The way we communicate is changing. Visual storytelling becomes more important every day – whether we’re posting marketing images on Instagram to our brand’s wide audience or sending Snapchats to our friends, we are constantly sharing and consuming visual content.
Peter Krogh says this changing digital landscape is a result of the “mobile revolution.” Peter is a professional photographer and digital asset management expert who creates photographs for companies like PBS and consults for organizations like the Library of Congress, the Frans Lanting Collection and the National Aquarium. He was also the founding product architect for Libris by PhotoShelter.
Peter will share his thoughts on digital photography and visual content trends at our upcoming event, Visual Storytelling and the Future of Photos, hosted with Startup Socials NYC on November 2 at our office in NYC. Peter joins Kaptur Magazine founder Paul Melcher on our panel of experts (get Paul’s take on the future of photos here).
As we get ready for the event, we asked Peter to answer a few warm-up questions, introducing us to his thoughts on visual asset management, UGC and the future of digital photography.
Q & A on the Future of Photos with Peter Krogh
Can you tell us about Libris, your role, and how it relates to the visual web/visual storytelling?
Peter: Libris came about because we at PhotoShelter saw that many of our photographers’ clients had the same challenges as photographers – challenges that we knew how to solve. I was hired to develop a product for these companies, which became Libris.
We’re seeing an exploding need for organizations of all sizes to communicate visually. This requires centralized, shared, permission-controlled media access. It was a perfect fit for the capabilities that were already part of the PhotoShelter code base.
Of course, a lot of the increased need for visual communication is driven by the fact that people now communicate visually between their peers. It’s essential to meet people where they live – in this case, people are increasingly inhabiting the visual web.
What is your take on the visual web and how it’s changed over the last 5-10 years?
Peter: 10 years ago, the “digital revolution” changed the way that professional communications were made, but it did not fundamentally change who created the imagery and what it was used for.
However, the mobile revolution is far more transformative than the digital photo revolution. Mobile creation and consumption of images has simply changed the way people communicate.
Because cameras are now in everyone’s pockets, and because these cameras are constantly connected to the web, the ease of taking pictures – and more importantly the ease of sharing and making use of the photos – has driven this to be the default mode for many types of communication.
Furthermore, the fact that everyone has a multi-media-enabled computer screen in their pocket allows the reception of the content to be a natural part of everyday communication.
How has the prevalence of UGC and changes in visual storytelling affected photography?
Peter: Several important changes:
- Increased availability of images
- Increased ability to consume
- Creation of incredibly valuable services dedicated to visual imagery
- Increased expectation of imagery as part of interpersonal communication
And even more importantly:
- The creation of a new vernacular for communication
- Selfies and memes are mobile-native expression
- And now time-based storytelling through Snapchat is driving a new dimension in storytelling
- Chronologically-created, and asynchronously ephemeral
What are the biggest challenges that photographers face on the visual web?
Peter: The biggest challenge is finding a value proposition. Some of the old ones lost value overnight. Pure record-keeping photography is typically not a job for a pro anymore. And wherever keeping a photo stream full of images can be done effectively by social media, it will be done that way.
But there are places you need a pro. Photos of the CEO will typically need to be done by pros for the foreseeable future. Likewise any assignment where the logistics require a level of professionalism needs a pro.
Pros need to understand things from the clients’ perspective and position their businesses accordingly.
Also note new opportunities opening up in visual communication. As the need to communicate visually increases, companies need “native speakers” to help them accomplish their goals.
What’s one trend in visual storytelling that you see taking off? What about a trend that you see flopping?
Peter: Snapchat (not a trend, really) is taking off. Making use of UGC is taking off. 3D is trying, but still not quite there.
Read More on Visual Storytelling and the Future of Photos
Be sure to join us for Visual Storytelling and the Future of Photos on November 2 for more on the future of the visual web.
In the meantime, brush up on visual storytelling and photography tips and trends with these posts:
- 5 Expert Tips for Getting Started with Your Visual Media Library
- The Best DAM Movie Lines: Digital Asset Management Tips from Cinema Classics
- Why Use Rights Managed Photography?