Instagram’s own modern day ‘Dr Dolittle’ Allan Dixon shares his insights on being a unique media creator.
The sole reason I started filming and photographing was to capture me and my friends progression in skateboarding. We would constantly try new tricks and record them to look at how we could make improvements. This was way back on analog Hi8 cassette tapes and You Tube didn’t exist. The only way to share the videos was to physically hand a VHS tape to friends. What I’m trying to get at is that I was capturing content for the purpose of passion, not for likes.
What I have found is my images and videos flourish online naturally when my heart is in capturing my own subject.
My inspiration comes from nature and adventure. I hike, cycle, explore, climb, jump, it’s what I love to do because it makes me feel alive. I capture that love in the hope that it will inspire others to get out and explore for themselves.
Since you’re reading this you obviously have media and creativity on your mind. One nugget of advice that I want to share with you is something that I wish someone would have told me from the beginning is this –
“Allan, to grow your audience you need to market your content with structure. You need stick to a specific theme, be constant in producing your videos and photos every week. Make them into a collection that’s easily digestible and present it in a way that gives value to viewers”.
Let that be your blueprint. I can’t stress enough how vital it is to start applying that to your work.
So where do you start?
First stop, think. What do you really like to do in life? You need a reason to actually start taking photos, filming, drawing, etc… That reason should come from personal fulfillment and that should come from what you love to do in life. Therefore, what you love to do in life becomes what you take photos of. That’s your topic.
Ultimately, what you create should be natural, something you really want to do. For me, it was shedding light on the joy of nature and wildlife through photography. Now, there are countless landscape and nature photographers but I felt that most of their shots were empty or bare, they lacked a human connection. I felt adding a friend or myself complemented the scenery making viewers think, “Hey that should be me doing that”.
What’s the best and easiest thing that will make you a better photographer today?
If I had to start from scratch, then the most straight forward approach to build an audience and find your calling in media would be in combining your passion and Instagram. Start capturing, uploading, sharing what you really like. You gain near instant feedback on your work which you can then analyse. You’ll be able to measure what works for your audience, what engages them the most. Additionally, you’ll be addicted in no time, it will challenge you to continue creating new media.
For those of you who are wondering what camera gear I use. Its aA Canon 5d mk3 with a Canon 16-35mm 2.8f and a GoPro HERO 5.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope that what I said above has helped you in some way. Now go capture what you love.
About Allan Dixon
Allan Dixon has been experimenting with media to excite and inspire people. Winner of the 2013 ‘The Best Job in the World’ campaign by Tourism Australia after competing against over quarter of a million contestants. His unique eye for online storytelling has led to dream jobs, partnerships and community lift.
More recently he is now known as a modern day ‘Dr Dolittle’, Allan’s animal selfie photos went viral in early 2016 and were featured in countless mainstream media outlets around the world. Instagram themselves featured it making it among their most liked featured photos of all time.
His work has been featured across the web by Time Magazine, YouTube, Instagram, Mashable, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. As well partnerships and projects with Web Summit, Tourism Australia, Red Bull Ireland, Bebo, Nokia, Sony Hong Kong, Dogpatch Labs, Tourism Queensland, YHA Australia and GoPro Australia.
Check out his instagram channel here
About Queenstown to Kaikoura NZ
Queenstown to Kaikoura NZ and World Travel Social showcase Travel Online through their Travel Magazine and Online Media Education Events. They feature and create content with a number of professional photographers, media creatives and social media influencers. Through their Event Sponsorship relationship and collaboration partnerships they connect these creatives on their team with Adobe.