How to Increase Your Exposure as a Photographer
You started as a hobbyist photographer who shoots to have an outlet or a form of meditation. You develop your skills through constant practice and lots of reading. You invest in gears that a pro photographer may seem to envy. You eventually managed to have a collection of photos that you think are quite exceptional and may land a place into a local art gallery, and whenever you post your images in FB, you got a few hundred ’likes’.
You’re in love with photography, there’s no question about it. Now, you took your ‘relationship’ to the next level, you go Pro!
But! The photographer next door has wedding shoot and prenups every week! Your shooting buddies every morning, made a sale from Getty! And you? …still a few hundred likes.
And as you check out their works, you can honestly say that your work is a lot better. The creativity of your shots cannot be denied. Even your friends and family like your work. So how did your buddies manage to get clients and sales?
The answer may be exposure.
I am not talking about your photos whether they are over or under exposed. In today’s technology, not only your images need proper exposure, but also you as a photographer. A photographer with better marketing and promotion skills may outdo the rest, unless you hire marketers, SEO experts, Web Designers, etc. Wouldn’t it be sensible if you expose your work and promote yourself online?
Here are some tips on how to increase your exposure, some may be pocket friendly but some may burn a hole in your wallet (if you subscribe on the links with asterisks, you are helping IPL to pay his bills ;));
Step-up your Blog
- Build one if you don’t have one. There are free and paid blogsites available online. You can opt to choose free templates or if you want to be different, you can go for *premium templates with the best value for money. (I can help you set-up from start to finish! -but not free :))Ensure that it is regularly updated. A hobbyist photographer would likely post all his photos in his blog, but a professional photographer will only put up his best shots. Start cleaning up your pages, choose only the best pictures and highlight them accordingly. You don’t need a website full of pictures. A few of your best images are enough to capture people’s attention.
Enlist your blog in high PR Do-follow blog or directories
- This is simple but may take up a lot of work. The simplest explanation to this is Do follow blogs or Directories passes some link juice to your blog. Hence, the chances of appearing and landing on first pages of web searches are better. Though it is now unknown if regarded as a myth after the Google update, still many SEO experts does this. Just make sure that you have great content so that people will be coming back for more.
Buy a Domain for your Blog
- If you can go pro in Flickr or awesome in 500px, then surely you can afford this. Forget the amateur photographer perspective where you don’t need it since you are not yet earning from your photos. If you think your work is better than what you see on other photographer’s portfolio, then consider *buying a domain and host your blog/portfolio there. It is cheaper now compared to before, and they have one click set-up to host WordPress, Tumblr or any CMS. This will help a lot building your online presence and branding. Also, you will appear more presentable to clients.
Build a Portfolio/ Gallery in your Self-hosted Website
- This is very important if you want to get noticed as a professional. Build a portfolio that you will post on your blog or vice versa. It will be your primary presentation, so make sure that it will represent the best of your work. Try to make a statement or a distinctive feel in your portfolio, something that will only be attributed to you. Again, you don’t need to put in a lot of pictures, just enough to identify your talent and skill.
- This is one of the effective way of creating an online presence. You can post, share and spread around your portfolio to people in your network and your friends’ and family’s network. You can also get more honest opinion on your work, not to mention prospective clients. Make a professional account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and other popular social networking sites.
- You can write articles regarding photography and post in on popular sites. Specific topics like DSLR manual settings, strobes, filters, perspectives, exposure and shutter speeds can generate interest among enthusiasts. That way, you can slowly build an authoritative voice in your industry. Unknowingly as a bonus, you are creating a link building technique to your blog, encouraging other readers to visit and check out your website. SEO !
Participate in Forums
- Be an active netizen. Find appropriate forums and group discussions and actively participate in it. You’ll learn a lot in the conversations and get exposure as well. People in the industry can relate to you, thus improving your exposure to the right people and possible clients.
Create your signature
- I am not talking about watermarking here. :) It is easier to recall a photographer with a signature shot, so find an area of photography where you are most comfortable and where you excel- sometimes, jack of all trades is a master of none. So, do you enjoy taking scenic landscapes, baby pictures, weddings, nature or structural photos? Find a niche and master it. Red Ognita is known for his black and white photos. Another renowned photographer in Singapore, Danny Santos II specializes on street photography and is known for his headshots of strangers.
Business Card/Email Signature
- Print a professional business card and have it handy all the time. You’ll never know when you’re to meet a prospective client. Creating a professional signature in your email will also work as a business card. Include your website where you have your portfolio and your contact details.
Join Photography Clubs
- Look for any photography clubs around your area. Most clients with big projects will refer to clubs when looking for a photographer. You can also add your club affiliations into your online profile for more integrity and authority. This is also a good training ground for an amateur photographer where fellow photographers will just be too willing to share techniques and experience.
Did I missed anything you know that is not in my list? Let us discuss it in the comment section below.