Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr gives the company a fast-growing social network of more than 100 million people and an added aura of cool. Tumblr’s users are a fiercely loyal crew — the service’s simplicity and visual elegance has attracted a strong community of photographers, designers, and other creatives. So what’s going to change for them?
According to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, not much. In a conference call after the purchase, she said that Yahoo promises to “not screw it up.” She also paid homage to Tumblr’s unique brand of creativity, saying that the community “redefines creative expression.”
If you’re using Tumblr as a creative tool for your business, these are good things to hear. And if you’re not, this is the perfect time to get started. Right now, Tumblr’s usefulness to creatives is largely as a portfolio site or a place to show off new work. But it doesn’t yet offer many tools to help promote your business or find new clients — meaning there’s a big opportunity for Yahoo to build these tools out.
Continue reading ‘A Tumblr Primr: Why Yahoo’s Purchase Is the Perfect Jumping-On Point’ »
When it comes to creativity and inspiration, there are few people who have more of them than a pre-schooler. That’s why there’s a lot we can learn from kids when we want — or need — to reinvigorate ourselves and our work. So break out the Graham crackers and get ready for nap time. Here are five ways you should approach freelancing more like a five year old.
Child with Leaves by Denis Hsn Photography
Continue reading ‘Think of the Children: 5 Freelancing Lessons You Can Learn From A 5 Year Old’ »
Nothing moves faster online than an image. They’re catchier than text and quicker than video, easy to grab and share in an instant. Not only that, but imagery is also the rare form of communication that can transcend the language barrier — a strong image says just as much to someone in China as it does in the US.
For creative professionals who make a living from their imagery, these traits are both a blessing and a curse. It’s possible for your image to receive massive syndication overnight (Facebook worked with an interactive firm to create a series of visualizations of this phenomenon) but the original context often gets lost along the way.
So how can you make sure that you get the credit — and potential business — if one of your images goes viral? There’s no simple answer, but here are some of the strategies used on Facebook and other sites.
Continue reading ‘Tracking and Protecting Your Images Online: 4 Ways to Handle the Challenge’ »
As internet speeds have improved, we’ve gotten used to exploring beautiful, high-definition photography on large screens with little to no parameters. But as the mobile revolution changes the way we interact with the internet, we’ve had to adjust how these images are served for a host of smaller, differently oriented screens. While responsive design has done wonders for the ways we consume content, it’s often been a struggle to correctly display these images across all platforms.
Common Problems with Responsive Images
Making images “responsive” is actually a relatively simple process — just set a variable percentage width. For example, take a look at the screen shots and code below:
Continue reading ‘How to Use Responsive Images to Make Your Site Shine on Any Platform’ »
We’ve partnered with our friends at HDVideoPro to bring you some features and reviews on the best HD Video tools available. This is the second installment in this new series. Check out the previous post here.
At a small press gathering a few months back, Sony executives introduced their latest CineAlta camera system. For the past few years, Sony has been killing it in the digital video camera space by releasing an army of HD cameras in multiple categories, including the consumer VX900, the first full-frame-sensor camcorder. And with the F65 and 4K cameras from RED (EPIC and SCARLET), Canon (EOS C500 and EOS 1D C) and even GoPro (HERO3 Black Edition) all now available, it was inevitable that Sony would go long with 4K. After all, it’s already the leader in 4K digital cinema with its SXRD 4K projectors, and its XBR 4K Ultra HDTVs will see to it that even your living room will soon be 4K-ready.
The F5 and F55: Filling a Niche
Continue reading ‘HDVideoPro Review: The Sony PMW-F5 and PMW-F55’ »
Whether it’s The Brave Little Toaster or WALL-E, we’re willing to bet there’s an animated film out there that always brings a smile to your face. The curse of being a motion designer is that everything you see on screen becomes something you want to be able to create. The key, of course, is starting small. With this tutorial, you can get your feet wet with a little animated walking sequence. Keep it up, and you could be working at Pixar one of these days.
If you’re a character illustrator, you can always make your own assets, but for this tutorial, I chose this adorable vector set by contributor artenot.
Continue reading ‘After Effects Tutorial: Animating Characters with the Puppet Tool’ »
Used correctly, Facebook can be a great tool for promoting your creative business. There’s a lot to consider — whether to launch advertisements, if you should watermark your work, even choosing the right resolutions and sizes for uploading. But today we’re going to look at something more fundamental: the distinction between profiles and pages on the social network.
Let’s zoom out and look at Facebook’s network broadly. It consists of two things: profiles, meant for people, and pages, meant for businesses. You, as an individual on Facebook, have a profile — it consists of your personal information, your friend connections, and anything you’ve elected to like and share. Brands like Coca-Cola (or Shutterstock) have a Facebook page.
Though the presentation is similar, Facebook pages don’t have friends. Instead, they accumulate likes from Facebook users. Once people like a page on Facebook, updates from that page will start to show up in their news feeds. Businesses can also advertise to reach the friends of people who have liked the page, or to get more distribution within the news feed.
For the majority of businesses, marketing on Facebook is straightforward: create a page, get people to like it, and start posting updates. But for photographers or other creative types, things aren’t so simple, particularly if you’re running your business as an individual. If I want to sell my services as a photographer, do I use my Dan Fletcher profile, or do I need to create a Dan Fletcher Facebook page? Let’s look at the benefits of each individually.
Continue reading ‘Pages vs. Profiles: An Inside Look at Facebook Marketing’ »
No one ever said that writing great copy was easy. But if you’re looking for a quick way to add some extra punch to your headlines or pitches, there are a few secret weapons you can employ to boost your creative arsenal.
Man Holding Gun by jmcdermotillo
Alliteration is an easy one — it’s simply the repetition of a beginning letter or letter sound, usually of a consonant. Good use of alliteration repeats simple, punchy sounds that are musical to the ear. “Boundless beauty in Barbados” is a good example, as is “Phone a friend from Phoenix.”
Continue reading ‘Four Secret Weapons for Adding Stellar Copy to Your Designs’ »
We’re sure countless designers have spent countless hours meticulously removing tattoos from models in Photoshop. But what if you want to go the other way around and digitally add some ink to bare skin? With Photoshop’s robust Displacement Map feature, you can easily do just that.
For this demonstration, we imagined what kind of tattoo scheme would be most appropriate for all design nerds among us. Feel free to let us know what you think of our “ink” choices in the comments.
Continue reading ‘Photoshop Tattoo-torial: Adding Ink to Your Digital Models’ »
“Spring is here, the sky is blue. The birds all sing as if they knew…”
Wedding in Bali by Mila Supinskaya
Wedding season is in full swing, which means wedding photographers are in high demand. With so much planning involved, getting the best photos of your finished production is essential to your special day — so what can you do to help ensure everything goes right? We had the chance to chat with a real wedding guru, Anja Winikka, director of bridal site The Knot, who’s here to share everything you need to keep in mind.
What are two shots a wedding photographer must always take?
Continue reading ‘Snapping the Best Wedding Photos: Advice from an Expert’ »