Every day photographers use Facebook and other photo sharing websites, such as Instagram, for sharing images with their clients and potential customers. This ability to share has made it much easier to get instant feedback from the images that are posted and for photographers to see what their client base is actually looking for.
Facebook has overwhelmingly provided photographers with a unique way of interacting with other photographers. Online photography forums and groups are plenty in the World Wide Web. Photographers can submit images to have them critiqued, they can have them considered for publications, and they can even win awards for their online submissions.
While some photographers may think that these forums and groups are a waste of time, there are others who will tell you that you are missing out on a lot of opportunities by not participating. The internet is always opening up new possibilities for people, especially in the world of photography.
Photographers and artists will typically create a Curriculum Vitae instead of a traditional resume. A Curriculum Vitae is basically a summary of your qualifications and will include any exhibits and publications that have showcased your work. There are many juried art and photography forums online. Winning awards can be the jump-start on your Curriculum Vitae for helping you to obtain grants, get into art exhibits, and get your work published. It will also give insights to any exhibit curator as to your creative process and what your specific vision for your art is.
Once you submit to any of these forums, photographers of all other skill levels will see your work. When you post in the online forums you have to be prepared for the critiques (yes, even the dreaded unsolicited ones!). Those critiques (both asked for and those not asked for) give you a rare opportunity to get insights from other photographers, other eyes, and other artists. Don’t take any negative critiques personally. Remember, art is very subjective. But do read the comments and consider where they are coming from. Could you have increased your shutter speed? Would a higher or lower ISO made for a better shot? Obviously, you can’t go back and change those things, but they are food for thought for future images.
Some businesses have taken to Facebook and it’s availability of online forums to look for photographers who are local to them for product photography, real estate photography, and even headshots for their company. Keeping your work current and out there for people to see can lead you to new ways to make money as a photographer.
Online forums can also spark photographer friendships. Having a photographer friend who is not your local competition can be a wonderful asset. Photographers are generally willing to listen and help out when they can. Friendships between photographers can be helpful when you are learning something new, trying out new ideas, or even when you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Having a like-minded person listen to you and bounce ideas around can really help you to re-focus your time, energy, and mind where it needs to be.
Another boost to submitting to online forums? Increased SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your photography website or blog. When you post from your photography page you are creating a cross-link between the forum and your page. Using specific keywords and updating your blog posts and website with any awards, recognitions, or honors from online forums can also help increase your SEO.
There are many benefits to utilizing online photography forums and you will have to decide whether or not it is right for your specific business model. They are a very unique way for photographers to interact and learn from one another. They provide an opportunity for learning, friendships, and in some cases, they can lead to employment opportunities. Utilizing online forums can also help you to get your work seen by potential publishers and grant committees.