Next up in the series is Jeff Mindell, a freelance lifestyle photographer living in Los Angeles who has burst into the spotlight (Mashable, BuzzFeed, Apartment Therapy...!) thanks to social media. I've been a huge fan of Jeff's bright and beautiful imagery for a while now, so when I watched him chat about Instagram during his latest Snapchat Q&A (username: jeffmindell), I knew I had to reach out to him for this series! Read on to discover why he takes social media seriously and how he's leveraging his channels to work with big brands.
L: Has social media influenced your career, your path & your business?
J: All three. Because I take social media very seriously both personally and professionally, we're at a point now where we're able to put ourselves and our businesses in such a great position simply by taking advantage of the social tools at our fingertips. To say that it's changed the industry would be an understatement! The internet and our culture is now so jam-packed with talent, it's sometimes hard to stand out and stay original. I have a background in marketing and business which helped me find my voice in the social space.
L: What are some of the largest opportunities that have resulted from social media?
J: First and foremost, the community. I love that my followers span the globe and I can connect with so many different people with varying backgrounds on a daily basis. That in itself, I still find so mind-blowing and I'm humbled by every single day. By promoting myself and my work on social media, it's also allowed me to work with brands I never even dreamed I'd be able to connect with otherwise! I've been hired by GAP, Fossil, Starbucks, and West Elm to name a few. None of those relationships would have come to fruition without the brands finding me on social media first.
L: Do you find that Social Media has changed the way that creatives would typically find and build relationships with clients?
J: Yes. Case in point: my LinkedIn profile. When I was in college, it was drilled into my head that my living, breathing online resumé was my EVERYTHING. Now, I can't tell you the last time I looked at and I'm doing just fine. My Instagram, for example, acts as my portfolio now, showcasing all my latest work and accomplishments. The connectivity with other creatives on today's social platforms is that much stronger too. Other people, brands and companies can really get a great understanding of me as a person just by taking a look at my online presence and what I choose to put out there.
L: What is one piece of advice you would give to creatives who are looking to use social media to enhance their careers/business?
J: 100% do it. You have the opportunity to shape the way the world sees you and your talents. Also, it's free. Free is my favorite. Haha!
L: Who are your favorite accounts to follow? Any hidden gems we should know about?
J: Since I can't travel as much as I'd love to, following @grantlegan feels like I'm waking up in a new global city every morning and his photos are INSANE. His recent trip to India had me literally yelling at my phone it was so beautiful.
My friend Will is the genius behind the @brightbazaar brand and his images and accompanying captions always put me in a sunny mood. Also, it's nice to have another dude embrace the color as we are few and far between!
I also love following Carley Rudd (@carleyscamera). The minimalist in me cries tears of joy every time she posts a new photo. She's also based in LA and showcases our amazing city in such a different light. It never gets old!
L: What's next for you - tell us about something you're working on!
J: I try my best to have this 'Yes' mentality about me. Meaning if a new opportunity comes my way, I'm jumping in head first. A friend once said to me 'Why the hell not?' and I've quite literally adapted that into my business approach.
In the pipeline for me? I just signed with a couple new (and very exciting!) clients that I look forward to sharing in the coming weeks and months. Personally, Kelly and I are also trying to start a family this year, which we've been talking about on her blog. That's probably my/our biggest goal. If we aren't able to get pregnant on our own before the fall, we are going to start looking into adoption. Either way, we cannot wait to be parents.
on IG, Twitter & Snapchat (he gives an awesome take on LA life!)