In a recent class that Sebastian took at the AMUA, he shared his ideas and tips about smartphone photography and sharing on social media. Since a lot of information and knowledge was shared, we decided to create two posts. In that class he also shared a lot of other ideas that can be helpful for those who are just starting out their careers in Photography and need to know how they can do an effective self promotion on Social media. Following is a summary of one of his classes he was instructing –
What To Share as a Beginner –
Since you are beginner in taking pictures and sharing socially, the first thing that comes to your mind is, “What should I share?” and the answer to that question is very simple. You can simply take pictures of yourself. It could be the “Look Of The Day” (#LOTD) or (#MOTD) which stands for “Makeup of the Day”. This is a good way to start, and it will surely get you with the right kind of people and the right kind of followers. Create a Pinterest board and upload all your images to your board. Other people can see them and will probably share and like them. Also, in Instagram, once you have an established business account, you can create Chatbooks by printing each of the photos you posted and share these books. These books can work as print portfolios (for clients ad coffee tables) and can cost around $5.
Where can you Share –
If you think MySpace is the place to share then you need to get out more- really- because MySpace is not as popular as it used to be before. Today it is all about Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr (The old Instagram kind of a platform), etc. Flickr can be considered as a good site to upload your portfolios and since it is a huge database meant for images, the chances of your work being noticed are higher. Also, you can think of Flickr as a cloud space to save your work for free and for eternity. This can be a safe step in case you happen to lose your work from your computer. Sebastian suggests that one should always mirror drive everything that you do. Take 2TB drives and mirror drive. Put everything from your computer’s hard drive and save on those two drives and thus create two backups of your entire work done so far.
Pinterest is a good platform especially since you create a separate board for every concept, be it a color look or “Fall Winter 2016”. The board can also be considered as future references for when you need to create a certain look and need to know the tone and warmth of the colors to be shot in the picture.
Best Tool for Active and Quick Social Sharing –
Social sharing can be a really daunting task because in order to share one photo, you might have to log out and log in to several accounts, which will take time. Thus, to save your valuable time you can use Hootsuite. With this tool you can add all your accounts and share instantly by simply logging into your Hootsuite account or you can schedule the posts that you wish to share and they will get posted as and when they have been scheduled.
Who Should You Follow On Social Media –
The next question that is important here is who you should follow socially to make that difference? In case of makeup artistry, Sebastian recommends following your favorite brands and their promotion team. You can also find people who are working with these brands and can connect with them. Apart from them, you should also follow artists that you look up to. Learn from what they are doing, try to do the same and share it. Then hashtag them and thank them for being an inspiration behind the look or the picture and that is what you should do when choosing who to follow and what to do after you follow. Also, in order to protect your reputation as a professional, you should never buy followers. Never buy followers! Just like you follow people who inspire you, you should try to become the kind of professional that people can get inspired by and thus you will gain loyal and real followers.
Before doing this, you should always keep yourself updated with the latest trends and show your work based on that. You have to show that you know what is new, what is hot in the market and that your opinion will matter. You need to know what a client wants, you need to know how to make that happen, you need to do the research, keep up with the trends and everything. If you can create the client’s vision then you can surely be hired for the work too and that is what you have to achieve.
Other Benefits of Social Media –
One of the huge benefits of using social media is you can get sponsorship, especially when your account gets established and can create an impression on the followers. Sebastian has had experiences where he had been offered products like lenses, color checkers, camera bodies, point and shoots cameras, etc. You can also get some lucrative deals because many people are looking for good reviews from professionals on their products. You have to prove that you know your job and are the correct person to be reviewing their product.
You can also contact the sponsors about promoting their product. For this however, you will need to have used the product before and shared this fact socially. The easiest way to share in this case would be a Hashtag containing the product name. If you can sell them on the idea that you can promote their product effectively, they will certainly provide you with free samples and Make Up industry is the place where this is very common. If you are really good at doing make up and you have an established social account, you could end up with free make up samples from big brands. You might also be asked to be the brand ambassador and get paid a good amount for promoting their products!
How Does Your Career Benefit From This –
Using phone camera is easy for sure but how does it help your career? Well, the basic idea behind capturing photos like these is letting people know about your work, your technique and quality and that is where social media comes in. After all, sharing is everything and the best way to do this is to share the photos you shot on social platforms. This is also why phones are highly useful because the minute you capture a photo, it is totally ready to be shared on Flickr, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Clicking and sharing photos on a regular basis in a day also shows your passion for the art. The followers, the clients and even the product sponsors will thus get attracted to what you do and get more work for you. Thus, this way you can get professionally acknowledged too and all that done with just a Smartphone.
He further adds, that once you have come to a point where you have achieved a status for your work you can relax a bit and can instead share some general photos too but of course, that is to be done only when people wouldn’t mind knowing what you bought today or what coffee you drink. But he stresses on the fact that when you are starting out you should focus on bringing the sexiness to your social sharing. You have to show your skills and prove that you are really good at what you do. Also, you should have patience for getting to a place where you can enjoy the luxury of not worrying about social media.
Important Points To Remember Before Sharing on Social Media –
When you start sharing your work through social media, you need to go through the Disclaimer section of each of the social media platforms that you might use. The reason behind this is that they might have a clause in the Disclaimer stating that they can use your images or videos for advertising purposes for free. This is not what you would want. This is important especially when you are working on Facebook or Flickr.
Next thing you need to check is that the content you create to share socially is correct. Meaning, it should not contain any grammatical mistakes and the sentence structure should be right. The correct usage of words and punctuation will make you look like a professional which is what you want.
Lastly, you need to work on getting referred by your past clients in order to get more work. To do that maintaining a good work relationship with your clients will be the first step. Thus, when you do some work for your clients, they could probably end up tagging you in the photos or video shoots that you have done for them. If the work is really good then anyone can get in touch with you easily just by following the tag or even by getting in touch with your past client. Either way you can rest assured that you will get work.
If you wish to get more information about Sebastian, his classes at AMUA and his work, you can contact us. You can also follow Sebastian through Instagram at @Sebastiansmithphoto. See what he shares and how he works. If you find this blog post helpful or have a question do leave a comment in the comment section below.
Read Part 1 of this Blog here.
You can also listen to the entire lecture on podcast here.