How to request a verified badge for your Instagram account

For those who are familiar with the verified badge application process, must be knowing that there was no formal way to apply for the verification. That has changed this week. If you have the latest Instagram version on your phone you can now request your profile to be verified. However, there's no guarantee that it will be approved. Also, the process is like a blackbox and nobody knows what is the criteria to get approved. If you still want to give it a try, follow the steps as shown below:

Please note that even after sending the request, you will see an option to apply for verification. Be patient! :) 

Google ads promo code

I have this one google ads $100 credit promo code (first time users, available after spending $25 on google ads) for anyone who needs it:

Feel free to use it and leave a comment so I can update the post. Thanks.

Code: D4WNV-F3WD6-NHWH

5 Reasons why every landscape photographer needs a drone

I remember buying my first DJI drone years ago and attaching 2D gimbal, gopro, attaching transmitter to the drone and receiver to the remote with third party screen on it. Looking back, today's offerings seem like a dream. You get the whole package for much less and without all the wires and antennas sticking out. I bet all geeks would still enjoy customizing their drones but as a photographer thats unnecessary burden that they don't want to invest their time in.  However, with excellent camera, some solid features, drones are becoming an essential tools. If you're still not convinced, let me tell you why you need a drone, now:

  • Reachability:  Some places are not easily reachable. or sometimes you are far from the spot where you want to be and sun is setting. I remember numerous occasions where this has happened to me and I just flew the drone from the parking lot, took a few shots and continued on my way within minutes.
  • Perspective: Sometimes getting the same shot that millions of other photographers have taken, gets boring. Drones may provide you that extra flexibility and perspective.    
  • Extra hand: For things like long exposure, or time-lapse, modern drones work like tripods and can take great images without you actively doing anything. These birds can fly upto 30 minutes and can take time-lapses like you've never seen before. without any additional inputs from you once you setup the shot.
  • Stabilization: Even when you are not planning to get some video footage from bird's eye view, the gimbal on these drones are so useful and provides excellent stabilized footage from eye level. Photography is all about playing around with different styles and angles and this technique has been proven to be yielding great results.  
  • Fun factor: I mean, cmon..Who doesn't like these technically advanced flying machines which can do interesting maneuvers and features like fly around, follow me, Tapfly etc. As long as you are aware of your surroundings and not causing annoyance to others, this is a great way to spend time just flying it around. 

Disclaimer: I do not advise/encourage you to fly the drones where you are not supposed to. Be a responsible pilot. There are many apps and websites which provide information on areas where you are allowed to fly.

If you are looking to buy a drone and need advice please feel free to shoot me a message from contacts page or via my instagram @artakash. 

My current flying camera:

Is selling your photos on stock photo sites worth it?

A while ago, I created adobe stock account and uploaded some of my favorite photographs for sale think it would be good side income. So far I have sold 10 prints and have less than $4 in my account.  

I have yet to try other stock sites but from my experience it is not worth selling the work for $0.18 where people can make upto 500k copies ( non commercial) of your work. Since then, i have pulled my work off of adobe stocks and have decided to sell prints only.

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Unlike Appstore, instead of providing 70% royalty to the creators, these sites are taking a huge cut just for selling it (and marketing it as a steal) 

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I'm not too impressed.

The Accidental Proposal Photo

(Repost From Instagram) 

As I am trying to take some test shots, this couple walks past the arch. Thinking their silhouette would make a good frame, I take some more pics before the guy gets on one knee. Part of me started feeling lucky to be there to capture this beautiful moment, and part of me got nervous as if i’d be able to justifiably capture the sweetness of the moment. In the end, I offered to share the images and they happily accepted the offer. My heartiest congratulations to this beautiful couple!

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The Winners

Congratulations to the Instagram sweepstakes winners @terri_burnette and @pranali.g for winning two photo prints of their choice from my photo gallery.

 

Terri chose John Wayne Trail Image from Monument Valley.

 Monument Valley, Utah.

Monument Valley, Utah.

Pranali chose Walton Lighthouse Image. 

 Walton Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, CA

Walton Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, CA

The GiveAway

2017 has been a great year for me! I made a lot of friends here on Instagram. As a thank you, I am giving away two 16 x 20 prints of your choice (from my gallery). Two winners will be randomly selected on Jan 2nd at noon MST. Happy New Year, everyone! 
To enter the contest, follow the rules below:
1) Follow me on Instagram @artakash
2) Like this post
3) Comment on this post and tag a friend!
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