This post is part of a series featuring photographers who are taking advantage of Lattice, PhotoShelter’s new platform to help you get discovered by curating boards on topics you care about.
Photographer Alan Look has been using Lattice since its inception to help crowdsource images on topics he’s interested in. To date, Alan has curated eight boards on everything from High Dynamic Range to the Rural Midwest.
We spoke with Alan to learn more about the inspiration behind one particular board, Feathered Raptors, and to learn how Lattice is helping him be more creative and stay on top of photography trends.
What do you like about Lattice?
Crowdsourcing is a good thing. Everyone helps each other – if they don’t, it won’t be successful. For me, it is also a learning tool and a creative stimulant. As a curator, you have people basically sending submissions for you to review. It’s much easier than going looking for things. I also get to see the latest and greatest in material and trends, and it’s inspiring me to be more creative and learn a great deal.
You’ve used Lattice to curate a beautiful board on Feathered Raptors. What made you decide to do a board that topic?
I had new material that I knew I could group into a fairly narrow category and also knew that there were others that would have material that would also fit into the category.
When searching for images via the Lattice search, did you find what you were looking for?
Yes, the material available on PhotoShelter is vast and covers just about any topic most people and editors would be interested in from a lot of different angles, but certainly from a stock photo standpoint.
When you originally created the board and were choosing images, were you looking to convey a specific aesthetic or did you want to showcase a range of photography?
Normally, I look for things that are appealing, striking, and different from the other images I select. I also look for subjects that I feel may be different from the everyday. For Feathered Raptors, I didn’t want 20 images of red-tail hawks sitting on electric poles or 10 images of bald eagles. I found a variety of images of birds that I was familiar with in different settings, as well as a few birds I’d never heard of. The rare ones are the ones that draw me.
While making the board, did you think about the sequence? If so, what were your considerations?
No. I hope with more participation to rotate the images from stream to board and back and keep about 50 images on the board at a time. This is crowdsourcing. I believe that to make it work, the material needs to be refreshed and everyone needs to get a chance to have their product promoted. There does have to be some standards, but leaving the same material there for several months won’t get editors and buyers returning time and time again.
You’ve promoted around 20 images from your board’s stream to the board. Were you prompted to do this from the daily digest emails or were you circling back to the board regularly on your own?
I try to look at each board I curate every 2 to 3 days. It will be more often for boards with more activity and that also depends a lot on my schedule. The daily emails do help. If I know something has been added to the stream it gives me a bit of a kick start to get out there and look.
When deciding which images you would promote from the stream to your board, what were you looking for? Tell me about the general theme between the images that made the cut.
If someone submits, I look through their images and try to pick out their best one or one that really appeals to me. Sometimes I promote more than one per person, but as the board grows and the ability to rotate becomes available, I will limit so that everyone gets a chance on the board and leave the rest in the stream for later.
If you’d like to curate a board on Lattice, just head on over and get started!