Inspired By: I See A Different You

i see a different you

Following Mail & Guardian’s recent article “Ten Of The Biggest Voices on South Africa’s Social Media Scene“, I discovered a group of photographers who collectively call themselves “I See A Different You”. They are based in Soweto + photograph their world the way they see it. Soweto stands for “South Western Townships” + is located in Johannesburg, South Africa. I find these guys really inspiring. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook + Instagram. This week I definitely take my inspiration from this group of creative entrepreneurs who seem to be among the loudest shouting online – and have over 16,000 people who are listening.

i see you in a different way i see you in a different way i see you in a different way

The Hashtags All The Cool Kids Are Using

Hashtag Mania Stock Photos

Who knew there was a hashtag for every day of the week? Grow your reach + build your community on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by using them when you upload your next pic. As long as your profile is public, you’re sure to get discovered + make new friends across the world (not to mention some serious cash if big brands get their paws on you).

Monday

  • #MCM or #ManCrushMonday
  • #MusicMonday
  • #MountainMonday
  • #MeowMonday
  • #ManicMonday (your crazy postweekend work/school schedule)
  • #ManicureMonday
  • #MondayBlues

Tuesday

  • #TransformationTuesday
  • #TravelTuesday
  • #TuesdayBoozeDay
  • #TuesdayTreat

Wednesday

  • #WineWednesday
  • #WellnessWednesday
  • #WomanCrushWednesday
  • #HumpDay
  • #WisdomWednesday
  • #Women2Follow
  • #WayBackWednesday
  • #WaterfallWednesday
  • #HealthyHumpDay
  • #WoofWednesday

Thursday

  • #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday
  • #ThirstyThursday (drinking on Thursday)
  • #Thursdate (for midweek dates)
  • #ThursdayFunDay
  • #ThankfulThursday

Friday

  • #FF or #FollowFriday
  • #FBF or #FlashbackFriday
  • #ShabbatShalom (for the weekly Jewish observance of Shabbat)
  • #FridayFunday
  • #FridayReads
  • #FridayNight

Saturday

  • #Caturday
  • #SexySaturday
  • #SaturdaySwag or #SaturdayShenanigans (for shopping)
  • #SaturdayNight

Sunday

  • #SS or #SelfieSunday
  • #SinDay
  • #SameSexSunday (for recommending people in the LGBT community)

Shooting at Roodebloem Studios

Models South Africa Roodebloem Studios Models South Africa Roodebloem Studios

I shot yesterday at Roodebloem Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town. We had so much fun! The studios are amazing (huge kitchen, lounge, private makeup room, bathroom, beautiful modern finishings) I think they are every photographer’s dream! I have some awesome behind the scenes photos on my instagram @misstamikajade. We did my hair the same as we did for the bridal shoot this past weekend in Stellenbosch. I actually rarely have it curly in real life, it’s more naturally wavy like in this shoot I did for City Lodge. All these photos were taken on my new gold iphone6.

+ Photography – Talitha Snow

+ Hair and Makeup – Pipa Cross

+ Assistance – Gabrielle Fortunato

Roodebloem Studios Cape Town
my beautiful team!

Modelling For Elizabeth Stockenstrom

Behind-The-Scenes Bridal ShootsI modelled at Brenaissance wine estate this past weekend for a bridal editorial with photographer Veronique Millswedding gown designer Elizabeth Stockenstrom + Bijoux JewelleryBrenaissance is any bridal couple’s dream venue. The Bridal suite is beautifully decorated. There’s a white glass fronted chapel that overlooks the vineyards. The venue is a blank canvas and it’s got all the amenities needed for an amazing wedding! If you feel like relaxing at the restaurant on a saturday, they’ve launched their new picnic menu. They also have a brand new wine tasting deck. They offer the most delicious wine paring pizza + lovely cheese cake to top it all off. The shoot was so much fun! I’m confident the images will be pretty awesome. Read more on an article I wrote for aspiring models on how to make magic in front of the camera. I’ve also got more photos of behind-the-scenes on my instagram @misstamikajade.

+ Photography – Veronique Photography

+ Hair – Huidrie Marais

+ Models – Chanel Wessels, Tamika Doubell, Anesia Joseph

+ Make-up – Pipa Cross

+ Venue – Brenaissance Wine Estate

+ Dresses – Elizabeth Stockenstrom

+ Jewellery & Hair pieces – Marnell Nortje {Bijoux Jewellery}

Tamika Doubell Bridalpink rosesLaceBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot Ideas pearlsBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot Ideas

How Do You Bounce Back?

bouncing back while building a brandThink about the first time you felt euphoria. I’m talking about real, whole-hearted fulfillment. I’ve learnt that the best experiences we have are the sum of multiple “wow moments” (not just one). It’s the same feeling as the first time you used a great product. It probably felt like it was designed just for you. Every action you took while using it felt right. Your senses (vision, touch, sound) were in tune with the experience.You might’ve said “wow” while using it. The product touched you on an emotional level and you remember it. You shared it. And you want to use it again.

I felt this type of positive emotion the first time I used Instagram. At first, it may seem like using Instagram would not be that much better than just using any one of the other social networking platforms. But the trick to Instagram’s stickiness is not just one, but multiple “wow moments” that make it substantially better than using other photosharing sites. The first time I used Instagram, there were a few distinct “wow moments”:

1. Will my photos be safe? Instagram gives you a privacy option. You can turn it on anytime.

2. How will my photos be shared? Instagram has one newsfeed where your photos will pop up for friends to see, and visa versa. Only people who follow you will see them, and visa versa.

3. How do I fit into the global community? Instagram introduced hashtags, where your photo is categorized for anyone anywhere in the world to see.

4. Do I have to pay a subscription fee to use this service? Signing up to Instagram is free.

5. How do I upload a photo? Instagram connects to your phone’s camera + galleries, online or offline. You can choose any photo you want from anywhere you like at anytime.

6. How do I make my pictures look less boring? Instagram introduced editing features + filters so you can make your photos look better.

7. Do I have to be on my pc to upload to it? Instagram is only accessible via your phone. So all you need is you, your cellphone + the moments you’re capturing.

The way Instagram baked multiple “wow moments” into their product is one reason why their system is so strong. With each additional “wow moment”, your chances of using the app increases compared to not. Its simplicity is addictive. However, one of the challenges with creating multiple “wow moments” within your product is that they take time to construct. Instagram took over a year to build. You need to be patient and willing to go all-in on a problem to create an experience worthy of multiple “wow moments.” Creating the right experience is risky when you might not have all the signals to say what you’re building is the right thing. But that’s part of the road to building a differentiated product. You won’t have all the answers at the start. You might screw up a couple of times. The trick is persistance; bouncing back after you mess up.

To reduce risk, you can begin by focusing on the main one or two “wow moments”. This may not be good enough to create the full experience you’re after but as you build more and seek to reach that same level of quality of that one “wow moment,” your product will get closer to what you’re after.

Part of bouncing back is streamlining your definition of what you’re building. It’s often best to start by picking out the right problems to focus on + not get too caught up in solutions yet. How you solve each of the problems could be done a thousand different ways. To begin with, getting problems down is the focus. You can define potential solutions later.

Looks like bouncing back while in the process of building your dream product (blog, brand, service, item) could be summarised in a few sentences:

+ “Wowing” your audience

+ Making the experience as simple as possible

+ Defining what you’re building

+ Patience while you build

+ Persistance while you build

+ Learning each time you fall

How Do You Keep People Coming Back?

Stock photograpphy coffee barBuilding a brand is a funny thing. You want people to get the clearest understanding of who you are, but often you over complicate the process. My experience has taught me it’s really not that hard. Keeping things absolutely simple is key. If your business is online, it’s especially important to make your product easy to use for the user. Successful branding hinges on people coming back for more (products, information, entertainment). This means you need to become a habit for them. A habit is defined as: “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” In his book on building habit-forming products, Nir Eyal (a Stanford lecturer + author) shares a perspective on how to think about building products people want to use. It’s called the Fogg Behavioural Model and was created by Stanford computer scientist, B. J. Fogg:

ImageThe Fogg Behaviour Model illustrates that the best path to get more people using your product is to make your product easier to use. If you make your product simpler, you increase the probability of your customers crossing the “Activation Threshold” + performing the behaviour.

Nir notes,

“Influencing behaviour by reducing the effort required to perform an action is more effective than increasing someone’s desire to do it. Make your product so simple that users already know how to use it, and you’ve got a winner.”

Remember this when you’re working on your next project. Keep it simple + you’re guaranteed to make your product, a habit.

Inspired By: Mi Casa

Mi Casa Inspired By

For my readers who don’t know, Mi Casa is a South African band. They’re most well-known for their hit song “Jika”. They were recently down in Cape Town for a performance at the Cape Town Convention Centre. One of my business partners was managing them on the evening + he took me backstage to meet them, right before they performed for the president! Pretty cool, huh? It makes me proudly South African to see such brilliant talent + especially to see how they’re conquering the global music scene. Kinda like another South African duo – you may know them – Die Antwoord. See my photos with them here. Mi Casa is my “Inspired By” spotlight this month – see last month’s inspiration, Victor Matom.

Mi Casa Jay-Something