensure that the "holiday" effect is in play.

The same old cliches and overly staged images just try too hard to convey an ideal image of Christmas. Unfortunately, businesses who use traditional stock photos in their campaigns, often lose out on sales because a large number of audience members no longer resonate with the picture perfect Christmas prototype. To remedy the drift, the Snapwire team believes that the future of holiday imagery lies in authentic images that connect with modern audiences. 

Check out our "Winter Holidays" collection to see a gallery of genuine images taken by photographers in the Snapwire community. These photos showcase the meaning of the holiday season in a way that is engaging and approachable for all types of consumers. Ensure your holiday marketing campaign looks natural and fits in with the times!

Affordable Stocking Stuffers for Photography Lovers

Christmas shopping is in full swing across America. According to a survey by the American Research Group, an average American will spend $929 on gifts this holiday season (which is up $47 from last year). For most people this is an unrealistic number that requires going into credit card debt and forgoing necessary purchases in order to get as many gifts as possible. With all of this pressure it is easy to feel like you have to break the bank to show your loved ones how much they mean to you. Thankfully, with a bit of online research you can find amazing and unique gifts at affordable price points, so you can still lead a happy existence throughout the month of December and January! So with that in mind, we have put together a list of stocking stuffers for shutterbugs that contains a little bit of everything for both photographers and enthusiasts alike. 


1. Gee-Whiz Smartphone Projector ($28)

Have you ever attempted to watch a movie off of your laptop with one too many friends? Or tried to watch youtube videos on your Iphone but your hands got tired? This DIY projector allows you to watch videos magnified on a wall so you can share your entertainment with others and be hands-free. The projector could also be really handy for adding visuals at a house party. 

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2. Disposable Cameras ($8.17 for 1)

Although they are not as exciting as the flood of new gizmos and gadgets of the photography world, disposable cameras are a timeless gift for photographers of any level. They offer a certain kind of magic that digital cameras just can't deliver. There is always a level of mystery when one waits for their 24 photos to develop.

3. Bottle Cap Tripod ($10) 

Since photo opportunities come at any time, it is common that you won't always have a bulky tripod in your possession. Luckily, with the bottle cap tripod all you will need is a bottle of water or soda in order to stabilize your camera. Once the phone is placed on the tripod, it can be moved 360 degrees and tilted up to 15 degrees. 

4. Camalapse 4 ($29.99)

Taking high quality panoramic and/or time lapse photos with a smartphone can be a daunting endeavor. The Camalapse (an outwardly glorified kitchen timer) allows users to attach their smartphones to the top and let it spin up to 360 degrees in over an hour of time

5. The Photorito Lens Wrap ($20.00)

What is more amazing than a burrito inspired lens wrap? While we tend to stray away from novelty items, this one is just too good to pass up. After you wrap your lens like a burrito in the wrap, a built-in strap keeps it in place, so you can be worry-free when traveling or on-the-go. The only downside is that it constantly reminds you about how much you want to go buy a super burrito...

6. Camera Lens Coffee Mug ($11.99)

For a photographer who treats their morning coffee or tea as a sacrilegious event, this gift is a great addition to any mug collection. The Lens Coffee Mug is a replica of Canon Lens Model EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and it holds up to 13.5 ounces of hot or cold beverages. 

7. Rainsleeves ( $6.95 for a set of 2)

These polyethylene rain sleeves are perfect for adventurous photographers who won't let extreme weather conditions keep them from the perfect shot. They are also handy for music festival goers when the wind picks up and dust starts flying. The sleeve fits cameras that are 7" in diameter and 18" in length and allows users to use the lens and camera controls through the sleeve. 

8. Snapwire FX Presets ($49 for 1 pack)

Creating a great photo takes time, patience, and practice. From the composition to the post-editing, making an amazing photo isn't easy! Snapwire has created some tools for photographers to help streamline the process. The four different Lightroom presets will help you take transform your photos from good to incredible. Plus, they don't take up any room in a stocking so this gift is the ultimate space saver! 

9. LensPen Lens Cleaner ($9.95) 

Probably the most functional item on the list, this compact, concave, pen-shaped cleaning tool, is perfect for cleaning lenses of all types. Since it doesn't contain any liquid it won't ever dry out or spill onto other items.

 

10. Luxi Iphone Light Meter ($30.00) 

When you slip the Luxi device on any phone with a front facing camera you transform your phone into a incident light meter (this is a fancy term that means it measures the light falling on an exact spot). By setting it to manual mode the device will choose the best setting for your photo needs. The product is a lot smaller and less expensive than standard light meters on the market. 

We hope you find the perfect gift for your family and friends, or at least get inspired. The best gifts aren't those that cost an arm and a leg, but those that are well thought out. Happy Holidays from the Snapwire team!  

Introducing Collections: a New Way to Save and Sort Photos

You've asked for it, and we've been working hard to make it happen. You can now create collections to organize and showcase photos. This is definitely our biggest update of the year and we think it's pretty awesome.


Here's how to get started:

1. The new grid icon on the bottom right of the photos on Snapwire, allows you to add photos to a specified collection. 

2. Clicking on the collection button will bring a dropdown menu where you can either add the image to an existing collection or create a new collection. 

3. To access your collections, activate the sidebar and click on "My Collections." 

4. This is the interface for viewing your collections. Here you can rename, remove, or share your collections. You can also "Make Collection Public" which means that your collections will be able to be viewed by other Snapwire users. 

5. If you have created a public collection, you and others can view it on your Portfolio. 

Collections are great tools for buyers and photographers alike to organize and sort inspirational images. We can't wait to see some beautifully curated collections in the weeks to come!