Snapwire March Challenge Winners

One of the most popular features on Snapwire is our requests page. Here, high ranking photographers can search through thousands of image requests and see if any of their content matches what buyers are looking for. Through this page buyers can also launch "photo challenges" where anyone signed up to the site can submit their photos to potentially be chosen. 

 

Below are the hand-picked winners of Snapwire's three March photo challenges.


In The Mountains

Creative Brief: This week's Snapwire Challenge will be anything 'in the mountains'. We'd like to focus more on hiking, camping and mountain climbing, but we will also consider photos of beautiful mountains, great scenery of forest and walkways in the middle of nowhere. We will be nominating good/high quality photos that follow the brief, please check our blog posts to get some tips: : https://www.snapwi.re/blog

Go out, enjoy the nature and happy shooting!

Christoph Schaarschmidt took this beautiful image of Mount Taranaki in New Zealand rising out of some early-morning fog. The way the cloud layer separates the brush from the mountain-top gives the image a cool layered feel. 

Check out the original request here.


Cheese Overload

Creative Brief: This Snapwire Challenge will be something mouthwatering guilty pleasure - cheese! This could start from cheese palette, a delicious variety of cheese with or without wine, cheese store, cheese factory, rounds of cheese, melted cheese, to something we cook with like pizza, carbonara, lasagna, mac and cheese, cheesecake, grilled cheese sandwich, mozzarella sticks, cheeseburgers, nachos or any food that has lots of cheese in it. Good luck and enjoy shooting!

We chose this photo taken by Lena Otvodenko of some delicious looking burrata placed on a bed of tomatoes and arugula to be the winner of this challenge. The cheese looks mouthwateringly fresh and stands out against the neutral background.

Check out the original request here.


Vibrant 

Creative Brief: This Snapwire Challenge is open to anything vibrant - people or pets full of energy and enthusiasm, energetic kids, things that are very bright and colorful, photos of places / landscapes in vibrant colors, rainbow, stylish and colorful clothes, bold makeup looks, different fruits organized by colors, paint pallet, colored powder, portraits in solid colored background, sprinkles, abstract, etc. Happy Shooting!

The way the vibrant blue and purple smoke masks the face of the subject in this shot by Jennifer Tunberg really grabs our attention. The detail you can see in the smoke makes it look almost solid and really makes the viewer do a double take in an attempt to try to understand what they are looking at. Very cool and original! 

Check out the original request here.


To submit your own photos to open requests follow this link

Snapwire Updates: March

In an effort to keep the community informed about software and product updates to Snapwire we try to post once a month about any new or big changes. Here are some of this month's big updates: 

Subscriptions: After extensive testing and customer interviews we made the decision to switch the marketplace library to a subscription only offering. This means buyers can no longer purchase images a la carte and browse for free. Instead, they must subscribe to a predefined package. We have always had subscriptions as part of our core offering, but we decided to make the switch after it was apparent that downloads on a per photo basis would increase substantially if we only offered subscriptions. We believe this will greatly increase your earnings as a photographer as there will be more people downloading images from the library than ever before. With this in mind it is more important than ever to constantly be updating your portfolio. If you haven't already be sure to read about how to upload via FTP to your profile here

 

Snapwire Winter Challenge Winners

One of the most popular features on Snapwire is our requests page. Here, high ranking photographers can search through thousands of image requests and see if any of their content matches what buyers are looking for. Through this page buyers can also launch "photo challenges" where anyone signed up to the site can submit their photos to potentially be chosen. 

Below are the hand-picked winners of Snapwire's four most recent photo challenges. 


Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

Creative Brief: UltraViolet is an enigmatic purple shade that evokes the inventive spirit and imaginative thinking. Photos could start from fashion - clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, hair; design - interior, art, paint, furniture, etc.; or food like treats, cupcakes, ice cream, sweets, objects or even flowers, anything ultra violet! Cheers to 2018!

After looking through the 3311 shots submitted to this challenge, we all voted and decided the one that screamed "Ultra Violet" to us was this image taken by Bernie Butler. The shot is creative, fresh and exactly what we were looking for.   

Check out the original request here.


Valentine's

Creative Brief: Be sweet, get romantic, and share what this holiday looks like for you. Show us your best photos; decorations, couples, candy, hearts, crafts... Capture special moments, be creative, and have fun!

The Valentine's challenge brought a lot of cool and creative images to our attention making it hard to choose the winner. But after some careful deliberations we all agreed that this image by Leila Milaya took the lead.

Check out the original request here.


Creatives 

Creative Brief: We're looking for Creatives at work in casual, intimate workspaces. Photo should contain one or more people, age 18-49, can be shot from close or far away. Space and subject should feel warm and inviting, indoor or outdoor spaces are great. It could be a co-work space, a coffee shop, a home-office, living space, or other casual work environment. You could use a friend to pose in the shot, or find a natural moment as well.

This shot by Bradley Ratliff brings together the elements we deemed distinctive of a cozy, casual work space. The warm colors of the room along with the candidness of the models make for an naturally inviting image. 

Check out the original request here.


Snacking

Creative Brief: We'd like to see your favorite Snacks. Could be something healthy like mixed nuts: almond, cashew, chickpeas; fruits such as apple, grapes, or even dried fruits; smoothies; something you can easily buy from grocery like banana chips, nutritious mixed berries, chocolate or energy bars, crackers, dark chocolate, cereal, cheese, popcorn, cookies, etc. Photos could be with or without people, would also be fun to see 'messy snacking' like a photo of a toddler covered with lots and lots of food all over his mouth and face, family or friends watching a movie at home while eating snacks, person having midnight snack, etc.

This image by Mandy Stephenson showcases the most delicious way to cool yourself down on a hot summer day, WATERMELON. The shot is fun, fresh and totally nostalgic which is why we chose it for the winner of this challenge.

Check out the original request here.

Photographer Spotlight: Aundre Larrow

My name is Aundre Larrow. I’m a Snapwire user, and I’m an Adobe Creative Resident. When Snapwire came out, I had the pleasure of working with the team to do some in-person events in NYC and learn about the power that Snapwire offered creatives of all ages. Specifically, their training for young creatives on how to read a creative brief and deliver what their clients needed, a real client with professional expectations and metrics to meet, that was huge.

At that point, I was just like the other creatives on the platform, trying to figure it out and hoping to get paid along the way. I am far from “getting it,” but I’ve been blessed with a few people who really believe in my work, who are helping me grow.

One of those people is Heidi Voltmer. A year ago she sent me an email to encourage me to apply to the Adobe Creative Residency, a program designed to help emerging artists take the next step of their career by backing them financially and with mentorship. It’s been 10 months for me in the program and I’ve grown a lot.

My chosen project is stories from here, a portraiture project focused on sense of place and identity. At first, it was rough. I focused on quantity of interview subjects over quality and left myself inundated with hours of interviews, some of which I didn’t care for much. Then I was super self-conscious about what to put out into the world and how, so I posted nothing to social. My internal mentor Michelle Wei, kept calmly pushing me and encouraging me to just get it out there and refine my project over time.

It took me a bit of time, but like a kid entering the water for the first time, I started to trust that the people in this program put me in a position to be successful because they believed in my work, and that was really powerful.

I think what I’m trying to say is your next step is about giving yourself the freedom to mess up more to succeed more, and the Creative Residency gave me that. Apply today; applications are due 11:59 pm PT February 25. You can do this.

 See more of Aundre's work  here.

See more of Aundre's work here.

3 Easy Valentine Recipes

With Valentine's Day coming up around the corner, it's important to have a few recipes that you can easily make in order to impress and treat that special someone.

Check out these 3 fun recipes:

 Photo by  Javier Castro

Photo by Javier Castro

1. Heart Shaped Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
    Additional Ingredients: Desired Decorations (sprinkles, icing, etc)

Steps:

1. Use a large bowl to mix the butter, vanilla, and egg with either an electric mixer or spoon.  Next, stir in the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Cover; refrigerate until chilled.

2. Heat oven to 375°F.  Divide dough in half and roll each half about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutter and place cutout 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until golden and remove cookie sheet.  Place on cooling rack for about 30 minutes.

4.  Enjoy cookies with your loved one!

 

 Photo by  C L 1

Photo by C L 1

2. Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • Handful of Fresh Strawberries
  • 14-16 oz Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tablespoons Shortening

 

 

Steps:

1.  In a small/medium pot, boil and melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth.

2.  Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.

3. Turn the strawberries upside down and place them on aluminum foil to cool. 

 
 Photo by  Kelly Leeves

Photo by Kelly Leeves

3. Baked Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, sugar, black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 fillets salmon

 

Steps:
 

1.  In a glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley.  Place salmon in a medium baking dish and cover with marinade.  Marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

3. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade and seal.  Place sealed salmon in the glass dish and bake 35-45 minutes.
 

Snapwire Updates: January

In an effort to keep the community informed about software and product updates to Snapwire we post once a month about any new or big changes. Here are some of this month's big updates:

Request Pricing: From now on you will only see pricing that is relevant to you! This is a feature that has been asked for for quite some time and we finally got around to updating Snapwire so that if you're a photographer you will see the actual price that you are getting paid out. No more guessing or surprises once your photo is purchased. What you see is what you get. 

FTP Upload: In an effort to make uploading quicker and easier for users who are level Expert and above we have introduced FTP upload. This will allow you to upload large amounts of images (up to 1,000 at a time) and have all the meta data with your images automatically get imported as well. If you are below Expert level and would like access to FTP upload then please contact us so we can review your portfolio to see if you're a fit. To see how to upload via FTP read this post.

2018 Content Marketing Predictions

The world of content marketing continues to evolve every year, in parallel with technological advancements. Each year, the Content Marketing Institute releases predictions for the upcoming year. 2017 was predicted to be the year of contextual and targeted content - driven by the Internet of Things, advanced segmenting abilities in ad channels like Facebook, and location tracking functionality.  The technological ground was laid in 2017 which gave way to some early adopters capitalizing on conversions by implementing hyper-targeted content to smaller segments. 

Think Airbnb, Uber, and Hotel Tonight, who have been leading the pack in integrating local content. Specifically, Hotel Tonight did a great job this year at integrating targeted display content based on a user's locations and interests. This ad, for example, was displayed to me on my Instagram feed while I was on a trip back home in Los Angeles. That specific hotel is the LINE hotel in Los Angeles - an easily recognizable and well regarded hotel that only real locals would know about. It's not only about getting the timing and location right but serving up visual content that resonates personally with the consumer. Hotel Tonight was able to compile visual images of popular local spots and feed ads to specific users based on simple location targeting. 

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2017 Was the Year of Targeted Local Content 

 

2017 was the year of technical location tracking advancements, and now segmentation and hyper targeting are, and should be, on most content marketer's radars.  As functionality gives rise to accessibility, it paves the way for a new way of thinking about content this year. Local content won't just be for the big brands but for brands of all sizes, and will be accelerated by solutions that make production cost decrease, and value increase.

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2018 Will Be The Year of Production Value 

Consumers are becoming increasingly saavy  about when they're being sold to, so ill-thought out efforts pale in comparison with the brands that are thoughtfully putting out content. This is a huge reason why we've seen a push for localized content. Although it takes some time to identify segments, produce targeted content, and roll it out, the proof is in the pudding. The extra effort to make your content personal to your audience will pay off in conversions. As smart segmentation continues to evolve, the "spray and prey" approach of content will cease to exist. Brands will start to invest in the production of a small number of highly targeted content campaigns rather than pumping out high volumes of meaningless, low targeted campaigns. Brands will start to invest more in the production of the assets, ensuring what's being produced is high quality and branded. 

Virality and reach will become less important, and marketers will instead focus on better segmenting and targeting capabilities, enhanced with the help of AI. This will finally lead to the downfall of the recent trend of snake-oil salespeople who promise to hack your way into millions of meaningless views, comments, and likes. Content marketing will no longer be a game of volume and bloated numbers but will instead promote empathy, relevance, and exclusivity. – Jason Miller, global content marketing leader, LinkedIn (quote from Content Marketing Institute)

As brands begin to realize the power of creating targeted experiences, they will begin to explore how to produce unique forms of content - especially at scale. They'll experiment with new forms of content, more budget will be allocated to the actual production of the assets, and emerging Content-as-a-Service platforms will make it affordable for brands of all sizes to begin experimenting with local content.

In 2018, I expect to see more diversification of content formats. More live streaming on social. More audio/podcasts. Alexa skills. Content will continue to expand beyond the traditional web and print approaches. Brands will continue to invest in content, as they have been over the last few years; but that investment will shift from mostly writing services and paid distribution/promotion to a whole host of services – production, more animation and video-related graphics, voice talent, etc. It’s no longer just about words – content is about creating experiences. – Amanda Todorovich, content marketing director, Cleveland Clinic (quote from Content Marketing Institute)

Content-as-a-Service platforms claim to be the technological solution to producing good content at scale. They combine technology with a massive creator community to roll out content quickly without losing on quality. Outsourcing content production will be the economical solution to producing this kind of high quality content at scale, and will make it affordable for SMBs to take a crack at local content. We're already seeing this trend emerging at Snapwire, where we've helped over a thousand brands of all sizes scale production of branded content. The biggest emerging trend we've seen to date is the need for scalable content across locations. Our technological solution is able to take the localized needs of a brand and broadcast them out to proven creators to shoot and deliver custom-tailored images. Our solution makes it affordable for a marketing manager to implement localized and branded content and we predict that these needs will only increase in 2018. 

In conclusion, it's an exciting time for content as consumers start to become more saavy. Cluttered low quality content will begin to decrease as high quality, thought out campaigns take their place. 

You can read more 2018 marketing trends here

Introducing FTP Upload

It's now easier and faster to upload photos to your portfolio with FTP Upload.

 

* NOTE: FTP Upload works automatically for Expert level and above on Snapwire. For all other levels, please email ervinna@snapwi.re to ask for FTP capabilities to be turned on. 

Table of Contents

  • How to Use FTP Upload
  • Step 1: Download an FTP Client
  • Step 2: Set Up FTP Credentials in your Snapwire account
  • Step 3: Connect the FTP Client to the Snapwire Database
  • Step 4: Navigate to Snapwire Portfolio to Batch Upload
  • Step 5: Repeat!

How to Use FTP Upload

FTP upload utilizes your local computer environment and our remote database server to quickly and efficiently transfer bulk amounts of data and images. FTP upload is a very straightforward method to quickly get your images to our database. After a few times of using FTP you should find the process very user friendly. If you have any metadata associated with your images (keywords, descriptions, releases, etc.) those will all be imported with your images as well. This guide will help you setup your first FTP upload as well as answer some common concerns or questions.

Step 1: Download an FTP Client

First you’ll need an FTP client. We recommend FileZilla as it is one of the most widely used FTP clients, it’s free, safe, and extremely user friendly, so this guide will focus on using FileZilla as your FTP client. If you do not have FileZilla Downloaded you can do so here: https://filezilla-project.org/

Step 2: Set Up FTP Credentials in your Snapwire account

To do so click on your name in the top right hand corner of your profile and navigate to settings. Once there, scroll to the section near the bottom titled “Use FTP to download and upload large amounts of photos.” Click the checkbox that says enable FTP and then click save changes. Once you’ve done so you need to navigate back to the same box to set your password.

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Once you type your desired password in click save changes once again. The password will need to contain 1 upper-case character and at least 1 number. This is just a temporary password and this step will need to be repeated every time you wish to upload via FTP. The information displayed in the blue bar is what you will use inside FileZilla to establish your connection. Labeled in the picture above is the information you need to input into FileZilla

Step 3: Connect the FTP Client to the Snapwire Database

Now enter the information that appears in your connection info (the blue box inside your settings), into the proper spaces within FileZilla. Once your information is entered in, click “Quickconnect” to establish a database connection. You should see messaging appear in the top bar saying connection established or successful. If you have trouble connecting be sure you entered all your connection information in correctly (remember you need 1 uppercase character and 1 number for your password).

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In the middle section of FileZilla you’ll see on the left hand side of the screen is your local computer, it’s folders and it’s files. This is where you’ll want to locate the images within your computer (or external hard drive) that you’re wanting to upload. On the right hand side is the remote server for Snapwire and where you’ll need to drag your files into. You’ll want to locate the folder called “upload” and double click on it to navigate inside of it. Once inside this is where you’ll want to drag and drop photos from your local drive.

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Your images will immediately begin to process two at a time. Depending on how many files you’re uploading and your internet connection this process may take some time so be patient. You can only upload 1,000 images at a time so do not attempt more. If you navigate away from FileZilla and come back with some files having stopped loading just click Quickconnect to re-establish your FTP connection. It will ask you to abort your previous session if this happens and just click yes. Your previously stopped images should begin to load again. This may happen a few times depending how many files you’re trying to upload and is normal as FileZilla will occasionally time-out.

Step 4: Navigate to Snapwire Portfolio to Batch Upload

NOTE: If your images contained Keywords/Descriptions in the metadata they will upload automatically to your portfolio and you can skip the next steps.

Once your images have finished uploading navigate back to your profile on Snapwire.

If your images did not contain keywords and descriptions in the metadata, click the button that says “upload photos from Snapwire-ftp”.

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A modal will pop up that will allow you to select the images you’d like to upload. Hold COMMAND if you’d like to select more than one. If you’d like to upload all the shots in the folder, click “upload all images from FTP”.

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Next, go through the regular upload flow. You’ll need to fill in keywords, a photo description, and licensing information in order to upload your shots.

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Done! Feel free to upload as many shots as you’d like to your portfolio using FTP. Email hello@snapwi.re for any questions or troubleshooting information.

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3 Steps to Increase your Instagram Following

How can you increase your Instagram following? Whether you are an established or aspiring brand/social influencer, these three tips will help you to optimize your time on Instagram. They will help you build and retain a stronger Instagram following, increase content quality, and engagement levels. Lets get into it!

#1 - Post Consistently

Posting consistently is absolutely essential because it increases your social presence. What is social presence? It is, "The degree of interaction and visibility between oneself and others in a social network." When you are posting consistently, you are sending the message to your following that you are a active, reliable, and trustworthy member of the social community. This is the first and most important tip because reliability and trustworthiness are paramount and attractive characteristics when building any brand or profile. 

Recent studies show that top brand accounts that post consistently have the highest following growth rates. Currently, the fastest growing top brands are @chanelofficial and @zara

@chanelofficial and @zara grow their Instagram following by an average of 1.17% per. week. This may not sound very impressive, but 1.17% for them is hundreds of thousands of followers. 

Interestingly, the number of times you post a day is not as important as maintaining that frequency. The key to the locked door of building your following being reliability, make sure your post frequency is steady. Although they are still a top brand, @nike does not post consistently and has a dramatically lower average growth rate of only .3% per. week.

As far as numbers go, posting consistently could mean posting one, five, or ten photos everyday but be sure to hold to that number. If your post rate drops, your Instagram following will likely also. Even though the number of times you post a day is not as important as sustaining that post rate, the general rule of thumb from many different studies is posting 1.5 times per. day. 

#2 - Fully Optimize your Content

The first step to fully optimizing your content to is exclusively posting high quality photos/ videos to your feed. The quality of  your post reflects the quality of your brand. What makes content high quality? High resolution captures, well framed shots, and human elements are all key pieces to quality content. High resolution content is clearer and more life-like. This sends a message to your audience that your profile or brand is professional. Well framed shots are another important factor to high quality content. Make sure the main subject of your photo/video fits into or is the cover photo for your post. Lastly, human elements in your content make them more authentic and relatable. Here are a few examples of high quality and well framed images with human elements: 

Photos in order by: @oliviariddering, @graydenpapers, @jameslano, @alexeydulin

The second step for optimizing your content is being trendy. Track trending hashtags, well performing content on other top brand/profile accounts, and other viral themes/challenges. Keeping up with trends is one of the fastest ways to increasing your Instagram following because  it increases your account exposure. Using trending hashtags and creating trending posts expands you audience beyond your normal following to the entire world following that trend.

Lastly, create comments that encourage engagement. Comments directly asking your following for a response or opinion perform the best. Open questions and asking for comments increases engagement by 300% on average.

#3 - Utilize Instagram Stories

The Instagram story has become extremely popular making it an important  tool to take advantage of. According to a CNBC article, only ten months after Instagram released their story feature in august of 2016, it had an average of 250 million active daily users.  Six years after it was founded, Snapchat still has less than 180 million active daily users. Utilizing Instagram stories is another great way to reinforce social presence too!

Here are a few tips for creating an engaging Instagram story:

A. Use Stickers and Polls 

Stickers and Polls are fun ways to engage and have fun or get real feedback from your following.

 

B. Add Hyper-links to your stories 

Hyper-links increase website and promotional page traffic.

 

C. Be friendly!

Spur engagement in multiple places on the platform (DM's, post comment section, and story comment section)

 

D. Highlight New Posts

Highlighting new posts drives traffic to your main feed.

 

In Conclusion...

So remember to post consistently, optimize your content, and utilize Instagram Stories. Be patient, Increasing your Instagram Following will take time. Commit to these steps and you will be great!

Follow Snapwire on Instagram: @snapwire

Check out  Snapwire's authentic photo library for high quality content you can source from.