Introduction:

My Digital Artefact (DA) Aquilah Productions has become a major part of bachelor and communications degree whether it was a part of an assessment or not, I have been developing it since I was in high school for a way for me to express my creativity and passion for photography and videography while adding to my professional portfolio. I have thoroughly enjoyed growing as a creator and learning new skills throughout the development of this Instagram page. 

Background: 

These Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages have been created to showcase my skills. This page is an online portfolio that is live on the Internet. It show case’s my adventures that I go on. I have also focused on the Instagram reels sides of things over this subject. The market and use for portrait orientated videos have grown rapidly because that’s the predominant shape that our screens are. Potential clients can see what type of images I could take for them.

Proposed Utility:

Based on research Instagram pages tend to have a theme or a niche. Here is a blog about how to find your niche. My Instagram is a mix of two. It is a constant battle that I am fighting on my Instagram. I want to be content-based on my enjoyment of adventuring and exploring places around Australia which is a highly saturated niche on Instagram. Here is an example of a great adventure account. I also want to share my own personality of what I like and who I am as a person. But I don’t know what the future holds for this account. I may commit to one or the other.

The utility is for people to enjoy my content. This content would be useful for other photographers, who want to get inspired by me. It would also be aesthetic to people who have a passion for exploration and adventures or have an interest in photography and videography.

Starter pack: 

As you can see in my starter pack I have a range of ideas and audiences. I have three distinct separate ones, but some cross over. 

I have the “photographer”, the ‘adventurer/travel’ and the “explorers‘’.  

Proposed production method: 

As for my methodology is to look at the past for guidance. And I revamped my posting schedule to a daily photo post to my Instagram and Facebook.

For my photos I take them on my Sony A73, I then upload them to my laptop, edit them in Lightroom and export them using optimal settings for Instagram (2 500px longest edge, 72DPI, sharpening for screens, and in a 4×5 crop or 1×1 or 2×3 depending on the image) Here is a blog post explains why your post ratio is really important.

I will then research hashtags and get a mix of low traffic and high traffic hashtags. Low traffic is generally between 5 – 10k images, these hashtags are very niche. High traffic images are anywhere from 100k – 1 million images. These hashtags are very general such as #photographer #ocean. Within these high traffic hashtags, my images get lost very easily due to the immense amount of images on the tag. I’ll then post them to Instagram from my iPhone.

Here is the website that I use to generate my hashtags to use on my photos and video work. It uses AI to identify the photo/video and picks the best performing hashtags to use from very saturated hashtags to not so popular hashtags.

l have also created daily Instagram stories based on the daily photo to promote audience retention and promote engagement and well as gain feedback on my work. I have also created video edits of my adventures for YouTube and have promoted sneak peeks on both Instagram and Facebook to drive conversion to watch the entire edit on YouTube. I have also thought of ways to be creative from home as shooting outside is against covid 19 restrictions. I going to have a go at creating Instagram reels based on popular trends that I notice and see where that take the growth of the account.

Event : Making

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aquilahproductions/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/AquilahProductions/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY3m5aHKCCF26DkOR1bKocw

Event : Instagram reels.

I did some experiments with Instagram Reels and I got over 3K views on one of my videos.

The feedback from this video was excellent. It got over 60 likes and only 6 comments. The insights for Reels are still not available through Instagram.

This upload was very simple and took only 30 minutes to create the video as I used old photos that I have taken in past which I learned from Gary’s Vaynerchuk blog post on how to create 64 pieces of content a day.

Here are some other videos I posted as reels.

The feedback from using this feature of Instagram has taught me over this iteration of my digital artefact:  

  • I have an audience that enjoys my reel content. 
  • This new platform ‘reels’ has potential to blow up posts.
  • Researching by scrolling through reels to find trends that relate to my media niche really inspires me to create this type of content.
  • Using trending music helps for reels, because people can search for a song and then see videos that have used the song. 
  • My mix of high traffic and low traffic hashtags worked well. 
  • It was also my most successful content that I have posted over the this iteration of my DA.

These are some examples that I based my reels off:

Event: Posting Daily Photos to Instagram/ Facebook

Through the process of creating and uploading daily, l have noticed a gradual increase in audience retention and engagement through an increase of likes, total impressions as well as a slow increase in followers on all three media outlets. 

For Instagram I have gained 110 followers since the beginning of the project, as for Facebook I have mange to gain 10-page likes and for YouTube, I gained 5 subscribers. Which has been my most successful growth of this particular DA since starting this back in 2018.

Event: Posting Personalised Instagram Stories

I did some experiments by creating more personalised Instagram Instagram stories of my everyday opinions and things that I was interested in.

The feedback from these posts was excellent. I would get over 30 responses to the polls I would create on Instagram.

This upload was very simple and took only 30 seconds to create the Instagram stories as I would be watching a movie, tv-show or listening to music which I did on a regular basis during the lockdown.

My Top Gear poll:

The feedback from using this feature of Instagram has taught me over this iteration of my digital artefact:  

  • I have an audience that enjoys my Instagram/Facebook story content. 
  • This feature of the platform allows me to show my personality and interest to my followers.
  • This feature of Instagram is also one of my favourite to use.

Event: Posting Instagram Reels to YouTube Shorts

I did some experiments with YouTube Short where I took the same Instagram Reels and posted them on the YouTube short feature of YouTube. These unfortunately were the worst performing aspect of my DA

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/cYldoirvvUY

The feedback from this video was little to non-existent. It got 5 views and 0 comments.

This upload was very simple and took only 30 seconds to create as it was a video edit that was created for Instagram and required little effort to post it to another platform.

Here are some other videos I posted as reels:

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Rv6Zget__Uc

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/sWTpSTC8mTw

The feedback from using this feature of YouTube has taught me over this iteration of my digital artefact:  

  • I don’t have an audience on YouTube Shorts
  • I was to post more frequently on there I could create some traction I believe
  • I need to do more research into the feature and find better tips and tricks to perform better on this platforms feature.
  • It was also my most lese successful content that I have posted over the this iteration of my DA.

Event: Working with Campus Group

From my Instagram page, I have picked up work with Campus Group when one of my mates recommend to his boss that was looking for a photographer for an upcoming Jägermeister event in the university bar.

From here Amelia contacted me to get a quote for the job and emailed me the photography brief.

From this experience I have learned:

  • How to follow a creative brief.
  • Shoot on location and attention to detail.
  • Time management
  • How to create an invoice.
  • I now want to pursue this as side gig while I’m at university.  

Event: Reposts on Instagram

In all of my posts on Instagram, I use hashtags and tag people in the image. This gives those accounts permission to repost my image. Getting your image reposted on Instagram is a great way to build your audience and connect with new people. Here is a blog post on how to get featured by these hub accounts.

For instance, my image was reposted on @gracewright one of the people with who I did a shoot would share my post’s to her story which would increase the amount of engagement and followers to my account.

Overall I am very happy with how my DA has progressed throughout this semester of University. I have had many successes that aren’t directly related to my online presence but without my outline presence, these opportunities may not have become available.  

Thanks for reading my DA contextual Essay. If you have any feedback or suggestions drop a comment below.

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