U4D: Social Media for Photographers

Last week on U4D we looked at social media in a general way. Today, I thought we could look at it for photographers and how you can use it. I have been trying to find lists of the top 5, but it seems everyone has a different opinion on the matter. Also many articles are quite old and social media is changing so quickly that what was relevant a year ago, is not now.  Perhaps, I will just talk about what I use and why.


This would have to be the number one platform for me right now. It is amazing, and is bringing lots of new opportunities. It has provided a good incentive to work on photos and put them up. It has been one of the best social platforms I’ve seen as far as the social side goes.

It has been around for a few years now. When it started it was for putting photos from you mobile phone up on it. It still really is only for the phone. Though some things have changed over the years, and you can view photos on the computer, you still can’t load photos, except on your phone.

The photography has come a long way as well. While there are still many people who use photos taken with their phone, there are many more putting up images taken with their cameras. It means that the variety is incredible and really inspirational.

There is a real social side to it, in that I have met so many other photographers from Melbourne through it. I’m finding out places to take photos and then meeting others as well. It really is a social platform.


While many don’t include it in social media, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Blogging platforms give you an opportunity to let people know more about you. You can say more, and show your images.

More and more people are writing and using blogs to showcase their work. There are so many out there now that it is hard to stand out. Still worth doing and finding your own niche in the world.

One aspect that really helps is the ability to use your blog as your website as well. People can find out information readily as well, especially if you are trying to run a business.


While people seem to be turning away from Facebook, it is still a fairly important platform. Though, I’m not sure for what. My experience is that it seems fairly ineffective these days, except to keep up to date with friends. It is hard to be social when you only see a fraction of what people actually post. The messenger or chat function is probably the best thing about it.

Some of the problems with Facebook are the way it is monetised now and how do you find people to follow you. The only way, it seems, to get people to look at your posts is to pay to have them boosted. I haven’t found that boosting works, but others say it does.

Most social media platforms have a way to almost advertise yourself, hey I am here. However, that doesn’t seem to be something that Facebook have. You have to let people know about your page on other platforms, or, pay for it. The second option is not something that is recommended.


This is quite an under estimated platform. It is easy to forget that Google is the biggest search engine in the world and then there are Google images. You want google to find your images and show them in searches that people make. They won’t tell you how they do things, but it can’t hurt to have an account and put your images up there.

Google+ are pushing more for their collections now. They want you to create collections, which are basically galleries of your images. You will get more hits and it is shared more. It isn’t that hard to do either.

Google+ is said to be great for photographers, and it is. You get to see some wonderful work. There are also many groups and such that you can join as well. There also don’t seem to be pay to use things that Facebook have.

There are the rumours that Google are going to shut it down, but since they just created a whole new interface that does seem unlikely. Though I asked my husband about it and he said the rumours have been around for years.

download-1downloadFlickr and 500px

I’m putting these together because they seem to work the same. They both show your work beautifully and can be used as a portfolio of  your work. Though with so many other places it is hard to see how they are going.

Flickr is a more general platform and you will find people of all sorts of levels there. Those that are photographers and those that aren’t. I am not sure how effective it is anymore, but it still looks good. I tend to only put my best work up. I was told it was a great place to get work, that has never happened for me, but I’ve heard it has for others.

The platform for 500px was designed for photographers to use. I have used it and do have an account, but I don’t use it. I found the whole competitiveness aspect of it a bit of a turn off. I didn’t need that, but there are many people that think it is wonderful.

Which is for you?

Only  you can decide. The reality for many of us is that you can’t do it all, unless you don’t want to have a life. It is recommended you pick about 3 and concentrate on those. So you can see what my three are, the first three. I post on the others, but rarely. I like to see what happens from time to time, but I know that I have to work on the sites that bring me the most reward.

This is a just a brief overview and in the coming weeks I will try to do more comprehensive articles on most of them.



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  1. Another great, thought provoking post, Leanne. Having recently started using Instagram, I have to agree, I’m loving it. I see there has been some discussion about posting non-mobile photos on that platform. For me, 1 – downloading Lightroom mobile onto my mobile devices, 2 – creating an Instagram collection in Lightroom on the laptop, 3 – ensuring that collection syncs with Lightroom mobile, 4 – dropping any image I want to upload to IG into that collection and then 5 – uploading from my mobile device. I have sync-ed both my phone and tablet to my Lightroom account. It works really well for me. I’m sure I’m telling you how to suck eggs… but just in case.

    1. Thank you Maxine, that is another way of doing it for sure. I suppose we all work it out in the end.Thanks for sharing what you do, I’m sure others will find that good.

  2. I agree with you here on Facebook and showcasing photography. “it is still a fairly important platform. Though, I’m not sure for what.” You summed up my thoughts there and agree that the best feature about it is the messenger and chat. I have a Facebook page to promote my own blog post. I’ve boosted my posts a few times and did see an increase in the number of people viewing the Facebook post, but not so much as a dramatic increase to my blog views. It is funny how Facebook works.

    Agree with you on Twitter as you mentioned in the comments. As a writer, I think it is a great platform to promote write-stuff, but for photography, no. Too wordy and simply not user-friendly for showcasing images.

    Like you, I am on the IG bandwagon and am loving every part of it. I wish I can put more time into it like you, but working full time it really is hard. So I’m just going along with what I can and as of this year have uploaded photos I’ve taken with my camera to it. I usually post-process the photos on my computer first. I have used IG’s editing software, and find that when I use their filters, sometimes my images come out a higher resolution and bigger in file size (you can see it when the photo saves to your phone). Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know, lol.

    Also, congrats on being a Benro Ambassador 🙂

    1. Glad you agree with me about Facebook Mabel, I seem to use it more for chatting these days as well. I found the first couple of times I did the boosting it was good, but now I think they want you to pay so much money, or it could just be that people are sick of the advertising on Facebook and don’t pay attention anymore. I don’t know.

      I am loving IG, so much fun and I’ve met so many people on it. Yes working full time on something else can be a pain when you want to do other things. I always do the photos from my computer, I think the photos are better and the filters, well I think you use them and then you start to find your work looks like everyone else’s.I don’t know about that, I haven’t done it. Sorry.

      Thank you, it is nice that it has happened. 😀

    1. I have tried advertising or boosting, but so far it hasn’t done a thing for me, especially for the magazine. I’ve given up really. Thanks Julie.

  3. The one thing about social media is that you need to stay on top of the platforms you are using. Blogging is the easiest, in that you can use it a lot, a little, or in-between. Flickr/500px depends upon how you use it. Both require a level of interaction. In terms of finding work, highly unlikely. If anything, they are only useful in building a network of followers and can help in one’s development. There is a little uncertainty with Flickr with the pending acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon. 500px, too many photographers are concerned with publishing a *popular* photos (one with high view counts/likes/comments).

    1. You do. I don’t know about that, the time to make blog posts can be quite consuming, I suppose it depends on what you are doing. They all seem to involved some interaction, I guess that is the social aspect. I have heard of people getting work through Flickr, but they may have been in the past, never happened for me. I get more interest with Instagram now. I totally agree with you about 500px and that is part of the reason I don’t use it, I didn’t like that. Thank you David for you input, it’s great.

  4. Hi Leanne, great article. I post to Instagram from my mac using an app called InstaMaster. I think there was a small charge for this.

    1. I haven’t heard of that app, I might have to see if it is available for a PC. I use Later now. Later is free for up to 30 posts a month. Thanks for letting us know about that.

  5. I agree with you. I use all the social media but not so much Instagram because of the difficulty getting the pictures form my computer to my phone. I wish it was easier to use.

    1. That’s great Sherry, there are apps that help you get your photos from your computer to your phone, I use one called Later.

    2. I have been using one dtive. The problem is I have to move the photos to it then move the photos from it to the phone. Too many steps. I’ll look into Later – see if it works on an android. Thanks.

    3. I haven’t heard of that one. With Later you have it on your computer and an app on your phone, so you can put the photo up on the site on your computer, set a time and then it appears on your phone, you just press a couple of things and your photo is on IG, then paste the text, done. I love it, so easy. I only use an android phone.

    4. I haven’t heard of that one. With Later you have it on your computer and an app on your phone, so you can put the photo up on the site on your computer, set a time and then it appears on your phone, you just press a couple of things and your photo is on IG, then paste the text, done. I love it, so easy. I only use an android phone.

    5. I use Hootsuite for posting to IG. Sounds like it’s just as straightforward as Later, and I can schedule as many posts as I need to. It even includes an autoscheduler, but I don’t post frequently enough for that to be very useful to me.

  6. Very informative. I have been thinking of trying Instagram but if it’s not possible to upload photos from my laptop then it probably isn’t for me, as I only use my camera not my phone to take photos. Thank you, Leanne.

    1. Thank you Isabella. I only use photos from my camera too. There are now apps that you can use that allow you post photos from your computer to your phone. I use Later.

  7. What a great discussion Leanne.
    Instagram is my favourite too. I put it off for years and I can’t believe how much I enjoy it.

    1. That’s great to hear that Facebook has worked for you Cornelia. Perhaps it is good for some photography. I think they are all about the same as far as time goes. Thanks for your thoughts Cornelia.

  8. For professional artists Google has another +: Google Business. It does not cost a cent but if you do it properly. Google for example YUM Eat Cafe (one of my social media clients) and see the block with all essential details on the right side of the search results.

  9. Thanks for the info, Leanne. I have used all except Instagram. It seems that they all have the ability to get your images ‘out there’, but there seems to be little actual useful feedback on any of them. I am guilty of ‘liking’ something but not actually commenting on it myself.

    1. I have to admit I am one of the ones that tend to like, but not comment not really possible to do too many. Though I don’t tend to like photos if I don’t really like them. I have noticed with Instagram you can tell when a photo isn’t popular, you don’t need the comments. Thanks for sharing Ted, maybe you should give Instagram a go?

  10. That´s a great and helpful article, Leanne, thanks for sharing. Love Instagram, suits my lazy posting 😉
    Greetings from MAlaysia,

    1. That’s good to hear Ron you’re welcome. It suits me too, I really love the community I have found there. thank you Ron nice to hear from you. 😀

  11. Strictly WordPress and Instagram here. I’ve tried Twitter and Facebook, I seriously despise these platforms. I’ve considered 500px and others but don’t see my photos as worthy, I’m a total amateur photographer.

    1. Yeah, I find Twitter a waste of time, for me anywhere. Facebook, not really to ready to give it up. I think you underestimate your photos the ones I’ve been seeing lately have been great. Who says a total amateur can’t take great photos?

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