Social Media

Top Instagram Photos in 2016

Here are my top IG photos for my personal account and my photo account!

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And my photography account:

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How I Use Pinterest to Stay Organized

Ah, Pinterest – a favorite way to waste some time for many, many gals out there. You can scroll for hours and pin things to your boards – planning your wedding, saving recipes, future hairstyles, etc. I definitively do this and have a ton of boards to prove it. I use Pinterest for inspiration, wishlists, and organizing!

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It dawned on me that most people pin things they WISH they had instead of things they ALREADY have. I decided to try something out. I started organizing things that I own via Pinterest about a year and a half ago and it’s been so helpful. I can access my Pinterest right on my phone and double check my boards so I don’t accidentally buy something I already have OR make sure what I’m looking at buying goes with my previous items. I have a few boards strictly for makeup, but I also have my whole vinyl collection on there, too. I love it and highly, highly recommend it! I’ve been trying to slowly add to my boards of things that I already have. I’d love to have my wardrobe on there, but that would be a huge task that I doubt I’ll ever actually get done.

It’s been great for keeping track of makeup items so far, but I can see where this would be useful for books, shoes, or anything else you collect and want to see what you’ve already got on the go. Do you have boards like this to stay organized? What kinds of things do you keep track of? Comment and let me know!

Annoying Things That Bands Do On Social Media

Bands and musicians, I have a list of 10 things that you should stop doing because your fans and followers find them ANNOYING. Please and thank you. ;)

1. Commenting or replying to people’s original posts telling them to check out your band. If I tweet that I’m listening to a song by another band, please don’t reply and ask me to check out YOUR band. I know you’re just scouring that other bands hashtag or mentions and commenting on as many as possible with the hopes that one of us will check out your page. It’s 2016 and this feels so fake.

2. Following someone on Twitter/Instagram then unfollowing them shortly after. Follower numbers don’t mean anything if the people aren’t actually interested in your music. Inflating your follower count by following as many people as possible with the hopes that they’ll follow you back is a big time waster. Instead, interact with the people who have organically followed you. Engaging with your true followers will always be better than just accumulating a high follower number.

3. Treating each platform the same. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t post the same content, but you should definitely deliver it differently. Certain audiences are more active at certain times of the day on different platforms. Make sure the content and delivery get the most out of whatever platform is being used. People don’t want to visit your Facebook and see the exact same thing as Twitter and Instagram. Some and even a lot of overlap is okay, but at least change up HOW you’re saying it and keep some content exclusive to that platform.

4. Repeatedly trying to sell your album. People who want to buy your album will know how to find it. You don’t have to keep reposting a link to your bandcamp/iTunes/etc. telling people to purchase it. Once in a while is totally fine, but the majority of your updates shouldn’t consist of this. People want to connect with bands on social media, not be constantly sold to.

5. Not crediting content that you use that others created. Listen, I really don’t understand how this keeps happening. Whether it’s a fan that took a cell phone photo you liked or drew a photo or a professional photographer who captured your set. You should credit who made that content because it will make the creator feel good and reflect positively on you. For the fan, it’s an awesome way to acknowledge and pay respect to them. They’ll be elated and probably share with their friends/followers the fact that YOU shared THEIR work. And if it’s a professional, you should be asking for their permission and always crediting them anyways. That’s just common courtesy as one professional to another. There is really no downside to doing this, so just do it.

6. Automatic DM’s to follows. This seems so impersonal. I don’t expect a follow back or even an acknowledgement from a band when I follow them on Twitter, but I hate getting those automatic direct messages thanking me for following and linking to where I can purchase their newest album or latest single. Just don’t. Nobody likes getting these.

7. Inviting everyone on your personal Facebook friend’s list to your event. While I don’t mind being invited to events that I could actually attend, a lot of your friends list probably consists of people you’ve met on the road and won’t be able to attend that event. If the event isn’t within a three-hour drive for them, don’t bother inviting them to it.

8. Not researching where they are or who they’re playing with. It’s always awkward when a band tries to tag another band that they’re playing with and uses the wrong Twitter handle. Or even worse, gets the venue or city confused. I think the worst is if they’re trying to do the thank yous on stage of all the bands playing that night and they either a) forget a band or b) completely get the name wrong or c) get the city wrong.

9. Just posting a link with no context. Don’t just plop down your Bandcamp link with no text or no driving point as to why people should click there. Use your words, people!

10. Using your band’s social media to express your controversial personal opinions. This one is tricky. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use your platform to bring awareness to issues you care about. But there is a big difference between awareness and ranting to or arguing with your fans. Most people are following your for your music, not your opinions. And for goodness sake, please stay politically correct and don’t say something that will make you lose fans.

Most Liked Photos on Instagram in 2015

Here are my nine most liked photos on Instagram this year – all concert photos!

My top nine featured letlive, Zella Day, Starset, Rob Zombie, OTHERWISE, Taking Back Sunday, and Maria Brinks Wonderland of In This Moment!

Thanks for following and supporting my work! Can’t wait for 2016!

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And here’s my personal IG:

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So, you’re a band and you want to use a photographers photo – here’s how to go about it

It can seem tricky navigating how to make sure you’re in the “go” to use a photo of yourself / your band that you like. It’s really not too bad. It comes down to just asking the photographer beforehand. Most are cool with just tagging their account or website in the caption. Others are not. But building up that relationship with each other is awesome, so please reach out to a photographer and just say “hey, I love your photo! Is it cool if I post it on our social media?” or whatever your intention is. That’s it! Still have some questions? I tried my best to answer below.

But, it’s a picture of me, why can’t I just post it?
That’s simply not how copyright works. Unless the photographer signed a release stating the band could use the photos, then the photographer retains copyright. When you’re performing a show and given the photographer permission to photograph the show, there is no expectation to privacy while you’re up on stage performing. This is the photographers artistic take or interpretation of you, if that makes sense. Same thing happens when you go to a portrait photographer for family photos, except you usually pay them for the photos and then buy products. With concert photography, usually the band approves the photographer so they get publicity from the publication or website the photos are published on and the photographer may or may not get paid by the publication for taking the photos. This scenario doesn’t mean you have any rights to the photos, though, unless you present the photographer with a contract prior to the show.

What is copyright?
Copyright, according to Merriam-Webster, is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work). Basically, it give the creator (photographers) of works of art (photographs) the sole right to reproduce, publish, and distribute them. It protects artists and was put in place to encourage artists to make and share their work. As a band, your music is protected by copyright law. It’s the exact same thing. Copyright happens the moment the work of art is created. Artists can take it a step further and register their works so they can seek damages when their work is infringed.

Currently, works of art are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. For corporate entities, the copyright is for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever comes first. Yes, basically 2 lifetimes for the actual person and 1.5 lifetimes for a corporate entity.

If you’d like to read more, I made a blog post a while ago on the Peoria Camera Shop blog, which you can read here.

But it was posted to social media, that means it’s fair game, right?
Nope. Whoever posted it to social media should and legally must have permission from the artist to do so. Social media is just another platform of publishing and this is a huge misconception that can and will land you in hot water and legal fees.

Wouldn’t my band reposting the photo qualify as fair use?
Nope, unless you’reusing the photo for educational purposes. Your website and all social media pages are there to promote the band and make the band money. This is using the photo for monetary gain, which means your need explicit permission from the artist. And let’s say it is fair use, you should still ask and always attribute the photographer. That’s standard practice.

What if I “share” the photo on Facebook or Retweet the photographer’s tweet on Twitter or reblog the photo on Tumblr?
Yes! This is fantastic and the proper way to share the photos with your fans on these platforms. This is completely a-okay. Instagram doesn’t have a sharing feature like this, so please ask before reposting OR use that repost-app that includes the original posters instagram account on the photo and in the caption.

I left the watermark on the photo, so that’s credit enough.
You should still ask. Some photographers will be fine with their watermark being clearly visible. Some will also want tagged or linked back in the caption. You still should ask before posting or you are technically infringing on their copyright. For the love of everything, though, DON’T crop or edit a watermark out. That’s a big no-no and shows you knew you were infringing and tried to hide it. Just don’t do it, not worth it!

I asked the photographer about posting the photo and they want paid!
This is completely within their right. Photo credit doesn’t pay the bills. If you don’t want to post the picture bad enough to pay for it, just say thanks, but no thanks. Just like a photographer can’t take one of your songs and put it on their website without paying, you can’t just use their photo. Many photographers, though, will allow their work to be reposted if they are properly tagged and linked back.

I found a really good photo that looks professional, but I can’t find who took it.
I wouldn’t recommend posting it unless you can track down the photographer first. Photographers can seek damages (sue you) for infringement and not knowing the author of the copyrighted work will not stand up in court. You will end up paying if it goes that route. So, your call on this one!

I found a photograph on the photographer’s Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Tumblr / Website/ Etc. that I want to post on a band page. What should I do?

  1. Just ask! Contact the photographer. Leave a comment, message, email. Ask and explain exactly where you’d like to post  or use the photo.
  2. Get their reply and follow that. If they said sure, but credit, always include a link to the social media platform you’re posting on. If you’re on Facebook, tag their photography fan page. If it’s Twitter, direct link to their Twitter handle. You get the idea. Linking to the website in addition to the platform you’re posting on is always great, too.
  3. If they asked for payment, decide if you want to pay for the photo’s use or not. The photographer shouldn’t be offended if you decide you don’t want to pay for it. As long as you don’t post it anyways.
  4. That’s really it. It’s as easy ask asking and not posting anything unless you know you’re okay to.

If you can think of something I missed, please comment! I’d love to hear from other photographers and bands on the matter. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many great bands and being properly asked and credited for my photos, but I have had my copyright infringed before and it’s really discouraging. It’s disrespectful and hard not to take personally when fellow artists takes advantage of your work. Just don’t do it! We’re all on the same side here and it’s more of a “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” type of situation.

Want to read more? The Governments Copyright FAQ’sPetapixel. Infographic. Copyright Myths. Rohan’s FAQ. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Debacle.