We were super lucky to catch @ramboestrada in between surfs and shoots to find out a little bit about where he came from, and where he is going. This dude is one to watch if you’re into surfing, adventure, travel or photography. He sure knows how to work a lens!
What is your favourite Instagram account right now?
There’s an Australian ocean photographer Lloyd Meudell who is not actually that well known, but he shoots using some really interesting techniques creating some unique and beautiful ocean images. His work is really inspiring.
What made you get into photography?
My favourite thing to do growing up was to go on surf adventures with friends. Searching for waves we’d drive all over the country visiting these amazing out of the way places that folks wouldn’t usually get to experience. It was always such a good time and I really just wanted to document those adventures.
What is your most used piece of camera gear?
Hmmmm that’s tough. I have a lot of gear. Possibly the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. It’s definitely my favourite for shooting surf from the land as I like a pulled back perspective to include more of the environment. I also like my landscapes to have a fair bit of compression so I use it a fair bit for scenic shots too. And it’s not my number 1 lens for portraits, but the longer focal length is good for snipering off candid portraits without the subject being camera aware.
Where is your favourite place you have shot so far?
Probably Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful country with an interesting culture and a lot of cool colours. I don’t know if I even did anything with the photos from that trip, other than print some to put on the wall at home, but there’s more of Sri Lanka on the wall than any other country so for me personally it was my favourite place to shoot.
What country to plan to travel to next?
Next week I’m heading to South East Asia for the winter. So far I have a month booked in Indonesia and then a month in the Philippines. I haven’t worked out where I’m going after that, but I have a few more months to fill before I need to be back home in NZ and I haven’t been to Myanmar or Cambodia so maybe there?
Other than your camera gear, is there anything you can’t travel without?
A pool float. Nothing quite like relaxing in a tropical ocean on a pool float and it’s pretty hard to come by a cool one when you’re in out of the way places. Last time we took a giant donut, this trip we’re taking a giant pretzel.
Any camera technology coming out in the next while that you’re particularly excited about?
Sony are leading the way with mirrorless cameras, and mirrorless is the future! I’ve just ordered a Sony A7R II. It’s significantly smaller & lighter than the Canon DSLRs that I’m currently shooting with but with the same size sensor, twice as many megapixels (42MP!) and an electronic viewfinder so you can basically see your photo before you’ve taken it. And it has some exciting new technology like autofocus that will lock onto your eye etc. Pretty pumped for that!
Content shared on Instagram & Twitter will no longer appear in the order it was posted and will instead appear based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in it, and your relationship with the person posting it, much like Facebook.
This week we have seen some major updates to two of our most loved platforms: Instagram & Twitter.
Over the last few years we have seen the organic reach of Facebook decrease rapidly from 100% right down to around 4%. The billion dollar platform have found many ways to monetize and offer users a “tailored and unique” experience, and now they are following suit with their Facebook-owned Instagram photo & video sharing service. While Twitter is not owned by Facebook, it has also released a similar update this week.
What this means as a user, is you will have your own personalised feed which will be ordered based on content and accounts you are most likely to engage with at the top.
For example, if your favourite artist (Taylor Swift) posted a photo of her performance the night before, it will be waiting for you at the top of your feed when you wake up, no matter how many of your other followers have posted in the meantime. Or if your bestfriend tweets a selfie, it will be sitting at the top of your feed rather than 40 photos ago. Make sense?
What this means for Influencers, Marketers and Brands:
- Provide valuable content
It is now more important than ever to be providing valuable content that your followers connect with and want to engage with. Without this, your content will be sitting at the bottom of your followers feed, and all the effort you have put into building this community will be lost!
- Ask your followers to turn on notifications
Instagram allows you to turn on notifications for your favourite influencers and brands to ensure you never miss a post. It’s likely many of your influencers won’t have heard or know much about this update, and they will definitely be interested in understanding why their feed has changed.
By giving a brief explanation of the updates and subtly asking your followers to turn on their notifications, you will be doing them a favour while helping your account at the same time. @shesaidyes did an excellent job of this:
- Engagement rate is king
These social networks are looking to make the overall user experience more engaging. Now that your most relevant posts are appearing on top, users are likely to become less worried about following too many accounts for fear of missing posts. Therefore follower numbers are likely to grow.
What this means for influencers, marketers and brands is that engagement rate will become the key for measuring what an influencer is worth as well as campaign success.
We can also expect up-and-coming influencers with small audiences but great engagement rates to become more in demand.
- Influencers time to shine
As it becomes tougher for brands to reach their audiences organically, they will look for other means. This will likely include influencer advertising as well as Instagram & Twitter paid advertising.
- Stay true to your community
Whatever you do, don’t let this update affect your accounts. Buying engagement or followers won’t help bump you up the feed and will negatively affect your authenticity. If you remain true to your followers, they will stay with you and spread your content widely.
- Cross-promote your platforms
The updates come as a reminder of the power of these giants. You have built a valuable audience, make sure you don’t leave it on one platform. As often as you can, remind your audience of other platforms they can follow you on. Below is a great example from @coreeylupton promoting is Snapchat & YouTube accounts via Instagram: