How To Tuesday #14 Our Guest Blogger Blake Haney Talks Creative Collaboration! / by Zack Smith


As photographers and imaging artists know, the word "workflow" can mean many things. Workflow for me is an evolving process of how I see my world and I how I relate the story to it's medium. There are so many ways to tell a story, and now with the increasing number of social media platforms; an endless amount of ways to show it. These are good problems to have as visual storytellers and I look forward to the new ways to share the world around me with each new online community.

My new workflow includes my understanding these new communities. I have to continually be aware of how these communities see, listen, and follow content. In learning how each community ingests images and stories, I see the components of my storytelling change...for example: I will compose each scene differently in my head to fit the the end medium. Images for Twitter may not be suitable for the way Instagram is laid out and.Facebook requires and allows more words to flesh out a story. These are things I am constantly thinking about....more on that later.

For the first time on my photography blog I am featuring a guest blogger. It's time for some fresh legs in this race, and some new eyes on this composition! Not only is Blake Haney an outstanding member of the local creative community, he has been a collaborator of mine for the last 15 years. I have learned so much from his insights on art, design, and community that I think his message is suitable for this week's HOW TO TUESDAY. 

Blake does many things...but as Creative Director of the Canary Collective, Blake's actual JOB is to offer ideas, creative execution and the tools his clients need to launch, revamp, and sustain healthy brands and growing communities. There's that word again, community! OK! let's let Blake talk...

Image from Blakes Twitter Account - @humidhaney

The opportunities for a photographer, like all visual artists, has increased over the past few years as new mediums for expression and story telling have entered the main stream. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, the landscape changed dramatically while the introduction of social media and the obsession of the image has become part of our mainstream culture.

These new tools are a double edged sword for the photographer. Used the right way, a photographer can connect with a much larger audience in ways that never existed just a few years ago. Yet with the smart phones, there now exists a mindset that anyone can be a photographer and anyone can freely express and share their images. The same goes for music, therefore, it has never been so easy to share your work and ideas with the world. One problem is that this world is now inundated with so many choice vying for our attention. Your work can be discovered by the world for almost no cost but there is a hidden cost. The work has the high potential to be lost in all the noise that fights for our attention.

If I were to give advice to a photographer, it would be to collaborate with others and offer your imagery to a writer or writers to help produce stories. Two online outlets I would recommend are medium.com and Exposure.co.

With each site there is a very intuitive editor to allow you to present your content without the clutter and noise of a template or surrounding advertising platform to distract the viewer. Each has a built in audience that appreciates quality work. Use them to post your images and share your insights and ideas. You can explain how it was shot, where, the equipment, the reasoning, and why it spoke to you...

1.     Be transparent in the process.

2.     Educate the public through your work.

3.     Work with an illustrator and writer to help spin a tale with your images.

4.     Collaborate on a story about a mood, place, event or person. Watch as those you work with take your work and add a new dimension!

5.     Spread the work via the free channels online and give everyone their credit.

6.     Use the shared audience and communities of all those you work with and respect. Watch as your work and name are engaged with and hopefully amplified by those that respect your work.

Blake Haney

Creative Director – The Canary Collective ,  Dirty Coast, and Locally.com

January 26th, 2016

Remember to click on the BLOG RSS feed to get these updates before anyone else! Photography techniques and tips, philosophies and best practices..all up in your FEED. Yum.