Let’s face it: as a photographer, you’re always looking for the next best way to get noticed by clients, audiences and publications. Of course, you could always be the type of photographer who doesn’t really care about being noticed and just enjoys photography as a hobby.
Well, alright then… but for those of you who strive to make a career out of photography, getting noticed is one of the most important things you absolutely have to do for your own sake.
If you fail to get noticed or fail to get noticed for too long, then you’ll have to eventually look for a day job, and what photographer wants to do that?
So what do you do to get noticed? Do you put out ads on Craigslist… tell all of your friends and family that you’re now a “professional” photographer in the hopes that they’ll help you to spread the word? Not quite, but if you read on, you’ll find out all about the surefire ways to make people notice you as a photographer.
1. Try to Make Something Entirely Unique
The world suffers from way too many copycats. It’s true! A lack of originality in the arts is simply killing us all, whether it’s the relentless string of sequels that Hollywood puts out or the one-millionth snapshot of couples holding hands. If you want to get your photography noticed – really noticed – then you’ve got to boldly go where few go: into utter uniqueness.
It’s time to think outside the box with your photography. Instead of just taking your digital camera and snapping away just like the millions of photographers (both amateur and pro) on the planet do, try something else. Try:
- Tintype photography
- A mirror self-portrait with a hidden camera and Photoshop help
- Kinetic photography
By now you get the point (hopefully): do something photographically that commands attention and sets you apart from the rest of the pack.
2. Start a Photography Blog
Whether you call it a site, a blog or an online magazine, anything on the Internet that features your photography is a splendid way to increase your chances of getting noticed. A photography blog lets your photos, potentially, be seen by millions of people over a period of time. That’s some pretty extreme exposure.
You don’t even have to have a dedicated and standalone photography blog. Oftentimes, photographers will just have a blog as part of their lead-capturing portfolio websites. The key is always to make sure that you update your photography blog regularly and with a diverse and highly interesting selection of your pictures. You also may want to throw in tutorials that offer readers practical and highly actionable advice on the finer points of photography.
Building a loyal following of readers takes time and regular effort, but nothing beats having a blog that’s widely read and shared by people.
3. Have Your Pictures Published
Getting your pictures actually published is another surefire way to get noticed. The crowning glory for many a photographer, publication in a newspaper or a magazine (online or print) can do wonders for your career.
To start, have a chat with the editors of your local newspapers and magazines. They always need pictures for stories that they’re running, and the bonus is that you can even earn a paycheck from your work at the same time as getting pretty wide exposure. Either shoot them an email after locating the masthead of a publication online, or just call them on the phone.
Obtaining a press pass for a local event is relatively easy, and that’s where you should start, too. Taking pictures of a local event gives you a slew of pictures that you can take to your local publications.
4. Become Active on Photo-Hosting Sites
Photo-hosting sites are distinct from social-media sites like Twitter and Pinterest, just so you know. Photo-hosting sites are those like Flickr, SmugMug and 500px. These sites can work just in the same way as your photography portfolio website, and they’re cheaper to set up (heck, they’re free!).
The only thing that you have to “worry” about with these sites is being very proficient in your use of meta data, which you’ll use to tag your images. This way, people can readily find your photos if they’re just doing a regular search for them on Google or other search engines. And who knows? They may like your work so much that they click through to your website link (provided your profile has one).
5. Use Social Media a Lot
With the number of people using social media growing – because they like to share updates about only the most relevant things in their lives and have so much time on their hands – you’d be crazy not to gain exposure through Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Pinterest. Even Instagram is a solid choice for getting noticed.
Choose the social-media site where most of your peeps (friends, business contacts, family members, etc.) are because that’ll increase the likelihood of your pictures being shared with their own networks. Many photographers have experienced good success in getting noticed this way.
The key, though, is making sure you do two things on social media: post and share frequently and regularly and post and share only the most creative and uniquely interesting photos. Hey, after all, you want to stand out from your peers!
Getting Noticed Isn’t Impossibly Hard
When you’re a photographer who’s looking to score the next big gig and draw wider attention to yourself, it can seem daunting just to plan a strategy and follow through on it. Nonetheless, the above tips are proven winners, as various photographers have already experienced good success with these different approaches. The key to making it all work is determination and consistency.
One last thing, though: all of the above tips will work if you’re already a half-decent photographer. In other words, if your photography skills are sharp, then you’ll find it a lot easier to attract the right attention to yourself. On the other hand, if your photos leave something to be desired, then you should definitely brush up on the basics of good picture-taking before you even think of marketing yourself in these creative ways!