Social Networks for Mobile Photographers to Consider

The beauty about mobile photography is that it has definitely grown the artform of photography beyond what people have expected. Mobile photography caters to everyone from the daily food and pet shooter to the amateur photographer looking to up their game to the next level to the already pro photographer building their potential client base beyond what they have currently.

I love mobile photography.  It has given me the opportunity to grow beyond my comfort zone.  I’ve learned from photographers from around the world about not only the technical and creative side but to the business side of things.  It has also garnered me some amazing relationships.  All of which is not taught in classes.  So much so that I (and some of my colleagues around the world who teach mobile photography) have started to use what I’ve learned in my classes at the local college.

I plan on talking more about these things throughout the year and hopefully it helps you all in your journey into mobile photography.  I also hope that some of these tips will guide you in “upping” your game and possibly become a revenue source if you so choose.

This article will be for those of you who choose that path and to utilize some of the social media platforms to help you get there.  Instagram is but one vehicle to use for building a business around mobile photography.

Content, content, content and your content strategy is important to how you build your audience across social media platforms for photographers.  Although it can be cumbersome and time consuming to have too many social media platforms, it is almost necessary to build since the idea behind having even just a strategy is to build revenue.

I can be the first to tell you, that it is possible to gain revenue in mobile photography.  I have some colleagues who have quit their day jobs because the revenue they make in mobile photography is more than their day to day grind.  Did this get your attention?

Do not let the sense of overwhelming work bog you down from having a number of social media platforms for your mobile photography brand.  I know of some mobile photographers and big camera photographers who are SO overwhelmed that they enlist the “spam” your work across all the networks without implementing a plan.

My goal for this article is for you to understand the listed networks and then seeing how these individual networks, their individualized features, and audiences can be helpful in building a mobile photography brand and business.

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Instagram is the most active photo social network on the planet. With hundreds of millions of active daily and monthly users, it truly is the place where visual imaging becomes the purpose and why big brands are trying to figure out how to parlay their products to a crazy, engaged audience.  Plus its a place where everyone can pretend or not pretend to be a photographer by taking photos with their phone.

When I first started on Instagram, it was really just a place to post photos of the things that I saw and liked to share.  Some of the photos were artistic and fell in the realm of good photographs.  Others were just to show something cool I saw and had no photographic merit whatsoever.

Then it happened.  I received an email from a brand stating that they “loved” my images and wanted to use it on their social networks...and PAY me.

After this, I definitely started to change my posting habits. I try to figure out the best times to post, the type of images I should post, and even how I engaged with my audience.

It sort of became my portfolio of sorts. I did not post any “food porn” or selfies or even my awesome dog (although my very first photo was of my dog and I have yet to pull that off.

What I do have on my feed is images where I used apps to edit and showcased which apps those were, images I took that showed my style of photography, and also some of my good photos that clients let me post (this is another article in its own right).

This led me to creating multiple accounts; one for my portfolio, one for daily snaps, and a private one for my family and close friends. Now that Instagram has allowed for multiple accounts in app, I am now active on all three.

Brands area always looking for experts in Instagram and mobile photography to build their audience and engagement levels.  Without too much transition, I then became one of those experts who try to show that I can accomplish this with my own account in order to gain the time from brands to do the same for them.

Instagram is the platform for you to best show off your talent and your work. You are able to show your personal aesthetic and style.

I suggest that you keep this in mind when thinking of Instagram as a tool for your content strategy.

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The newest of all the networks listed, Snapchat is the best at one thing: keeping your audience engaged at full attention. It really is a brilliant app.  You are able to share with your audience a “story” including photo and video.  This story stays available for your audience to view for 24 hours.

This app is about showing them who you are outside of the visual products you are able to produce. The photographer behind the lens, the person who potential clients will work with; here is where you share your personality. Snapchat is a private network so your audience and you decide if its going to be a mutual relationship.  Along with this idea, really what you share on Snapchat becomes exclusive.

Any marketing or PR professional will tell you, exclusive is such an awesome idea to offer.

There’s no expectation for high value in production.  That burden is lifted since you already share your best work on Instagram, right?!? =)

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Facebook is the Mickey Mouse of social networks. In the beginning it was truly just a social network. Reconnection with family and friends and aquaintences; its purpose was to maintain that communication.

Oh how you’ve changed Mickey Mouse. You are no longer the organic platform.  You are now the “most sophisticated form of targeted marketing” in the world.  It’s time to look at Facebook as a data company and the best one for business owners, brands, and marketers of all time.  

To be honest, I am still trying to figure out the best way to utilize this monster. Building an audience for potential clients here is important and I have yet to maximize to its full potential.