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The Power of User-Generated Content (UGC): Engaging, Authentic, and Creative

Today, I'm eager to dive into a fascinating world that's recently become a significant part of my creative journey, especially when it comes to my stock portfolio.

It's time to talk about UGC or User-Generated Content.

Lisbon concierge with mailboxes on the wall and delivery box on the table
Lisbon concierge, Spring 2023

Let's kick things off by delving into two essential concepts: UGC and POV.

What is UGC?

UGC, is a term that's been gaining serious traction in today's digital landscape. Simply put, it's any content, raw, lo-fi, and spontaneous, created with any available device, even your PHONE!

It's basically what I've always liked to call "phonography": images, videos, reviews, social media posts, you name it, with a high dose of authenticity. It's created by real folks in real-life situations, capturing those genuine moments and experiences we all cherish.

And, ever heard of POV?

In the world of media, POV stands for 'Point of View.' You've probably encountered this acronym in storytelling, filmmaking, and content creation. It's the lens through which a narrative unfolds, the unique perspective that shapes how we perceive a story or information.

Now, in UGC, 'POV' plays a special role - it's the individual creator's viewpoint. It offers us an intimate and genuine glimpse into their world and experiences. It's what gives their photos and videos that personal touch, making you feel like you're right there with them - check here for more examples.

Think about selfies, for instance. Selfies are the most obvious example of how POV comes into play in UGC. When you see a selfie, you're not just seeing what the person is looking at; you're seeing them experiencing it firsthand. It's like a friendly invitation to step into their world.

UGC is like the secret sauce that spices up a brand's story, it puts real-life experiences and perspectives in the spotlight, making the story relatable. Think of it as flipping through vacation pics with your buddies, bringing them right into the moment with you. Plus, on a personal note, it's a fantastic opportunity to revisit the millions of photos I take each month—often buried in my camera roll until the dreaded 'storage full' message pops up. Can you relate? 😉

UGC contents are a breath of fresh air in a world full of staged and polished visuals. They give us a genuine, unfiltered peek into real-life moments, allowing brands to connect with their audience on a more personal level. UGC images tap into raw emotions and relatability, resonating with their target audience.

You know me, I've always had this thing for photography, capturing real-life moments, and sharing authentic stories through visuals. So, it's no surprise that at some point, I'd be drawn into this new era. But guess what? Lately, I decided to take a leap and explore a new frontier: creating short UGC videos.

This is the very first UGC video I published!

Why venture into this new territory?

Well, here's the scoop: in the realm of stock media, there's a growing demand for video content that's completely logo-free and brand-neutral. It's not so much a shift as it is an exciting expansion of my creative horizons. After all, who can resist the allure of capturing moments in motion?

To kick things off, over the past year or so, I've been using my trusty old iPhone 8. It might not be the pinnacle of quality, but it's been a reliable companion in helping me understand what's intriguing for my collection, what resonates with buyers, and most importantly, what I personally enjoy creating.

But here's where it gets even more exciting. Just last month, I upgraded to the iPhone 14, a device packed with a world of options and features. I'm genuinely curious to see how this newfound quality and these expanded opportunities will open up new vistas for me to explore in my creative journey.

Through Upwork, I teamed up with a talented professional from Peru who's a whiz at video editing. He's been instrumental in helping me ace a critical aspect of stock content—blurring and masking any real-life branding, graffiti, or other distractions that could make the content unusable for RF (Royalty-Free) licensing.

This one, for instance, would have been totally unpublishable without the help of Joel: he had to blur all license plates, car logos, and graffiti on the side of the road, can you see?

This collaboration is a major milestone for me as it's the first time I've taken the leap to hire someone for my creative projects. It speaks to the incredible potential of our global community and how collaboration transcends geographical boundaries. Together, we're bringing my stock content to a level that would otherwise demand an extensive learning curve, freeing me to focus on creating instead of mastering new skills from zero.

So, the key point here is this: UGC content is a game-changer, it's fast and it's fun! They're not just pretty pictures; they're about connecting, trusting, engaging, and creating together.

Just a friendly reminder: when you come across an amazing UGC image for your communication needs, don't forget to give credit to the creator. Always seek their permission and, if necessary, discuss compensation or recognition for their work.

UGC thrives on transparency, honesty, and building meaningful connections, so let's all do our part, enjoy the party, and pay the artist!

UGC Pay the artist via ATM bank transaction


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