How Twitter can Make you a Better Photographer

How Twitter can Make you a Better Photographer



In this post naturalist, photographer, and computer scientist Steve Berardi from PhotoNaturalist explains how Twitter can make you a better photographer.?

If you’re not on Twitter yet, then you might think it’s just a place for people to talk about what they had for dinner. Although there’s plenty of that going around on there, Twitter can also be a great tool for networking with other photographers and expanding your knowledge.

It’s always hard to explain exactly what Twitter is, but basically it allows you to create a never-ending conversation about the things you love.

For example, I love nature and photography, so I choose to follow anyone else who loves nature or photography. I’ve built a conversation of people who love to share their great stories, photographs, useful links, and their wonderful stores of knowledge.

So, here are at least five ways Twitter can make you a better photographer:

1 – Meet new photographers

Twitter is all about networking with other people and creating a conversation with them (you choose to follow people, and others choose to follow you). Naturally, you’ll meet a lot of great people with a lot of great stuff to share.

2 – Stay up to date with photography news

Twitter is often explained as a real-time social network, and as a result it quickly covers news stories. For example, it can help make you one of the first people to know about the release of a new camera, or Canon’s release of the new 5D Mk II firmware.

3 – Instant feedback on your photos

One of the best ways to improve your photography is to continually seek honest feedback on your photos. Flickr is great for this, but Twitter is even better because you get instant results. Just post a link to one of your photos on Twitter, and ask your followers what they think (it works best when you ask a specific question, like “do you think this shot is underexposed?”).

4 – Ask questions, and get answers

Although there are plenty of great photography forums out there where you can ask your questions, Twitter helps you get instant answers (if you have enough followers). This usually works best with short questions that also have short answers, like “can anyone recommend a good tripod?”

5 – Teaches you to be concise

As you might already know, each tweet (or message) you post on Twitter needs to be 140 characters or less. This forces you to be concise.

How does this make you a better photographer? Well, one of the most important lessons you’ll learn in photography is to reduce your subject or scene to its most essential elements. When you’re constantly forced to do this on Twitter, the habit will often overflow to other aspects of your life, like photography 🙂

The secret to getting the most out of Twitter: give before you receive

Twitter isn’t just about receiving though. In fact, it’s much more about giving. No one will pay attention to you or follow you if you don’t engage with other tweeters (or tweeple – people who use Twitter), and help others out. So, share what you know or find, and join the conversation–don’t just sit and listen!

How to Get Started with Twitter

  1. Signup for an account at  
  2. Look for photographers to follow, here are a few to get you started: @digitalps (our DPS account)/ @artwolfe / @chasejarvis / @jeremycowart / @neilcreek / @jimgoldstein / @ricksammon / @scottbourne / @zarias / @strobist.
  3. Start tweeting! Share useful links you find, photos you took, reply to other tweets, answer questions, etc.?

PS from Darren: Also check out the comments of this post where over 500 other DPS readers have left their Twitter usernames. Add as many of them as you can and you’ll be connecting with other DPS readers and photography enthusiasts on Twitter. Don’t forget to leave your own username in the comments on that post so others can find you too!

Also check out TwiTip Twitter Tips – another site that I run. It contains hundreds of twitter tips for those starting out with the medium.


About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, and computer scientist. You can usually find him hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains or the Mojave Desert, both located in the beautiful state of California.

Read more of his articles on nature photography at the PhotoNaturalist and follow him on Twitter – @photonaturalist.

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Guest Contributor This post was written by a guest contributor to dPS.
Please see their details in the post above.

Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.

Some Older Comments

  • Gui E. Bush May 3, 2012 08:09 am

    I'm always trying to find other photographers on all sites I'm on to learn from them so any photographers follow me:) @geb4991

  • Leanne September 2, 2011 10:36 pm

    Hey guys
    I love photography, im 20 years old from the UK trying to get my name out into the photography world, so check out my blog and my twitter @LeanneStarkie send me a mention and i'll follow you right back :)
    Thanks everyone.

  • Theresa June 20, 2011 05:14 am


    I'm not very good on this twitter thing, but am trying. I am an amateur photographer with a view to getting better, I have entered one or two competitions, but feel I need to chat with like minded people and get a few tips. If I can help someone I will gladly do so.

    twitter @TreezFrame

  • Paulo Sidney June 10, 2011 01:39 am


    I am from Brazil and I use to visit DPS very often. Nice place to get tips and learn even more about photos.

    Love to meet other Photog's and change experiencie, learning, tips.

    twitter @paulosi

  • Pam May 29, 2011 07:58 am

    I am a self taught photographer in South-Western Ontario, Canada.
    Love to meet other Photog's!

  • Pam May 29, 2011 07:57 am


  • Rolake Job April 12, 2011 02:58 am

    i totally agree with this article. i take pictures, put the link on my twitter page and i get feedback almost immediately. it helps a lot
    ... @ceeheff

  • Shane May 31, 2010 11:26 pm

    I'm an Amateur photographer and just moved to a Canon D450 from a Fuji S7000 looking to do a bit more creative and technical photography. Follow me on twitter:

  • farbige kontaktlinsen October 21, 2009 03:46 am

    Twitter is really a great invention, but I think blogging is even more important to create some traffic. But I can use some of the tips.

  • Jennifer Moroe August 5, 2009 07:22 am

    I'm @JLynnPro on Twitter. I enjoy it, but I don't log in every single day. I've met lots of neat people that way and found numerous wonderful blogs.

  • Alina Bradford July 16, 2009 07:27 am

    Wow, hot topic. I've been trying to follow everyone who listed here. You can follow me at

  • Carolyn Chan July 12, 2009 04:24 am


    Nice article. I have to agree I learned a lot from other photographers who are on twitter and another less known place called friendfeed. Photographers are everywhere, I'd say go where you feel comfortable.

  • Shafraz Thawfeek July 11, 2009 11:58 pm

    Amateur photographer with a keen interest to learn as hobby! Follow me on twitter:

  • Christine July 11, 2009 11:33 pm


  • Nyi Nyi Myanmar July 11, 2009 10:42 pm

    follow me on twitter

  • Fabien July 11, 2009 05:47 pm

    I'm a new twitter man, and i think it's very useful to improve my photos viewing and discover some TOP topics on photography ans other websites like DPS.
    Thanks for this explain !!
    Follow me on @latelier12 !

    (sorry for my english)

  • Sarah July 11, 2009 02:23 pm

    @taransa on Twitter. Just joined.

  • Rick July 11, 2009 12:01 pm

  • Shane July 11, 2009 10:58 am

    I have found lots of fellow photographers on twitter. Follow me if you like at @kb7rut The best tweet to follow if you are a wedding photographer is @thebschool great advice, articles, and links to whats going on at the [b] schoool.

  • Zach Houston Photo July 11, 2009 05:10 am

    I have always been to lazy to create a twitter, but after reading this post, I decided to create one.

    Really liking it so far!

    I'm @zach_houston

  • Anas July 10, 2009 11:58 pm

    Why only
    i mean facebook doing the same thing, i think it just depends what kinda photographer or people u lookin for..

  • Photo Soren - The Travelling Photographer July 10, 2009 04:38 pm

    Thanks Steve.
    As I am very new to Twitter I have learned something new from your thorough post. I haven’t been good enough to interact with other photographers and likeminded on Twitter – need to get the feeling better ? for the style etc. and of cause we always have the time constrains against our conversation – just think of the time being consumed for our emails, reading and replying.

    But anyway I will be happy to joint the photo conversation on Twitter with other photographers.

    Best wishes for the photographer community on Twitter
    Soren Breiting

    Follow me on Twitter @SorenBreiting alias

  • Neil Creek July 10, 2009 12:54 pm

    The reason why twitter is hard to "get" is I think twofold: It's a very new way of communicating. One to many communication with almost zero barriers is something completely new. Second, Twitter is more of a "platform" than anything else. It's a way of communicating and it doesn't impose any restrictions or guidelines on its users, except for the 140 character limit. It's like showing a young kid a sandbox for the first time and saying "have fun". The sand is just clean dirt - what you do with it is up to your imagination, and that can be bemusing.

    I believe that you get out of twitter what you're willing to put into it, and that's the golden twitter rule I follow. When I participate and contribute, I usually find that good things soon happen back. Think of it like Karma :)

    I also want to make the point that I have made real money from twitter. As a photographer it's vital to get my name known, and by interacting with people via twitter, and offline at meets, I've been able to make bookings that wouldn't have existed if not for twitter. I wrote about this on my blog: MeetHeads – Promoting my Business at a Tweetup

    Finally I want to thank Steve very much for including me as one of his recommended photographers on Twitter. Since this post went live, I've met hundreds of new people, and already I'm enjoying fulfilling interactions with some of them.


  • Steve Berardi July 10, 2009 12:15 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments, and thanks to all those who tweeted or retweeted this article :)

    First, I'd like to say that I have nothing against people who tweet about their dinner. I love Twitter, and believe there's an infinite amount of ways to use it. And, actually sometimes I like hearing about people's dinner (some of you have some pretty cool meals!).

    My target audience for this article was people not already on Twitter, so the reason I mentioned the whole dinner thing is because the #1 complaint I hear from people who don't like Twitter is: "I don't get it.. why do I care what my friends are having for dinner?" To reach these people, I knew I had to immediately dispel this myth about Twitter.

    Twitter can be used for a lot of things, and in this article I just wanted to mention some of the ways it's helped me as a photographer.

    @Kathy - I agree that sometimes twitter is like reading snippets of conversations at a crowded party.. it's hard to keep up with a large amount of friends, but thankfully there's great tools like TweetDeck and Tweetie to help that problem :)

    @Nic - I totally forgot about that awesome new Flickr feature that helps you post images to twitter, thanks for mentioning it!

    @daniel - "Unlike that crowded party, you can decide who to listen in on and who to ignore." <--- beautiful statement!!

    @Scott - no problem! thanks for being such an inspiration!

    @Matt - I definitely agree that the best way to learn photography is to get out and take photographs. But, I think twitter, flickr, and other social networking tools can be used to help complement that. I think we can learn a lot by meeting new photographers, hearing their perspective, and seeing through their eyes by the photos they take. I think it's hard, if not impossible to do it all by yourself.

    @lennard - I think twitter can actually help you complete projects.. if you run into a problem or need advice on something, I think friends are great people to turn to :)

    @Lorenzo - glad to see you're on twitter now! And, thanks so much for your nice comments on my articles!

    @Kristopher - "Getting immediate feedback is the key to growing and enhancing our photography skills and knowledge, and twitter is our tool to do that!" <-- beautiful :)

    @Jody - I definitely do not believe that Twitter is "the be-all-end-all of social media outlets" and I apologize if this article made it look that way.. Twitter has been a great tool for me though, and I've met a lot of great people by using it.

  • RJohnston July 10, 2009 12:06 pm

    Have absolutely no interest in being the first to find out about a new camera.
    Only want to know about a camera until it has been tried and tested or reviewed for over a year.

    Have no interest in having a lot of very short conversations, I'd rather have one long one quality conversation about photography. Go to a Photo Club, see all their shots and talk about them with the person who created them. If I want fast feedback about my photos, can get about as fast on forums like in Where I can pick the forum I choose, post a photo and have responses sent to me in email. Many times as soon as I get back to reading email. Many times carrying on meaningful conversations about everyone's work. Having others grab my image and modify it posting it back to show me a different version or do the same to show them.

    Everything from Animals to Weddings and more.

  • Kris Szupa July 10, 2009 08:42 am

    almost forgot my twitter tag!


  • Rob Viglione July 10, 2009 06:41 am

    Twitter's purpose is whatever its users define, no matter what its architects intentions may have been. Whether it's transmitting your dietary habits, political beliefs, or photos, each is equally valid. There's too much arrogance in people who think they, and only they, "get it," and may dictate appropriate functionality for the technology.

    This article did an excellent job in recommending ways in which Twitter can help photographers, just one particular group from which it's obvious this audience is derived. Try not to let your preconceived biases translate to how others should value the tool.

  • Taylorius July 10, 2009 06:13 am

    Here's another photographer on twitter to follow:

  • Allyson July 10, 2009 05:47 am

    I never cared much for Twitter and wondered what all the hooplah was about. So yes, this passage was really helpful info., for whenever I decide to join the Twitter clan. Thanks

  • Jody Lane July 10, 2009 05:37 am

    How Oprah and other celebrities started using Twitter is not irrelevant. It is an already over-inflated property that keeps getting hyped like it's the greatest social Web site EVER. It may have been around since the beginning of the Web, or the beginning of time for that matter, but not many people knew about it and few used it, isn't that the definition of non-relavance? Now, everyone knows about it, but few understand it and it's purpose (you yourself have admitted that there are people who only use it as an IM client, but there are a lot of people who use it that way anyway). The writer of the article wrote, "It’s always hard to explain exactly what Twitter is . . ." If it's hard to explain what it is, and people use it without knowing what it's good for, isn't that a recipe for disaster? I said that it will not be relevant in the next 3-5 years because, right now, it is becoming more and more faddish. People aren't using Twitter because they think it's useful, they are using it because everyone else is using it. That would lead me to beleive that those same people will stop using it once the next big internet sensation hits . . . in about 3-5 years.

    I am sorry for hijacking, and being a little trollish. This is my last post for this article. I apologize.

  • Tally July 10, 2009 04:59 am

    I have a twitter! I never did use it to 'critque' on my pictures, but now I think I will....but I do use it like it's mostly used for so beware ><

  • Cassidy McKay July 10, 2009 04:20 am

    Thanks for the tips! As an amateur photographer, connecting with others who are more experienced in their craft is invaluable. I've used my photographs on romance book covers (for myself and others), and I am always looking for new ideas, lighting, exposure, etc.

    Love twittering, too!

    Cassidy McKay

    Twitter Username:

  • Daniel July 10, 2009 04:10 am

    How Oprah found out about Twitter and started using it is irrelevant, since she's only 1 celebrity in the mix. Since its beginning, Twitter has had no money-making model.. I know you hate reading about Twitter, but there's plenty of discussion on it. They've only recently began developing one, so it's entirely possible that they plugged the idea to her team.

    How it got in the media isn't important at this point anyway. The fact remains that Twitter has been around for quite a few years and it has done just fine. For you to say that it's not going to be relevant in the next 3-5 years shows ignorance on your part. I'm not calling you an idiot or anything, but you're not looking at the big picture. Most people want information handed to them quickly and concisely, and that's what Twitter is good for. The people that treat it as only an IM client are the ones that are lost.

    If you work in PR, I would suggest using it to find like-minded people in your field to collaborate with and then re-evaluate how you think about it after a few weeks.

  • Jody Lane July 10, 2009 04:03 am

    Daniel, Why do you think Oprah started using Twitter? I work in PR. I know how it works. If you don't think that the Twitter team has spent a lot of time and capital on getting celebrities to use and endorse it's product, you need a serious reality check.

    I am not trying to be a troll here (I really do regret the "douche" comment above, really, Steve Berardi's work is awesome), I will take your advice and just remain quiet on this subject.

  • Daniel July 10, 2009 03:55 am

    Jody, I think you're arguing with yourself. You seem to be the one that doesn't understand Twitter and its use. For the record, the Twitter team hasn't spent a lot of time and money on PR to get their name out. It's been around for years, but is only showing up now in the mainstream media because more celebrities like Oprah are finding out about it and talking about it.

    No one ever said Twitter is the "be-all-end-all of social media outlet". It's simply another form of communication and collaboration.

    If you don't understand it and aren't going to take the time to try, what's the purpose in coming here to complain about it instead of just ignoring it? It's simple to just move on when you see the word "Twitter" mentioned the first time.

  • Jody Lane July 10, 2009 03:54 am

    Hi Sime, I've tried twitter. But, look at how many people say they use twitter, but don't understand it. I really think that means, "I am using this because everyone says it's cool, but I don't know what is cool about it."

    I am not saying that Twitter and MySpace aren't valuable companies, but they aren't going to be relevant in the next 3-5 years.

  • Sime July 10, 2009 03:51 am

    "I just get frustrated when people don’t really know the technology they are advertising for"

    I really don't understand what you're saying?... How do you mean?...

    It's just like texting all your friends at once "I just uploaded a new photo, check it out" ...What's wrong with that?


  • Adam Larkey July 10, 2009 03:50 am

    I would also recommend following PDN (Photo District News) @pdnonline who are a great source for breaking news in the photo world.

  • Sime July 10, 2009 03:49 am

    Hey Jody, Are you saying you don't use Twitter? I can't quite tell...

    Oh, and MySpace is still valued at just over 600Mill... I hope that one day I have a Flash in the Pan company like that?....


  • Jody Lane July 10, 2009 03:48 am

    Sorry for my strong words above. I really appreciate DPS and I just get frustrated when people don't really know the technology they are advertising for. Twitter is not the be-all-end-all of social media outlets. There are much better sites out there with better services.

  • Jody Lane July 10, 2009 03:46 am

    Okay, enough about Twitter! I know they must have a good PR department, because I hear stories about Twitter EVERYWHERE.

    Twitter is a flash-in-the-pan company that, just like MySpace, will soon be just a blip in the history of the internets. There are much better social outlets that help you do all that your article claims and then some. Please stop being a shill for Twitter, it just makes you look like a douche.

  • Kristopher Michael July 9, 2009 11:20 pm

    I always love lists of twitter photogs.

    But I totally agree with this article: A fellow twitterer literally posted an HDR attempt 5 minutes ago, and within a minute or two, I was able to provide feedback and insight. Then, about 5 others did. Getting immediate feedback is the key to growing and enhancing our photography skills and knowledge, and twitter is our tool to do that!

  • MrQwest July 9, 2009 10:47 pm

    That's a nice article there! I'm slowly getting into photography!

    I'm also on twitter @mrqwest

  • sam hicks July 9, 2009 08:57 pm

    Great Article, great insights! I tweet!
    Only 12 updates so far but i can keep in touch with fellow photo nuts,marketing gurus and the like, you learn so much about what is happening in this exciting industry.
    We need more aussies though on twitter, as we have so much talent here too!!!!

  • Lorenzo Reffo July 9, 2009 07:15 pm

    That's a great tip! Never signed up on twitter first of this date, now I'm a twitter too! ;)
    Thank you for your advices, I really love your posts here on DPS and also love your posts on photo naturalist!

    follom me on twitter @lorenzoreffo

  • Borsuuk July 9, 2009 07:01 pm

    Great tips, thanks.

    I am about 1.5 years into photography but fresh in Twitter. I'd be happy to exchange comments about photography and photos with you there.


  • Lennard July 9, 2009 06:46 pm

    6. ...waste all of your expensive time so that you not finish your project, because you are trapped in the twitter-window all day long.


  • Aditya Kuber July 9, 2009 05:13 pm

    There's a good amount of tips also on twitter... i'm @adityakuber and @fotoflock

  • Matt Beaty July 9, 2009 04:48 pm

    I agree with the above. I'm a photographer and I love Twitter... but I would also include the caveat that there is no substiution for being out and about with a camera. A lot of us photogs have the tendancy to pixel peep and sit around on the computer all day. I submit that the best way to be a better photographer is to get out and shoot shoot shoot!

  • Neill Watson July 9, 2009 04:06 pm

    Sorry to hear that Kathy doesn't 'get' Twitter. I find it a massive help and can honestly say that it's helped me in many ways, making contact with people with a common interest. The key is to choose who you 'follow' with care. Don't just madly dash around ticking the follow box, take a look to see if they're tweeting stuff that interests you. My followers list is probably smaller than many, but I value the people on it as much as my mailing list.
    I'm at @neillwatson

  • MELISSA METTING July 9, 2009 03:54 pm


  • adrian July 9, 2009 02:27 pm

    fell in love with photography after our wedding. at that point, i knew i had to get a dslr. the wife's been complaining about the costs incurred, but hey, it's been a real worthwhile experience. now with our little baby boy as a new addition to the family, she's not complaining anymore when she sees the pictures i take!

    on twitter too - i'm @adrianhow

  • Kris July 9, 2009 12:09 pm


    I fell in love with photography on a trip to Maui, and have been hooked ever since. Now, Twitter has allowed me to connect with people 4,200 miles that I might not have ever met otherwise. I've also been using Flickr for 3 years, and as Nic points out, you can now post directly from Flickr to Twitter, which has now replaced my use of TwitPic.

    I have already met some great Hawaii photographers on Twitter, and hope to met more of you from elsewhere around the globe.

    See you online,
    - Kris

    On Twitter as @webnelly and @MauiByPhoto

  • Nick July 9, 2009 11:42 am

    I too am a Twit...follow me at

  • Scott Bourne July 9, 2009 11:18 am

    Thanks for mentioning me in your article on Twitter.

  • Daniel July 9, 2009 11:08 am

    Agreed with Nic. Just because a particular topic is of no interest to you doesn't mean all of Twitter is irrelevant. If you don't want to hear about people discussing what they had for dinner- don't follow them! That's the beauty of Twitter. Unlike that crowded party, you can decide who to listen in on and who to ignore.

    The 140 character limit is by no means a real limitation. Twitter is designed for passing information quickly, and the entry limit forces you to make sure what you say is to the point without the fluff. Many people promote their blog entries on Twitter so you can go to their site to see an in-depth discussion on whatever topic they're pushing and interact with it as you would anything else you normally prefer reading.

    I've met quite a few photographers from around the world on Twitter and enjoy seeing what they have to say about photography and hope that I add value to the network of those that follow me.


  • Ivan July 9, 2009 10:51 am

    Cool. I always want to learn how to take a nice photo. Currently I am in China now. I will follow you guys soon.


  • Nic July 9, 2009 10:16 am

    I'm not so sure why everyone rants against people who share what they had for dinner. Some people happen to be foodies interested in such. I also happen to be exploring food photography and sharing that on Twitter as well. Please don't dismiss "dinner" as a valid conversation topic.

    On Point #3, note that you can now post straight from Flickr to Twitter, hence being able to expand your exposure and get rapid feedback. Look for adding a blog, then select "Twitter" as the option, under the Flickr settings.


  • Sime July 9, 2009 10:14 am

    I get twitter, I use it daily to communicate with other #photogs - feel free to add me on twitter if you have any questions about the dPS Forums or just want to connect and chat. I tweet mainly about music photography


  • Matt Matos July 9, 2009 10:05 am

    I guess it may help some but this definitely does not target everyone. I personally dislike twitter, reading through i.e.: this website, gives me much more insight then anything else. DeviantArt also helps when recommended critics are enabled. Just my two cents.


  • Kathy A. July 9, 2009 09:47 am

    Sorry about the bold above -- the typing fingers left the "r" out of the break tag, and presto! You get bold. :)

  • Kathy A. July 9, 2009 09:46 am

    I have a Twitter account, but I have to confess I don't really get Twitter. I don't have a lot of interest in tweeting (I also gave up blogging a long time ago). When I read the tweets of others, it seems a lot like hearing snippets of conversations at a crowded party -- too much background noise going on to really get some substance out of what someone is saying.

    I think the 140 character limitation is at the heart of what doesn't make Twitter appealing to me. I'd rather read a blog post with some depth than 100 tweets that can only skim the surface.

  • Ryan July 9, 2009 08:53 am