Photography

Going Main… Stream

May 6, 2017

ARIA has just announced that song streams will finally count towards the ARIA album charts, starting with next week’s top 50.

Why is this change important? It’s great because only counting physical purchases and (legal) digital downloads changes the shape of the ARIA album charts. Especially now that streaming has won the hearts of Aussie music consumers, evidenced by the fact that it’s a key income source for the Australian recorded music industry. (Here’s some info from ABC News and Music Feeds if you don’t believe me.)

Before CD burning was a thing, when you could only buy a CD, tape or vinyl from a physical retailer, everyone had to purchase music this way. It was a fair way to judge music consumption. (Except for enthusiastically hovering over your tape deck, ready to press record on the weekly countdown radio charts, except the presenter would invariably talk over the intro and do a back announce over the last chorus. Worst.) This meant that album charts pretty much represented all album sales across the board except for artists with fans prone to shoplifting (I’ll save those stories for another time).

Fast forward to 2017. CDs normally bear a price tag of $20 and vinyl records go for at least $40. And hell, the average iTunes album comes in at $16.99. You might as well splash out an extra gold coin to get a fucking CD for the liner notes. Counting only digital and physical purchases mean that you’re not looking at music consumption realistically.

Here’s why:

  1. It changes the demographic we’re looking at. So acts with an older, less tech-savvy following (ahem, André Rieu) or have fans with more disposable income (a.k.a. the valuable teen fan girl dollar) get a leg up. Or bands with listeners who like to collect expensive things. Radiohead fans, I’m looking at you.
  2. It changes the kind of releases we’re covering too. The releases on the charts all tend to be from well-established artists. Debut albums that crack the charts usually belong to major label acts with impressive marketing budgets or winning contestants from game shows. It doesn’t reflect hype acts that may actually get way more streams in week one compared to physical-heavy bands.
  3. The charts are skewed towards labels that take physical distribution risks. This is completely anecdotal, but I’d wager that some indie bands have fans that would stream an album but would only hand over money for a physical product if it was special (e.g. beautiful packaging, extra songs, collectible liner notes). The problem with this is that physical distribution is incredibly expensive if you misjudge how many units will be sold (regardless of whether the distributor purchases a small quantity of stock from overseas, or manufactures a larger amount locally). If you get too much stock on hand and the album doesn’t sell-through, then it’s an expensive estimate. If you underestimate and the band blows up out of nowhere, then fans can’t buy the album and you’ve potentially missed out on a lot of ARIA-counted would-be sales. (Psst – here’s are my thoughts on record labels.)

It’s wonderful that the ARIA charts will now reflect streams in their counts. While it took us a while to get here, it’s useful that we have real-life case studies from European countries that have adopted a streaming conversion model for a while now. (Here’s how ARIA are calculating it. Hell yeah, math.)

It’ll be interesting to see how this changes Adele and Ed Sheeran’s long domination of the charts, and whether newer albums with a strong streaming presence will push them down ever so slightly. Have a look at what The Music had to say about it all.

(P.S. If you are a fabulous person who still purchases physical product, I’m selling a very decent CD and cassette micro hi-fi for $50. This is a serious thing. Please buy it off me.)

Our Clients Are Pretty Talented

December 8, 2016

One of my favourite parts about working at Bolster (besides the constant doggo talk and snacks) is that we’re lucky and get to work with some pretty talented musicians!

I was privileged to have gotten the chance to work on Flume’s new album via Future Classic, as well as the Australian leg of his massive world tour with Laneway Presents. Australia’s best electronic music export cleaned up at the ARIAs with five pointy awards to his name (Album of the Year, Best Male Artist, Best Dance Release, Best Pop Release & Best Independent Release). Plus a Grammy nom to his name (fingers crossed that turns into a Grammy win in Feb).

Also lucky to have worked with ARIA-winning champs Violent Soho, who nabbed two ARIAs.

Hats off to Remote Control & Caroline Australia, who I worked with on Australian advertising for this bunch of Grammy nominated legends: Adele, Bon Iver, Iggy Pop, Jack White and Parquet Courts. Other Bolster campaign managers also worked on Sia (via Inertia) and Radiohead (via Remote Control) who are also up for a chance to win a Grammy next year!

Full list of ARIA wins here, and Grammy noms over here.

Facebook Blueprint Certified

October 1, 2016

Facebook recently rolled out its shiny new Blueprint certification course, and of course I (and the rest of Bolster Digital crew) spent an arvo smashing the course. Achievement unlocked!

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 6.19.14 pmIt’s wonderful that Facebook is finally rolling out short courses and exams on best practices around advertising and page management. Topics include reach & frequency buys, video advertising, lead generation, dynamic advertising and more. For the longest time advertising professionals had to largely teach themselves (i.e. me, randomly pressing buttons to find out what things to do for the past six years or so) or take short courses at third party companies and hope that the teacher knew what they were talking about.

Also removes the guessing work for clients trying to figure out if agencies really know what the hell they’re talking about. Because lord knows there are a lot of cowboys out there.

Sailormouth

June 4, 2016

I love taking portraits of new people, and had the pleasure of taking photos of Sophie Benjamin recently for her music adventures as Sailormouth, as well as professional pics for her journalism work. Hint: the bespectacled portrait is for her work pics.

Some of my favourites below. Check out her Facebook page for Sailormouth updates, and listen to her music from Spotify here.

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Super Posh Posh

April 17, 2016

This is a bit late… but posh photoshoot I did with Kat for Two-Halves here! That necklace = heart eyes. Full Two Halves blog post here, and some faves below.

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2015 in 25 bullet points

December 31, 2015

  • Made it through the year with 17 plants still alive as of December 31. #greenthumb
  • Had a blast working at Shock Records with the best music team.
  • Ate watermelon for the first time in my entire life and didn’t mind it.
  • Darts released an album that we’re proud of and people seemed to not hate it but I still feel a bit awkward about it all.
  • Discovered Star Talk Radio like a good nerd.
  • Started working at Bolster Digital. So happy to have landed a job with an awesome team/work space/sweet treats/clients/campaigns. Ate a cronut at work today.
  • Had lots of fun shooting Two Halves, who absolutely killed it this year.
  • Saw a blue cactus.
  • Started making my bed regularly. Know that’s weird that but my parents would understand how this is noteworthy.
  • Headed over to BIGSOUND in Brisbane for the third time, and the very first time as a performer with Darts.
  • Stabbed myself. And then got drenched in blood.
  • Played at the Corner Hotel. BRAIN MELTING.
  • Bought a pretty new lense!
  • Practised my resting bitch face on camera here. And here. And pretty much everywhere.
  • Went to four weddings and no funerals.
  • Got Google AdWords certified!
  • Have kept a gratitude diary for the second half of the year. Not going to lie – a lot of it is food and I’m okay with that.
  • Played at Paradise Festival again. Highlight was the rave (first floor) cave. Low point was sleeping on a slope.
  • Dyed my hair pink. Again.
  • After a failed attempt at hot yoga with my neighbour (read: not enough coconut water in the world to ever make me do that again), I started doing room temperature yoga at home thanks to the internet. Goal for 2016: be able to do a beautiful downward dog. I still suck a lot.
  • Listened to lots of new music. My top two picks here on Happy blog.
  • Volunteered at Open House Melbourne. Had fun telling people where they could and could not go. Felt like Gandalf.
  • Spent possibly too much time drawing/buying art supplies.
  • Was in Elle Magazine ^___^
  • Drove a car only once this year.

 

 

 

Running and jumping

December 7, 2015

Shoot I did with Mish for Two Halves up on their blog here. A few of my faves below, including my absolute favourite pic with Michelle floating above the tarmac peacefully.

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All black everything

December 5, 2015

New shoot with Kat for Two Halves up here! This one was also in the back streets of Richmond. Two of my faves below.

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White picket fences

October 30, 2015

Had a super productive morning last Sunday with Kat and Mish! We shot four separate looks for Two Halves with over two hours. Lots of exploring Richmond for pretty backdrops, followed by Halloween costume shopping with Kat (sneak peek of half my costume here) and then I sat on a punnet of blueberries. True story.

Anyway, first look with Michelle in Bonds, Chloe and Zara here. Full blog post here (with a few different pics). ENJOY.

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Ship to Chores

October 15, 2015

Took photos for a Melbourne band called Chores recently. Select pics below. My favourite is the blurry colour picture which was actually an accident haha. Check out their Facebook here!

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