PHOTO CREDIT:  STEPHANIE BASSOS – iphone shots

Wow, what a cool shot, how’d you manage to get that effect?!

As a photographer, you always appreciate hearing a reaction like this from a viewer and this post is in no way intended to downplay the importance of technical skill and a “photographer’s eye” for the art form.

That being said, technology is truly man’s best friend when it comes to simplifying the once complicated technical process of capturing good video and photo content. Between compact digital cameras, Flip video cameras and smartphones, the process of acquiring, editing and publishing high quality content on-the-fly is now easier than ever. It’s also an area that I think will continue to improve over time as content sharing continues to explode in the world of social media and serve as a crucial component of communications strategies.

If you consider yourself a beginner or amateur photographer that would like to get more involved with photography but currently find yourself dusting off the ole point-n-shoot once in awhile, I’d recommend taking the steps below to ramp up your skills.

NOTE: The following will take all of 15 minutes and cost a total of $5 and own a smartphone. The apps mentioned are available for the iphone.

1. Sign up for an account on Posterous. I previously was familiar with the site but only recently started exploring use of the site for my own little photo blog. Think blogging 101. The site was purposely designed for people who barely know what a blog is as well as those that are very familiar with blogging. Hands down, the easiest blog publishing tool I’ve come across. Genius.

2. Download the following iphone photo camera apps (Hipstamatic – $1.99, CameraBag – $1.99, Photostudio – $.99). Between these three apps, you’ll have a full array of fun filters and editing tools to help you tailor photos on the move. Total spend? One Lincoln.

3. Share photos.

Done. That’s it. No, seriously. I’d like to tell you it’s more complicated than that, but it’s just not.

Why are photo skills important to PR/Marketing folks in particular?

Outside of those that view photography as a personal hobby, I stand by my claim that content creation skills are going to continue to be crucial for aspiring PR pros. Especially given the current media climate, it’s important to understand the value and crucial role of developing strong, compelling video and photo content as part of any media relations or digital storytelling strategy. Mobile journalism has become a key trend and given the shrinking nature of most newsrooms, there is now more opportunity than ever to “be the media” ( a coined phrase I’ve come to adopt from Mayo Clinic’s Lee Aase). With a solid skills base in place along with a few mobile devices, journalism and digital storytelling is taking on a completely revolutionary form.

As opposed to viewing these tools as fun little apps to goof around with, begin thinking strategically about the larger process and mindset that you can help structure into your team’s strategy to encourage everyone to become familiar with quality content creation. Beyond creating content for the purpose of media, think about the larger utility of sharing with behind-the-scenes captures from events, video shoots, meetings, etc. This type of content is excellent to supplement blog posts, tweets, status updates or within other online communities to help keep your community engaged in a project you’re working on or to help tell the full story of your company’s mission or inner workings.

$5 and 15 minutes can open up quite the avenue for creativity. Get shootin’!

-Scott
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Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips, Scott. I’m going to need to check out those iPhone apps you mentioned.

    Reply
  2. Very welcome Lee, hope you enjoy and hope all is well back in the Midwest!

    Reply
  3. A month late but I remembered this post and came back to download your recommendations.

    I also thought I’d add my favorite iPhone photo apps.

    CameraOne [0.99]: for advanced functionality like anti-shake and zoom.

    AutoStitch [2.99]: For creating panoramic photos.

    I agree on using Posterous and recommend the
    PicPosterous [free]: For uploading groups of photo’s, since you can’t upload multiple attachments on the iPhone.

    PS Mobile [free]: The PhotoShop app for editing and effects.

    TwitPict and Flickr [free] for uploading pictures to Twitter (via TwitPic) and Flickr respectively.

    Dash of Color [free]: for making black and white photo’s and adding a “dash of color.”

    Lego Photo [free]: for making everything look like it’s made out of Lego blocks 🙂

    Reply
  4. Fantastic additions, thanks for adding Tac. Gotta love the Lego app.

    Reply

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About Scott Meis

SVP, Digital Content Strategy @ Weber Shandwick Seattle. Outdoors. Adventure. Travel. I dig the Foto.

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