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A picture is worth a thousand words (or 140 characters)

By Mikela Dennison (Associate Account Manager at The Clarity Business)

*This article was originally published as a guest post on generatornz.com*

Generator is full of interesting people doing wicked stuff, and we love supporting other resident members and their activities in the world of business, creativity and innovation.

Generator resident Arran Birchenough (Senior Account Manager, Getty Images) was on the latest Social Media Club Auckland (#smcakl) panel on the 'Social Media Image Frenzy' which explored the changing use and nature of photography in the social media age. I went along with the Generator team to the event to learn more about this ever-changing topic.

The #smcakl panel

The panel included Generator resident Arran Birchenough, Bradley Ambrose (Professional news and adventurer photographer), Mark Sagar (Associate Professor/Director, the Laboratory for Animate Technologies, University of Auckland) and Ricardo Simich (Editor of Herald on Sunday's Spy).

Adrienne Kohler was the MC and lively facilitator for the event.

The age of the #selfie

Did you know that there are 27,800 photos uploaded to Instagram every minute?

The sheer volume of images being created and curated each day is baffling so the question for the #smcakl panel was how do the original content creators (photographers, journalists, copyright holders and the like) ensure they are being financially compensated for their work, while keeping up with ever-growing hunger from audiences for real time photos, blogs and tweets?

The panellists were quick to point to the difficulties in maintaining the value of photography, when every man and their dog has a high quality camera on their cell phone.

Ten images are now worth what a single image used to be, which creates an obvious need for our panellists and their respective organisations to adapt to the rapidly-evolving market.

Media and getting 'the shot'

The Herald on Sunday's Spy editor Ricardo Simich noted the inherent difficulties in being a Sunday paper, which has to offer exclusive images to readers in order to keep them engaged and buying.

But how do you get around photos being released in a time when everyone at a party or event is used to snapping tonnes of photos, immediately uploading them to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram?

Ricardo explained that often it comes down to educating attendees and ensuring the hosts are aware that they need to hold off sharing their images on social media until after the Sunday paper has appeared, if they do want it covered in the social pages.

Might be a case of a #latergram post in those cases!

Not for profit vs commercial use

Arran noted that Getty Images does allow bloggers to use their copyrighted images, as long they are for non-commercial use, on a not for profit blog, in a bid to ensure people can still access high quality, professional photography.

Audience members at #smcakl did question how you can define for-profit vs not-for-profit blogging platforms, which is a valid point when many amateur bloggers start getting large followings and then form advertising relationships as their influence grows.

Getty Images is continually examining the changing landscape when it comes to channels, publishing and image-use, as demonstrated by its unique relationship with curation channel Pinterest.

Building new relationships in a changing image environment

At The Clarity Business, we love visual platforms like Pinterest that show off our client's products, services and people.

Arran spoke at #smcakl about how Getty Images has formed a unique commercial relationship with Pinterest, whereby the image company gets insight and big data in exchange for the use of its images. Big data is such an exciting and opportunity-rich field, and we're sure to see more and more businesses making use of its many applications while ensuring audiences get a great experience.

Using visual communication for business success

At Clarity, we spend much of our time talking to clients about the vast range of visual and non-visual communication tools at their disposal. Audiences no longer want just a document, or just a photo spread - they want to be engaged in different ways, at different times, and via different channels and platforms.

The world of business communication is changing rapidly, and we're passionate about helping our clients keep up to date with the latest trends to create effective, smart communications strategies that get results.Check out our blog post on using visual communication in business for more tips.