Last updated 4/10/2020
Whether you're just beginning with photography or working as a seasoned professional, sharing your work is an important part of growth as a photographer. Hobbyists and professionals alike greatly benefit from building and maintaining a portfolio of their work, and even more so, from maintaining and growing their reach (or audience).
Increasing reach in a rapidly evolving online environment can be tricky, especially when something is hot one week and almost unheard of the next. This is especially true for photography or creative-specific social media like VSCO, Ello, Visura, 500px, and DeviantArt, which are beginning to feel like relics of the past (some before they even left the gate), leaving new joiners rightfully feeling like they joined too late to fit in. A lot of decline of more niche forms of social media is due to the powerhouses of Facebook and Google that rule with quick visuals, microblogging, and powerful business tools from Instagram to Youtube.
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for increasing reach to both local and wider audiences, and one of the best ways to gain and maintain loyal clients and followers. In 2020, Instagram is widely considered the highest-reach platform, and now that Facebook owns Instagram, the two applications sync important business features seamlessly for ease of cross-platform reach and advertising.
You can now price services, create a calendar, book, and market your services - all directly through the platform. This can be invaluable to photographers because it provides the means to keep all things in one place. Of course, maintenance of a personal website and a professional portfolio is still crucial. However, these tools can exponentially widen their reach when linked to a feed (like Instagram) that regularly connects you to potential clients.
In a time when the photography blog is in decline, the brand of micro-blogging offered by platforms like Instagram has massively taken off. People value the convenience of quickly scrolling, reading quickly digestible information, and having all of their options in one place. This doesn't mean that every caption need be Twitter length, or that you have to always cut short what you really want to share. People still value authenticity and experience. However, more personal messages and stories are now being shared as videos or clips in via the "Story" feature.
Using the story feature, you can present yourself to people in a more colloquial and one-on-one way that's still easily digestible. Because this form of blogging is so convenient, it can be much easier for photographers to stay on top of things and to provide more consistent content. Likewise, it's easier are more convenience for viewers to engage with said content.
With Instagram, audience engagement becomes more seamless than ever, and significant growth happens organically. Whether you rely on smart hashtags, proactively engaging with the community, or targeted advertisements, Instagram is the hot place to be in 2020 to build your brand.
- Business profiles and dashboard
- In-app booking
- High-reach platform
- Powerful and seamless cross-platform advertising
- Easy analytics at your fingertips
- Stories for quick business updates/shoot highlights
While Facebook has decreased in popularily among some creatives, it remains a critical platform for many photography businesses - particularly for family, couple, and childhood portrait photographers. If, however, you find yourself identifying with areas of specialized, commercial, or editorial work, Facebook may not be your ideal match. In 2020, Facebook leads in area of personal connection, but trails behind other applications in areas of professional connection.
If you do find your photography niche a good match for Facebook, 2020 demands new optimizations. A Book Now button on your Business Page and good customer feedback in your reviews tab is no longer sufficient to drive connections with clients. Today, it's important to maximize cross-platform interaction between Facebook and it's owned-brand Instagram (with Instagram garnering your largest reach and interaction), and to advertise across both. It's also important to consider an exclusive and private Facebook group dedicated to your brand and the retention of current clients.
Just starting on Facebook? You'll want to make sure you have a clear differentiation between your personal page and your business page. You can effectively create a business account or brand page by linking a new business page directly to your personal profile. This way, you can toggle between accounts, but the pages and accounts remain completely separate.
Once fully set up, by simply allowing all of your professional Instagram posts to also "Share to Facebook" regularly, and making sure to check in at least once daily for important interactions or booking requests, you can clear time to focus important energies in high-contact areas like Instagram or a dedicated group.
With the ease of managing your Facebook business page, and the convenience of Instagram as your primary hub (directly on your mobile device), you can be extremely flexible in finding new and exciting ways to advertise and bring in revenue. One popular way to create buzz is with Facebook private proup contests, offering courses or video workshops to your followers, and launching targeted promotions.
- Dedicated Business Page
- Easy booking/scheduling system
- Countless free marketing features and affordable advertising
- Smart message system for client communications
- Instagram Integration business-side
- Powerful and seamless cross-platform advertising
If you're an Adobe subscriber, chances are high that you're already familiar with Behance. You may get the emails, or you may have even viewed someone’s design work on the site. Behance is an inspiring,sleek, and professional place to display your best work to a wider audience. Best yet, it's easy to use and designed specifically for creative artists. Behance is one of the better options to rely on when seeking higher-profile professional gigs or when wishing to both display and sell your work in a professionally-minded space.
With the rise in Adobe Creative Cloud integration and syncing between platforms, apps, and devices, Behance is poised to become a fierce leader among social media options for photographers in 2020. It's also one of the easiest ways to share your finished work straight from post-production. Though we advise only sharing a project when you believe it to be complete and ready for an audience.
From the Behance main site, you can discover others, view live tutorials and workshops, and search for jobs, making it a straightforward and clean experience for growing and well-established professionals. Behance is particularly well suited for product, studio, and corporate photographers because it makes translation of your portfolio into paying work, a seamless endeavor. Behance is also stands out for the way it builds your feed, based on your declared interests, so that you're consistently inspired and aware of current trends.
On Behance, your sleek portfolio of projects is visually stunning and easily accessible. The portfolio cleanly links to all of your available social media, your site, and allows for messaging from followers and potential clients. When a published project is selected on your page, viewers are shown large, clear images of your work with a project description, comment section, profile information, and tagging. In maximizing the description section with each project, you have the option to link viewers to purchasing options or your personal blog (like Instagram), so that followers can connect with you in a more informal space. Others can "Appreciate" your work (Behance's own version of the "Like"), add your work to their own moodboard (for inspiration), and "follow" you directly from project-view. Behance is a social media resource for photographers that's a must-have for 2020.
- Professional Portfolio
- The ability to promote and sell your best work
- High-Profile Job Opportunities
- Adobe Product and Cloud Integration (Easy Share)
- Live videos
Surprised to see that Pinterest made the list? So were we. But in 2020, Pinterest is surprisingly still useful to photographers. With high levels of cross-platform integration and a scrapbook-style, user-friendly interface, Pinterest is like a bad perm that just won't fade.
Photographers and clients alike often use Pinterest to find inspiration and ideas for possible shoots, and it can be a powerful tool for collaboration, organization, and planning. Pinterest also remains an excellent resource for increasing your site and social media audience through quick click-through linking. Because of this, Pinterest may even be your ticket to viral reach expansion.
With smart hash-tagging features, clients may come upon your work via Pinterest simply by searching "Senior Photos" or "Engagement Shoot Ideas" in Google images. While not all of these clicks equal followers or clients, all of them remain valuable exposure to your brand and your vision. You might be surprised to hear that many photographers consistently attribute nearly 50% of site traffic to Pinterest click-through links. In 2020, Pinterest remains a top social media resource for photographers.
- Click-through linking
- Viral potential
Beyond the Top Four
Another great way to share work, before you're ready to put it out there in the top four, is to join a semi-public or private photography community on Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, Youtube, or elsewhere. Here, you can gain valuable feedback and learn from others or simply exchange progress and tips with others at the same stage. It's so beneficial find a community where you feel like you belong, so we highly recommend finding a group that speaks to you! Once you find your voice and begin producing more cohesive work, we also recommend building out a portfolio that speaks to you, be it through Adobe's free portfolio site service, Flickr, Pass Gallery, or your own site!
Not yet started on your photography journey, or unimpressed with your current gear? Be sure to check out our Ultimate Camera Buying Guide for 2020!
Need a beginner's course on Photography or Post-processing? Check out the Luxe Academy!
Want to know how to go it freelance? We've got a step-by-step guide!
More curious about how to become an Influencer on Instagram? We've got you covered!
Lastly, we encourage you to check out our private Facebook group - The Luxe Lens Community. We're always looking for new friends.