One of many dilemmas for any photographer
Photographers today have a dilemma.
The internet has changed photography (and everything else) massively. That isn’t particularly groundbreaking information, so I won’t cover too much stuff most people already know but there’s a smaller question within this massive change that deserves a little bit more cover and is applicable to other lines of work.
So, for anyone that wants to be a photographer, which social media would you focus on building your profile on?
Where to Put Your Portfolio Online
If you want to raise your awareness and make a name for yourself, where do you go?
There are dedicated photography platforms, but they struggle to get the wide audience as the more general social platforms. Speaking of which, the main players are Instagram (the photo social media), LinkedIn (the careers social media) and good old Facebook which doesn’t really serve either the artistic or career-based element of photography.
In my view, Instagram is the way to go for most photographers. LinkedIn is good at what it does – and most photographers should be on there professionally. But how many people really get well known through LinkedIn? Instagram-famous is a word where LinkedIn-famous isn’t.
For me, it really comes down to the fact that photography is an art form as well a career choice. And that’s where the difference is made in regard to social media platform – I’ve never checked my LinkedIn and given it any artistic merit.
Setting Yourself Apart is Key
To backtrack a little, the internet is a double-edged sword for a lot of people.
There’s so much more opportunity to put yourself out there, but this opportunity is extended to more people, so it can feel like a saturated market.
It takes a different set of skills to differentiate yourself online today. There’s a high probability the next groundbreaking photographer will be found on the internet, and they’ll have done something with more ingenuity than everybody else.
Much like when people get jobs by advertising their CV on a sandwich board during a recession – they’re doing something that sets them apart from others.
Is There Room for More Social Media?
There’s such a wide range of photography disciplines: wedding, to nature, to fashion, leaving a little more room for LinkedIn for an established photographer shooting more commercially, rather than artistically.
Most social platforms share qualities like hashtags with followings, lots of active users and targeted ads, but Instagram is a blank canvas for a photographer to put their portfolio. I can’t imagine being pulled into the world of a photographer via their LinkedIn.
It Makes Sense if You Keep it Simple
When you use the respective social media platforms as they were intended it makes more sense and shows that LinkedIn has its place.
Lots of creative agencies will have a much greater presence on LinkedIn compared to their Instagram’s. Agencies in client facing industries – whether that’s representing a photographer or using their images for a corporate client – might stumble across a hidden gem that’s put the hours in on LinkedIn.
As a rule of thumb, any photographer without the benefit of having Beckhams as their parents will be found online, and probably through Instagram.