iPhone 11 Camera vs. DSLR: Which Works Best for You?

by Anijah Boyd

When it comes to taking photos, iPhones have become a more accessible way to capture an image worth sharing while DSLRs remain a tradition in the photography industry, but what are the pros and cons of each? 

Should you invest in a DSLR or stick to the basics of your iPhone camera? Would you be someone who benefits from having both handy? Here are some things to take into consideration.

If you don’t plan on buying a DSLR camera anytime soon, it may be helpful to purchase these accessories to get the best out of your phone:

1💜iPhone lens kit 

2💜Ring light or any external light source 

3💜Tripod

4💜Portable charger

5💜Remote shutter release 

You can capture a beautiful image with both cameras. The differences lie in your goals. An iPhone can get close to the pristine of a DSLR, it’s just going to take finesse and extra accessories. iPhones are the best for quick, on-the-go photos that may be posted to social media and make your travel load less heavy.

DSLR cameras work best when you need high quality images for blogs, photoshoots and brand-work, but can be a pain when you have to carry around the equipment. Shoots centered around a DSLR camera would be more intentional and planned out than that of an iPhone

The iPhone serves more as a convenience option with DSLR potential. You get instant results on your phone ready to crop, edit and post. With that being said, which one works best for you? Let’s talk below.

Will the photos be used for your website, social or print? If for print or web, DSLR. If for social, iPhone! Take a closer look at the visual differences between the two. Can you tell which photo was taken with an iPhone 11 or DSLR? 

If you guessed image A was taken with a DSLR and B with an iPhone 11, you are correct! The main determining factors are color and focus. Our favorable iPhone 11 still shows blemishes in the mirror whereas the DSLR completely has its eyes on the Verás bottle and even gives us a nice pop of color that compliments the light shining in.

Small things like that have made DSLRs’ impact everlasting but the convenience, approachability and similarities an iPhone 11 camera has to a DSLR have made them a worthy competitor.

7 Tips on Creating an Instagram Story that Stands Out

by Anijah Boyd

With a new social media service or addition introduced every day (at least it seems like it), brands’ social media strategies are constantly evolving and challenged to reach new creative heights. Introduced in 2016, Instagram Stories has cemented among the must-haves of social strategy and yet, many businesses are failing to utilize its full capabilities. Not only do stories offer your followers extra visual content, but the 24-hour viewing window offers them a sense of real-time and intimacy with your brand. 

With hundreds of stories to swipe through, how can YOU maximize the chances of an audience engaging with our stories while also beating the tricky algorithm? How do you create fun and entertaining content while still getting your message across? Here are some helpful tips and tricks to take your Instagram Story strategy to the next level. 

1💜 Call-to-action

One of the easiest ways to make your followers pay attention is to offer them an action. Guide them to clicking a link, answering a quiz, question or doing a poll. This gives your audience a chance to feel heard and that they have a say in your brand. It’s equally useful for you to see their responses. 

2💜 Keep it Consistent and Cohesive

This is a great way to tap into streamlined branding and, remember, it is okay to promote new posts on your story to allude to the idea of exclusivity. Make sure your stories blend well together, use your brand’s logo and color scheme and play on the established brand identity. Stay on topic and when there is a subject change, make it stand out while also staying true.

3💜 Tell a Story

One reason it can be so easy to skip through stories is because they feel flat, uninteresting and don’t transition well. They don’t make you think, “Hmm. I wonder what’s next?”

You have 3–10 seconds to engage your viewer. A plain image with still words won’t do the trick. Use the post prior and narrative tools like motion and reveals to encourage your viewer to stay.

4💜 The Less Copy, the Better …

The phrase ‘say less’ has never been so relevant. Who wants to read through a block of text that could’ve easily been a caption instead? Try to limit yourself to quick, concise sentences or phrases. If more needs to be said like in a brand statement or contest, try tweaking it to transition into the next post or break up the text using different fonts.

5💜 Use Stickers!

You’d be surprised by what you can find searching through random sticker topics. They can make a boring story more fun. They are the most useful when you have little resources to work with or a simple image. 

An Extra Tip: Instagram often utilizes stickers for social issues or big events! Pay attention to these and craft a story that fits the theme, you’ll be able to attract new followers to your page when they search through these limited time stickers!

6💜 Add Some Music!
The universal love language: music. It can turn a simple video of someone enjoying an ice cream into a cinematic experience. It interacts with more of your senses and creates new memories and associations with your brand. 
 

7💜 Minimize the Number of Fonts in One Story

Rule of thumb: 2 fonts per story … but anyone can break the rules if they do it well.

Our Must-Have​ Photo Editing Apps For Social Media

Anyone who is in charge of managing social media for clients is already well versed in the importance of posting high-quality photos. Therefore, there is nothing worse than capturing the perfect image for a client only to have it ruined by one of the following:

•   The photo is too dark/bright

•   Someone or something is in the background and causing distraction

•   The photo doesn’t do the colors in the image justice

•    The subject in the photo needs to be free of all imperfections.

Editing can be extremely intimidating, but we don’t want you to give up on that photo quite yet. We’ve compiled a list of must-have photo editing apps that every social media manager needs, from beginner to seasoned-social guru. 1.

FACETUNE

Ideal uses – Portraits, candids, removing small imperfections such as cocktail glares or spots on tablecloths.

1. Facetune and Facetune 2 – Facetune is an extremely popular app and for good reason. In Facetune you’re able to remove blemishes, whiten teeth, smooth skin, and so much more. This powerful app can turn anyone from drab, to fab with a few clicks and good practice. The original Facetune app provides all the necessary editing tools for a one-time payment of $3.99. Facetune 2, however, has access to more advanced features and includes many more tools to perfect your images. This version costs $35.99 annually or a one-time payment of $69.99. Note: only Facetune 2 is available for Android users.

Facetune – iPhone

Facetune 2 – iPhone

Facetune 2 – Android

RETOUCH

Ideal uses – Larger objects that require removal, signage, reflections.

2. Retouch – Have you ever captured the perfect image, just to spot a sneaky photo-bomber in the back? Moments like this often cause you to get rid of the picture altogether. Now, with the help of retouch, you can remove distracting background images with ease. Retouch uses the surrounding background to blend everything together seamlessly. Simply use the brush or lasso tool to remove people and objects as if they were never even there. Retouch is a one-time payment of $1.99.

Retouch – iPhone

Retouch – Android

ADOBE LIGHTROOM

Ideal uses – All-in-one photo editing. Great for all types of photos and to pair with the above mentioned apps.

3. Adobe Lightroom – Lightroom may be the single most important photo editing app you have in your arsenal. With this app you’re able to manipulate lighting, individual colors, and nuanced details included shading, temperature and specific coloring. Once you learn how to utilize Lightroom for everything it can do, you’ll be able to salvage almost ANY photo. You can access the majority of this app for free 99 and achieve some pretty amazing edits. If you want to unlock 3 additional (and completely game changing) tools like selective lighting and selective detail, the app will cost you $9.99 a month. This payment gives you access to edit photos on your phone and stores them to a cloud that can pair with Lightroom’s desktop application! Once you see the images you can bring to life, you’ll realize this app pays for itself.

Lightroom – iPhone

Lightroom – Android

VSCO

Ideal uses – Creating a cohesive brand aesthetic

4. VSCO – Creating a theme for a client’s social media page can be both a difficult and daunting task. With VSCO, most of the work is done for you. As more and more brands flood to social media to market themselves, a huge importance has been placed on creating an aesthetically pleasing (and defining) social media feed. Choose a consistent and recognizable scheme for your client by scrolling through dozens of filters. Once you’re finished editing a photo, throw your filter of choice. Doing so will ensure all your photos fit together visually and create the theme your client has always dreamed of. Access to these filters and other fun photo editing tools is $19.99 a year.

VSCO – iPhone

VSCO – Android

Meet Team Neon Series: Astou

Please give a warm welcome to the latest member of our dream team, Astou! 🤗 Astou is Team Neon’s intern, and we are so happy to have her. As our intern, we are teaching her the ins and outs of all of our clients, how to write the perfect press release, how to manage various social media accounts, and how to be an all-around amazing publicist. 

⚡️SUPERPOWERS:
Networking Pro 👩🏾‍💼
Can read (almost) anyone 👀
Able to bust out an A+ paper in 2.5 hours flat 📝

🎉FUN FACTS:
Proud Senegambian 🇸🇳 🇬🇲 
The Ultimate Wing Woman
Skincare Enthusiast 🧖🏾‍♀️ 

Meet Team Neon Series: Megan

Now for the woman who needs no introduction, Megan! 🤩 As the founder and CEO of Neon Public Relations, there’s not much that she DOESN’T do. Her day to day includes running to countless client meetings (in heels of course), maintaining relationships with media, being the best boss to her team, and most importantly, being a loving mommy to her fur baby Xena. 

⚡️SUPERPOWERS: 

  • Aggregating the most talented publicists for the coolest boutique PR firm around, Neon PR. 💁🏼‍♀️
  • Looking put together on the reg with the help of my magic wands: a curling one and a mascara one. 
  • Tricking clients into thinking I’m at least 5’5’’ since they never see me out of high heels. 👠 

🎉 FUN FACTS: 

  • Can do a backflip on command, anytime, anywhere. 
  • Have been a certified SCUBA diver since the age of 12. 🐠
  • Own a 122 lb English Mastiff named Zeen Ween (actually just Xena). 🐶

Meet Team Neon Series: Chelsea

Shining some light on our ray of sunshine and Account Manager, Chelsea! ✨ She has been an integral part of Team Neon for almost 3 years, and we cannot imagine how things would be without her quick wit, killer photog skills, and her ability to manage client accounts while simultaneously overseeing the work of our new team members.

⚡️SUPERPOWERS: 

  • Investigator Extraordinaire. 🔍
  • Can turn wine into more wine. 🍷
  • Wordsmith Wonder. 🔮

🎉 FUN FACTS: 

  • Hiked into Havasupai Falls in 3 hours. 💁🏼
  • Is a self-proclaimed redhead. ❤️
  • Dressed as Batman for 5 consecutive Halloweens. 🦇

Meet Team Neon Series: Summer

Introducing our new Account Coordinator, Summer! ☀️ This Neon babe loves contributing to our clients social aesthetic and keeping up with current trends. Not to mention, she’s extremely stylish while doing it! 💁🏼‍♀️

⚡️SUPERPOWERS:

  • Photo editing connoisseur. 📸
  • Social media guru. 📲
  • Expert in running in heels. 👠

🎉FUN FACTS:

  • Immersed in watching Big Brother every summer, 3x a week, no exceptions
  • Las Vegas native but University of Nevada, Reno Alumna and die hard supporter. 🐺
  • Yogi in the making. 🧘🏼‍♀️

NOW HIRING: Neon PR Publicist Position

Neon PR is currently seeking an Account Coordinator for its Las Vegas office. The ideal Publicist candidate should hold a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, PR or Integrated Communications and have at least one year, post-college, full-time relevant PR experience or PR internship experience, with an agency background preferred. Neon is looking for qualified PR pros that are creative and enthusiastic with passion for adventure, hospitality, nightlife, culinary and lifestyle brands, plus proven results with top-tier local, regional and national outlets.Neon PR roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Able to format, develop, write and successfully pitch press materials including bios, backgrounders, fact sheets, media advisories and press releases.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and ability to understand editorial calendars, identify relevant opportunities for clients and schedule pitches accordingly.
  • Understand reporting techniques including circulation, ad equivalency, and PR value and track client coverage including online, editorial, digital and broadcast placements.
  • Monitor, track, clip and properly draft publicity alerts for clients.
  • Stay up to date on trends in our industries through following websites, blogs, daily/weekly newsletters.
  • Research, vet and secure partnerships with like-minded brands for client partnerships.
  • Create, foster and leverage media relationships to produce stellar placements for our clients.
  • Facilitate media missions and appointments in local, regional and national markets.
  • Organize, invite and execute press trips locally and onsite at client locations.
  • Assisting in the overall running of client social media accounts.

All relevant applicants must be able to start within 2 weeks; please send resumes for consideration to info@neonpublicrelations.com.

Drink Me: Creative Juice.

In the world of business, PR can be like that whimsical aunt who wears her trendy sunglasses inside, enthralls you with her stories of wonderous lands, and always knows the perfect word to encapsulate the mood. Though we appear to always have the witty captions, the gift of gab, and a fresh perspective on those overly Instagrammed locations, being creative 24/7 can be exhausting. We promise our clients eye-catching photography, captivating releases, and intriguing marketing ideas. In reality, our mornings start with us sitting at a computer screen with our cursor blinking as we blink back, which can start out pretty stress-inducing. We can’t go totally Lewis Carroll as we have hard deadlines and a standard of professionalism to uphold, so luckily, we have our own ways of breaking through those creative blocks that don’t include a 6th cup of coffee, a psychedelic trip, or a major life crisis.

  • Just do it. Yeah, Nike coined the slogan, but we’re pretty sure it was first muttered by some poor soul with writer’s block back in the 17th century. If you’re drawing a blank (figuratively and literally) just write or just draw or just start taking photos. Just do it. What you’re creating doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with the task at hand. Start by just writing down what you did yesterday or take photos of household products. As Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”. The biggest hump to get over can be simply starting. A great tool is a writing prompt book. Yes, the prompts can be cheesy, but they get you thinking about topics your own brain isn’t coming up with and it can give you a whirlwind of new ideas. 
  • Jot down everything. You never know when you’ll be inspired, and you never know what that inspiration can evolve into down the line. Most of us are old fashioned and still love pen and paper, but the Notes app in your phone will do just fine. Our notes consist of quotes from books, websites we want to remember, photoshoot ideas, hiking trails, the name of my favorite nail technician in Vegas, and the coffee preferences of my co-workers. Even if an idea might sound silly, write it down and revise the details when you have time to give it attention.
  • Challenge yourself. Comfort breeds contentment and contentment breeds complacency. Even if you don’t consciously realize you aren’t doing your best, if you get too used to certain formulas and styles, your work will become redundant. Pick up books with writing styles that are difficult to follow, look at artwork that makes you a bit uncomfortable, go somewhere completely new, have a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to. Force yourself to grow, even in little ways, and your work will grow with you. 
  • Check out local venues whenever you’re feeling uninspired. Support local musicians even if it’s just going to an open mic, check out museums and galleries, go to a book store. We won’t get too new-age on you, don’t worry  we left the crystals at home; if you want to get creative, you need to surround yourself with creative energy. This doesn’t mean you have to start getting tattoos and living communal (though, go for it if that’s your jam). If you’re stunted for an extended amount of time, you need to actively seek out things that inspire you.
  • Break. The Spanish are onto something with their siestas. As a culture, we highly value productivity and often think if you aren’t hustling, you aren’t successful. But unless you are working on an assembly line, you should really focus on quality over quantity. This isn’t excusing being lazy or overly distracted. Every once in a while, you need to change your scenery, talk to someone new, take a 15-min break and read. Do something to totally distract yourself so you can feel refreshed when you get back to your work space.
  • Look online. It may come with the territory of being female with a wi-fi connection, but sites like Pinterest really do have great ideas. Trust us, some of us used to make fun of it too, and no, some won’t ever use theirs for wedding planning whilst still single or pin how-to’s for making your own almond milk. If you can’t get yourself to pin, look at sites like:

-unsplash.com for beautiful photography

-hellopoetry.com if you want to give snaps

-neatorama.com for completely random stories about pretty much anything

-logopond.com for all your graphic design needs

-Etsy.com so you can impulse buy your inspiration

-tumblr.com for relive through your teenage angst.

  • Wander. We underestimate just walking with no particular location in mind. We tend to think of this as something to do in a new city when we are vacationing. We do it when we first move someplace, and then for some reason, we stop. You never know what you’ll find, who you’ll run into, or what weird conversation you’ll eavesdrop into when your taking your city by foot. Find a new store or café, you never know where you’ll feel productive. After all, J.K Rowling started the Harry Potter series when she stumbled across a café while walking around Edinburgh and look what good that’s done for her. Apparently, the right walk can change your life. 

PR: Get with the Times, but be Timeless.

As a profession, Public Relations has been around for nearly 100 years. Though its origins are debatable, Edward Bernays or Ivy Lee? (We may never come to an agreement.) However, there is one factor of the profession that is undeniable… it’s always evolving. Advancement intrinsically prompts skepticism and concern, especially when the pressure to progress is pushed by technology. Sometimes innovation hits us like a tornado. While some of us get swept away in the funnel of apps and websites, others are left behind in debris of confusion and sudden disconnect. As one of the top PR firms in Nevada, it’s imperative we have one foot spinning in the virtual world with the other foot planted firmly on the ground. As an early adopter of the realms of ‘new school’ PR, Neon PR is consciously bringing the timeless aspects of the old school with us.

  • Face-to-Face interactions. No matter how convenient technology is making it to communicate, nothing is more impactful than talking face-to-face. It might be time efficient to send an e-mail or use Google Docs, but showing a client they are worth your time will guarantee long-term loyalty. Close the laptop, grab a coffee, and give your clients the undivided attention that they deserve.
  • Personalization. This one is for all the blast-email addicts. Are blasts necessary at times? Yes. Are they often skimmed or just overlooked? Also, yes. Remember on the other end of whatever device you are using, there is a human, and as humans, we like our individual identities. Use names (correct spellings and all) as frequently as possible. Only send e-mails that are truly in the interest of whoever you are sending it to. You wouldn’t send a pitch about a client’s new ice cream flavors to a fitness magazine, would you? 
  • Timeliness. Now we can send and receive information faster than ever. Sometimes because of that, we procrastinate and don’t prepare properly. We rely on easy fixes. We’ve all forgotten to get back to someone and then had to do the hasty e-mail on the run. No matter how human this is, it still can look unprofessional and careless. Make sure to set aside the right amount of time to complete each project and respond in a timely manner. 
  • Build a relationship organically. Personally, I’ve always had an issue with the term “networking” because it makes forming personal connections feel ingenuine. As if there has to be some sort of prize at the end, otherwise the interaction is deemed useless. Really get to know who you are working with and work with people who interest you personally. This dips into ethics, but as a firm we make sure we are the best fit for our clients. If we don’t think we can do the job they a looking for, we aren’t afraid to point people in the right direction. Building a trusting and honest relationship will yield more effective results than just temporary monetary gain.