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Connect with your LinkedIn followers on a whole new level. Learn how to post a video on LinkedIn, which videos perform best, and why video is essential.

LinkedIn is hands-down one of the best platforms in which to express your brand, in a professional capacity. However, if you limit yourself to text content, you miss out on several benefits, the biggest of which is the ability to connect with followers on an emotional level. To help your brand realize its potential and capture the attention of your audience, strengthen your profile with video.

Step 1: Head to the Right Page

You can upload videos to two different pages on LinkedIn: Your business page or your personal profile. If you manage more than one page, this step is particularly important.

Step 2: Upload the Video

Once you’re on the appropriate profile, look for the “Start a post” text field. From here, you can write a text post, and choose to upload a photo, video, or document. To upload a video, click the video button and choose the appropriate file.

Make sure it meets LinkedIn’s video requirements, which you can find on the site’s FAQ page. These are some key specs to remember:

  • Max file size is 5GB
  • Videos must be longer than 3 seconds, and shorter than 10 minutes
  • Aspect ratio must be between 1:2.4 and 2.4:1

If you’re uploading the video to a business page, you can add a caption. Do this by clicking the pencil icon in the video player. This feature is not available on personal pages.

Step 3: Add a Description

Give viewers context by creating a brief video description. If you want viewers to visit a different page after watching your video, include a link to the page and a call to action. You can also tag people in the description.

Step 4: Share Your Video

Before you share, make sure your privacy settings are correct. Go to the bottom right hand side of your post and select “Post Settings.” Decide whether you want your video to be visible to the public or if you’d like to target specific followers. Then hit confirm and share.

What Types of Video Performs Best on LinkedIn?

Now that you know how to post a LinkedIn video, you need to decide what to post. Below is an overview of the best performing video types, based on LinkedIn’s internal usage insights thru partner Animoto:

  • Industry insight videos
  • Webinar event promotions
  • Trending news videos
  • Company intro videos
  • Event recap videos
  • New launch promo videos

As already mentioned, native videos perform the best. However, embedded videos and LinkedIn ads also perform well — in certain circumstances.

Top image via NotionPic

Get more advice about using creative content for your business:

The post A Super Quick Guide to Using Video on LinkedIn appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Capturing and maintaining a dog’s attention during a shoot could just be the hardest thing a photographer can do. Here are a few tips to help out.

Whether you’re working a gig or shooting in your own living room, photographing dogs is challenging. They’re always curious about everything around them, they’re  easily distracted, and they don’t trust strangers. But, there are a few different ways you can earn their trust, take the photo, and nail exposure and focus.

Let’s take a quick look at how to pull this off!

Dog Photography in 90 SECONDS | Photography Tips - YouTube
Tape a Treat to Your Camera

One thing is certain in this world . . . dogs love food. Whether it’s human food or doggy food, nothing gets their attention like a delicious treat. The “how” is simple. Stick a small, rolled piece of duct tape or gaff tape to the top of your camera. Then firmly place one of their favorite treats on top of it. Once you’ve done this, let them smell it so they know whats at stake (a delicious surprise!). Now they’ll stare at you with the intensity of a thousand suns.

(This method also works for phones.)

One thing you absolutely must do is keep a little pouch or bag handy so you can feed the dog treats as you shoot. This way you can leave the treat on the tape. (You can buy small training treats at the pet store that are perfect for this.) I wouldn’t recommend feeding them the actual treat you stuck to the camera, as there might be tape residue on it.

Using a Ball or Toy

This might seem obvious, but ask your client to bring any and all toys that your dog loves. There’s always a chance they won’t be interested in the treats you’re offering, and they might only want their ball or toy. Dogs are very unpredictable, especially dogs that aren’t trained super well, so be prepared for anything.

Hold the ball or toy next to your lens. Be sure to actually throw or play with them after you get your shot, so the incentive is always there.

Camera Settings

Your little pupperino’s unpredictable nature makes the actual shooting rather difficult. Not only do you need to catch focus on their face, you also need to get them to stay as still as possible. This requires a fast shutter, something like 1/500 or 1/1000. Which means you’ll need to open up the aperture as much as possible. However, now you’re dealing with a shallow depth of focus, which can be hard to work with if the dog is making small movements here and there.

So position yourself outside so they’re facing the sun or the light as much as they can (for a short period of time; you don’t want to hurt their eyes) and try to get as much light on them as possible. This should allow you to bump up to a f5.6 — or maybe a little bit lower. If you can, turn on continuous shooting or burst mode (on your phone) and snap away. It’s going to take a while to get the perfect shot. You’ll also be taking hundreds of photos so make sure you have space on your camera beforehand.

Big, Diffused Light

For studio portrait lighting, I avoid using a flash. You never know how a dog might react, especially if it’s not your dog and they’re unfamiliar with the environment. So I use a big soft, diffused light source: an Aputure 300d with a Light Dome. You don’t have to use a light this big; just make sure your light is big enough to cover the dog’s entire body. The diffusion helps minimize the shine on their coat.

Also, bring a reflector, even if you’re shooting outside. Since dogs stand on four legs, you’ll get a lot of shadows on their torso and belly. Using a reflector helps cast some light on their underside. This is especially helpful with darker-coated dogs.

Dog photography can be challenging and frustrating. You can’t really communicate with the subject! So just remember to take the shoot slow, and try to make sure they’re having as much fun as possible.

Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?

Looking for more photography tutorials? Check these out.

The post Pet Photography Quick Tips: Keeping and Capturing A Dog’s Attention appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Check out the incredible work by ten pro travel photographers on Instagram and find inspiration before your next location shoot.

We’re the first to admit that Instagram is the BEST research tool to use before traveling. Whether it’s looking through tagged locations or trending location-based hashtags, travel photographers on Instagram have the ability to make our team instantly want to book a ticket to a new, undiscovered destination around the world. We scour through our Instagram feed daily, searching for trip inspiration, cool walls to pose in front of, and hidden gems to take top-down latte images at.

Have you followed us on Instagram yet? Follow us at @shutterstockcontributors and tag #MyCustomView to get featured.

Shutterstock Image by Fernando Privitera 

Travel photographers have the ability to transport people to beautiful destinations around the world that seem otherwise unreachable. From the farthest stretches of the globe, we scoured our network to find ten travel photographers on Instagram that you need to follow. Whether these photographers are creating impactful travel imagery available for purchase on Shutterstock or Offset, or traveling the world shooting inspirational wanderlust imagery, we hope you’re just as inspired by these nomadic photographers as we are.

Are you a contributor with a unique travel story? Submit your story to Shutterstock for an opportunity to be featured on our blog and social media.

Here are 10 Shutterstock Travel Photographers on Instagram You Need to Follow. Michal Balada Shutterstock Portfolio: Michal Balada | @michalbaladacom
Location: Kvasiny, Czech Republic Shutterstock Image by Michal Balada

Finding travel photographers on Instagram to feature seems like an easy mission. After all, Instagram was practically built to share travel memories. But, discovering Michal’s portfolio simply took our breath away. This landscape and travel photographer uses his lens to capture unimaginably beautiful images of nature throughout his travels. He is also a pro at using the best times of day, golden hour, to capture stunning images. Michal takes his time, dedicating moments to capturing images with slower shutter speeds on tripods, thereby creating a crisp and clear landscape image. On his Shutterstock portfolio, this theme continues into stunning panorama landscapes that will make you want to instantly pack your bag, head to the wild, and never leave your tripod at home again.

Kertu Saarits Shutterstock Portfolio: Kertu_Com | @kertu.ee
Location: United Arab Emirates Shutterstock Image by Kertu_Com

Kertu has long been a Shutterstock favorite here at our office. Her work and colors are absolutely stunning, instantly recognizable, and showcases a true representation of the world seen through Kertu’s eyes. This Estonian photographer based in Dubai is a perfect example of a global photographer who is inspired through traveling and capturing destinations in her own personal style. This accomplished photographer has been published by National Geographic and has traveled to sixty-nine countries from Kyrgyzstan to the Philippines. We can’t wait to see what this travel photographer has in store for us next.

Mario Gimmnich Shutterstock Portfolio: Mario Gimmnich | @marioo_55
Location: Germany Shutterstock Image by Mario Gimmnich

This drone specialist and warm-tones enthusiast captures our attention with his dramatic visual style captured through his landscape photography. From up above, this travel photographer provides a unique angle to popular destinations around the world, including San Francisco and the Grand Canyon. Mario’s style is instantly recognizable. His editing style gives his images a deep, earthy blue tone with hints of orange that leaves a lasting impression on his audience.

Songquan Deng Shutterstock Portfolio: Rabbit75shu | @dengsongquan
Location: New York, United States Shutterstock Image by Songquan Deng

Being based in New York is a fantastic takeoff point for any traveling photographer, and Songquan is no exception. This freelance travel photographer specializes in using architecture and aerial point-of-views to capture unique angles of well-visited destinations. From citadels in Spain to the subways of New York, his work has an almost ethereal, nostalgic vibe that transports you in time. On his Shutterstock portfolio, expect to discover panoramic cityscapes and architectural concept pieces that provide a glimpse into the mind of a wandering creative.

Austin Sylvest Shutterstock Portfolio: Austin Sylvest | @afsylvest
Location: Colorado, United States Shutterstock Image by Austin Sylvest

Whether this traveling artist is shooting music festivals in his home state or traveling through various national parks around the USA, his clean and beautiful editing style creates timeless images worth remembering. On Austin’s Shutterstock portfolio, viewers can find stunning images of USA wilderness and clean landscapes. Travel photographers on Instagram have the power to influence where and why we travel to destinations, and we’ve got to say, we’re ready to book a ticket to Colorado ASAP.

Olga Kulakova Shutterstock Portfolio: Photonature | @olga_kulakova_photography
Location: Kazakhstan Shutterstock Image by Olga Kulakova

Often found scaling mountains and traversing backroads, wildlife and landscape photographer Olga Kulakova constantly seeks the wild through her photography. Born in Kazakhstan on the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountain Range, mountains are a massive part of who she is and this personal approach still appears in her photography. She’s since expanded to travel the world through her mountaineering adventures, always searching for new locations and new mountains to climb. Climbing out of a tent at sunrise to capture images is easy when the sky lights up in a ray of pink and purple clouds.

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Вот не люблю я все-таки таскать с собой в горы телеобъектив – он тяжелый и занимает много места в рюкзаке. И вроде я понимаю, что на вершине он мне нужен, но в той ситуации, когда погода испортилась всерьёз и надолго, а мы зачем-то сидим ночью в палатке на вершине под снегопадом, и собраться и спуститься уже нельзя, я снова ругала себя, что зря притащила на себе бесполезную в этих условиях вещь. За эту тяжелую ночь я кое-как смирилась с тем, что в этот раз поход оказался неудачным, так как мне нужна была не только вершина, но еще и вид с вершины на рассвете, и именно для этого мы сюда приперлись и терпим беду, и увидеть красивый рассвет нам не суждено. Надо было постараться признать, что обстоятельства далеко не всегда складываются в твою пользу, и смириться с этим было очень непросто. Наверно это был самый сложный момент за все время восхождения. Но в горах на рассвете иногда случаются чудеса… Вид с вершины пика Мукагали (4433 м), Терскей Алатау Август 2018 #landscape #landscapephotography #outdoors #explore #tourism #trekking #mountains #mountaineering #sunrise #moon #moonset #fullmoon #tienshan #natureofkazakhstan #natgeoru #adventure #outdooradventures #mountaintopview #natgeoru

A post shared by Olga Kulakova (@olga_kulakova_photography) on Nov 6, 2018 at 7:48am PST

Fernando Privitera Shutterstock Portfolio: Fernando Privitera | @fernandoprivitera
Location: Italy Shutterstock Image by Fernando Privitera

Fernando’s style carefully places small subjects such as people, animals, or trees in his stunning travel images, providing a sense of scale to an otherwise large landscape image. By doing this, you truly feel the gravity of how big and incredible these destinations are. Whether it’s a line of camels strutting at sunset or a single person standing on a cliffside, Fernando’s images allow you to picture yourself at that moment. And that’s the goal of travel photography: to inspire people to chase those moments.

Most travel photographers on Instagram stick to one theme. However, on Fernando’s portfolio, you can also find his portrait work and night photography. Get inspired by this creative artist and his work on Shutterstock.

Ervin-Edward Szabo Shutterstock Portfolio: Ervinedward | @szabo_ervin_edward
Location: Romania Shutterstock Image by Ervin-Edward

Ervin has perfectly captured the Instagram aesthetic of a wandering travel photographer, with a powerful editing style to match. Whether he’s capturing images of wildlife such as foxes or bears or epic reflections in lakes and rivers, his images receive hundreds of comments on just how much he’s inspired people to visit these unique destinations around the world. He’s constantly chasing new experiences through his photography. One minute you’ll find Ervin traveling through lush rainforests, and the next down snow-covered highways.

Natalie and Ruslan of Everst Shutterstock Portfolio: Everst23 | @e_v_e_r_s_t
Location: Norway Shutterstock Image by Everst

Inspired by the wild landscapes of Norway’s fjords and beyond, this adventure-seeking duo constantly inspires our team with their jaw-dropping lifestyle images of a lifestyle best spent outdoors. They perfectly captured the aesthetic on what it means to be travel photographers on Instagram, and how sharing these images inspire people around the world to travel to new and exotic locations. Working as a team, their images are emotional and personal, a glimpse into a life chasing adventure. Get inspired by their idyllic images of hiking, mountain-top camping, and how special it is to travel together around the world.

Evgeniy Biletskiy Shutterstock Portfolio: Evgeshechka | @evgeniybiletskiy
Location: Ukraine Shutterstock Image by Biletskiy

Combining his love for traveling and mountains, Evgeniy uses his lens to capture his passions during global adventures. Using drones and aerial photography, Evgeniy gives viewers a unique approach to capturing lifestyle imagery through traveling. Whether it’s a pair of snorkelers in a deep blue reef, or a monkey climbing a tree on a cliffside, the technical use of his equipment provides a different perspective to the destinations he visits. We are constantly inspired by his incredible use of colors, composition, and perspective.

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Want to know what really goes on behind-the-scenes at a successful shoot? Explore these simple but unusual hacks from pro photographers.

Image by ​Anupam Hatui

Sometimes, seeing how a photograph is made is just as exciting as the photo itself. As any photographer knows, getting “the shot” is about so much more than hitting the shutter button. It requires hours of backstage planning, plenty of trial and error, and often, some pretty wild and ingenious rigs.

Thanks to the power of social media, we now have access to some of these behind-the-scenes tricks and secrets photographers have been using for ages, and boy, are they entertaining. The Instagram account ​Sh*ttyRigs​, for example, currently has well over 115K followers and counting. They’re also educational. Little-known hacks are now accessible to everyone.

We asked more than ten innovative and resourceful photographers to tell us about some of the inventions and discoveries they’ve made throughout their careers. From bokeh to macro, learn how they create dazzling effects for a fraction of the usual cost.

1. Use folders for a cheap and easy filter.

Image by Katerina Klio

“Sometimes in my shoots, I use LED panels, and I attach colored silicone folders (the kind you keep papers in) to them in order to tint the light,” ​Katerina Klio​ tells us. “Sometimes, it is hard to find professional heat-resistant color filters, so I use these folders as a simple way to color light.”

2. Incorporate prisms or mirrors for unique flares.

Image by Toporkova

Shutterstock Contributor ​Toporkova​ recommends employing glass prisms for highlights, flares, and reflections, while ​others​ use simple household mirrors. “I like to use several small mirrors during filming,” the cinematographer ​Tatjana Baibakova​ tells us. “I position them in different places and angles to form flares and bright spots that increase volume and depth.”

Image by Luna Vandoorne

If you’re feeling creative, you can even use ​cellophane​ for some unexpected effects.​“Once I used colored cellophane papers in front of the lens to add some texture and flares/leaks,” ​Luna Vandoorne​ says. “Natural light was coming from the left, which created that bokeh effect.”

3. Keep a toothbrush on hand.

Image by Kertu Saarits

Kertu Saarits​, a photographer and Shutterstock contributor based in the United Arab Emirates, knows a thing or two about navigating difficult conditions. “Living and traveling in the desert does no favors for my equipment, so the best I can do is to clean any sand and dust from my gear promptly,” she explains. “Toothbrushes are a small, affordable, and easy tool I use to quickly brush the tight nooks and crannies clean, even when I’m in the field.”

4. For jaw-dropping compositions, use skewers.

Image by Yuya Parker

“Wooden skewers are great for making ‘flying’ objects,” the photographer ​Yuya Parker​ tells us. “You can buy them at any grocery store. They make it easy to capture different angles and positions, and they’re easy to remove in post.”

5. Save money by making your own creative backgrounds.

Image by Roberta Dall’Alba

“I usually make my own backdrops,” Offset Artist ​Roberta Dall’Alba​ explains. “They’re cheap and easy: you’ll need a plywood board, a brush and matte colors. You’ll save so much money, and you will be able to choose your favorite color combinations.” You learn more about her process over by watching ​this video​ and checking out her ​Instagram​, ​blog​, and ​website​.

Darius Šulčius​ also makes his own backdrops using different materials and techniques. “​I think DIY really boosts your creativity,” he tells us. ​“​I’ve made photography backgrounds with aged wood logs, painted foam boards, etc.”

6. For soft photos, try vintage lenses.

Image by 3355m

“I like to use vintage lenses in my work—old Zeiss, Takumar or Zenit lenses released thirty or forty years ago,” Toporkova tells us. “Sometimes, it’s hard to focus on an object using these lenses, but if you get to know them well, you will have soft and artistic pictures.” With a lens mount adaptor, you can put an older lens on a newer camera, combining the best of both worlds.

Hint: you can also create a soft effect by using petroleum jelly. Simply take some plastic wrap, fix it to your lens hood with a rubber band, and apply some jelly, making sure to avoid contact with the lens itself.

7. Reverse your lens for macro photos.

Image by Tomatito

As multiple insect-loving photographers told us ​last year​, you don’t have to shell out the cash for a macro lens. Instead, you can reverse your old 35mm or 50mm lens and attach it to some extension tubes using duct tape.

8. Experiment with diffusers.

Image by Spaskov

Need to get rid of those hard shadows? You probably have a cool diffusion fabric lying around the house, whether it’s a sheer, diaphanous scarf, a shower curtain, or even an umbrella. You can also try tissue paper and parchment paper. Try them all, and see what works best for you.

9. Use a fan for movement.

Image by ​Emily Mitchell

“A great way to get an aerial view with ever-so-slight motion in a video (or just a top shot photo) is by hanging your shoulder strap on the blade of a ceiling fan and using the remote,” ​Emily Mitchell​ explains. “I just hang it up there. Ceiling fan blades are straight and strong, and the camera strap has a rubbery side, so I just put that side toward the blade to keep it from sliding (not that it would, but you know, just in case).” She does not turn the fan on!

10. You can use a shoe box for all sorts of things.

Image by Okssi

“I decided to build a softbox and an external light source,” ​Anupam Hatui​ tells us. “I used two cardboard shoe boxes of different sizes and painted their interiors white for good results. I customized a two-meter wire with a common holder and attached it in the middle of the boxes with CFLs and covered the open end with a thin white T-shirt. It worked fairly well for my indoor shots.”

Top Image by Kertu Saarits

Looking for more pro tips? Check out these articles:

The post Photographers Share DIY Photography Hacks You Need to Know appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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LinkedIn is a valuable tool for building relationships, but it can be intimidating to start. Try these simple strategies for connecting with other businesses on LinkedIn.

There are two types of people on LinkedIn: those who never even finished setting up their profile, and those who use it constantly to network and build their brand. Unfortunately, LinkedIn seems to be overlooked and underutilized by many people. But the people who are using it, love it.

One thing’s for sure, LinkedIn is not just for job seekers anymore. It is a powerful B2B tool that all businesses can use to boost brand awareness, while gaining new customers.

According to Statista, two business professionals join LinkedIn every second, and they’ve had consistently high growth rates for over a decade. That’s saying a lot compared to Twitter’s slow increases and Facebook’s recent stagnation.

LinkedIn is the B2B Marketing King

In terms of B2B social media marketing, LinkedIn is the place to be. In fact, 80% of B2B leads that came from social media were from LinkedIn. If you are a brand, you need to be there!

It’s a place to network, engage with other professionals, and promote your business. People on LinkedIn are there to learn how to make their businesses succeed and want to interact with other people in a networking capacity.

Image via Song_about_summer.

While promoting your business on Facebook should be something fun or entertaining (because people go on Facebook to be entertained), promoting your company on LinkedIn is more straightforward, since that’s what LinkedIn is all about.

That’s not to say you can just go on there and blast your company all over the place. No one wants to see that on any platform. It’s best to have a strategy in place, and that’s what we’ll outline for you here.

The Foundational LinkedIn Strategy: As with anything in marketing, having a strategy on LinkedIn ensures success. The following seven tips will help you build a stellar LinkedIn strategy that will make you stand out. Let’s dig in…

Build Out Your Company Page

To quote LinkedIn, companies that complete their Company Page get 30% more weekly views than those who do the bare minimum. So, build that baby out to the fullest! At least make sure you include the following:

  • A professional logo
  • A custom cover image
  • A headline that makes a good first impression
  • Your contact info (at least your website)
  • A description that includes your company’s mission, purpose, expertise, areas of focus, and relevant keywords
  • A custom Call-to-Action

Image via Shutterstock LinkedIn.

Use the LinkedIn Pages Playbook to learn everything there is to know about your LinkedIn Company Page. And don’t stop there — create a Showcase Page where you can feature specific product lines, services, or initiatives.

Post Like a Pro

LinkedIn says that when companies post weekly, they get double the engagement. And those who post daily really build a connection with their audience.

It’s not that hard to do when you look at the wide assortment of posts you can (and should) put out there:

  • Questions to get a conversation started
  • Company news
  • Videos (your own and curated)
  • Blogs (your own and curated)
  • Case studies
  • Webinars you are holding
  • Infographics
  • Industry news

Here are some additional posting tips to round out your strategy:

Team Involvement. Encourage employees to share stories about your company and to interact with the content you post. Employees get higher engagement because they have a face, not a logo.

Use Images. Out of the mouths of LinkedIn, posts with images get double the amount of comments as ones without photos.

Tag People. When we tag people, it improves engagement because that person’s connections see it. But you can’t just go around tagging everyone. It has to make sense and seem flattering, not annoying.

Use Hashtags. Users can follow certain hashtags so they can be provided content that relates to that hashtag, therefore it’s another way to bring more visibility to your posts.

Here are some additional top-notch posts to emulate:

Images via Shutterstock LinkedIn.

Focus on Building Relationships

Image via Flamingo Images.

LinkedIn is a powerful networking platform, and it works best for the people who set out to build relationships, instead of just promoting their businesses. Here are some great ways to do that:

Engage with Other People’s Content: Comment, Like, and Message people. This is where the money is. When you show you care about what others are doing, they will refer business to you, and you can form partnerships.

Share Knowledge: If you have something to share, put it out there. Just be sure to do it in a helpful, non-condescending way.

Offer Personalized Value to Others: Get to know people and offer resources, referrals, and opportunities based on what you know about them.

Discover New Leads Through Saved Search: Create a search alert for people with a certain title. Then, LinkedIn will email you people with that search criteria.

Engage in Groups: LinkedIn Groups are a great place to demonstrate thought leadership, gain a credible reputation, and meet like-minded people. This is not the place to self-promote. Instead, post questions that get people interacting and then engage in the discussion, as well. Share relevant, helpful articles — ask for opinions — Like or comment on other people’s posts — and consider creating your own group.

Here’s What Not to Do: Don’t send automatic messages. They are spammy. We all get them, and no one likes them. We know they aren’t authentic because they seem cookie-cutter and we know they are being offered to everyone. Instead, send personalized messages that are clear you are speaking directly to that person.

Branch Out and Explore LinkedIn’s Other Features: Once you’ve developed a cohesive company page, you have been consistently posting awesome content, and you’ve been building relationships on LinkedIn, it’s time to take a look at some of their other features…

Publish Articles on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has an incredible publishing system, and anyone who is anyone is making sure they post articles on LinkedIn. They are known as a resource for quality business content. In fact, 91% of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for content.

Image via Shutterstock LinkedIn.

Hootsuite says, “Brands who publish research, news items, and fresh ideas on LinkedIn will find not only a receptive audience, but a supportive algorithm.”

Create articles that are helpful, insightful, and unique, and you’re golden! Consider taking an angle that others haven’t. Thought leadership content is where it’s at on LinkedIn.

Use Native Video

Because LinkedIn wants to keep people on their network instead of clicking on external links and videos, LinkedIn’s algorithm ensures that native video gains marketers some incredible exposure.

Native video is simply a video that is uploaded right onto LinkedIn, instead of just sharing a link from YouTube or another website.Image via Shutterstock LinkedIn.

The best native videos on LinkedIn are short (1 minute), get right to the point, and contain captions so people can start watching the video, without having to click on it. You can even add a CTA button to collect leads.

Let’s Sum it Up

If you aren’t utilizing LinkedIn for your business, you are leaving money on the table. There is an amazing amount of exposure, revenue, and relationships just waiting for you there. However, when you’re just starting out, don’t overwhelm yourself with every strategy in this article. Instead, start at the top and slowly add other strategies as you gain experience with the initial ones. Before you know it, you’ll be networking like a pro on and reaping all the benefits!

Cover image via mirtmirt.

Looking for more tips on connecting with other businesses? Check out these articles:

The post Getting Started with LinkedIn: 5 Strategies to Stand Out appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Trying to save time and standardize your business presentations? Follow this simple guide to create your own custom Powerpoint Master Template.

For many businesses, PowerPoint is the go-to tool for creating and executing presentations, reports, and summaries. But creating a new PowerPoint for every presentation can be time-consuming and draining. There’s a simple solution: a Master Template.

If your team isn’t already using a Master Template for all your PowerPoints, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to halve the time it takes to make a presentation and to standardize a look and feel for your brand. But what is a Master Template, and how do you create one? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

What Is a Master Template?

A Master Template in PowerPoint is a presentation that you can save to be used as a model for future presentations in the future. When you open up a Master Template all of the formatting, including font, text size, color schemes, and logo placement, will already be set up. You simply have to add text and images, without fussing over details of the design. Master Templates can also be shared within your team so that everyone is working off the same guide and all of your brand’s presentations have unity.

The obvious benefit of a Master Template is that it saves your business time. Instead of having to copy, paste, and modify each new slide, a Master Template automatically creates every new slide with your predetermined settings. This doesn’t mean your whole presentation will look exactly the same slide to slide; you can create various slide formats so that there’s a selection of designs for different purposes, like title pages, data visualization, and text slides.

There are other hidden benefits of using a Master Template for all your businesses’ presentations. When everyone uses the same Master Template, you end up with tight control of your branding. Presentations that are all formatted the same way  enforce visual identity, which shows customers that you have a legitimate, cohesive brand.

How to Create a Master Template in PowerPoint 1. Open a new or existing PowerPoint presentation

The first step in creating a Master Template in PowerPoint is to open up a new or existing PowerPoint presentation. From here, navigate to “View” in the menu bar, then select “Master” and “Slide Master.” Clicking this will give you the ability to see the master layouts of the slides.

The slide master is the largest slide image at the top of the lefthand slide list. All associated slide layouts are positioned beneath the slide master.

2. Edit the Cover Slide

Perhaps the most important slide in your presentation is the cover slide, or the first slide of your presentation. This slide will introduce your business and give your audience an idea of what the following slides will contain.

To edit the cover slide, click on the “Master title style” slide in the left hand sidebar. Clicking on it will make it appear in the center of your PowerPoint workspace, ready for you to edit. From here, any changes in background color, font size and color, etc. will be applied to all other slides.

There are a few formatting options in the Master toolbar, but to access advanced design elements of the slide, click on Home in the top toolbar. This will take you back to the home menu, which contains font options and more. To get back to the Master Template view, click on Slide Master on the same top toolbar.

After you’ve set up your cover slide, click on “Close Master” in the righthand corner. After closing the master editor, you will be able to edit your slide. Fill it with whatever title you want it to have that’s specific to the presentation you are giving.

3. Edit the Basic Slides

After creating the cover slide, you can now create basic (or content) slides that present your information with text. Just like before, to edit the content slides, navigate to “View” in the menu bar. Then select “Master” and “Slide Master.”

From there, click on whatever type of content layout you want to use for your presentation in the lefthand sidebar. There are a variety of options for basic slides, including “Title and Content Layout,” “Two Content Layout,” “Comparison Layout,” etc. Choose the layouts that you think most accurately delivers your presentation’s information in a concise and easy-to-understand way – you can create a tmeplate for as many slide types as you want.

Note: There are also layout options for if your presentation will contain a graph, chart, or picture.

Once you’ve selected a basic slide layout you like, click on it and make it appear to the center of your PowerPoint workspace. Like before, you can now make any changes in background color, font size/color, and so on. Your changes will become the template basic slide for any future presentations. When you’re satisfied with your basic slide, navigate to the upper right hand corner and click on “Close Master.”

4. Save Your New Master Template

After you are satisfied with your master template, new branded cover slides, and basic slides, it’s time to save your template for future use.

First, click on the “File” tab, then select “Save As.” When the “Saves As” box opens, in the “File format” list, choose “PowerPoint Template (.pptx).” Make sure to enter in a file name in the “Save as” file name box so that you can easily find your template in the future. Choose where you want your template to be saved, and lastly, hit “Save.”

How to Use a Master Template in PowerPoint

To open up a Master Template you’ve already created, launch PowerPoint and click “File” > “New from Template” and “My Templates.” Inside “My Templates,” you’ll be able to find your pre-branded template or search for its name. Simply open it up and start working.

You can select the slide template you want to work from by clicking into the New Slide dropdown in the Home toolbar. From there, just fill in the text and add any pictures or diagrams to support your content. That’s it! You now have all the information you need in order to create a visually cohesive and branded Master Template for all your business’ future presentations.

Looking for more on making a successful presentation? Check out these articles:

Cover image via ittoilmatar

The post Why Your PowerPoints Need a Master Template (and How to Make One) appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Don’t have enough room in the budget to rent an arsenal of lights for your nighttime exterior shots? Try using this compositing method that only requires one light.

So, you want to light a night scene. And you want to do it right. But if you don’t have the right tools, there are so many ways for it to go wrong. In my opinion, trying to get a well-exposed image at night is a rich man’s game. An entire arsenal of lights and generators are needed to brighten up a dark forest or haunted graveyard. And if you are like me, you don’t have the money for that. The only way that indie filmmakers could shoot a quality sequence in the darkness was either by blowing their budget on gear rentals for a night, or using day-for-night color grading.

That’s not the case, though — we lit the following opening sequence with just one light using a technique we call “Lighting in Plates.” It’s a form of compositing that weaves several shots together to provide ample lighting coverage for the entire shot.

Lighting Exterior Night Shots with ONE LIGHT! | Filmmaking Tips - YouTube

Take our wide reveal shot — it may look like a normal shot, but this is actually several shots taken in the same place that we stitched together in post. One for keying the subject, one for backlighting the killer, and the others for filling in the background, which all come together to form a fully lit scene.

To attain all of these separate shots, we placed a camera on a tripod, capturing a wide shot of all the necessary components. Now, an extremely important thing to remember is that you CANNOT move the camera at all. For the plates to match up correctly, you have to have the exact same frame in each plate. Any movement at all from your camera, and you will have to re-shoot the whole sequence. So, we put some sandbags down next to the tripod to prevent any movement.

We used just one light — the Aputure 300D with a softbox attachment. It’s a super versatile light that blasts a ton of great, even light wherever you point it, and we use it constantly here in our studio. A good bonus to this light is that you can use it wirelessly by attaching a V-Mount battery to it, in case you don’t have access to a single outlet on location.

Before you start setting up your light, plan where your light is going to come from. If you want to mimic moonlight — which is a directional, one source light — the direction needs to be uniform across all plates. We decided ours was going to come from the top left of the shot, beaming down to the bottom right. (One other thing you have to look out for is visualizing what is going to be masked out for each plate.)

If you have any moving objects (such as a person walking), make sure they stay within their artificial boundaries, so they don’t accidentally walk out of their individual frame. If they do step out, you can still use it, you’re just going to have to rotoscope them into the other shots. When recording, get at least 30 seconds each of every plate, just so you don’t have to loop them for a long take.

For our first plate, we recorded a blank template with the lit-up shed, just as a backup for the masking process later in post. Our second plate was the initial key light used to light both the shed and the subject. This was placed high and pointed downwards, on the left side of the shed offscreen, which created a nice soft moonlight that doesn’t use too much light.

Our third plate was our killer’s spotlight. To achieve this backlit horror shot, we took the softbox off of the 300D and replaced it with an Aputure Fresnel attachment, which concentrates the light into a single beam. If you don’t have a Fresnel attachment, using the barn doors (usually attached to your light) will suffice.

Our fourth, fifth, and sixth plates were accent lights to brighten up the rest of the frame. That includes some directional light pointed at the trees, and some fence lighting that was passed through some branches to give it some dimension. I even placed a dead body in there to fill out the scene, which, if you look closely, is actually me!

For close-ups and inserts, you can easily use just one light to create a really soft key on your subject from up high. On our handheld shot, we just raised up the softbox and pointed it down and across the subject, spilling just enough light on his face to bring out his features, without any grain.

Now, after shooting, we move on to the stitching part of lighting with plates. It’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. Bring all of those clips into Premiere. Layer them on top of each other in the timeline, in order of the largest plates on bottom and the smaller accent plates on top. Now, toggle track output on all of the clips, except your first and second one. You can leave the base, blank clip unmasked, since you will be layering other composite layers over it.

Go to the opacity settings of your second clip, and select the pen tool. Outline the parts of the clip that you would like to keep as your layer, then feather the edge so it blends in to the others.

Repeat the process for each layer — taking your pen tool and only selecting what each plate needs to provide to the shot. Once you’ve got those layers assembled, now you can go into the Lumetri color settings of each clip and start to match them to the other clips. If one area is unnaturally brighter than the rest, pull down its curve and match it to the others. Now, this clip is obviously static, but if you want to add in a little crawl zoom, you can nest your clips and adjust the scale key frames from there.

Now you’ve got a fully composited shot, comprised of six different shots! Obviously, this was a lot of work to get just one shot. A more practical use of the plate lighting technique is using it when you need an ultra-wide shot and can’t practically do it without the light in the shot. To easily mask out the light but keep the light output in there, take two shots — one with the light in the frame, and the other one with the light out of frame, but lighting up the dark area of the previous shot. Bring these into Premiere, mask out the side with the light in it, feather and color adjust from there.

Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?

Looking for more video production tutorials? Check these out.

The post Learn How to Light Exterior Night Shots with One Light appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Learn how you can get the interesting tones you’ve been looking for in your photos with Adobe Lightroom’s Calibration Tab.

In the competitive world of photography, everyone is looking for a new way to stand out. It’s tough, especially when it seems like new styles are coming out every day. For a unique look, you can add cool graphics or filters — or try out new concepts in your photo shoots. But really, other than captivating visuals, color tone is the best way to capture a viewer’s eye. Taking advantage of the Color Calibration tab opens up the interesting tones you’ve been looking for in your photographs, and it’s another tool you can carry around in your back pocket.

The tab you want to access is called Calibration. Previously, I would always avoid clicking on it, thinking it was some weird technical tool that never did anything. Then, one day, I just went for it and started moving all the sliders. That was when that I realized the power of this tool.

Calibration Tab HSL Tab Hue Slider

When you move the Hue slider for the RGB primaries, it affects the whole picture. In the HSL tab, if you modify the red slider, only colors that the program considers red will change. The shadow tint is self explanatory, but just in case: it corrects the tint shadows usually found in photographs. So, when you’re in the Calibration tab changing all the parameters, you’ll find out quickly that overdoing it can easily ruin your image. But take all these tips with a grain of sand because there is no one preset that fits every photo. Every picture is different, so the editing around it will need to be as well.

Think of this tool as a painter’s palette; the Calibration tool allows you to mix all the colors. You get access to many individual color swatches (for all the colors) just by moving the RGB sliders. If you get the mixing just right, you’ll have a masterpiece. However, if you overdo it, the outcome is unappealing.

Saturation Slider

The next part of the Calibration tab is the Saturation slider. Once you find the right tone, you can use the Saturation slider to determine how saturated you want the colors.

Notice again how all the colors are affected.

My recommendation is to use the Calibration tool in conjunction with the HSL slider. Like I said, it won’t always improve every picture, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Here is a quick overview: Use the Calibration tool to get nice tones for your landscapes, portraits, or whatever you’re shooting, and use it with the HSL tool to get nice earthy tones or bright pops of color.

When you feel like you’ve completed your final edit, step away from the screen to let your eyes reset. When you come back, you’ll know if you’ve done the color grade perfectly, or if it’s too much.

Looking for more photography tips and tricks? Check out these articles.

The post Discover the Power of the Calibration Tab in Lightroom appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Discover green’s enigmatic symbolism, as well as how to pair with other colors to create a contemporary scheme. Pick up pro tips on how to design and decorate using the color green in this complete guide.

The color of growth, regeneration, and cleanliness, green is intertwined with the natural world and healthy living. Often employed by designers to convey environmental ideas or promote health products, green is also associated with cleanliness, luck, and prosperity.

Although psychologically perceived as a lethargic color, green’s links with wellbeing and the environment continue to make it an extremely popular and naturally beautiful color to use in designs. From emerald to viridian, and olive to aqua, green comes in a huge range of jewel-like, leafy, or blue-infused shades. Each one also has their own distinct symbolism and associations.

Skip to the end of the article to discover three on-trend green color palettes to use in your designs. You can also discover a whole spectrum of incredible colors to use in your designs with our new color tool.

What Colors Make Green?

On the visible spectrum, green sits between blue and yellow. In painting and printing, green is a secondary color, meaning that it is created by mixing two primary colors—yellow and blue.

In the digital RGB color model, green is an additive primary color, alongside red and blue. These three colors are mixed together to create a full range of screen-friendly colors.

On a painter’s color wheel, green sits next to yellow on one side and blue on the other.

Color wheel images adapted from contributor Antun Hirsman

Varieties of Green Colors

Green can vary in both shades (in which the green is mixed with black for a darker green) and tints (which are mixed with white, to produce a paler result). But, there are also a broad range of green varieties that are mixed with other colors, such as yellow, blue, gray, and brown.

  • Yellow-greens such as chartreuse (named after the French liquor which shares the distinctive color) and lime green have a lively, energetic feel.
  • Blue-greens such as aqua, sea green, and teal have a more subtle energy which helps designs to feel calmer and more chic.
  • Gray-greens like seafoam and sage are wintery and more somber than their yellow- and blue-green relations.
  • Brown-greens like dark olive have a formal and dignified air, which explains why they are often selected for military uniforms.

Explore the diverse world of green with the Shutterstock color tool, which explores palettes and images related to a range of vivacious and vibrant greens, including mint green, spruce, jade green, and pistachio.

Green’s Complementary Color

Green sits opposite to red on the color spectrum, creating the perfect high-contrast pairing of lethargic, calming green with hot-blooded, energizing red.

Color wheel images adapted from contributor Antun Hirsman

The Meaning of Green

Image by contributor soft_light.

Perhaps because green is so common in nature, it is primarily associated with growth, life, energy, and fertility. It is the most healing and soothing color for the eye to process, and has been proven to enhance vision, stability, and endurance in human viewers.

Green’s association with healing and its proven ability to also help to alleviate anxiety and depression explains why it is often chosen to advertise drugs and other medical products.

Image by contributor sylv1rob1. “Absolute green is the most restful color, lacking any undertone of joy, grief or passion.”

– Wassily Kadinsky, artist

Compared to divisive blue and passionate red, green is often perceived as a neutral color, perhaps because throughout human evolution we became used to seeing a large amount of green in our daily lives. However, the downside of green’s neutrality is that it can become like background noise, with too much green tending to promote lethargy, laziness, and a lack of energy.

Aside from its environmental associations, green has a wide range of other meanings specific to certain cultural uses. For example:

  • Green can be symbolic of good luck, money, and prosperity. In Ireland green is the national color and is associated with good fortune. Irish children began the tradition of pinching people who forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and this playful tradition is still practiced today.
  • Darker shades of green can symbolize greed, ambition, and wealth, which might explain why dark greens is popular for banking and exclusive or luxury branding.
  • Olive green, with its connections to the symbolic olive branch, can be symbolic of peace. But, ironically it is also frequently chosen as the color for military uniforms.
  • Green is the historic color of Islam, with the color representing the vegetation of Paradise. Green is featured in the flags of nearly all Islamic countries.
  • In the late 1800s author Mark Twain wrote about a character turning “green with envy,” but green’s association with jealousy has much deeper roots, stemming back to the Ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that the body produced too much bile when a person was jealous or ill, giving the skin a green tint.

Image by contributor Elena Sherengovskaya. The Origins of Green

Green is the most commonly occurring colors in nature, with chlorophyll-producing plants making up a largely green outdoor environment. Many birds, mammals and reptiles followed suit, evolving green colorings to help camouflage themselves in jungle and forest environments.

There are also minerals that obtain their green coloring from their iron or chromium content, such as emerald, jade, and chlorite. Historically, some of these minerals have been prized as precious stones or jewels, and emerald in particular continues to have significant value today for both its rarity and beauty.

Because greens naturally occur in and are synonymous with nature, particular green shades are often associated with specific environments or climates. Hunter green has a rich, melancholic feel reminiscent of evergreen forests, for example, while jungle green has a cooler blue undertone that mimics the green tint of tropical plants.

Although green is generally associated firsthand with plants, some greens originate from chemical reactions. Celadon green is a jade green created by applying a thin glaze of iron oxide. In ancient China this particular green was considered so beautiful that only the eyes of royalty could behold it, and it was known as mi se, meaning “mysterious color.” The French “celadon” name was later given to this elegant color,. The name is based on the literary character of a French shepherd who wore pale green ribbons.

Image by contributor bjaru. How to Design with Green

Green has been a design favorite for centuries, with the Victorians favoring deep, somber tones like sage and brunswick green for their interiors. Many of the chemicals used to create these pigments were in fact extremely poisonous, with the famous example of Napoleon having apparently been slowly poisoned by the arsenic-rich green wallpaper used in his room in St. Helena.

Although the wallpaper has since been proven not to have been the sole cause of his death, deadly pigments did little to dissuade consumers from the joys of green in their homes. Green remained in fashion in various incarnations beyond the Victorian period.

In the 1950s aqua and mint green were paired with baby pink to achieve the ideal Americana aesthetic for kitchens and Cadillacs. In the 1970s, avocado became the height of fashion and enjoyed immense popularity, both gastronomically and in interior design.

Image by contributor Gestan.

Nowadays, green can be used in a wide variety of shades and hues to achieve different stylistic looks for graphic design, interiors, and product design.

Neons are enjoying a huge revival across graphic design, with punchy lime, chartreuse, or other radioactive greens adding a lively juxtaposition to black-and-white photography or type.

This brand identity by Hamburg-based designer Marco Moccia for Museum Georg Schäfer uses a simple graphic segment of neon green to provide a modern foil to classical paintings.

Museum Georg Schäfer brand identity by German designer Marco Moccia.

Designing with luxury in mind? Deep, dark greens and their association with wealth make these the perfect basis for creating elegant and refined packaging or branding, as in this example by Australian designer Jackie Price for YIVIO Winehouse Branding.

Linking the wine to its earthy terroir origins with a green brand color is also mindful and appropriate. Try using green in your own designs to create a connection with eco-friendly or organic products.

Brand identity for YIVIO Winehouse by Jackie Price.

This brand identity for hypothetical airline Emerald Emirates by Chris Do and Emily Xie for Adobe Live is a great example of a monochromatic green color scheme (see below) in action.

Building up shades of aqua and emerald in a gradient-themed style, these designs suggest both luxury and the dynamism of air travel. The choice of green is fitting for a brand that wants to convey an impression of both luxury and relaxation.

Brand identity by Chris Do and Emily Xie for Emerald Emirates X Adobe Live. What Colors Go With Green?

Colors that go with green depend on the type of color scheme you want to use:

  • A monochromatic green color scheme uses tints, tones, and shades to create an entirely green palette.
  • A complementary green color scheme incorporates red. Green’s cousins, yellow and blue, are complementary to purple and orange respectively.
  • An analogous green color scheme uses the colors bordering green on either side of the color wheel. In this case, yellow and blue.
  • A triadic green color scheme includes orange and purple since they are equidistant from green on the color wheel.

To find the colors and exact hex codes that go with green, use our color combinations tool. It shows you monochromatic, analogous, triadic, and contrasting color palettes for a variety of greens. Try a scheme with mint green, spruce, jade green, or pistachio.

Below, discover three cutting-edge, pre-made color palettes for the color green.

Palette 1: Seafoam and Pink

This fresh and alluring combination of colors mixes seafoam green with soft pink, magenta, and baby blue for a lively, on-trend scheme. This palette feels both feminine and enlivening, with a mid-century optimism. This palette would look best on branding and retail interiors that require an energetic, youthful look.

Palette 2: Nature’s Jewels

Nature will always generate the most beautiful of green color schemes. Here, the iridescent colors of hummingbird feathers provides the inspiration for a palette of jewel tones of grass green, royal blue, royal purple, and exuberant orange. This is a rich, earthy palette that will give your designs a nature-inspired look with added interest and depth. Perfect for giving logos or typography a lift.

Palette 3: English Sensibility

This palette is inspired by the deep bottle green and traditional racing green favored by 1940s and 1950s designers. This dark, intellectual green makes the perfect teammate for aquamarine and antique gold. Restrained and elegant, this is a palette that is suited to projects that require a touch of formality and luxury, such as hotel interiors or high-end packaging design.

Eager to discover more incredible colors to use in your designs?

Discover a whole spectrum of incredible colors with our new color tool. Bring your projects to life.

Cover image via merrymuu

The post All About Green: Origin, Theory, Design Applications, and Color Schemes appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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Last year Shutterstock’s follower count grew by 10x. Try these five simple strategies for growing an Instagram following, and duplicate the secrets to our success.

Growing an Instagram following requires a lot more work, dedication, and creativity than simply posting beautiful images. An Instagram account requires research, strategy, and a consistent execution plan in order to effectively reach your audience and engage them with your content. Whether you are a photographer looking to promote your work online, or a brand looking to engage an audience through your content, growing an Instagram following can be a great lead generator for future content opportunities.

Here at Shutterstock, we are thrilled to announce that our @ShutterstockContributors Instagram account has surpassed 50,000 followers!

Just last year, we were sitting at 5,000 followers. In just twelve months we saw a massive 10x growth period. This is due to a dedicated team of curators who are sharing content that resonates with our audience. This content was created and crafted by the global contributors that make Shutterstock who we are.

And we don’t want to keep the secrets to ourselves. As photographers, illustrators, videographers, and composers, having an online presence is a valuable tool to have as a creative. Your Instagram has the power to reach new clients, new fans, and new opportunities for you to earn money and gain followers.

That’s why in this article, we’re sharing a few secret tips on growing an Instagram following through engaging content, and strategies you should implement in your creative business. Follow these tips if you are interested in organically growing an Instagram following, and creating an audience that not only follows you, but also supports your work as a creative artist.

Tip #1: Show a wide variety of content that aligns with your brand

Instagram is a visual tool to showcase your best work as creative artists and business owners. Don’t limit yourself to one thing. If you’re a travel photographer, showcasing the diversity of your portrait, landscape, or architecture work on Instagram is a great tool to show your breadth as an artist. If you are a small business owner, think of all the different audiences that you are trying to reach. Build your content resonate with each of them to ensure you’re growing an Instagram following that aligns with your brand.

Representing different audiences on social media

On @ShutterstockContributors, we do this by highlighting a wide genre of image types including still-life photography, creative concepts, impactful illustrations, and more. We also ensure that all of our content consistently highlights contributors from Shutterstock, Offset, Shutterstock Custom, PremiumBeat, and Editorial. The last thing we want to do is miss showcasing the beauty of these different marketplaces, and the type of content that they want to see on our Instagram.

Tip #2: Engagement is everything

Instagram is a community platform that is built for engagement. Engagement of communities, individuals, and cultures around the world. Prioritizing engaging with your network is a pivotal step in growing an Instagram following organically. That means tagging people in posts and Instagram Stories, so that your community can engage and re-share your content.

If you’re a creative artist, consider doing round-ups of other artists that inspire you to cross-share work. And always tag the models, brands, and businesses you work with so they can share your work too. Tag @ShutterstockContributors and use the #MyCustomView hashtag to be featured on our channels. Getting featured by accounts similar to the work you post is a fantastic way to start growing your Instagram following, and getting more visibility on the work you create and share.

Tip #3: Post consistently

It’s nearly impossible to start strategizing your Instagram until you know where your audience is, and what time they are most likely to engage with your work. Posting consistently, and trying different posting times, is a great first step into starting to analyze the performance of your Instagram posts.

Shutterstock Image by Kochneva Tetyana

Use a scheduling platform such as Later to schedule your posts well in advance, so you can ensure you are always posting on the platform even when life gets away. Select different posting times to test what works best for your audience, depending on their timezone. The more frequently you post in a time where your audience is most active, the more opportunity you’ll have to start growing your Instagram following. If you post at a time when no one that follows you is online, chances are your content will get buried amongst the thousands of images posted to the platform daily.

Tip #4: Post seasonal content and keep up-to-date on trending hashtags

Posting seasonal content is a great way to ensure the content you share is the most relevant to your audience. In the spring, people aren’t searching for images of winter wonderlands. They are looking for fresh floral blooms, picnics, and bike rides in parks. Post seasonal content to have the best chance of resonating with your audience.

On @ShutterstockContributors, we constantly discuss events, holidays, and seasons that are relevant to our global audience. Whether it’s celebrating Holi in India, or Midsummer in Sweden, keep your content relevant to the time and place your posting.

Another way to start growing an Instagram following is by following trending hashtags, and engaging in the content when it’s relevant. Whether it’s the egg that cracked the internet, or the season finale of GOT, engaging in trending topics is the best way to get your content seen by the maximum amount of people possible.

Tip #5: Caption with creativity

A caption is a way to maximize the opportunity to tell stories. It’s the last, final emotional pull that you have to get an audience’s attention to the content you’re creating. Take time to create creative captions that are relevant to your image. Don’t simply put your image out there without a caption. Think of how you want the audience to feel when they view your image and describe it. A caption is a great way to ask your audience questions and engage with them even further beyond the image itself.

On @ShutterstockContributors, we use our caption to ask our audience questions on what they want to see. We also use this same strategy in our Instagram Stories, using the incredible features Instagram’s created including Instagram Polls and Questions. Your captions and words should always be meaningful, with the goal of both connecting and growing your audience.

Shutterstock Image by LightField Studios

We hope these tips help you to start growing an Instagram following for your visual brand or business. Be sure to follow @ShutterstockContributors on Instagram if you haven’t already, and use the hashtag #MyCustomView so that we can start featuring your work. We can’t wait to see what you create next here at Shutterstock.

Top image by Song_About_Summer

Want to learn more about social media? Check out these articles:

The post We Grew Our Instagram From 5K to 50K in One Year. This is How. appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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