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 Modeling Made Me A People Person

I never would have imagined I would become a people person, and certainly not as comfortable in public situation as I am now. That’s not to say that I don’t still experience anxiety or that I’ve changed from being quiet and introverted in many situations. But as a model there is a big social aspect and quite a lot of dealing with people. I thought I’d share some thoughts on that today.

One of the most obvious aspects of modeling is working with photographers, MUAs, and other creatives that I come across during a shoot. Photographers can run the spectrum from confident to self conscious, personable to abrasive, very organized to scattered. As the model, part of my job is to work with them, no matter what their personality is, and to create the best photos possible. I’ve developed the ability to work with, and sometimes around, so many personalities since I started modeling. This wasn’t something I came to modeling with, it’s a skill I’ve developed because of it.

The vast majority of photographers I’ve worked with have been pretty easy to work with and quite pleasant. I consider many of them friends and I think it’s fun getting to know them in the time we spend shooting. But there have been those who have been difficult. I had one photographer, early on, before I started posing nude, who told me I was lumpy, who got mad at me for not catching his equipment when it fell (I was on a table a few feet away), and who was just generally unpleasant. I had another photographer who got frustrated with me because his lighting wasn’t working the way he wanted. Thankfully nothing too bad, but it can be challenging to get good photos when someone is throwing a really negative vibe at you.

And that’s why I’m thankful for the connection I’ve been able to find with almost everyone I’ve worked with. Having that connection really helps with photos. Part of it is much like being good at small talk and the other part, for me, is being somewhat intuitive. That part is extra fun because it’s seems a lot like reading their minds and it’s a valuable skill when you’re working with someone who isn’t able to convey exactly what they are thinking.

Another aspect to the people skills for modeling has been networking. As a freelance model I’m my own manager/booker and promoter as well as doing the other things you probably associate with modeling like posing, makeup, etc. Part of being a good manager/booker for myself means I have learn to recognize red flags, to communicate with a variety of people (including those not good with text communication or those for whom English is a secondary language), and to express myself clearly. And yes, it also means dealing with pervy messages, rude photographers, and those who don’t like what I say (when I decline a shoot, for example).

Promoting myself is another interesting facet to modeling. I prefer to promote myself as myself. I don’t really alter my personality for my social presence, but the challenge is to convey what I want to say in text format where I don’t have body language or tone to qualify what I’m saying. That means my little sarcasms or things that would normally have hand motions (and anyone who has seen my videos knows I talk with my hands a lot). This is something that we all have to deal with in social media, but as a model it’s part of my “brand” so it’s part of how I make my money. I love the challenge, though. Writing is something I really enjoy, so that part of it is really fun, even when it’s challenging. I don’t mind people not following me because they don’t like something I meant to say, but I try to avoid them not following me because of a misunderstanding, if that makes sense. The same goes for photographers. I’m not going to click with every photographer, no matter how much I might try to, and sometimes it’s better for me to decline a shoot than to work with someone who clashes badly with me.

So somehow, I went from a painfully shy, quiet person, to one who somehow has found confidence and enjoyment in a very people-related job. I think that’s what sort of prepared me for what I do in art events coordination/production, too. But what is sort of amusing is that if I’m not modeling, and I’m not in charge of the event, I tend to still be more quiet. Thankfully I also enjoy people watching ^_~

How Modeling Made Me A People Person - by Dekilah