The art of photography is going through something of a renaissance at the moment. Thanks to the internet, photographers are finding many more platforms to showcase their work and also advertise themselves to a larger audience.
Whether you want to be an artistic photographer or a commercial photographer, there are now more avenues than ever before to make your dreams come true.
Instagram has given birth to thousands of amateur photographers who have had the opportunity to showcase their work to a large audience. Getting followed by influential people including designers, artists and fellow photographers can help boost your own followings.
Although Instagram has become a go-to media platform for many photographers, that’s not to say that other social media platforms aren’t helpful. Many photographers in recent years have grown their business using Facebook. Followings may start small with just family and friends but if you’re good, they can grow rapidly.
Photography competitions have long been a platform for budding enthusiast photographers to showcase their work. Thanks to the internet there are now many more competitions than ever before and a prize winning photo in your portfolio is a great way to sell yourself and get your name heard.
Look out for the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year or the Sony World Photography Awardscompetition. In fact many newspapers, also accept submissions of photos, such as the Guardian photos of the day and photos of the week. This is another fantastic place to showcase your work and add an impressive name to your portfolio.
The first place anyone looks when they need a professional photographer is on the internet. Websites are the ideal platform for photographers, unlike a Yellow Pages listing, a website can be used to specifically showcase your own work. When you build your site remember that Google likes words as well as pictures so make sure your site is full of search engine friendly text.
Perhaps include a blog that offers tips and advice, it may feel like you are taking yourself out of work, but essentially it will direct traffic to your site and that’s always a good thing. It’s also worth remembering to go local if that’s what you’re after. When you choose your domain name, maybe include you town or city within the name. This means when people search for a photographer in your area, your business name is likely to rank higher.
The traditional route is as relevant as ever and with so much competition it’s still a wise route to take. Professional photography courses are ideal for those who want to get into commercial photography as you learn about more than just simply taking photos. You also get to grips with the large amount of studio equipment needed for commercial photography. The traditional route can start at a fairly accessible level.
Take a look at your local adult learning centre to see if they offer anything. Like any subject, photography knows no bounds, and from GCSE’s to Masters there’s a wealth of options out there.
Becoming a photographer is as appealing now as it’s always been. The internet and its various forms of social media have made photography easy to showcase for everyone, without the need to find gallery space or produce brochures. From online competitions, to building the perfect website, the internet offers a wealth of help when it comes to being a photographer in the modern age.
Remember thought that nothing replaces a good old education and taking a photography course, in conjunction with harnessing the internet, is still one of the best routes to becoming a skilled photographer.