Improving Social Media Presence for Photographers

The more time I spend looking at trends on social media and how they translate into my community, the more I notice the differences between how most models and model photographers use social media in general. Many models seem to gravitate naturally toward the social aspects of social media. Model photographers, on the other hand, seem to struggle a bit more with putting themselves out there on social media. I’m writing this article to help model photographers who are struggling to get started on improving their social media presence.

Improving Social Media for Model Photographers

Get Out of the Negative Mindset

First things first. You have to stop letting comparisons to others (models specifically) stop you from moving forward with your social media plan. If you stay hung up on that, you’re not going to be able to move forward.

If this isn’t a problem for you, that’s great! I’m only bringing it up here because it’s a common problem I’ve seen and I feel it needs to be addressed.

Social media growth is all about growing your fanbase, your followers, and hopefully your customers (and possibly collaborators). This means what you need to focus on how your numbers increase with the things you do. I only want you to look to others for inspirations and ideas, not for negative comparisons.

So from this point on stay focused on developing your plan and you will start seeing results.

How to Be Social

Here’s the part you need to remember: in order to be successful on social media you need to be willing to share more than just your photos. The reason many models seem to flow well with social media is because they’re willing to share things like:

  • insights into their creativity & inspiration
  • behind the scenes stories
  • their personal stories
  • more about their process

This is called adding value to posts and it’s an important part of social media. I’m going to share more about how you can do that in just a moment.

Before we do though, let’s take a moment to talk about platforms.

What Platforms to Use

As a photographer there are two platforms you’ll probably find most useful: Instagram and Facebook. Facebook has become more and more difficult to use, but Instagram is a thriving, growing place that is perfect for photographers. I suggest using both a Facebook fan page and an Instagram account.

There will be differences in how you use them, but you can still use much of the same content. Having a Facebook page will also allow you to create ads on both Facebook and Instagram which you may find useful later. It also allows you to view your stats on Instagram if you choose to switch to a business account there.

Now that we’ve established where you should be (at minimum), we can move on to the added value I mentioned earlier.

Creating “Added Value” Posts

Let’s talk about some simple ways you can add value to your posts within the text of the post. These tips should also help you plan what to post as well.

  • Share details about how you got the shot, especially if it’s something different or interesting. Just remember to keep them easy to understand. Assume your followers are non-technical. You can always elaborate later if asked.
  • If there was a funny or interesting story behind the shot, share it.  It could be about how you met the model, something that happened during the shoot, etc.
  • You can also share a couple sentences about your concept and what inspired it.

What you’re doing is adding something extra to your post. Keep your followers reading and interested in the story that your art creates. Don’t get hung up on the idea that your art should speak for itself. Maybe it does, but it doesn’t hurt to offer something extra. That’s what keeps people coming back because people are curious to know what’s below the surface of what they see.

Take a few minutes now to look at some past posts (or planned posts) and brainstorm some added value text to add to them. You might even find that you can repost those things with your new text and get more interaction.

Now that we’ve started you off with a good foundation to start moving forward, let’s talk about how you can keep learning.

Continuing Education

I’m going to let you in on something else you need to do: keep learning about how to use social media! There are tons of free and affordable courses out there that you can learn from.

Here are a few free resources you can start with:

7 Days to More Impact on Social Media from Udemy

Growing Followers with Interaction from Dekilah

10 Instagram Tips for Photographers from PetaPixel

Increase Instagram Following With These 10 Tips For Photographers from SLR Lounge

Three Easy Ways To Drive New Followers To Your Instagram For Free by Fstoppers

Your Official Instagram Hashtag Guide for Photographers by Fstoppers

If you found this blog post helpful, please considering donating a little bit to my blog via the donation buttons near the bottom of the page. You’re also more than welcome to share this post and I encourage it if you found it helpful. ^_^

And if you find you’re still struggling and would like some one on one help in coming up with how to add value to your own posts, get in touch with me to discuss an affordable mini consultation session. I’d be happy to help guide you through a few examples using your photos.

How to Support Your Favorite Models

How to Support Your Favorite Models

People seem to “get” how to support creators of other sorts of art and other things they are fans of (anime, movies, actors, musicians, etc), but when it comes to models I kind of notice a gap. I’m not sure if this gap is because people assume models make a lot of money already or if they feel we should be offering our “product” (as in photos and such) for free, or if it’s something else altogether. So I wanted to share some behind the scenes information as well as some ways you can support your favorite models whether you can do so financially or not.

Why Do Models Want/Need Your Support?

Obviously, all models are different, but for those of us who really devote the time and effort into out modeling and who invest ourselves and sometimes quite a bit of our resources into it, this is at minimum how we earn part of our income. For some of us it’s the sole source of our income. Chances are if you’re following us and you’re a fan, we’re also somewhat of an “internet model” meaning that we do our best to maintain a fanbase, to have new content (photos and such) for you to see, and to interact with you. These are not normal model things that every model does. Not all models do this and those that do are actually using time that could be spent working or doing other things to maintain their social media, website, Zivity, Patreon, etc. You may not realize it, but some of us spend hours on these things. We also may shoot more of what we know you like or take on what are called trade shoots in which we don’t get paid, but we trade time with the photographer to shoot photos for Zivity sets, Patreon content, or just to share on social media.

And I’ll tell you this too: models don’t make that much money. Even the successful full time freelance models aren’t rolling in cash. I’m sure there are a few very, very rare exceptions, but for the most part models are living pay check to pay check (or shooting trip to shooting trip). And all of that pretty lingerie, gorgeous latex, and other wardrobe is not cheap. Some models may be lucky enough to have sponsors or to be able to borrow wardrobe, but most of us are expected to supply our own wardrobe for shoots. And on top of that, we can really only shoot in something once or twice before photographers and fans get tired of it. We usually learn to mix things up so we can reuse them, but we still spend a lot of money on wardrobe and that sexy skimpy stuff isn’t as cheap as you’d think.

In order for us to keep doing what we do, we have to be able to support ourselves and the things we need (wardrobe, makeup, etc). Some of us have day jobs or second and third jobs because modeling isn’t always a consistent income. This is why we can’t always just shoot whenever we want. Some of us may have another source for our living expenses income, but in order to keep modeling we need to make some income from it.

How You Can Support Your Favorite Models

Now with that explained, let’s talk about ways you can support us.

If you can afford it, most of us sell prints or photosets and a lot of us are on sites like Zivity and Patreon where you can spend a small amount ($5 or even less) to support us. I have over 3,000 likes on my fan page and if every one of those people pledged $1 a month, I’d be able to do so much! So even if $1 is all you can do, I promise it adds up. Most us offer special goodies that you can’t get otherwise for those who support us on Patreon and Zivity (and other sites). For example, I send out thank you cards that sometimes include mini prints and I also shoot lots of selfies that only my Zivity Backers and Patreon Patrons get to see. I also send out special goodies to those who vote on my Zivity sets since I get royalties from those votes.

Back to the prints for a moment: these are a great way to support a model (or photographer) you appreciate. It’s a one time purchase, unless you want to buy again, so it’s good for those who don’t like the idea of a subscription.

Okay, so what about for those of you who can’t do the financial support thing?

Share our work on Facebook, reblog us on Tumblr, tweet about us on Twitter. Basically, tell people about us. But please don’t download our photos and re-upload them without giving us credit. It’s much better for us if you share or reblog something we’ve posted so it’s easy for people to find us and we really want new fans to find us because even though you might not be able to financially support us, you might share us with someone who can. Likes and (positive, thoughtful) comments and things like that help too.

And I’m not saying that you have to share or reblog every thing we post, but if you see something you like, pass it on to others and help us out.

We love what we do and we want to be able to keep doing it, so do us a favor and show us a little (or a lot of) support, pretty please!

If you’d like to check out Zivity, here’s the link for that. And here is the Patreon link.