Back in 2012, Facebook did something that in many ways hurts small businesses–and it just moved over to Instagram. Limiting the number of followers you get to post your messages to on a normal basis doesn’t help smaller businesses that often don’t have the funds to dedicate to social marketing can hurt their business: and in this case it’s the business of photography.
Besides the complete misunderstanding by the general public on the difference between “photography” being daily snapshots of life and “Photography” being carefully done images with intent, we face the fact that communities aren’t really so friendly to us with piracy, etc.
So what’s next for us?
Now before I get into a couple of communities that I really like, let’s be honest here: we as photographers need social media. Why? We need to market ourselves to the general public and on platforms that everyone else is on in order to gain more exposure for our work. We also need to play the game of actually interacting with others on those platforms and networking in the same ways that we do in real life.
Don’t get me wrong though, I hate social media. I hate it with every being of my existence though I use it every day. I used to be a massive advocate of it when it was the cool thing to do. But as anyone who has been a pioneer with cultures realizes, the cool thing to do is only cool for a little while until everyone else gets on it. Then it starts to terribly suck. It’s why you don’t tell all your friends about the secret bars and restaurants that you’ve discovered: because they’re going to tell everyone else and then it gets ruined. It’s part of modern internet culture for us to share everything about our lives, and that’s what makes folks swarm to certain social media platforms.
Combine this fact with the rampant piracy in the photography community. Someone that thinks they’re a curator may be curating your images without your permission or sharing them in an effort to make some money without your permission. There’s a massive disconnect when it comes to photos though:
- People understand that music can be pirated but sometimes don’t care
- People understand that videos can be pirated by sometimes don’t care
- Far less people understand that photos can be pirated and often never care enough to the point where there aren’t big procedures put into effect that track down these thieves and stops them.
So for many of us photographers, it becomes an awful process. But those of us who are semi-professional or professional understand that we need to do it in order to actually survive. Essentially, it’s a distribution network.
You’re probably going to need to stay on Instagram because potential clients will care about seeing your work there, but if you want something more organic consider some of the following services. I’m not afraid to give up these secrets because they’re still fairly legitimate in some ways and their core values are still mostly about user protection more than anything else.
EyeEm is a pretty awesome community overall that’s very much about organic image creation. Everyone on there is more or less an artist and defines themselves as such when it comes to capturing or creating photos. The way that the community dynamic works too is also very nice in that you get your own custom feed, EyeEm curated feed, missions, etc.
It’s fun and considering that they also have the option of licensing images through Getty, you can make a buck or two.
Behance is a community from Adobe where photographers can post their work for clients to check out, collaborate with other designers, and continue to breed creativity. It’s a very positive space that’s very uplifting if you put the work into reaching out to others.
It’s bound to get overrun very soon, but the fact that images and video are so fleeting can work out well for you. The problem is though that you may not get repeat customers but instead people that just like looking at your work.
SnapKnot has been around for many years now. They were one of the first partners the Phoblographer worked with when I started this website. They’re a network that lets brides fine tune and select the photographers that they want to work with. With that said, it’s best for wedding photographers and my best recommendation overall.