Creatives and brands have always had a close relationship, but there’s never been a time in history when these two groups have been more dependent on each other.
Content, content, content.
We are bombarded daily with images and moving clips. It comes from everywhere; TV, billboards, social media, news articles, texts, etc. If there’s one day that passes in our modern lives when we don’t look at hundreds of images and short clips, we’re likely dead. Where does all of this content come from?
Much of it is what is referred to as “user generated”. This just means, me and you, and every other Jo Schmo who snaps a pic with his iPhone and uploads it to Instagram. Well, this is a huge pool from which brands can draw. And it’s all free marketing.
So what about us? The professionals who make a living shooting for brands?
It’s the same old story since the beginning of commercial art… There’s always someone out there willing to give their work for free, and a host of creatives sit around bitching about how the market is flooded and so and so’s ruining our industry, and the sky is falling…. blah… blah… blah.
Well, I subscribe to the philosophy that we as creatives have an innate need to grow creatively and to work hard, contrary to popular belief. Clients will always recognize the inherent worth of our work, if we’re willing to create work that is worth anything! Even if it’s meant to look user gen.
So back to my point…. user generated content can only be taken so far. Companies know this. It is fantastic to mix in the user gen pics and video, but brands will always need professional quality and consistency. Even the big dogs can’t count on good user gen content everyday.
In the old days, a medium sized company would only license about a hundred images in a given year… now they will likely go through thousands. True, some of that is free content, but the amount of paid, licensed work a brand will purchase annually has skyrocketed.
The Old Faithfuls
That’s where creatives come in. The ones they can count on, every time.
More and more, I am creating “image banks” for my clients and brands, where they are able to go and grab what they need, when they need it, to fill in the user gen gaps. They even find it useful for print and other marketing needs.
It’s a great relationship. We want to be out there being creative, pushing ourselves and growing. They need eye catching imagery, again and again and again…. So be sure you are there when they need you.
The market is definitely changing. But in my opinion, there’s more of a need for us “old faithfuls” out there than there ever has been. The world is only demanding more and more content, and it does’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. So, as much as we need them (so we can continue to put food on the table and pay rent)… they need us, and our creative, beautiful, and consistent content.
In honor of the NPS Centennial this year, I have put together a special collection of (some never before seen) my favorite National Park prints. Please check it out and know that 5% of all the profits from the sale of this artwork will be donated to a wonderful organization that works hard to help preserve our Nation’s most magical places, The National Park Foundation.. We will be visiting almost all of the 59 National Parks this year, so check back often as we will be updating the page regularly. Thank you so much for your support!
Want to learn photography and enjoy a guided experience? Check out my exciting, NEW workshop dates:
Big Bend NP // Night/ Landscape // 2016 – ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!
Isle of Skye // S C O T L A N D // 2016 – 4 SPOTS AVAILABLE
Highlands // S C O T L A N D // 2016 – 4 SPOTS AVAILABLE
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Tandem Stills + Motion // Andrew R. Slaton
Image Brief // Andrew R. Slaton
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
Andrew R. Slaton | photographer // prints
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all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2016