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November 16th, 2015

New Services Helps You Automate Photo Posting on Social Media

screenshotOne of the key challenges in growing a social media presence is keeping various social media outlets fed with content. A variety of services, like Buffer and HootSuite, are available to automate Facebook and Twitter posts, but a new service dubbed PhotoBuffer promises to tackle a variety of photo-friendly social sites.

With PhotoBuffer, you can upload a single image and automatically schedule a posting to Facebook (profile and pages); Twitter, 500px, Flickr and Tumblr (no Instagram yet).

The service is broken out into tiers. A free tier allows you to queue up to 10 posts to PhotoBuffer with a file limit of 10MB per image. Facebook posting isn’t available in the free tier and a PhotoBuffer message will be attached to images you share.

To remove the branding and expand your buffer to 20 images at 15MB in size, you’ll have to pay about $5/month (pricing is listed in Euros at the moment). A $10/month tier provides Facebook support, up to 30 photos in your queue and a 20MB file size limit. Step up to $20/month and your buffer grows to 50 photos with a 35MB file size limit and the ability to add your own custom text on the bottom of each share. Finally, a $40/month tier allows for an unlimited photo queue, 50MB file size limit and customized messages with each share.

There’s no contact info to speak of on the PhotoBuffer site and no terms of service yet, though when we reached out through an online chat on the service, we were told one is coming soon and will be geared around a simple theme: “the photos are yours and we will use them only to post them on your photo account.”

Given the recent contretemps with InstaAgent, photographers may want to wait a bit until PhotoBuffer has its legal ducks in a row. Still, it sounds interesting.

Via: Hacker News

Read More:

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

November 12th, 2015

If You’re Using This Instagram App, Delete It

InstaAgent is a popular app that helps Instagram users track who’s visiting their Instagram account. It’s also, according to a investigation by a developer at Peppersoft, malware.

Evidently, InstaAgent is storing Instagram users’ passwords and usernames and sending them in plain text to a remote server. As MacRumors Julie Clover reports, the app is “also using the credentials to log into accounts and post unauthorized images. Instagram does not permit third-party apps to upload photos to user accounts.”

Since the revelation, InstaAgent has been pulled from both the iOS and Google Play app stores. If it’s on your mobile device, you should delete it ASAP and change your Instagram password.

Read More:

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

November 11th, 2015

Professor Forced Out of U. of Missouri J-School after Blocking Student Journalists at Protest

A University of Missouri assistant professor who was caught on video trying to block a student journalist from covering a protest on Monday at the university’s main campus in Columbia has resigned her “courtesy appointment” at the Missouri School of Journalism, the university announced late yesterday.

The protests, over the university’s handling of racist incidents on campus, were covered by the national media. Protesters eventually forced the resignations of the university’s president, and the chancellor of the U of M-Columbia campus.

The widely circulated video of the professor, Melissa Click, was shot and posted by student reporter Mark Schierbecker. The video shows a group of protesters confronting student photojournalist Tim Tai, at the urging of Click. She tells him to “back off.” Tai hold his ground, and asserts his right to photograph the protest under the First Amendment, until the protesters interlocked arms and physically push him back.

Schierbecker then doubles back with his camera towards Click, who was behind the line of protesters confronting Tai, and asks to speak to her. “You need to get out,” she tells him.

“No, I don’t,” he responds.

At that point, Click appears to grab at his camera, then she turns around and calls for other protesters to help force Schierbecker away:  “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!”

Amid a storm of protest on social media over Click’s interference with the reporters’ First Amendment rights, Click said in a prepared statement yesterday, “I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regrets over my actions.”

Last night, after a School of Journalism faculty meeting to discuss the incident, David Kurpius, the school’s dean, announced that Click had resigned her “courtesy appointment.” Kurpius noted that Click “never taught courses at the School.”

Her “courtesy appointment” at the School of Journalism simply enabled her to as a thesis reviewer for School of Journalism students, The New York Times explained in its report about the incident.

Click continues to hold her position in the communications department of the University of Missouri’s College of Arts & Science, according to the university.

Kurpius said in statement yesterday that “The Missiouri School of Journalism is proud of [Tai] for how he handled himself” during the confrontation with Click and other protesters.

Tai has said on Twitter, “I’m a little perturbed at being part of the story, so maybe let’s focus some more reporting on systemic racism in higher ed institutions.”

Related Articles

1st Amendment Watch: Will Police Ever Get the Message that Photography is Not a Crime?

Dept of Justice Blasts Ferguson Police for First Amendment Violations

October 26th, 2015

PhotoPlus Expo 2015: John Keatley on Thriving in Business, Marketing and Style

In his seminar, “Learning to Thrive as an Artist: Business, Marketing and Style for Photographers,” during PhotoPlus Expo this past week, Seattle-based commercial photographer John Keatley neatly summed up one of the themes of the 2015 PhotoPlus Expo conference: In a market in which technically proficient, beautiful photography can be and is created by the masses, professional photographers are “hired [by commercial clients] to create something scarce.” Personal style and vision are essential, in other words. “Anyone can learn to master technique,” Keatley says. “No one can replicate your decision-making process.” The talk was an abbreviated version of the three-day workshop Keatley puts on a few times each year.

On style

In his relationships with clients, Keatley defines his style through the work he chooses to show, and how he talks in meetings and during creative calls as he’s bidding on jobs. Keatley says his “goal in talking to a client is to show them that I think about photography in a different way.” He shared with seminar attendees the dictionary definition of style and said he believes style “is not something you choose, it’s who you are.” He made an analogy with acting style, sharing a video in which the actor Brian Cranston talks about a revelation in his career when he stopped worrying during auditions about getting a job and started concentrating on showing who he was as an actor.

Keatley urged his audience to contemplate who they are as photographers by coming up with 7 to 10 words that describe ideas, attitudes and other things they value, and thinking about how those values manifest themselves in their work. Keatley also urged his audience to understand that developing one’s style “is a journey,” and it’s something that a photographer develops and evolves throughout their career.


October 22nd, 2015

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

Photographers looking to build their social media presence are often focused on the tactical questions of who to follow, how often to post and what networks to exploit. But according to photographers at the PhotoPlus Expo #Trending panel, the route to success in social media doesn’t follow a neat script and has far less to do with a given tactic and far more to do with honesty, positivity and having something of value to share with the world.

The panel, moderated by PDN senior editor Conor Risch, saw photographers Sue Bryce, Vincent Laforet, Jeremy Cowart and Chase Jarvis discuss before a packed house how they grew their substantial social followings–and the challenges that come with feeding a ravenous Internet.

Bryce’s approach to social media follows a basic formula that consists of 40 percent positive opinion, 40 percent knowledge-sharing, 10 percent sell and 10 percent personality–all anchored, she said, by consistency and positive intentions. Having a strictly mercenary view of your social media presence, where all you try to do is sell your followers, is a dead end, Bryce insisted. “You need your followers to be entertained and engaged,” she said.

“You have to think of how you add value,” Jarvis seconded.

For Cowart, engaging on social media begins with humility. “I don’t want to the be the guy speaking down to people on Twitter and Instagram,” he said. His advice: tend to your social presence humbly and feel free to share. “I’ve always debated whether I should share my personal life [online] and I landed on the side of sharing, being honest and real.”

If Cowart is open to sharing his personal details, not every platform earns his personal attention. “Google+ is a useless platform for me,” he said, despite the fact that he has 1.5 million Google+ followers. “I gave up on SnapChat…. I think Periscope has a long future.”

The tactics of growing a social media audience shouldn’t be the first thing photographers worry about when they go online, Jarvis noted. “It’s all about the why. Why are you doing something?” Humans naturally gravitate to a narrative, Jarvis said, so photographers with a story to tell and the patience to tell it over social media will grow their followers organically. In this game, Jarvis said, “the reality is that stamina wins.”

“If you treat [social media] like a marketing exercise, you’ve failed from the get go,” said Laforet. Of all the photographers on the panel, Laforet was the most ambivalent about social media, admitting that acquiring a large following can be a curse as well as a blessing. “The more followers you get, the less honest you can be,” he lamented.

Laforet confessed that he had grown “tired of the ever-expanding black hole” of social media and also the medium’s “lack of intonation” and emotional depth.

Bryce, however, maintained that a positive self image and positive intentions online were the wellspring of social media success. Her approach to any new technology, she said, was simple. “Will it help evolve my career? If it doesn’t, I don’t need it.” But, she warned, failing to adapt and evolve with new technology was a one-way ticket to extinction. One thing we know from nature, Bryce said, “is that if a species doesn’t evolve, it dies.”

October 7th, 2015

This Is the Most-Liked Photo on Instagram

The first images of Pluto’s surface? A selfie with a world leader? A stunning landscape? A dramatic piece of photojournalism? An adorable cat? Nope. It’s this.


A photo posted by Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) on

To celebrate Instagram’s five-year anniversary, Time’s Olivia Waxman collected the top five most liked photos.

The Kardashians and relatives take three of the top five spots, while Taylor Swift captures the other two spots.

Draw what conclusions you will.

Beyond our evident obsession with celebrity, Instagram has grown into a formidable social network since its launch five years ago. The service now boasts 400 million users and its global expansion has been impressive. According to the social network, a full 75 percent of its users reside outside of the U.S.

October 6th, 2015

500px Redesign: New Profile Pages, Discovery Features


500px pulled back the curtain on a major redesign of its profile pages, photo pages and the search experience.

A user profile page (pictured above) will no longer display square cropped thumbnails. Instead, thumbnails will retain their original aspect ratio. Profile images have been moved to the middle to make them more prominent, as has bio text.

The company also made the Follow and Share buttons more prominent.


Photo pages will now display larger photos. According to 500px, portraits will be 12 percent larger while landscape images will be 15 percent larger than before. A modal design displays images as pop-ups so that visitors can keep their place in the background. Information about the photo has been consolidated into a sidebar. All of the details, except for comments, can be collapses into a Details tab. If you frequently collapse the Details tab, 500px will remember your selection and begin to automatically collapse the tab for you.

Below an image, 500px will display the set it was a part of to help visitors find additional images. They’ve also improved how quickly images load by allowing a low-resolution version of the image to pre-load to enable those with slower connections to view something while the full resolution images finishes its journey from cyberspace to browser.

Finally, the Discover section of 500px has a new design that features full aspect ratio images that load smoothly as you scroll. Pages will scroll continuously now, too with no more pagination. The Fresh page will continue to support bulk uploads, but will only display the first three images in any bulk upload to preserve existing images on the fresh page.



September 23rd, 2015

Storehouse 2.0 Revamps Storytelling App Leaving Social Media Behind


Instagram isn’t the only photo app getting a facelift. Storehouse just released version 2.0, ushering in a major redesign for the storytelling-focused app.

One big change is the removal of social media features. Storehouse has purged followers, likes and timelines from its features. Instead, the app’s story creation tools have been expanded with the purpose of enabling users to privately share large batches of photos from their iPhone.

In a blog post announcing the new features, company CEO Mark Kawano wrote that the “follower model with a profile was subliminally making people decide what type of online persona they should be on Storehouse…As our community grew to over 1m active users and many of us started collecting thousands of followers, publishing stories started to feel different. This isn’t too bad if you’re just sharing a single photo, a link, or 140-characters of text, but it wasn’t ideal for Storehouse. Personally, I don’t know most of my followers and I don’t even know why they really follow me, so sharing personal stories felt awkward since I’ve never been the blogger type. I’m also far from a professional photographer so sharing public stories alongside some of the best photographers in the world felt intimidating.” (For more on how Storehouse works, see “Are Visual Storytelling Platforms Good for Photographers?” on PDNOnline; log-in required.)

With social media out of the way, Storehouse is now focused on group photo editing and private sharing. Among the new features in version 2.0 is “shake-and-edit” which sorts photos into a magazine-like design simply by jiggling your iphone. A “spaces” feature lets third parties add images to a given collection. The underlying app has been rewritten so it’s faster.

The app is also now optimized for the new Apple TV.


Here, according to Storehouse, is how the new version will work:

  • Select photos and videos from your Camera Roll (or Instagram, Flickr & Dropbox) and Storehouse will automatically generate a page you can send to your friends.
  • Send a link to each story you create by SMS, iMessage, or email.
  • Customize a layout by pulling the handles on any photo or video; rearrange your images by simply dragging them around the page.
  • Create spaces for friends and family to contribute their own photos around one theme — such as children, recipes, a wedding or vacation, or a new creative project.
  • Privately share images among parents, grandparents and close friends, with each member simply viewing, or contributing via a “space.”
  • Embed collections to a blog, or share specific stories to social media if you want to  share to a larger group.

Storehouse is available free on iTunes.

Related article:

Are Visual Storytelling Platforms Good for Photographers? (For PDN subscribers; log in required.)

August 27th, 2015

Instagram Reorients, Adds Support for Portrait and Landscape Photo Sharing

1 - Format Icon_Square DefaultInstagram is no longer hip to being just square. The latest version of the app (7.5), which went live today in iTunes and Google Play, supports sharing photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientations.

Writing that the “square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” Instagram also acknowledged that nearly one in five photos or videos posted to the network weren’t square.

Now photographers will have the option to tap a format icon and switch the orientation of the photo to their preferred format. In a user’s profile grid, portrait/landscape images are displayed as a center-cropped square. Photos taken using the Instagram app will still only be square.

Instagram is also updating its video features. Rather than have separate filters for stills and videos, the updated app will have a single set of filters than work on both. Users will now also be able to adjust the intensity of filters on video.

August 24th, 2015

What New Federal Trade Commission Guides Mean For Instagram Influencers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued new guidelines regarding paid endorsements that photographers should be aware of—especially if they’re being paid to promote products on their Instagram feeds. This summer the FTC updated Guides to Section 5 of the FTC Act to add guidelines about how “Instagram influencers” and bloggers should identify any company or product they’ve been paid to promote.

Put simply, the Guides insist that if you are being compensated to endorse a company, product or event, you should say so. “The Guides, at their core, reflect the basic truth-in-advertising principle that endorsements must be honest and not misleading,” the FTC states.

According to the Guides, there are no fines for violations of the FTC Act. However, “law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations.” Not to mention legal fees.

In the FAQ section, the FTC addresses blogs and social media specifically. “Truth in advertising is important in all media,” the Commission writes, “whether they have been around for decades (like, television and magazines) or are relatively new (like, blogs and social media).” (more…)