A story in Business Insider titled “Meet 9 Incredible Instagram Users That Advertisers Are Dying To Work With” got me thinking about photographers producing a stream of content and how that can easily attract lots of followers. It’s easy to be dismissive of social content because the quality can be quite low (sunsets and boobs seem to do quite well) but the trick to attracting followers is to be reliable and consistent.

The Sartorialist is a great example of someone who has attracted a large audience by being there for them day in and out.( Note, he also pioneered street style blogging so there’s more to it than just daily postings.) J Crew sent him on an 8 city tour… to produce a stream of content for them (here).

I’m also reminded of a recent effort by Craig Cutler to “create new personal work once a week, every week, for a full year, no exceptions.” That effort was turned into an exhibition and no doubt put him on everyone’s creative radar for reliably producing content that will attract fans to a brand.

You should be thinking about projects that can show your ability to reliably produce content. Brands need you.

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  1. Thanks for the post! Would be interesting to see other similar projects, could be nice if people posted some links in the comments. I’ve been doing mine for 48 weeks now, going for atleast 100 ;) http://observationsweekly.tumblr.com/ I got frustrated with over-thinking my projects and needed an outlet for my ideas. So instead of having to make books or exhibitions, I made the web my platform for getting things done in a smaller scale. Ideas are worth nothing when kept inside..

  2. Yes, content production is SOCIAL. It’s subjective value is based on the audience’s perception of the “signified” (subject matter) instead of the “signifier” (photography technique)

    Unfortunately, photographers that are good at technique and form are not necessarily qualified for social content production. The best producers must have a thorough understanding of the subjective value of the subject matter contained in the imagery. Folks that can draw from areas of expertise that exist outside of photography will probably have the best chance at being producers. The Sartorialist is a perfect example because his effectiveness is due to his knowledge of the fashion environment rather than the medium of photography.

    A lot of photographers are gonna go nuts watching this shift take place. They’re going to bear constant witness as the public rejects technical photographic craftsmanship in favor of poorly constructed images based on the subjective perceptions of subject matter. Social content producers only need photo skills that are a few steps beyond a point-n-shooter.

    Disclaimer: Of course, a competent photographer can also be an effective content producer. However, knowledge of precision craftsmanship and form isn’t necessary for the production of effective content.

  3. I guess I was expecting the featured 9 to be new and unexpected people from new and unexpected places. But as it turns out, except for the pilot, it’s the usual cast of characters from the creatives class of NYC and LA. I mean, the fact that a style blogger is now using Instagram isn’t all that surprising. But that just means there’s plenty of room for other to make it even more interesting going forward.

    I also get the sense that the “assignments” are small additions to regular photo/marketing coverage, not instead of. Probably handled separately by the viral marking group of the larger marking departments. Meaning, it’s more of a shift in viral marketing (a shift to visual), than marketing overall.

    • An anonymous ad agency is no reason to brag of sponsorship.
      Why would an ad agency sponsor your project? You don’t even give
      them credit on the site. I call BS.

      • haha, Jj, not bragging, just sharing my project. Where’s your work? What are you doing? The agency is called six-speed. Here is a link to there site: http://www.six-speed.com/ – I don’t have it up on the site yet because I’ve been too busy with other paid assignments. This project is a side-assignment from my other commercial work and being in business school full time. But, thanks for the heckle. I always appreciate the hater… I use to be one.

      • JJ you’re a bitch.

  4. It’s such a strange time in photography. But, good images and being in the right place at the right time will always win the day…..in the long run.

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