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How to Engage With Your Social Media Audience

The internet is an amazing place to interact, inspire, and ignite conversation. It’s evening more amazing when you have a vast audience to do just that with, but sometimes confusing to know what posts people actually engage with.

Have no fear, tips are here 😉 Here are some tested and true tips for engaging your audience:

  • Tell a story; be relatable to connect deeper with your audience
  • Ask a question; people love to give their opinion, conduct a poll, it’s also free feedback!
  • Provide visuals; try posting both photos and videos, having both will set you apart
  • Relate to a recent event; it will get the conversations flowing
  • Use humor to your advantage; again, being human is relatable!
  • Always be honest

 

Doug Lee Pictures

Doug Lee, a Motion Picture Director as well as a Director of Photography, visited my Multimedia Portfolio class this past week. After a quick monologue reaffirming that we ARE storytellers, he took a different approach at teaching – instead of telling us what to do when lighting videos, he told us what not to do.

To summarize, here are 10 things you should definitely not do when lighting:

  1. Place the subject next to the background. Doing so creates a super flat and boring 2D image.
  2. Use hard/un-diffused light, like the ones you see during news broadcasts.
  3. Let your lighting overwhelm your story and your subject – it’s the best way to ruin a mood.
  4. Ignore practical sources of lighting. ALWAYS think of the available light!
  5. Light all parts of the scene uniformly. Doing this eliminates any depth or contrast in an image.
  6. Light the background brighter than the subject. If you do so, all the viewer’s eye will see is the bright area.
  7. Pretend composition and lighting are unrelated – you need to lead your viewer’s eyes. P.S. never forget the rule of thirds!
  8. Ignore color temps. color balance, and color contrast.
  9. Avoid available light.
  10. Avoid planes, doing so will make photos seem 2D.

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Lee was also able to give us a good amount of pointers for Interview Lighting, which is probably the most common set up for us in this major.

“Wrap” the light; pop the subject from the background, contrast light and dark on the subject’s face, and always catch light in the subject’s eyes.

  • The shadow side of the subject’s face should be shown towards the camera.
  • MAINTAIN 3D LOOK
  • Keylight should be on the other side of the interviewer (keylight > interviewer > camera).
  • A white card (or bounce card) is the perfect fill light for interviews.

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Coffea Roasterie: Product Photography

As a part of a rebranding project (blog post coming soon), I spent an afternoon inside of Coffea’s Louise Ave location shooting my perfect latte and ideal workspace 😉 All photos were taken with a Canon Rebel EOS T5i and either a 50mm lens or a 18-55mm lens. Here are a few of my fav (unedited) shots!IMG_5626IMG_5644IMG_5647IMG_5662IMG_5653IMG_5646

Contracts for Freelance Designers

Too many freelancer designers rely on “handshake promises” and “emailed assignments” and that should change. Especially because neither of those things would hold up in court, should you ever find yourself in that situation. The solution? Contracts. For each and every project you work on, you should have contracts that address the payment, ownership, responsibilities, and restrictions of said project.

The first contract you should have agreed upon is a project contract. This type of contract contains:

  • The scope of the project
  • Any important deadlines
  • A payment sections – including how and when payments will be made, late payment fees, as well as additional costs for project changes
  • Who will retain ownership of the finished project – note here that clients will expect to own the completed product, but make sure the wording is correct and NEVER sign a contract that allows the client to own the “method used” to create the project
  • What is considered completion

* Contracts can be drawn out as more of a template to be used over and over again, so make sure to put the effort in right away, or even hire an attorney to draft it for you!

The next contract you most definitely NEED as a freelancer is an invoice. This is a contract between you and your client specifically for payment, and will include what you are charging for and the amount. To increase the odds that you will get paid, and paid on time, you should include a genuine “thank you” message as well as the fees for a late payment.

The last contract I will talk about is an independent contractor agreement. This is a contract that you will probably see this come through when doing outside work for an agency, but you will also give out on occasion. If you ever find yourself needing to hire someone else to help complete a project, make sure you have this formal agreement in place. This contract is very similar to a project contract, it will include:

  • A description of the work being done
  • Payment
  • Expectations such as deadlines
  • Final ownership

Like I have stated in previous Freelancing 101 blog posts, if you have more questions a Small Business Attorney is the best person to seek advice from.