Kyle Meck is a photographer and director with a passion for connecting with people through his travels. The comments sections underneath Kyle’s beautiful images on both his personal blog and Instagram (where he just surpassed 50K followers), run rampant with encouraging notes from both followers and friends. While it would be understandable for him to lose touch with his growing fan-base, he makes a point of maintaining personal relationships with them, often sending handwritten letters and free prints to lucky individuals.
We caught up with Kyle in between trips to learn more about how he started his career, his thoughts on content and what’s in store for the future.
360i: How did you get into photography?
Kyle Meck: “It was a process for me. I’ve always been a visual person. I started by taking photos with my phone and eventually it grew into something that I wanted to pursue on a larger scale. About a year ago, I made the decision to go full time with my photography and it has been the best decision.”
360i: When did you first decide to create an Instagram profile?
KM: “I created my profile a few years ago and started sharing photos from my life. I started sharing things I was doing and then incorporating more of my work as a photographer.”
360i: What criteria do you consider when evaluating potential brand partnerships?
KM: “The people matter to me. I always appreciate the relationship with the people actually working behind the brand, and it’s also important to care about [the values] the brand cares about.”
360i: What do you think is the most important thing for brands to keep in mind about leveraging content creators on social media?
KM: “This is a very complex question. I think it is important to have a conversation with a person and listen to the ideas they have for the work you have for them. Allowing them to present ideas is important, and there should be a space for both the brand and the content creator to have a conversation to talk about the ideas for the project.”
360i: How important is it to have a personal connection to the projects you take on?
KM: “I create my best work when there is a relationship with what I am doing. I’m more invested in innovating and pushing myself creatively when it is something I care about.”
360i: What kind of content do your followers react to best? What’s the secret to keeping them engaged?
KM: “I think people are intrigued with something that feels magical, yet is something that they can relate to. I think we react best when it is something we have either thought about doing or have already done — we like the familiar feeling that is still a bit unknown.”
360i: Are there any influencers you look to for inspiration or just admire– whether it’s for the content they’ve created or for their careers?
KM: “The people we should aspire to are artists — people that have worked hard on their craft, who communicate their passion, no matter the art form.”
360i: What are you working on now?
KM: “I think life is about becoming better at what you do. It’s a constant learning process no matter the project you’re working on. Just do what you do and strive to become better at it. I am looking forward to more international travel in 2017 and creating more story-based projects.”