HOW TO BE SEEN
What websites do we use/can we use to get our work seen by others?
Promoting a business is key to generating client bookings. Whilst there are paid advertising options available, there are also a number of opportunities available for photographers that can help generate work, or even sales of images to clients who are looking for stock photography.
For example, there are sites such as EyeEm which allow you to upload your images and assign them for sale, EyeEm requires model release approval so any pictures of people need to have permission from the individual. The images are then made available. If another user such as Getty Images then adds your photo to their own site, they are required to pay you a fixed fee if they sell a copy – this is dependent on size of image purchased. I’ve used EyeEm in the past and have been lucky enough to have had images added to the Getty Images gallery.
There are also a number of other similar stock photography sites such as Alamy, iStock Photo, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock. A good list of the 15 best sites to sell or showcase photography can be found at:
There are also other marketplace options such as Etsy or integration of an online e-commerce option within our own website which could be used to sell fine art photography.
Other options include sites such as Gurushots where members can rate a shot, or photo storage options such as Flickr and Tumblr where members upload images for public viewing.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
All social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In must also all be considered websites that we should have accounts on in order for our photography to be viewed and seen by others.
To date, I currently have a presence on the following sites:
AS IT STANDS
To date I have a presence as follows:
EyeEm (needs updating with new images)
500px (needs updating with new images)
In addition to ensuring all sites, social media and otherwise, are regularly refreshed with new content, I will be creating a profile on:
Why is social media/networking a potentially good thing?
Regardless of people’s opinions on social media, it is undeniably now one of the main tools used in promotion.
Although Facebook and Instagram are often slated for their use of algorithms which can prevent businesses from reaching many people (a trick which ensures businesses have to pay for adverts or sponsored posts to guarantee reach), I think to ignore social media as a promotional tool would potentially be detrimental to business.
Firstly, it can be a free tool if you choose. Whilst you may not reach as many potential clients, you would still have a presence and the right kind of post may get widely shared amongst friends and thus increase your exposure. Many other more traditional forms of promotion and advertising have a cost attached to them.
In a saturated marketplace, having a small presence is still better than having none at all. An article on the Fstoppers website discusses where a photographer’s clients were coming from:
Instagram is the most popular search tool.
As another article on bidvine.com says:
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career as a photographer, you’ll need to be in total control of your online presence if you want to gain new clients and keep previous ones coming back for more. Once upon a time, word of mouth and a strong portfolio were largely all it took to keep a photographer busy with commissions. But those days are long gone, and now a photographer without a prominent online presence is also likely to be one without any work. As a freelancer, the internet represents both your main avenue for marketing and promotion and an opportunity to streamline the services you provide to your customers.
Looking at tools such as Facebook Ad Manager for example, then paid adverts on social media also offer a very targeted and sophisticated way to reach the right clients – rather than the mass market approach that other advertising offers. Print advertising, whilst targeted when the right publication and audience profile is selected, still relies on readers taking the time to read an advertorial or advert. Social media advertising can be narrowed down to age, likes, location, gender and so on, thus giving you a very focused approach.
Plus, we can’t forget the fact that social media usage across the globe is extremely high:
Almost one and a half billion people worldwide use Facebook each month. Of these, the average person spends over 20 minutes on the network every single day.
Of all the social networks, Instagram is probably the most clearly suited to the promotion of photography: people go on Instagram specifically to look at photos, and nothing but photos and videos, so you’re not competing with totally unrelated media. Show good photography and people will look at it, because that’s precisely what they’ve come for. (Bidvine.com)
With most people having on average 338 friends on Facebook alone, (https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/facebook-statistics/) then if you share a post to all your friends, they share it on and repeat, the potential reach of one single post is huge.
MAKING THE MOST OF AN ONLINE PRESENCE
What I do feel is key to a successful social media presence however is ensuring that you maintain an air of professionalism in all that you do. In a world filled with amateur photographers, it is vital to show that you are a genuine professional. This can be achieved for example, through portfolios showing recognised brands, 5 star reviews and recommendations from third parties, links to all of your other online presences, posts showing behind the scenes work and any memberships of professional bodies that are obtained and examples of exhibitions or printed work.