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The Outdoor Photography Experience

Lesson 27 of 29

Social Media Best Practices Q & A

Chris Burkard

The Outdoor Photography Experience

Chris Burkard

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Lesson Info

27. Social Media Best Practices Q & A

Lesson Info

Social Media Best Practices Q & A

it's kind of interesting because I feel like these are topics maybe a couple of years ago where you know people are most shooting slide film and we're in business in photography social media these were like the lamest thing you'd ever want to talk about but nowadays it's kind of like the hot topics that everybody really is interested and wants to know about so I think you know what I'd like to do is really just continue with the questions that we have and continue talking about business and social media how to use it a cz away too engage and get the attention of brands and people you want to work with andi there's quite a few questions out there in our audience as well as was was on the internet so let's um let's just keep it keep it going so what are that we had a question about what social media platforms you are on obviously instagram facebook what are some of the you said tumbler maybe just list those often and yeah so I I've work I'm not a fan of google plus necessarily because I ...

just feel like it's a really hard one toe really get riel engagement and a lot of the friends I know that do it just isn't seimas as easy to communicate with folks and stuff as it is on facebook stuff but I but I still do it sober on instagram facebook tumblr twitter you know google plus tiny bit and our website and those are the ones we really invest our time into I think we also have or I also have my name in some of the other ones like august anello and you know snapshot and whatever else I don't really use them but they're just ones that I do have and have the account to so just so that you know I don't want somebody else to go along and grab that case that does become something that's worthwhile so totally um what's the best way to get the attention of a big name brand that you wanna work with if you don't have an agent but how do you describe a little bit howto work up to that how do you how would you approach that well um you know that whole concept and idea of sending out promo mailers and things like that to ad agencies the first thing you want to do you want to find out how to get who who is in charge of doing the depends on what you really want from that brand you wanna work for them you want to shoot for them do you want to just have them re post your images on social media um are you want to shoot a campaign or what do you want from that brand and then if that's the case find out who handles that for them of its social media usually it's pretty easy you could just direct messaged them or whatever but you understand a lot of these brands like it's a toyota they have multiple agencies like five or six agencies working for them ones doing broadcast one is doing you no social media one's doing print there are tons of and most brands worked like this so you can't just go toe one you know company you know that handles their advertising it's never them in house like they're not going to do anything for you in house you know target h q our land rover h q right it's always the agency and maybe agencies based in new york or l a or san francisco so the key is to find out who kind of handles that account the art buyer and maybe get in touch with them send them your portfolio send them an e mail drop him a line to some of your work have something to show and this is a good seg way into kind of approaching and working with editors right one thing that I really want to talk about is this concept and idea of when you want to work with an editor and you feel like you're in the right place the right time to send them work I'm gonna use surfing as an example because it's something that is I've I've worked in and I can remember it pretty vividly being in that positions but it's it's the same across the board so what I was doing before was blindly submitting images right just emailing out of the blue and say hey I've got x y and z and I had no concept idea of their editorial schedule or what they needed or stuff so after doing some research and spending some time to couple years obviously because this is like before the internet was invented but after doing some research and really starting to understand it dive into that and also doing an internship it really helped to educate me as to what they needed and win so instead of just submitting blindly I was trying to smith based on their needs and schedule meaning if I was shooting what suit photos I was submitting them during the time that they're advertisers we're filling the magazine with wetsuit advertisements meaning they were also publishing images like that right because that's how those things work right if you're working with outside magazine and you're trying to submit photos people skiing but it's there in the middle of their summer issue that's kind of pointless right they want to be promoting you know getaways toe warmer locations and trail running and things like that right you know so you everything's based on the season now um if your goal is to get published in surfer magazine what I would say is there's there's a couple things you can do it's always kind of a luck of the draw you never really know this guy's a busy and can't you know I can't speak for them and how many e mails they have to get a day but there's things you can do to a highly enhance your chances of getting in touch with them and this works for any editor first of all know what the magazine needs to cover you say you're say you know that they're sponsoring covering a surf contest well if you're providing them with images directly after that contest for webber print use then there's a chance that you might fulfill a need that they have okay when you're ready and prepared to submit images don't overwhelm them with a story of your life just a quick intro who you are what you shoot where you're from and here's a couple images that you feel are fitting or timely as to what they need hey here's a couple images of this recent swell here's a couple images of this recent event here's a couple of things that this recent x y and z that um that you guys might be interested I've always loved the magazine would love to contribute you know or send me I'd love to get some contribution guidelines okay those air types things that'll really highly benefit you and your chances of getting at their attention okay because being printed editorially is it's kind of a game until you develop that relationship with the editor or know what they need and have that direct communication it's always hard that first you know blind submission I suggest just sending them a handful of images two or three low resolution under megabyte each write something they can click through if somebody sends me a photo to my personal e mail I'm usually gonna look at it it's just human nature you're inquisitive right so I'm always going to click on it it's no no problem doing that um never seen them a massive file because they might have there usually part of a publishing company who might have you know internet safety things where they can't receive massive files there's been a lot of times where I've actually sent big files like I never got your e mail because it kicked it back from security purposes right um find their email you know online it's easy you can usually find it through the website or find it through some other third party cos I think that you khun by email this from two unit was pretty pretty easy things to do um but yeah that's that's kind of the best ways to approach netter and one of the the best things you could always do is tow have an introduction right if you know an athlete or somebody who has worked with them before and who is in you know who knows them getting an introduction is always a great thing no I will not introduce you but finding somebody who will is a great thing to do so somebody that you know somebody you've worked with before okay so yeah so do you think sending prince is better than digital copies of you performing um well I'm more referring to like just sending them specific images to print whatever but if you're going to send a portfolio various in a physical portfolio I personally never just blindly send like a portfolio to somebody I'd like schedule a meeting okay one of the best things uh that you could do is if you have the chance to go in there talk to them sit down take your portfolio that's great but they really want to see what could apply to them you know now if it's an art buyer at a creative agency or if it's an ad agency who's handling you know x y and z e's social media stuff and really all they need to see is your social media so you just need to get them to look at that I'm going in with a print portfolio is not is not as relevant as it was ten years ago most I've never actually even made one I've usually always use an ipad for meetings or had a pdf that we can flip through or you know created havoc a couple of books he's a really good portfolios as well having things like this because people can hand it and you could leave it with them right question so then pretend like your time out in trees and snow to accompany our brand pretending like a really small amount of time to do that what do you think the essentials of cover to be that way you could get jobs with it um I wouldn't go in it like that because if if you go in there because you want to get jobs at them they're going to see that right away and they're probably going to communicate with you because they're meeting for the first time and the idea is to build a relationship so if you come in there and you're eager beaver and you're just like like hungry just forget it you're only gonna hurt yourself because you make yeah that guy was intense um you know he really really was a year to work with us we'll like that's great but I think your work should speak for itself they should want to work with you when you leave that meeting when you leave that email so you have a short period of time you just introduce yourself um you express your interest in the brand you expressed what you have coming up and how it might pertain to them you let let them know and around about way what you want do you but you just want gear so you could shoot it on spec that's one way to work like you like you know I love your work you know I know yes but I don't have money for assignments for new photographers but I'd love to um I'd love to get some new samples to shoot on a project for you guys and send it in or just asked them how they work a lot of these companies they don't even allow spec shooters they don't allow you just to go shoot on speculation submitted it's on ly by you know a job they only hire people out to do their chutes so you have to understand and know that ok so I would ideally suggest working with the brands and allow you to shoot spec for them so that you can get the attention of the other brands that you know our only hiring people out to shoot their photos right cause you need to get there you need to prove yourself in that realm if your goal is to shoot outdoor brands photography shoot you know adventures you know this and that kind of start start small work your way up right prove yourself do some great work for some smaller companies hack even you know doing free work sometimes it's not a bad way to get your name out there if it's going to get on a bigger platform right building a portfolio right that's a crucial crucial thing I can't express enough you guys you have friends or talented friends sponsor athletes go build your portfolio together gosh go out think of cool concepts to shoot create awesome imagery create imagery that you're when you send people they can't not turned down they can't not acknowledge that it's awesome and that is how you build your name you just you have to work in that way there's so many photographers I know they're amazing fashion photographers that they built their name by just going out and shooting their friends and getting their word up there they're shooting every day every weekend every time they had a chance right and that is one of the best ways you khun start to kind of build that repertoire right um you know in terms of also kind of working in that fast paced scenario I think the key is just to consistently make sure that you put the emphasis on building your relationship with them right because those are the people you wanna work with the brands where you're like you know they don't wantto believe me and like that I had great work but you know I don't know if he'd be fun to work with right like that's the personality and the interaction is crucial and you have to be a people person if you want to succeed in this business no doubt about it you have to be able to communicate be a people person you have to be able to look people in the eyes and let them know what you want and what kind of you have to get from them and stuff so it's super crucial teo to be ableto kind of I guess you know make sure that they leave those conversations knowing that um your goal is to kind of build and further relationship it's not just a monetary transaction or uh you know you don't just want swagger gear you know because that's like the same thing is you know some kid just wanting stickers or something like that you know I'm sure they get millions of enquiries for things like that so that's super important more questions so so do you ask for your I and you're like at our terex and alas I don't need here not here not here then I've got I've got I've got gear for everybody here no never how would I start how did I went like when you weren't like fully sponsored by actually for these other companies not sponsored by anybody the point of getting gear was is because they're paying me I could care less about getting gear I'd rather buy it right it's just like if you're you have to understand if your professional photographer looking to pursue a career your point isn't to get geared to create income right if you want to get gear from a company then you know I don't know it's it's not really the gear doesn't put food in your mouth right here doesn't put food on the table so the only point in getting gears if you want to shoot it or odd times what happened is I would be on assignment for a magazine right in editorial assignment and I would come to accompany say hey we're going here for this trip we're going to make a film from it we're going to get book we're going to an article or some like this you only published in some project we'd love to have the chance to shoot some of your guys products along the way do you want to support us because maybe we need a couple of awesome three season tents or we need some extra clothing for this or whatever it was a chance for me to get some stuff from them to use on the trip turn around and give them photographs to to use for their block their website potentially for print materials which they might pay pay us for later right so it's kind of a mixture of you have to offer them something nobody wants to just give out connor give out materials to kind of somebody who's unproven right so I think it's important to prove yourself in the beginning you said with with nothing I mean I I never when I had the chance to to shoot for a number of years for patagonia you know some of the first images that I sold them were not photos of their gear at all we're just photos of of people like out in nature and join the landscape kind of pulled back right and then as I built that relationship you know they started offer will you know I'd love to get you some photo samples to shoot meaning like next season's sample so that I could take them on trips and shoot them a little bit right and we started develop that really chip so there's never really a need for gear because that's the problem is there's a lot of people out there who have followers ten twenty thousand who are reaching out to tons of companies to get gear right and that to them is just like it's annoying you know I can I can a test of the fact that I'm sure they get so many emails people doing that that's it depends on you know that first relationship that you sit with them that first interaction that first meeting you're going to set the president whether you are somebody who is wanting a long term relationship wants to work with them or if you're somebody who's just like is hungry to get something from them you know and that's really important to make that difference very clearly I think super huge differentiation I think that's a super important thing for a lot of people get yeah here you are talking about it just I mean it's something that that well it's not really a question but it's something that we all sort of know but it just seems like that you're saying that like photography and the business of it is ninety percent selling you and who you are and maybe ten percent of what you can actually dio I think that's a cz long as you can do something I think that's actually true I think it's so important to consider the fact that you know I would say half you guys here could go out and shoot you know maybe all of you I don't know I could go out and shoot a great landscape photo or a photograph of a tent or something like that so if it was me and you standing next to each other going up to a client and they were they were bidding out of job we're both putting in bids for this job or were requesting to do a shoot for them or they were choosing who to pick for that you know they might pick you know you over me because they like your first now anymore they like you know the look of your witness lily be because they like the look of your work just because they like the personality of the person that they like the fact that they know they get along with them and they feel like they can communicate to them clearly right and the proposal I might put out there the proposal you might put out there or the email doesn't matter email proposal whatever it is or the deck you know you might put out there whatever it is sir it might be more clean and easy to read and more thoughtfully put together like wow this guy gets it he understands our brand's ethos he understands our vision you know he can jump on the conference call and say all the right things as where somebody else might just be like you know doubling their words are communicating is super important making sure that you know you're you're speaking their language you're understanding what language they're speaking right you're understanding what terms like r a y I mean you know like in things uh things like you know called action and stuff like that it's just it's important to know the burbage and most this information we found online or or studying or understood you know there's there's no like training school for for these things because we're in such a emerging market right which is which is really hard but I would say yeah to your to your questions we have a question that don't ask apart from the social media best practices that you already covered what's worked best for you in terms of gaining such a massive instagram audience any specific tipping points other than like regular post like hosting a good imagery yeah supposedly there's consistently good photography I think and not um and like I said before using like because you have to think about the fact that you look at people speed you scroll back thousand weeks or wherever it is and you see that work is not as good but what have they done they've learned right they've trained themselves way how often have you done that you scrolled back through you look at stuff it's like photos there grandma other dog all this stuff well the work they're posting now and they have a bigger following it's always better right why because they've just they've learned they've they've understood they have kind of grown in that that fact now they kind of have an understanding of what is working and what is what people are communicating tio what people are responding to so that's super important I think to kind of know and just use these tools analytics that's that's why we're using them we're not using him to be oh wow cool you know bob you'll like me this is great like no it's it's because you want to look at the images that are working for you so when I'm picking photographs to put into a book when I'm picking the images for this what do you think I'm picking and my picking just the photos that I like personally I think you're cool because this book isn't just for me to enjoy it's a book that I'm putting out with a publisher who wants to sell it and I want to sell it we both want to make money and we also want to have something that we enjoy and we love but the photographs and I'm choosing in here are ones that I feel like have gotten good engagement so I'm using it as a tool of putting photographs that I feel like our similar to ones that maybe I've seen do well before so I'm using it as a tool to understand and no kind of communicate the fact that you know yeah these images are going to work for that so it's it's kind of a win win scenario when you think about it like that you're just using this as a tool to kind of further your career and I feel like that's one of the ways so that everything you're putting out there in the world has some sort of a feel or look that it's yours and then it comes back to benefit you right because if you make a book that's just some random offshoot of the things you like to do well that's great but um if you try to bring that back and your other channels and promoted it might not fit the rest of what you're doing right so this is the hardest thing is I feel lot of people there stuck in one part of their career and they want to transition to something else but they're having a hard time promoting the other part of what they love to do because they know this is what makes him the money right that's could be kind of tough if you're like I don't know professional baseball photographer but you really want to shoot ponies I don't know it might be like hard to post both things you know anyway yeah good uh I had a question on proposals you kind of touched on in a couple minutes ago yeah um so what would you especially approaching maybe a brand for the first time what would you include and proposal maybe even to kind of set yourself apart from somebody else like maybe bidding on that work that's a really good question this is why I kind of like the q and a format is it's so hard for your touch on all these different things but say your proposal is you're doing trip to greenland this summer right and you are you're going to go there and you you have this awesome project we're gonna go um ice climbing on these icebergs out in the water I don't know what this who knows you're gonna go photograph something and your work it doesn't matter if you're reaching out to a brand or in a magazine or whatever you want gear to support your trip or you want funds to support your trip or whatever the best and cleanest way to do that is to pitch them with some sort of a pdf or something like that's really simple this is basically I make pds for everything you guys and this is super important if you want to approach a brand to promote a project that your doing or like I said get gear or get funding or whatever it's super crucial to provide them with something that kind of is a easy clean laid out way for you to give them the statistics without writing it on email making junkie you have to understand these were like usually you're talking to somebody to marketing department and their job is to be creative so speak of creative language don't write them some sloppy email with crappy font and weird spacing and stuff sending seven it's clean it's laid out so a lot of times like if I'm gonna maybe work with social media brand uh somebody e mails me and says hey uh chris we really want you to come here and work with us and do this campaign can you show us some your statistics can you show us some your analytics and say yeah no worries here is a here's a look at you know myself and here's the deck it's all pdf here's a look at some of our clients sample here's a look at some of our overall social media statistics this is an old old deck two and we call this a deck just a pdf but this is instagram some of our most like post here somewhere more of analytics more analytics more analytics right this is something I would send people and it has cem cem links to some rials you're all videos that I've made videos I've been a part of produced a cz well as this so that might be a deck that you could send somebody and it doesn't matter if this has just got photo there's so many ways to do this guys it could be like you could start off with the map and then it could be like photos of your location what you're planning to do what your objectives what you're asks are right a tte the last page you could say you know we we want to receive x amount of money or gear for this trip what will we do for you will include you in our logo's will include you in you know r r social media promotion of this trip will do x will do why well doozy right that's a great way to do it so if I'm making like a little ears like a location deck that we made for a trip we did like last this earlier earlier this summer like this so this was something we did we were like hey here's all the locations and the places that we might go here's a bunch of rad spots you know looking at all these locations of in iceland you know checking out here's some of the different places you know if you were creating a deck like this it could even just be your portfolio will be the same exact thing you you provided b a deck that has your you know your portfolio images and you know something that you want to show to a brand or whomever to kind of show you show them some some of your different works in variety you can write whatever you want in this but this is just a clean easy way for someone to communicate with you or you to communicate with somebody else's through a deck and I have my logo here and I have some details here and I might say the client's name or whatever it is or you know blank blank proposal right something like that this is a really easy way to do that so for editorial to yeah it's really great way I mean this we use these all the time thanks so do you guys have any more questions here just one more editorial so do quite often write well trying to support the pictures of ice no no not a writer because because all of these trips you know to get the I guess the personal impression and everything that's going on you can come very well from the you know there's some people who do it really well it's just not my forte I have a hard time writing if I'm photographing I have a hard time taking notes and stuff like that I feel like if my job was just to go right and be no problem but when I'm going and photographing and I'm giving so much of myself to that experience and really trying to get the best you know most deep you know incredible imagery that I possibly can writing is just like a task that feels overwhelming and I feel like it I feel like it uh it just kind of hinders the photography one of the things is going to suffer until for me it just never something that I attempt to do also I really like the collaborative process the idea of working with a good writer and bringing them on boards that you guys can both create something awesome I've worked with an amazing writer for a lot of trips I've done um with you know russia even with ben while in there have been with multiple writers to a lot of different locations on that's one of my favorite things about going to some these places is working with somebody like that

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Shooting outdoor photography is a powerful way to commune with nature and experience the fullness of life. Learn how to train your eye on incredible shots and convey the energy of the outdoors in The Outdoor Photography Experience with Chris Burkard.

Chris’s beloved images of life on the world’s coasts are alive with action and emotion. In this class, he’ll share the tools and techniques he uses to capture the photographs he sells to magazines, brands, collectors, and publishers.

You’ll learn about his shooting style and the gear he brings on his global adventures. He’ll also talk about the business of photography and share tips on marketing and selling your work.

If you want insights on how to create rich, dramatic images that let you enjoy more time outdoors, don’t miss your chance to learn from Chris Burkard in The Outdoor Photography Experience.

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I've been staying up all night to watch the live broadcast. As somebody else here mentioned (latsok), it's emphasizes on the non-technical aspects (emotion, engagement, colour and composition) rather than the technical stuff like shutter speeds, iso and f-stop. Although I can use some help in both, the technical aspects are not only camera specific but fairly objective as well. The non-technical aspects however are something much harder to grasp. Getting help in this by no-one less than Chris Burkard is just amazing. I bought this class so I can re-watch certain parts of the broadcast again whenever I need it. But also to show my appreciation for Chris Burkard and Creative Live for providing this great online course!

Matt Redfern

This class was packed full of amazing knowledge. I really enjoyed the topics covered and have found it super helpful for my work. I have had so many takeaways ranging anywhere from how to put myself out there, finding my style that stands out, practical applications, etc. I would highly recommend this class to everyone interested in photography! Big thanks to Chris and CreativeLive for putting this together.


This was a phenomenal class. I highly recommend it to anyone. Chris is not only a sensational photographer, he is a wonderful teacher. He provides such detailed information and freely gives same to his students. He is really really available and eager to answer questions and so easy to understand. I learned so much and I was thrilled. I am very very grateful I found this particular class.