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Thread: Make a living on Instagram

  1. #1
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Make a living on Instagram

    Article by the BBC.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't say much about the "how".
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

  2. #2
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    I can't help feeling the emphasis of this article is wrong. Mr Arnold didn't succeed in photography because of Instagram. And certainly not because he is an "Instagram celebrity" - whatever that is.

    He succeeded because he is a darn good photographer. He has a good eye for a subject, he knows how to compose a picture, and he knows what subjects the buyers want.

    If Instagram didn't exist, he would still be a darn good photographer. And he would still be able to turn his hobby into a money-making venture - if he wanted to. The mechanics might be different. It would probably take a bit longer and a bit more work. But he would still have that one quality that has ensured his success: his skill in photograhy.

    The reason I say that the article is misleading is that it might give the impression that anyone with a digital camera can walk the streets of their town, snapping whatever they see, and expect to give up their day job as a result.

    Mike

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    Clinton (10 June 2014), dsieg58 (10 June 2014), Kay (10 June 2014)

  4. #3
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    It's just more 'content' from the British mainstream media without any thought or analysis. Also it's yet another MMO flavour of the month, eg like the one sold on the premise that you can make a living online using your mobile phone to take pictures. It's easy, anyone can do it, no experience required, and they'll even show teach you how to use PhotoShop. (I mentioned it in the Premium Lounge in the context of a discussion about PhotoShop.)
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    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    The article is pretty misleading. He had years of photos behind him before he started selling - which he did when he got desperate for cash. It would be a bit like having a warehouse full of products and then "making" 9k in a day selling it all at a discount.

    I don't think anyone doing anything for less than a year could be considered doing "it for a living". Maybe if he had been making $100k/year for 3 years he could say that, but having 1 good day (and getting lucky with a bunch of PR off the back of it) isn't necessarily sustainable.

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    Senior Member TheodoreK is a Premium Member
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    "Instagram" is a red herring here. I'm sure the guy will be able to make a living from his photos alone, but instagram is just one of many tools he can use to do that. I agree with the posters above that this article is misleading. Maybe it serves some marketing agenda?

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    I guess you could say that the article is a little misleading but I think you are being a little harsh. The fact is that without social media, it is very unlikely that this photographer would have had the means to get his work so widely known. Sure, the quality of his work might have eventually made his hobby profitable, but doing that one friend at a time would likely have taken years, if not decades.

    The fact that Instagram launched his new career doesn't mean any other photographer who posts great photos on Instagram will get the same results, but having the mass media cover pop stars discovered on YouTube, photographers found on Instagram or fitness/lifestyle/cooking gurus who started with a simple blog is not misleading in and of itself. It is the MMO shysters who use a relatively rare success story to lure unsuspecting newbs into buying their programs to turn a nearly random lucky event into a "sure thing."

  10. #7
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    I guess you could say that the article is a little misleading but I think you are being a little harsh. The fact is that without social media, it is very unlikely that this photographer would have had the means to get his work so widely known.
    That true. But my point was that he could have succeeded in his career change without his work being "widely known" - in the social media sense. The article made a big thing of his being an "Instagram celebrity", but that's not why he succeeded. The publishers and advertisers who bought his photos didn't do so because of any supposed celebrity status that he might enjoy. They chose his photos because of their quality and their ability to illustrate their articles or help sell their products.

    If Instagram and the like didn't exist, Mr Arnold would have sold his photos via a traditional photo agency. True, that might have taken longer and involved more work - but not to the extent that he would have failed to sell his work.

    If there is a story here, it is the effect that photo-sharing sites is having on traditional photo agencies. Sites like these have not changed the demand for photographs; they have not changed the need for high quality in photographs; they have not changed the expertise that photographers need. What they have done (presumably) is to change the mechanism by which buyers and sellers interact. It was for that reason that I thought the article might be a little misleading. (OK, perhaps "misleading" is a slight exaggeration; but I do feel that the tone of the article is wrong.)

    Mike

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl
    Sites like these have not changed the demand for photographs...
    I completely agree. However, the demand for photos has changed. Not because of Instagram but because of several other changes in the market. One of the most important, IMO, is the changing technology available to Internet users. When I set up my first site (the expat one) back in 2000, we used images very sparingly. The users didn't have the ability to download images easily. Many of them were on dial-up (me too!). Making sure the pages downloaded quickly was crucial. We used to constantly tweak pages to try to reduce their download time. It's completely different these days, most users have much faster Internet connections and now we very rarely publish a post without one.

    I'm not sure if it was just a rumour, but it was said to be the case that Google favoured posts which had images. Certainly, several of us were working along those lines, including on the site we used as a case study to gain acceptance for a new AdSense account (Premium Lounge). In any case, posts generally look better if they're illustrated, so people are posting images much more now in blog posts and website articles.

    The growth of self-publishing in the last few years has also fuelled the demand for photos and artworks. Even if the new indie authors don't illustrate their books (and Kindle is hellish for formatting illustrations), they still need book covers.

    Just about everyone publishing on the Web is using photos or artwork one way or t'other and now the demand for them is huge and growing all the time. Does that make easier to earn a living online as a photographer? No. The increased demand has also resulted in an increased supply. And a lot of the suppliers offer free and/or cheap images, even the previously more expensive sources.

    It's this huge demand for images which has led the MMO people to swarm all over this like locusts. Hence the unrealistic claims of how easy it is to make money with photos. In some ways, it's harder to sell photos now not least because of the vast number of easily available free images. But there's no money to be made by telling the truth, ie it's not easy and it requires hard work to make money online.

    If the article in the OP is misleading, it's just part of the usual superficial treatment of such subjects in the British media. The writer showed a complete lack of understanding or analysis about the subject she was writing about. There's nothing remarkable about this. The BBC dumbed down years ago.

    I just hope that there aren't too many punters who get burned by the MMO brigade for believing in the drivel pumped out by the BBC and their kind.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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