Pinterest Influencer Interview Series: Gigi StollWe’re pleased to welcome Gigi Stoll for today’s installment of the Pinterest Influencer Interview Series. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Gigi currently lives and works as a photographer in New York City and is one of the newest members of HelloSociety’s team of Pinterest influencers. She specializes in portraits as well as humanitarian, travel and art photography. She’s worked with clients including Orient-Express Hotels, 100cameras.org, Leica Camera, ISMS Operation Kids, Save The Children and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her work has been featured in British Vogue, French Vogue, Japanese Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, W Magazine, GQ Japan,InStyle, Visionaire, V Magazine and VMan.
“An old friend gave me a Polaroid camera and I started taking pictures of my model friends during my travels as a fashion model. I went to a tattoo convention in Amsterdam to document a family of artists called the Leu Family Iron, and when I returned to NYC, the images were shown in an Upper East Side gallery. Art Unlimited from Amsterdam approached me to print postcards worldwide after the exhibit. I continued showing in galleries and started selling my art to private collectors. What started as snapping Polaroids of friends quickly evolved into a second career delivering portraits to magazines and taking me to the far reaches of the world such as Morocco and Peru to shoot medical missions for children.”
6 Questions on Pinterest With Gigi Stoll
1. How has Pinterest helped you personally or professionally?
I started Pinterest in November 2011 to collect imagery for photography inspiration. It became a daily obsession and I enjoyed the little things like creating my own special titles for boards early on. Some of my favorite board titles are: Street Cred, Sharp Shooter, Vintage Vice, On the Water, Cloud Observer, Double Trouble, Up In Smoke, Camera Crazy, Petal Pusher, Day Tripper, Below The Hip, Divine Dancer, and Into the Deep. I think creative titles help lure people into exploring more of my boards too. I also enjoy finding a quote that accentuates each board. As of today I have: 55 boards, 8,214 pins, 7,883 likes, and 243,719 followers. I follow 190 people and I have a high average of likes to pins. I have created a few boards of my own photography, and plan to do more, because Pinterest has elevated my credibility as a photographer. In 2012, I won a $1000 Tablet Hotel Pinterest contest for a board I created because it captured the most followers. My friends on various social platforms began to notice my engagement success and wanted my advice on how to use Pinterest. It is incredible how many amazing images there are out there to discover.
2. What is the method behind your success?
I started meeting various pinners that I followed and liked around the world and we began communicating on a regular basis. Not only have I met interesting people but I’ve also broadened my collection through the sharing of pins from my favorite pinners. I prefer black and white photography and I am always searching for classic or vintage photography through Pinterest and Google. On average, I pin 30-50 pins daily unless I am traveling for my photography work. I rarely change the captions but I do make a point to like each image I repin. I grew up on a horse ranch in South Texas and have several boards on horses, which are very popular. My most followed board is one on animals that I call “Wild Things.”
3. What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered using Pinterest?
As a photographer, the biggest challenge I’ve faced with Pinterest is that there isn’t a way for me to directly advertise and sell my work, which I can do through other social platforms. That raises the next challenge, which is for me to keep my Pinterest board fresh, new and exciting so I can find new clients and drive new audiences to places where they can buy my work.
4. What do you think is the future of social media?
I think the future is fascinating and I am optimistic that social media platforms will become easier for artists to use to showcase and sell their work to people from around the world.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting a Pinterest account?
Don’t stop pinning. Create boards that you love. Your passion will bring followers. Take the time to respond to comments and like the images you repin.
6. Where can we find you on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook? What is your website?
Pinterest (243,719 Followers)
Facebook (44,481 Likes)
Instagram (26,277 Followers)
Twitter @GigiStoll (2,985 Followers)
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