Monday, July 22, 2013

Candid Photography & The Future of Social Ads

Yikes – we’re fast approaching 3 years since this blog was last updated!

During this past year and a bit, I shifted my focus completely from working with Enterprise clients in a consulting role to envisioning and building new products over at FiveAces. Anyone who’s been involved with startup culture in the past knows the workload is nothing to sneeze at – it just doesn’t leave room for much else and this blog has clearly suffered in the process.  But it’s been an incredible journey and I’m thrilled to announce that we finally have something exciting to share. (short for Candid Input/Output) is a platform that enables real-time exchanges between brands and candid photographers. We work for the Candid photographers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to ensure their inspiring moments reach the right audience.

What is Candid Photography, exactly?

Glad you asked! Here’s the technical definition:

Candid photography is photography that focuses on spontaneity rather than technique, on the immersion of a camera within events rather than focusing on setting up a staged situation or on preparing a lengthy camera setup. Candid photography is best described as un-posed and unplanned, immediate and unobtrusive. This is in contrast to classic photography, which includes aspects such as carefully staged portrait photography, landscape photography or object photography. Candid photography catches moments of life from immersion in it.

We like to think of it more as “mobile photography” in all its forms:

Billions of walking cameras...

Not Another Photo-Sharing Play

Candid offers users of the primary networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) alternative outlets for "putting their pictures to work". We believe the relationship these networks have with users is… slightly imbalanced, so we’re going to work for the candid photographer to make sure they have options. No one likes the idea of others capitalizing on their private photos but when you get to direct them to causes that personally matter suddenly it’s a different story.

The last few years have seen an explosion in the number of candid pictures taken each day. Authenticity is now more important than ever as businesses tap into this trend and turn to the crowd. The candid photographer has now emerged as a rising star but strangely doesn't have good representation yet. It’s more or less assumed that this vast stream of media is a free resource to be monetized by the networks and their partners with little regard for the creators. Users are left with little choice.

Agent of the candid photographer

We believe we can do better. We believe these images can be mobilized in novel ways to deliver surprising value that can be shared with their creators. Candid is the photographer's one agent across their networks,  working to make sure they get the most out of their pictures.

Agent of the Candid Photographer

Opt-in model for social ads

What’s unique about Candid is that it puts the photographer firmly in the driver’s seat of social ads – it allows them to decide when, where and how their images are put to work, with the platform simply providing inspiration and healthy variety of opportunities. The photographer’s privacy and preferences are the chief priority.

More than just business

Candid isn’t just about dollars, impressions and promotions – we’re here to inspire the world through uplifting images. In a world encumbered by negative news, sensationalism and fatigue, images have a unique power to instantly touch us and to galvanize supporters into action. Candid exists to spread positive stories through daily images, to strengthen our communities and to deepen our awareness.

We believe candid photography has transformational powers and we’re only at the tip of the iceberg in learning how to mobilize it.

Check out some of the campaigns we’re currently running around the Queen West area of Toronto:

Our support is currently limited to Instagram, but we are fast at work integrating support for Twitter and Facebook. If you’re already active on Instagram, sign in and let us know what you think!

Sign In With Instagram


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