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If you’re a professional photographer or aspiring to be one, Facebook can be a helpful tool, but you have to know its limits and consider realistic outcome expectations.
Ever since the birth of the fan page, and I’m not positive about this, but it might be as old as the network itself, creatives and photographers especially have been using these pages to show their work. With the right tactics, it can give you great visibility because, let’s face it, a lot of us login at least once a day. And since Mr. Zuckerberg improved the photo viewing, it’s actually a decent place to show your stuff.
There is however a thin line between using it as a tool and counting on it entirely to bring you work.
Use a little empathy and put yourself in the mind of someone looking for a photographer, let’s say for their wedding. You shouldn’t have to login to any website to be able to view someone’s work. As a potential buyer, you’re probably looking for a good looking, well designed web site that enhances the photographer’s portfolio. This may seem obvious to many, but the truth is, a lot of folks try to conduct businesses with “John Smith photography” pages alone , and that is a mistake.
Having a personal website to feature your work isn’t optional if you want to make any serious income in this industry. I know there are some of you who might just be dipping their toes in the water and not having budgets to cover the cost of a web designer, but thankfully there are some very user friendly , cheap options to solve this issue. Platforms such as Viewbook or even Wordpress offer decent, affordable solutions to share your portfolio in a professional manner.
Speaking of the “John Smith photography” pages everyone seems to be having nowadays, they can help but they might also be confusing aspiring photographers who are looking to improve their skills. Because it is relatively easy to get attention to your photos on Facebook ( by means of tagging , sharing, what have you ), you may find yourself getting a lot of likes and comments on work that isn’t necessarily that good. Having your work appreciated is crucial in any creative person’s life but you have to keep in mind that a lot of that appreciation will come from people who lack any visual or artistic education. Therefore, it probably isn’t the best place to look for constructive critique that could help you make improvements where necessary. Even if ,let’s say you might be friends with a photographer who you admire , and they see your work, it’s not very likely they’ll make any critical comments and risk getting bad attention from your friends, or the overly macho boyfriend of the model you tagged.
With this in mind, focus on constantly improving and updating your personal webpage. It’s by far the best and most professional method for showing your photos. It’s your calling card and it might make a difference in getting the job or not.
Image credit: mtkang / 123RF Stock Photo