Vibrant Beauty and Lifestyle Portrait Photography by Manny Perez

Gorgeous female portraits by Manny Perez, a talented photographer, retoucher, and artist currently based in New York City. Manny focuses mainly on female portrait and fashion photography. He shoots also a lot of beauty, street style, outdoor, and lifestyle portraits.

More info: Instagram

The post Vibrant Beauty and Lifestyle Portrait Photography by Manny Perez appeared first on Photogrist Photography Magazine.


Customize Your Financial Brand’s Visuals to Match Ad Targeting

For financial services, social media marketing offers more opportunities with targeted marketing. Learn how financial brands that customize their visuals to match their ad targeting can see more success.

Organic content engagement in recent years has all but died. Algorithms designed to give preference to advertisers now decide social media feeds. This change has made one thing clear; if you want your content to play on social media, you’d better be willing to pay.

The shift to paid social comes with a major benefit for financial service marketers. There are massive amounts of audience data from social channels, and the ability to create extremely refined and customized offers. What once were elusive audience segments are now a paid social campaign away from being touched by marketing efforts.

A Growing Trend

The spending trends for for digital marketing by financial services backs this up as well. In a 2015 eMarketer report on US digital marketing trends by vertical, financial services came in third place for total digital marketing spending, coming in at a huge $7.2B total.  The same report found that $4.7B of their total was spent on direct response digital marketing initiatives, where targeting is critical.

This data shows that financial service marketers are increasing their digital marketing budgets. Also, they’re increasingly relying on targeting to hit more specific audience segments. To get the best ROI, they should place as much effort into ensuring visuals match targeting. Even companies with limitless budgets and resources earn little return if the content misses the mark. Digital marketing is too competitive and too quickly digestible to waste valuable dollars on poor content visuals. To truly make the most of the targeting, visuals must be customized to speak directly to your brand’s target audience.

Comparing Customized Versus Generic Ad Content

To truly make the most of targeting, visuals need to be customized to speak exactly to the segments financial service marketers are aim for. Lets quickly compare two ads. One uses custom content and one does not.

Using Customized Content

Customize Your Financial Brand's Visuals to Match Ad Targeting - Using Customized Content
Image via Chase.
  • Chase is trying to connect with small-to-medium business owners, and specifically within the San Francisco-Oakland/Bay Area.
  • They make a local connection to their targeted audience by showing an actual Bay area business with tasteful onsite images, instead of relying on generic imagery of flower shops.
  • Subtle integration of products in-use shows how Chase helps its customers, while still maintaining the overall feeling of a spotlight piece.

Using Generic Content

Customize Your Financial Brand's Visuals to Match Ad Targeting - Using Generic Content
Image via Capital One Small Business.
  • Capital One is trying to make a connection between small businesses and their customized small business service offering.
  • The visuals used have a generic feeling to them and don’t represent the typical style of Capital One branding.
  • Superimposing their small business banking slogan “Success should never have limits” looks out of place and forced.
  • There’s little relevance between images and text, and no obvious small business banking connection.

In these two examples, it’s easy to see the difference between how Chase and Capital One market themselves on social channels. They offer similar services to similar consumers, but there’s a clear difference in how they use content.

Chase creates a clear but subtle line between their visuals and their services. They target their prospects with relevant images and matching copy that reflects their brand identity. On the other hand, Capital One almost considers the visuals as an afterthought. This makes for a tough connection to the intended audience.

Proof that Custom Content Works

Beyond a qualitative analysis between the two example brands, there’s proof that custom content works. Time Inc. surveyed 17,000 people across various generations. The goal of the study was to identify consumer perceptions towards custom content, and their feelings towards how brands use custom assets to integrate themselves into customers‘ worlds.

The results showed that 90% of respondents prefer brands that use custom content to engage with them. Similarly, 89% of respondents said custom content is the best way for brands to break through the clutter and stand out from the competition. These are stats that marketers can’t ignore if they want to manage an effective digital marketing strategy.

Building Audience Connections

Digital marketing channels and the content brands promote on them are as much about understanding what content resonates with your audience as it is about targeting them in the first place. For brands that can align these two things, bridging the connection with customers and building engagement becomes much easier. This is especially true for financial service brands, who must demonstrate the core value of the brand behind an often complicated product offering. The content that they create for their promotions will resonate with audiences so long as it shows that intended audience something unique about their identity that customers can connect and engage with.

Eager to learn more about how best to customize content for your financial service brand? Learn about how MasterCard created localized custom content at scale using Shutterstock Custom or book a demo and speak to one of our specialists about how to build your own brand’s unique visual identity.

Top image via g-stockstudio.

Discover more about content marketing with these helpful articles:

The post Customize Your Financial Brand’s Visuals to Match Ad Targeting appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

New Huawei Mate 20 Rocking a 16mm Ultra Wide-Angle Leica Lens

Huawei and Leica go together like butter and bread when it comes to smartphone cameras.

Image via Huawei.

And, as far as Huawei is concerned, Leica is quite a powerful ally to have in its corner.

So it should come as no surprise that the new Mate 20 will also feature glass from the storied German optical brand.

Featuring a triple-lens system that Huawei is dubbing the Matrix Camera System, the company is also including a Leica 16mm ultra wide-angle among them in an addition that has many people intrigued about the smartphone’s overall capabilities.

In a press release describing the incorporation of the ultra wide-angle lens, Huawei said it was to deliver photos with “a sense of spaciousness and a three dimensional effect.”

Huawei boasts that the inclusion of this lens gives the smartphone’s camera an “all situation” adaptability that users tend to appreciate in a headset. After all, smartphones are built to accompany people at all times and thus cannot be as specialized as traditional cameras or else risk being somewhat irrelevant to the normal consumer.  

Powered by a 40MP main camera, the Huawei Mate 20 lineup will also have a 20MP ultra wide-angle camera and a 8MP telephoto camera.

The range of lenses give the camera an “equivalent to the performance of a 16-270mm zoom lens” according to a press release picked up by Leica Rumors.

Like many other makers, Huawei is also incorporating artificial intelligence technology in the Mate 20 when it comes to picture processing. Called the AI Portrait Color video mode, this feature “can isolate human subjects and desaturate the colors around them to dramatically highlight the person.” Further, an “AI Spotlight Reel identifies clips with a shared theme and auto-generates a montage, made entirely of highlights.”

The new phones are currently on sale and top out $USD 1220 for the Pro edition.

The post New Huawei Mate 20 Rocking a 16mm Ultra Wide-Angle Leica Lens appeared first on Light Stalking.

How Much Blur Is Enough? How To Achieve Bokeh In Your Photographs

Bokeh was definitely one of those techniques that intrigued me when I knew nothing about photography. Bokeh is a term that comes from the Japanese word boke meaning blur and is used to refer to a certain amount of aesthetically pleasing blurriness that happens in “in the background” of your photographs. 

Blur doesn’t always happen in the background of your photographs. The best way I can explain this phenomenon to my students is by doing a simple exercise that only requires your eyes and your finger. Stay with me!

By placing your finger close to your eyes and by focusing on it, you’ll notice how your eyes open wider, and everything beyond your finger starts to become blurry as you focus on your finger – like what we achieve when we increase our aperture, decreasing the depth of field. And the opposite, by focusing on a distant object, you’ll instinctively squint in order to focus better on the distant elements, controlling the light entering your eyes, and that blurriness disappears from your sight.

Bokeh Is All About Aperture

Ok, but what does all this mean…

SO…in the simplest terms…use the largest aperture (smallest f-number) available on your lens. A large aperture decreases depth of field, dramatically isolating focus on a narrow part of your subject. Everything surrounding this focal point will be blurred, thus creating bokeh.

Keeping in mind the “finger experiment” here’s how it’s done.

Quick Tips: How To Achieve A Blurry Background

Here are the fundamental steps for blurry backgrounds:

  1. Extend your zoom lens to its longest focal length
  2. Get as close to your subject as possible while keeping them/it in focus
  3. Keep the background as far away as possible

After understanding that bokeh has more to do with the technicalities of distance and depth of field instead of just some random, beautiful effect, I became aware of one simple yet important question, how much blur is enough?

So, How Much Blur Is Enough?

Well, it will depend on the purpose of your photographs. Background blur is a beautiful thing to achieve, but it shouldn’t appear in every single photograph. For example, I love doing street photography, and I like having some context in my photographs. Therefore, blur or bokeh is not something I pursue on the streets. But it is something I really look for when taking portraits. For portraits, I love using a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a 100mm f/2.8 lens because they enable me to separate the subject from the background.

But remember – bokeh won’t mask poor technique! Honestly, I tell my students…think of an interesting subject first, then make sure you have an impactful composition and after you have these elements in place…think about bokeh.

As always, photography is all about experimenting.  By getting out there you’ll find what amount of bokeh works best for your photographs. You’ll start to consider the details that you want in your photographs, and you’ll start to figure out how much blur is enough.

It is all about your creative vision, once you master beautiful bokeh.

The post How Much Blur Is Enough? How To Achieve Bokeh In Your Photographs appeared first on Light Stalking.

The Godox XPro-P flash trigger is a “game changer” for Pentax photographers

I’ve reviewed the Godox XPro trigger before, a little over a year ago. Normally, I wouldn’t review the same product again just because it comes out with compatibility for a different camera system. My original review was with the XPro-C, but I didn’t review the XPro-N, XPro-F, XPro-S or XPro-O. So why am I posting a […]

The post The Godox XPro-P flash trigger is a “game changer” for Pentax photographers appeared first on DIY Photography.