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.
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.