You’ve heard all the standard social media tips for photographers: post every day, share only your best work, maintain a consistent aesthetic, and use trending hashtags…
Those are all essential and they form the foundation of any successful online presence, but within the last few months, the global pandemic has forced many photographers to think outside the box and create new ways of engaging with their audiences virtually.
In the past year, we’ve seen creative giveaways, print sales, tutorials, video trailers, and more, as photographers around the globe up their social media game and inspire their followers in the process. We rounded up this list of ways photographers can market their work, while spreading their knowledge and building creative communities. Read on for some fresh ideas—and a few timeless techniques—to try as you grow your network.
I Heart My Life © Pedro Oliveira. 1. Host a gear giveaway
“I am doing a collaborative giveaway with four other excellent photographers: Kate Woodman, Matt Carr, Inti St. Clair, and Jan Gonzales,” the photographer/filmmaker Pedro Oliveira tells us. “Having an academic advertising background, I am always trying to come up with ways to put my name out there without being too pushy.”
The internet is vast, and there are so many great photographers out there with similar or complementary styles. People might follow one without knowing about the others. I reached out to photographers I admire and proposed the idea for this collaborative giveaway. The conditions were as follows: our followers had to follow all the other participating photographers and let at least two friends know about the giveaway.
“So far, it has been an enormous success, and we’re already planning the next giveaway! Awareness is everything in the photography business, so don’t be afraid of telling people about what you do.” The prize for Pedro’s giveaway was a top-of-the-line backpack, and he plans to do it with more great gear and accessories. You can do it with cameras, prints, or something else, depending on your resources and availability.
Ziggy © Emma O’Brien. 2. Challenge your followers
“I recently created a ‘5-Day Challenge’ on Instagram to start a community for photographers who were looking to connect with other creatives,” the photographer and coach Emma O’Brien reflects.
“On each day of the challenge, I set a theme, including colour, B&W, texture, shadows, and character, and I asked each photographer to create and submit a new image in 24 hours. This left very little time for overthinking and helped the photographers to get creative in their own spaces and think on their feet.
“I also coach photographers, so I decided to run the challenge so I could build my audience in a genuine, fun way as well as share my expertise with photographers who would benefit from a bit of creative inspiration. The most rewarding part of the challenge was seeing the photographers in the group shoot work that was totally different from their usual subject matter and getting feedback that the challenge helped them find a new creative direction.
“Building an online community takes time, and the best advice I can give is to keep making work that you want to make and consistently and honestly share it. What other people think shouldn’t be something you spend time worrying about. When you make authenticContinue reading