Yesterday we shared a piece by photographer Kenneth Jarecke on why Instagram isn’t fit for photojournalism. Now, from the other side of the aisle, Jeff Bercovici of Forbes writes that Time had great success after hiring five Instagrammers to document Hurricane Sandy:
The resulting collection on Lightbox, Time’s photography blog, was “one of the most popular galleries we’ve ever done,” says [Time DP Kira] Pollack, and it was responsible for 13% of all the site’s traffic during a week when Time.com had its fourth-biggest day ever. Time’s Instagram account attracted 12,000 new followers during a 48-hour period.
One of Benjamin Lowy’s photos even ended up getting selected for the cover, although it’s one of three covers Time is running this week [...] While the level of resolution isn’t perhaps what might be achieved with a camera, says Pollack, “It reproduced beautifully. There’s almost a painterly quality to it.”
Pollack tells FolioMag that the decision to use Instagram was based on distribution speed rather than aesthetics.
Why Time Magazine Used Instagram To Cover Hurricane Sandy [Forbes]
P.S. It seems that by “Instagram photo”, Forbes and Time are referring to the fact that they were shared through, not captured with, Instagram.
Jonathon Keats of Forbes has a great piece discussing truth in photography and Joel Sternfeld’s 1978 photo of a fireman shopping for pumpkins as a house burns in the background:
Sternfeld recognizes the passive-aggressive coerciveness of pictures, and enlists their manipulative power. “You take 35 degrees out of 360 degrees and call it a photo,” he told the Guardian in a 2004 interview. “No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium.”
[...] A century ago, anything a camera captured was widely accepted as fact. Today every image is presumed to be contrived. We’re wary of underhanded propaganda and attuned to journalistic perspective. Yet as concerned as we’ve become about pictures, we remain all too confident about our unmediated vision, which is also inherently selective, limited by when and where we’re looking. Sternfeld’s pictures remind us that, like a camera, our eyes are essentially passive. Like photography, observation is an act of authorship.
Here’s a Calvin and Hobbes comic exploring the exact same issue.
Do Not Trust This Joel Sternfeld Photograph [Forbes via POTB]
Image credit: Photograph by Joel Sternfeld
The business world let out a collective gasp when it was announced back in April that Facebook had agreed to acquire Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Eric Savitz of Forbes points out that photo publishing company Shutterfly — which has the same market valuation as Instagram — may actually be a smarter buy:
Shutterfly this year is expected to post $582 million in revenue, up a gaudy 137% since 2009. As of the end of March Shutterfly had zero debt and $144 million in cash with another $100 million due to flow in this year. At a market cap of nearly $1 billion, Shutterfly is being told by the stock market that it is worth the same as Instagram, which being acquired by Facebook for $1 bil- lion in cash and stock. While Insta- gram has far more users (30 million), it lacks a few business essentials such as revenue, profit and scale. Instagram has about a dozen employees. Shutterfly, with 1,000 employees, produces photo books, prints and other goods in factories in Phoenix and Charlotte.
An interesting fact from the article: by 2015, Americans will take an average of 322 photos per person per year, or roughly a photo a day.
Leave Instagram To Facebook: Shutterfly Is The Better Buy [Forbes]
Image credit: shutterfly by kate at yr own risk
Here’s an hour-long live video interview that Photoshelter recently did with Michele Hadlow, senior photo editor over at Forbes Magazine.
Hadlow speaks on how the magazine has managed to continue commissioning high-profile shoots despite cutbacks common across most publications. Michele tells us about the top characteristics all killer portraits must have to get featured, and what photographers need to succeed with both their subjects and clients.
Michele also discusses how Forbes hires photographers, and what up-and-coming photographers can do to get noticed. Having been at the magazine for over 14 years, Michele speaks to over a decade of work in the industry
Forbes released its list of 100 most reputable companies in the world earlier this month, and a number of camera makers made the cut. Sony placed 6th, Canon 8th, Panasonic 13th, Kodak 41st, Samsung 43rd, and Fujifilm 47th. The Reputation Institute conducted the study with 48,000 consumers:
Each company earned a “Global RepTrak Pulse” score of zero to 100, representing an average measure of people’s feelings for it. The scores were statistically derived from calculations of four emotional indicators: trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling.
The Institute also analyzed what it calls the seven dimensions of corporate reputation. It found that perceptions of the enterprise (workplace, governance and citizenship) trumped product perceptions (products and services plus innovation) and performance (financial performance and leadership) in driving reputation. [#]
What we found strange is that Kodak — a company struggling to find its place in the photo industry — placed relatively high on the list (41st), while Nikon — a dominant player — failed to even make the cut. What’s with that?
The World’s Most Reputable Companies (via PhotoWeeklyOnline)
Image credit: brand loyalist – moi? by only alice