So another year down and yet another yearly round-up of ‘Top Ten images of 2017’. Yes I know every monkey with an iPhone in the last 24 hours has shoved these ‘best of’ posts down your throat and yes I know that we all feel obliged to ‘like’ them so I apologise for yet another one.
For me though, I do genuinely do this list for myself in the hope that I may glean some knowledge from the results. There’s no short-cut to it either on FB I’m afraid because you have to manually select them yourself but I t think it’s worth doing if you have some similar data to look at.
Well I think that us as image creators have to admit one thing; If we’re posting on social media then it’s because we value an ‘audience’. Without getting to existential about this, I personally believe art doesn’t exist without an audience, so to understand your art you should at least consider who your audience is and what they like. Remember your clients were all your audience before becoming a client.
Is Facebook still a relevant platform to display work?
This was and still is a big concern of mine. We are becoming culturally conditioned to ‘drive-by’ like the occasional post we see. The newer generation wants to be anywhere BUT where their parents are hanging out so as we still use FB, they’re obviously flocking to Instagram. I use Instagram (occasionally) but I don’t enjoy it. I can’t get a meaningful discussion going with you guys there like I can on FB, nor can I write posts like this, it’s simply not built or designed for it.
Surely Instagram is where the audience is though right?
Well yes… and no. Let me share some numbers with you; my Instagram following has grown by about 8000 in 2017. Conversely my FB following grew by about 4000 in 2017 compared to about a 7000 growth increase in 2016. This is conclusive proof to me that the FB growth is slowing down dramatically compared to a huge and ravenous growth on Instagram.
But it’s the ‘wrong’ growth I’m afraid. Sure I get 10-15 message requests from models a day to shoot but that’s not my business model at the moment. In contrast, I very rarely get FB model request yet I often get commercial businesses and potential clients reaching out consistently on FB.
So I’ll let you guys decide where you want to focus your attention but for me, I’ll be continuing to focus on my interactive and client friendly FB page.
Do image ‘likes’ matter?
I was genuinely surprised if I’m honest, I really thought that image ‘likes’ had dropped off. Thankfully the contrary turned out to be true. In 2016, not a single top-ten image crept into the 400+ zone whereas 2017 saw all of the top 5 scooping that accolade and even into the highly coveted 500+ realm!
You may not immediately understand the relevance of this but let me also say that in 2015 and 2016, I saw hardly any uplift in individual image ‘likes’ whatsoever. Check both the 2015 and 2016 top-ten images below to see what I mean. This actually tells me that although new member growth is down by half this year, engagement and interaction is up massively year on year compared to previous years! This is great news to me and maybe the ‘like/love/wow’ system that FB introduced in recent times has encouraged people to interact more but some of my images even saw a staggering 25,000 person reach! There’s no denying that figure exists, we just have to make the right content to achieve it.
What about your snaps ‘tho?
So finally we can now take a quick look at the top ten shots of 2107 :D
Like I said a moment ago, what a huge uplift in image interactions this year. The top three all getting 500+ and the top five all getting 400+.
From a personal creative standpoint I tried to push my style in different directions last year. Sure it’s just another gel shoot-out but I was very adamant about trying some softer pastel looks and I was over the moon to see how well they were received b you guys especially as the pastel shots got three in the top ten including the number one spot.
Either my location work wasn’t as strong last year or my studio shots are simply just preferred, we had none in this list surprisingly. I’d like to do more this year but I personally love the challenge of location gels.
Of course I love working with all the models I have the good fortune to photograph but all of them here are simply exceptional without question. In fact Aly Sky gets the entire podium to herself this year and Maria Amanda also manages to equal her with three images in the top ten too, not to mention Lady Lauren competing with herself with a tied 9th spot. I can highly recommend any of these ladies and I guarantee you wont be disappointed by the results if you are lucky enough to work with them in 2018.
So there we have it, JHP 2017 in numbers. Thank you to the one brave soul that will probably read this far down and to you I ask 'will you be focusing on Instagram or FB in 2018?'
Thanks as always to all the teams I worked with last year, you’re all fantastic :D But more importantly thank you to you guys, you’re the ones continuously interacting and engaging so seriously, thank you for that :)
This was YOUR favourite pictures of 2017, I’ll be sharing my personal favourites next week so we’ll see how different they are ;)
Have a great 2018 guys :D