Meagan Cignoli, her website says, simply, "is an international fashion, advertising & portrait photographer." What it doesn't say so simply is that she makes thousands of dollars for a single seven-second Vine clip. Here's the job that'll ruin your day.
For reasons unclear to most, lots of people willingly "follow" "brands" online. There's plenty of money to be made in presenting these people with brief, semi-coherent videos of products—in fact, it's how companies like Instagram and Tumblr might somehow make money.
Smartphone photogs like Cignoli will help make it happen, to the tune of several thousand dollars a pop, according to someone familiar with her rates. "Given the nature of my business and for the privacy of all of the brands I work with," Cignoli told me via email, "I would require you to sign a standard NDA before discussing any specific rates and costs." Cignoli lists "Oscar de la Renta, HP, Kraft Foods, Nabisco, Gilt Groupe, Louis Royer Cognac, Everlane, Join Bklyn, [and] LOGO TV" among her clients, but others are mentioned on her site.
Even working with an estimate, the numbers are astounding: your average high-budget film director earns around $16,500 per week—that's 604,800 seconds. In only seven seconds, Cignoli earns around one fifth that sum for recording something like this:
All it takes is some setup and an iPhone, and you too could be the next app ad auteur. If these mini-commercials end up becoming a viable business, the industry will need a lot more than Meagan—those pool dunk kids can probably count on a job.