Please...

Spotted on Boing Boing, this sign at a recent concert asked people to put their phones and cameras away and just watch the show.

This resonated with me, because many of us have been to events where someone feels compelled to shoot photos or video the entire time, or post their status, share an update, etc. on a social network.

Sometimes these things are fun, and sometimes they just get in the way of disconnecting from the network and being in the moment, enjoying the world around you.

(Obviously if your job involves taking photos or posting updates during an event, that’s different, but if you’re seeing 90% of the crowd holding up smart phones, chances are they’re not all on the clock.)

April 9, 2013 · Posted by in misc, photo, social media, video, web  

Pin-spiration

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I’ve heard a lot of people refer to Pinterest with snide remarks about “imaginary brides planning imaginary weddings” and as it being “just another place to post photos of your dog.” Yes, there a lot of unengaged 20-somethings on the site pinning to their “When I Get Married/For My Wedding… Someday/Dream Wedding” boards, but there are also a lot real brides—and non-brides—using the site for real things.

I’m not one of the Pinterest-obsessed, pinning all day and night. Most of the time, I don’t actually pin anything online—I guess I consider myself to mentally pin ideas. I maybe visit the site a couple times a week. That’s enough for me to glean some inspiration and then do something with it. The way I see it, you can pin all you want, but if you don’t actually create something in the end, it’s all just a waste of time (or, I suppose, it could be considered a form of entertainment).

The reason I like Pinterest is because it has actually inspired me to be more creative. Most of the projects I’ve made since joining the site have not been exact ideas I copied from someone else. Instead, they have been a direct result of thinking about everyday things differently, and knowing that if all these other people in the world can create, so can I. Pre-Pinterest, I’m 99% sure I would have never picked up a bucket of old saw blades at a garage sale and made them into a coffee table art piece.

And yes, I have also gotten some wedding ideas from the site. But, there’s so much more to Pinterest than copying other people’s good ideas. It’s all about inspiration.

From a marketing perspective, the Pinterest possibilities are endless. As a Pinterest user, however, I fear us marketers. To be successful, companies will need to learn to use the system discreetly, as to not corrupt the beauty of the site.

July 27, 2012 · Posted by in art, marketing, misc, social media, web  

The Banner Ad

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IKEA

One thing I learned in school was that designers need constraints. Without constraints, it’s too difficult to define the problem that needs to be solved. Tell a designed “do whatever you want!” and that’s just going to cause problems. Tell them “I need a logo that incorporates a sword, a monkey, and the color blue” and you’re more likely to get some good results.

I’m not sure if that’s all true or not, but it’s an interesting concept. What else is interesting? This banner ad for IKEA. Watch the video to see how a simple banner ad became something much more clever than a simple animation.

April 25, 2012 · Posted by in misc, web  

As a recently engaged woman, I’ve been doing a lot of research within the wedding industry. And I have to admit, the amount of terrible marketing in the field has been fairly shocking. Some examples…

(Note: these observations/suggestions could easily transfer to many other industries.)

Photography

The wedding venue my fiancé and I chose is beautiful, charming and rustic… but you’d never guess from the photography on its website. Photography should be the Number One sales tool for wedding venues. How else will potential clients get a feel for your space and envision themselves choosing your facility for one of the most important days of their lives? (Luckily, I heard about my venue from a trusted friend, or I may have missed out completely.)

Salespeople

I attended a bridal show a few weeks ago and encountered the worst salesperson I have met in my entire life. As I approached his booth, where he was sitting on the table, he immediately told me how much he didn’t want to be there. He then asked where my wedding was to be held. After I told him, his head immediately dropped. “Not there,” he says. “You should consider choosing another venue.” Not something an excited bride-to-be wants to hear mere hours after she signs her contract for the venue. The guy goes on to explain that they don’t like the place because it’s up on a hill, it’s hard to get equipment to, it’s on the smaller side, yada, yada, yada. Really, dude? Make sure you keep your employees in check. That first impression of your company could easily make or break the sale.

Websites

Or shall I say, lack thereof. I’ve looked up multiple vendors only to find their profiles on YellowPages.com, and nowhere else. Hello! Get yourself a website. Hire a freelancer, ask a friend for help. Anything to have some presence in cyber space. That’s where I’m doing most of my research, and I’m assuming most other brides are doing the same.

Taglines

This is a more minor one, but just something I noticed. Taglines such as “Photography you can live with,” are not the most convincing. Maybe run your tagline by a few people (or anyone, for that matter) before it goes live? This idea also can translate to your company name in general. For example, alliteration using letters that aren’t actually in the correct spelling of what you are trying to say. Often seen with “K”s used in place of “C”s.

As a marketing/communications professional, I might be a bit more sensitive to these blunders than the average bride. However, I think most others in my position would appreciate the improvements.

March 16, 2012 · Posted by in branding, event, marketing, photo, web  

Need Cash? Become a Photographer!

I love this article… Need Extra Money for the Holidays? Just Become a Photographer!

Why do I love it? Because it’s hilarious…

Most of us in the creative and/or technology industry have had to deal with this.

Designers, web developers, photographers, you name it.

Since the price of computers, software, cameras, and other previously expensive or specialized equipment has come down to the level that the average person can afford them, everyone thinks they are a designer, or web developer, or photographer.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people learning new skills and trying their hand at making money with those skills, but if it were that easy, we’d all be doing it, and we’d all be rich… or broke… or something.

And I’m not about to tell people they are ruining an industry. If you love doing something, then you should do it. If you can provide amazing work cheaper than someone else, go for it. It’ll be up to you to decide if you’re ruining an industry. But keep in mind, after years of honing your craft, someone else will come along and offer to do what you do even cheaper. That’s just how it works.

Whew, I didn’t mean to get all heavy there… What I meant was, Happy Holidays! And if you need extra cash this holiday season, you might have better luck looking for loose change in the couch cushions than you will if you have no photography skills and try selling portraits of people after the fact.

Happy New Year! :)

December 19, 2011 · Posted by in art, design, photo, web  

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