As the ad industry shifts its focus overwhelmingly towards mobile and social media content, brands are increasingly searching for trendy, high-quality creative work that engages today’s audiences in their natural, digital habitat. That’s why CDA is thrilled to announce that photographer and social media expert Chris Theodoropoulos is joining our team.

A native of San Francisco, Chris has built up an impressive roster of clients over the years that includes the likes of Google, Gillette, Mazda, Fairmont Hotels, SOL Republic, Travel Alberta, Popsockets, and G-Eazy.

We sat down with Chris to pick his brain about where things are headed in the advertising space:

How would you characterize your audience?
The great thing about my audience is that they are extremely passionate and motivated young people. For example, a few days ago I was talking to one of my followers who had gone viral all over the internet for creating a custom prom dress. She used this quick burst of exposure to branch out and she’s now building a brand, holding a showroom on Fairfax in LA, and is scheduled to be on the cover of Vogue.

What is it that makes your page special? Why does your audience follow you?
My page is unique because of my editing/shooting style and how it can be flexible to a range of different types of photography. If you look at the majority of pages on instagram you’ll find that they tend to be stricly one genre of photo such as urban, nature, cars, events, etc. My page is a plethora of different types of photography all flowing together.

Why is Instagram is the best place to create these experiences? Why not Youtube, Facebook, or Snapchat?
Instagram connects people best. In my opinion, Snapchat is too personal and doesn’t allow for branching out and building new connections, Youtube does not have as interactive or connected of a community. Instagram has an extremely connected, positive, and open community.

What’s the biggest mistake you see brands/advertisers make when they’re trying to reach people on Instagram?
Brands don’t realize that Instagram is all voluntary. You can’t come into it with the attitude that you are entitled to attention and engagement the way you are with other paid channels. You can run an extremely low-quality ad on Youtube and no matter what, the viewer will have to watch it. Instagram content needs to address something the user is interested and passionate about.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on a shoot?
Getting permission to go on the rooftop of the oldest building in San Francisco, then having people in the neighboring buildings think my friend and I were terrorists, or that we were going to jump to our deaths.

That resulted in half of Market street shutting down at rush hour, a crowd of 300+ people, 3 firetrucks, 2 ambulances, 14 police, and homeland security.

Luckily, it all worked out alright. We all had a good laugh with the law enforcement and firemen when they found out we were just taking photos and that we had permission to be there.

Good thing cooler heads prevailed! Welcome aboard, Chris!
Make sure to follow Chris on Instagram @blotch