When you're just starting out, getting anyone to notice your photography can seem like an impossible challenge. It's unfair, but taking beautiful photos isn't enough. Here are 5 steps you can take to get your photography noticed online.
1) Have a Website
|Photo by JayJay Creative|
Yes, you really do need one - your Flickr photo set just isn't going to cut it. Before anyone can take you serious, they need to see that you've put in the effort to establish a home for yourself online. If you haven't taken this step yet, now's the time.
Spend some time looking around a photography website hosting company that meets your needs. Make sure you part of the packing includes a blog - it's pretty much required these days.
2) Get into Social Media
|Photo by rishibando|
Facebook Fan pages and Twitter accounts will help you connect with people who are interested in your work. You'll need to make time to keep them both up to date and do networking through them, but engagement with your audience is the best possible way to drum up interest in your work.
For Twitter, I recommend you check out Twello.com. After you register, you can search for fellow photographers, globally and in your local area. When you find some whose work you like, go ahead and follow them. More often than not, they'll follow you right back.
Make sure that there is a link to follow your Twitter account on your website (here's how), and a Facebook button that let's users like your photographs (and here's how to do that). If you need help figuring out how to add these buttons to your page, I'd be glad to help - @watermarquee on Twitter, or on Facebook on the Water Marquee fan page, or just shoot me an email - email@example.com.
3) Enter Contests
|Photo by Mike Baird|
There are always several photography contests going on online, and winning one of them is a great way to get your photography noticed.
It can be a bit intimidating to enter into a competition, and be judged by complete strangers, but remember - the people running these contests are always supportive of the photographers who enter. They need your photos for their contest to be a success.
To start, here's a few sites with lists of contests:
Once you've entered, be sure to promote your entry on your website and via Social Media. Many contests rely on online votes to determine the winner, and even if you don't win, your entry is something your fans will be interested in learning about.
4) Give Your Work Away
|Photo by libraryman|
I know, you didn't start a photography business to give your hard work away for free. But when you're getting started, you have to get noticed before you can get famous.
If you have your own site (and you do, don't you?), make sure each of your photos is somehow marked as being Creative Commons. You can "give" your work away on Flickr by selecting the Creative Commons Attribution license. Many bloggers search for photos to use in their posts on Flickr that are Creative Commons licensed - it's the way I got the photos for this post!
This lets people use your work, but requires them to provide you with attribution. It's probably the easiest way to get your photography noticed - let other people do it for you!
5) Keep Trying
|Photo by liber|
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. You have to keep posting great photos, building up your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, and writing in your Blog. You have to work hard in the beginning, but eventually you'll reach a tipping point where more people are talking about your work than you could ever have publicized to before.
Until that day, just keep your goal in site, keep working hard, and keep taking great photos!
6) One More Thing
I know the list said 5 steps to get your photography noticed, but here's a bonus step.
If you watermark your images with Water Marquee, I'd love to post it to our Facebook Fan page and show it off to our fans. You can send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.