You may not love Flickr, Instagram or Pinterest, but you can’t deny the continuing rise of social photography. Photos dominate social media. Even on Facebook, the king of networks, people spend 17 percent of their time perusing photos according to a recent ComScore/BuddyMedia study.
Whether they are retail pics “pinned” on Pinterest, food shots discussed on any social site (25 percent of foodie photo creators do so as part of a daily food diary), or a happenstance shared on Instagram or via TwitPic, photos are a universal staple of the online social world. As such, social photography should be a part of your communications strategy.
The results have been fantastic for me. While this blog has a decent following, in the four years I have written here regularly (some of the old 2007-8 posts were imported from my now defunct Now Is Gone blog), my photo blog on Flickr has generated roughly 50% more page views.
While I have blogged about the benefits in the past, social photography has definitely strengthened relationships. Are you an amateur like me or would-be photog interested in doing more? Here are four tips:
1) Get an iPhone
In addition to the camera, of course the iPhone lets you post immediately. So you can play on Instagram, post on Facebook, Twitpic, upload to Flickr and upload to Pinterest using a variety of applications. That’s the best part about taking a fun or relevant photo, sharing it!
Take a photo everyday. Every single day. It helps your eye adjust to framing, lighting and other critical aspects that contribute to getting a great capture. There are many pro blogs like Scott Bourne’s Photofocus with more tips, but rest assured, let me tell you, practice makes you better. You don’t need to be a pro to be decent.
I recommend sharing photos online (again at least one a day) so you can see which ones your network responds to the most. Instagram is a great network for this. There are many good and bad photos there, so you will feel no shame! Plus becoming a part of a community lets you see others’ work, and learn from them.
3) Use Editing Apps
One word of caution with these applications. Many of them have filters with preprogrammed effects that will tint, center focus, adjust an image in a retro fashion, or another effect. Instagram is popular for this, as is Snapseed and Camera+. Relying on effects can stop you from learning how to master your camera. The filters can be fun, but be careful. Try to get a good capture rather than simply use an effect to cover up a bad image.
4) Take Great Captures with a Better Camera
If your photos are getting the results you need, consider upgrading. You don’t need to get a $1500 DSLR rig to be good. There are many new micro 4/3 cameras — the next generation in digital cameras — that can help you take great pics. These cameras are super small, and very advanced. I took the below photo of Superstition Mountain with my Olympus E-P3, a micro 4/3 camera.
What social photography tips would you add?