One of the things we realized while designing the new CrackBerry is that the site really looks best when we include real people in the "hero" photos that accompany articles. Given the site's clean look and high quality of design, putting real people into the photos gives it an extra touch of life that makes it even more compelling and engaging. This is especially true when you visit the CrackBerry homepage on the main desktop site - you'll notice the site always looks best when the featured stories at the top have people in them. As sexy as phones are, it gets kind of repetitive and boring if all you see up and down the page is device photo after device photo after device photo.
If you've been following the site daily the past couple of months, you've probably noticed there have been quite a few photos of me on the site along with the mysterious blonde (let's call her Storm) in the photo above. There's a good reason for this. While in NYC the past two months, I was also with our Design Director, David Lundblad, who is a pretty damn good photographer in his spare time (and yes, the mysterious blonde is his gf). David likes taking photos, and we took advantage of our time together to do some experimenting and play with different styles of photos on the site for different types of posts. Overall, the experiment has been a great success - we definitely succeeded in adding variety to the photos and making things more interesting.
We Want You!
As much as I love looking at photos of myself (kidding..lol), I'd rather CrackBerry not be covered in photos of me. CrackBerry isn't me. It isn't Adam. It isn't Bla1ze. It isn't Storm. CrackBerry is all of us. CrackBerry is OUR COMMUNITY. And that means you. Ultimately what I would LOVE to see happen here on CrackBerry is us continue to have tons of photos with our posts that feature that additional human element, but featuring our readers and community members. I know there are a lot of talented photographers out there in the community and you're all passionate about BlackBerry and this site. This is your opportunity to put your talents and BlackBerry passion together and have it adored by CrackBerry Nation!
The ongoing challenge for us is that when it comes to a lot of the stories we publish -- especially news stories -- we don't have time to wait. We need to get posts up much sooner rather than later. So for us that means building up a solid supply of our own "stock photos" that cover any and every topic we can can conceivably post on. Whether it's device related posts, app related posts, carrier related posts, etc., we want to have a suitable and amazing go-to photos we can put to use.
The Kind of Photos We're Looking For
If you're a regular reader you already know what we're looking for. You can swipe through the photo gallery above for some more examples and of course go back and just check out all the blogs posts we've been doing the past few months. You'll get a good idea quick. Basically we want creative photos that look great and fit with the context of what the post is about. Showing apps in use in a real world setting by a real person is much more interesting than a screen cap. That kind of stuff.
And as good as phone cameras are these days, we're looking for super amazing photos here - that means you're likely going to need to be rocking an SLR and know how to use it to make the cut. We're totally open to photos taken on your BB10 phones too - be sure to let us know what you shot the photo with!
Just keep in mind that the photos need to be BlackBerry-centric. Photos of devices, apps or anything related to BlackBerry that we can use in future posts. Photos of your house or dog won't really do us any good as they're not BlackBerry related.
Requirements and Submission
We'll be straight up here. While we'll appreciate every photo submitted, just because you submit a photo doesn't mean it will get used on a post. We've set the bar high for the photos we're posting on CrackBerry these days, and we're steadily raising it. So if we get great photos submitted by members in the community and it makes sense for us to them, we definitely will. And, we'll give you photo credit props on the post whenever we use them.
To submit your photos for consideration:
Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please make the subject of your email "CrackBerry Photo Submission"
Photos should be in JPG format,
Photos must be at least 1400 x 933 in dimensions (that's what we normally upload our post photos at - being a little bigger when you submit is ok as it gives us room to crop).
In the email, please be sure to let us know your username / name so we can give you credit properly on the post
Only submit photos that you have taken yourself and you have the blessing of anybody appearing in the photo to use and submit it
In your email to us, state that you give CrackBerry the right to use the photo in future blog posts at our discretion
Only submit one photo per email
Give us any details you want to share if you're particularly proud of your photo - where it was taken, equipment used, etc.
That's it. I know, looks like a lot of bullet points, but it's really not that bad.
It's On You!
So that's it. This isn't a contest. This isn't something that's easy for everybody to take part in. This is really an opportunity for those who seize it, to get their best photos viewed by LOTS of people.
Most importantly, it'll help make the best BlackBerry site even better.