We continue the interview with Dustin, having spoken about his Photo Editor job and now discussing the role of social media photography. Read Dustin’s rules on using the social media content at work.
Lobster: Because Lobster creates the marketplace for social content, we are certainly interested in your attitudes to social media photography for work. Do you often use social media photography, why and why not?
Dustin: All the time! Every day! Multiple times a day! The power of cheaper higher quality cameras means everyone can take an important photo. We use social media imagery to help cover everything from news events to knitting the perfect scarf.
Lobster: Isn’t it hard to search and find the right content?
Dustin: It’s becoming easier and easier. Finding social media used to be something of a niche skill where tracking down the right hashtag or discovering the users on the ground required a lot of time and knowledge. New tools, such as Lobster, are making that process more streamlined and easier than ever
Lobster: What is the biggest pain in getting the content?
Dustin: Verification, authentication, and quality. It’s one thing to find that a beautiful relevant image you need, but it’s a whole other thing to make sure the image is what it claims to be.
Lobster: Why do you think people copy content on Instagram, Flickr or Google Images and use it as their own, without even thinking this is bad?
Dustin: We have an unprecedented amount of visual information at our fingertips and I think it’s our natural instinct to share an amazing picture when we see one. I don’t believe the vast majority of appropriated imagery is taken maliciously. My hope is that in the near future, rewarding, giving credit or licensing from a photographer is taught alongside saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’
Lobster: What would you never do at work with social media content?
Dustin: We’re pretty serious over here about making sure we have proper permission to use any and all photos on the site.
Lobster: Now to your photographer side! First thing we would like to know – who is your inspiration as a photographer?
Dustin: This is such a painfully hard question to answer! I am so inspired by so many photographers all around the world that it would be impossible to list all of them. There are just so many different kinds of photography in so many various categories that choosing even a dozen would only scratch the surface. Seriously, I could go on for hours about all of the photographers that I love.
Lobster: Ok, that’s understandable! We too struggle a lot when we need to choose the best photographers for a competition at Lobster, so much great talent around. Speaking about formal education role, – you have studied photography at the SVA NYC, – what is your biggest taking from school as a photographer?
Dustin: Honestly, SVA taught me that you get what you give. It was a school that demanded you be self-motivated and the harder you work, the more you will be rewarded.
Lobster: Words of wisdom for up-and-coming photographers and photo editors by Dustin?
Dustin: Shoot and edit what you care about! Find your voice and the stories you are passionate about! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other people in the industry. Every photographer and editor I know loves meeting new talent.
Lobster: Thank you, Dustin! That was a great insight into a Photo Director’s job and life and a pleasure to speak. We’ll be back with more great stories and people.