Taking pictures has never been easier. There are millions of new images added online every day.
As a photographer, it may feel like an impossible mission to gain recognition. However, there are some tips to follow on how to get your photography noticed.
Creating art often takes time. It is important to make the effort to get your art seen by others.
It will help a photographer to evolve and improve as an artist and may open the door to fresh opportunities.
Putting photos out there is not enough. Consider what world-famous photographers do that makes them and their work recognized.
Realize the difference between uploading work and getting it noticed. Then, find out how to get cracking with it.
Follow the tips below and you’ll start turning heads in no time.
Create High-Quality Content
Uploading decent photos is not enough to make people stop scrolling. One must create photographs that are both eye-catching and interesting.
Photos need to grab the audience’s attention in an instant before they scroll down the page.
Practice, practice, practice. With talent and a lot of practice, you can develop that “perfect eye” and the “wow factor” that’s necessary to stand out.
It may take some time but with patience and practice, one can become a fantastic photographer.
While practicing, be sure to ask for and accept honest feedback. This will enable you to grow as a photographer.
It will also help to start creating an online presence and attract attention.
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In the vast online sea of photos, you either stand out or drown; you are either unforgettable or forgotten.
Find your niche and area of expertise. Find something that has never been photographed.
Find a unique place in the market. Try these steps:
- Find a topic or a story you have lots of knowledge about and can relate to.
- Look for an unexplored area of that topic or an untold story.
- Be bold. Don’t be afraid to be different.
Go off the beaten path and bend the rules.
- Take advantage of unique equipment, such as old film cameras.
The goal is to do something that makes you stand head and shoulders above others, that grabs and holds attention.
Increase the value (and the number of views) of images by finding creative uses for them. Go beyond displaying them in a photo gallery.
Their uniqueness and usability will boost their value and the number of views.
There are many ways to use a photo. Post some on your website for use as desktop wallpapers or textures.
Try to find a use that works for you and will attract a new audience.
Be Active on Photography Dedicated Platforms
This is a must. A photographer needs to be present and active on image hosting platforms.
They serve a twofold purpose. They get your photography out there and they work as free or inexpensive art portfolios.
This includes things like building a DIY softbox or taking a hidden camera mirror photo.
Do not be afraid to share both your photos and knowledge. Showcasing your skills and teaching others how to improve theirs, will establish you as a pro.
Don’t forget the little yet powerful things, such as tagging each image with metadata. This is crucial for getting photos to appear on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Someone may be looking for a specific photo. Stumbling across yours may encourage them to check out the whole portfolio.
Sharing art online means that your name will appear in the bylines of the articles. It’s a great way to get your photos and you as an artist noticed.
It also helps to gain new social media followers and potential clients.
Create a Photography Blog
A picture is worth a thousand words – that’s true. However, adding textual context to photos can be very beneficial.
Think of journalistic photography or even wedding photos.
Increase online presence by starting a blog, a photography website, or an online magazine. Something that showcases your photography and won’t get lost over some time.
There are plenty of resources online to do this. The fastest way to do it would be to grab a photography website template, edit it and promote it on social media.
On the contrary, it will be available for old and new people to visit. This will increase your exposure, with the potential of reaching millions of views.
A photography blog may as well be a part of the portfolio website. It does not always have to be a separate, dedicated thing.
The most important thing is to post new, exciting, diverse content on a regular basis. Apart from the photos and the stories behind them, add some tutorials and highly actionable suggestions.
Use one of your favorite photoshoots to kick-start the blog.
While it’s not a must, adding some textual content will improve SEO. It will also increase the probability of people finding your art via organic searches.
Participate in Photography Contests
Taking part in photography contests is one of the best ways to get noticed. Winning one of the top prizes will provide not only some money but also a massive amount of exposure.
Winning a contest, even a low-profile one, will result in recognition from renowned galleries, social media shares, and even paid work offers.
Always pay attention to the terms and conditions. Some contests try to get entrants to agree to give the organizers the right to use their photos without any notification or compensation.
Consider if entering such a contest is worth sharing the rights to your image with others.
Remember that even the best photos don’t always win. Be patient and you will be rewarded with deserved recognition in due time.
Get Your Photos Published
Getting pictures published by a newspaper or magazine (whether printed or online) can be a huge stepping stone. You become a “published photographer” which can work wonders.
One way to start is to visit the nearest news publisher and offer them your photographs. News outlets know the value of finding images that relate to their stories.
But they may not yet know that you exist. It may be necessary to approach them.
If they like the photos they may even offer a permanent job. This will provide exposure that can propel your career.
Get a press pass, take photos of interesting local events, and offer them to local news outlets. Don’t be afraid to put a price on the work as news providers usually have a dedicated budget for buying photos.
Take Advantage of Social Media
It seems like everyone is on social media and the number of users keeps on growing. There are many platforms available, making social media easy to access and giving it a wide reach.
To increase the initial number of shares, start on a social media platform that most of your peers use. Friends, family, co-workers, and business contacts are more likely to share photos on their walls/feeds.
It’s a simple, easy, and effective way to get your photography noticed.
Do not forget to use appropriate hashtags. These are similar to the metadata used when posting on image hosting portals.
Remember that social media users are often bombarded with content. Post photographs that stand out and are unique.
Only those will make users stop scrolling to check out your profile. Stay on top of your profile with regular uploads and always keep it fresh.
Ask Successful Photographers for Feedback
There is nothing wrong with hearing that you are good and that people like your photos. But receiving constructive critique is also important.
With it, one can identify the areas that need improvement.
Find several photographers you admire. Contact and befriend them, and ask for objective criticism.
A good place to start looking is Facebook groups. Search for the abbreviation “cc” (constructive criticism).
Find out what you did wrong when taking a photo and learn how to avoid repeating the same mistake. This will help to distance you from the pool of mediocrity.
Look for Websites and Businesses in Need
Don’t wait for people to ask you to work for them or show them your portfolio. Take the initiative.
Take care to avoid being pushy as this is usually not beneficial. However, giving a nudge to the right website or business can bring favorable results.
Don’t reach out to just anyone, though. Look for a blog, publication, or website that you respect.
Send the editor an email with the pitch, a few well-chosen, quality photos, and an idea for a story. Even if they are not keen on the idea, they will see your skills.
They may be interested in what else you could bring to the table.
Also, contact local businesses and offer them your photography services. Help them to see the importance and value of having high-quality photos on their website.
Leave a business card. Ask if they would put in a good word for you with other businesses.
Even if this approach is not successful right away, it will grow a strong network that may pay off in the future.
Some specialize in one type of photography like fashion, landscapes, macro, or portraits. If so, search for websites that might require such images.
There may not be any payment for the photos, but you’ll likely get credit and a backlink to your blog or website.
Make Use of Creative Commons License
With a Creative Commons License, a photographer allows the distribution of their photos. They give permission for others to use them under certain conditions but maintain the copyright.
It is free and allows photographers to choose and change the terms and conditions of use. They may choose between “all rights reserved” and “some rights reserved.”
This protects photos from being used in a commercial or ad campaign. They will not be making money for someone else.
But websites can display your photos thus making you more search engine friendly. It will also make the images more attractive to magazines and websites.
Appropriate licensing of photos will increase the number of websites willing to use your images. These websites will provide backlinks to your portfolio.
Run Shows at Photo Galleries
Galleries have a lower entry standard than exhibitions. So running a show at a gallery is an easy way to showcase your talent.
They are especially useful for photographers in the early stages of their careers.
Photography galleries are always looking for content. They may have 12 or more shows a year, some unplanned, so they are likely to be looking for more.
Rent some space and display your work there. If the photographs are good, they will get a lot of local exposure and may even be a talking point in the area.
It may even be possible to sell some of them right on the spot.
Ending thoughts on how to get your photography noticed
There are scores of photographers out there. Creating and executing a successful strategy to get noticed and recognized may seem overwhelming, even impossible.
The above tips can help. They have proven successful for many photographers.
Try the methods presented here, be consistent, and remain determined.
Try using several approaches and find the one or ones that work best for you. Use different platforms to gain wider exposure.
Maintain a high quality of work. Keep learning and gaining experience.
Work with others, assist them, and be willing to sometimes work for free if it benefits your progress.
Learn from those who are better and more successful than you but do not try to copy them. Find and form your individual style.
And last but not least: Shoot, shoot, and then shoot some more until you score big.
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