It is now 4 months since I decided to become a photographer that earns a living from taking photographs. Why the phrase professional photographer is so difficult to use I do not know. I think it is because I dont consider myself a proffesional photographer yet.
What they don’t tell you about all this, although some allude to it, is the work that goes on behind the scenes. Not just taking images and hoping but getting your name out there in front of people who matter and, who will, hopefully, give you some work. The latter bit being really important if you don’t want to starve.
Getting seen, marketing yourself. Important for a Photographer. Takes up a lot of time, not only this the things you learn along the way. I use Instagram quite a lot along with Facebook and I have a website. Perhaps you may have a look at it on your way out of here.
Take an image and post it. No, take an image put it through post download it to your phone post it then attach a huge number (30) hashtags and hope that in the 10 minutes it is visible you get some likes. How long it is visible will depend on the hashtags you use.
Landscape, for instance, has 23million posts a day this means that anything with that tag will be visible for approx, well not very long. So you have to research the hashtag to find out which ones are likely to be visible for a protracted period of time and that they will attract a person to like or follow you based on the image.
Then there is the image itself. No quiet pastel tones, it has to shout to be heard over all the others. The other way is to “cheat” and pay for images to be promoted to get it in front of people. The algorithms on Instagram become more difficult every year and the amount of time you spend looking at other images is very high. So If you spend an hour at 35/hr does it make financial sense to promote your images? Spending 60/mth means you can be doing other things.
Not as popular as it once. It requires more upkeep than Instagram and you should post once a day, at the optimum time. At least with Facebook you can schedule in posts to go out at a specified time and date. This means you can do 7 posts and have them all go out at the correct time without having to worry about it. Getting followers can be a problem. Let’s face it I simply don’t have enough time to do everything I want. Even these posts are getting fewer and farther between due to constraints of a full-time job and taking images and Instagram that’s without the website.
I have one, can’t find it on google though. We have what goes on and what stays off. Then we have the page indexing and ranking. These are 2 entirely different things. One means the page has been found the other where it comes on the list of sites that are spat out by Google. The latter is dependant on SEO another little minefield. It seems to change on a monthly basis. Although I have an SEO plugin on my site it does not help with what it all means. Struggling to understand why something has a sad angry red face rather than a green happy smiley face and fiddling about the key-words and phrases to match the snippet and then the use of specific words to ease understanding.
How much time does this all take? Well I now dedicate at least an hour a day just doing some of the stuff. It is the research to learn how to do all these things that take the time. I suppose I could pay someone to do my website but in the end if I know then I am not beholdent to anyone to do the work for me, and if I do it at 1 in the morning then so be it.
Incidentally, apparently 30% of the sentences in this blog are too long, thats a red angry face.