Advice for Photographers Who Work in Social Media Marketing


By Emily Simons

As a professional photographer, my perspective on photography for social media works at both an independent and a corporate level. 

On one hand, I see social media as a platform to share my portfolio, voice my opinion or simply post pictures of fuzzy animals. On the other hand, I see it from the perspective of social media marketers and businesses, small or large, either wanting to seize the media microphone or crank up sales and gain customers. 

But whatever your reason for using photography-based social media, my advice remains the same:

1. Be Yourself

You can read up on all the statistics in world, post every Sunday at 5:03:53 AM, hashtag like the Tasmanian devil and spend thousands on fancy software to make your images look good, but in the end, if you’re not being true to who you are as a person, brand or company, not many will stick around to view your dessert post.

2. Don't Compare Your Work to Others'

The tendency to compare one's work with that of more popular people, or to compare one's brand work to that of more successful companies, ultimately hurts the product. I don't know about you, but if Converse had gone into the shoe business trying to be like Prada, I'd have permanently sore feet!

3. View the Medium Differently

Instead of using social media to compare one brand's photographic content with another's, we need to view the medium differently. We should use it as a way to research, learn and soak up knowledge (yep — just like people used to do with books!)

For example: Start paying attention to images you like to gain a better understanding of what attracts you to other peoples' work. Study those images closely, pick apart the elements, create mood boards. If you're struggling with this, try asking some fundamental questions:

  • What about this image do I like? 
  • What is this image trying to say? 
  • What makes this image successful? 

Once you know what you want to convey, sell or say in your own images, then apply these concepts to your company's images too. If the answer leads to your overall brand message, then you're on the right track.

4. Be Social!

We often forget that there are people behind likes and follows, and that while everyone is trying to "win" the game of social media, the most successful accounts are often ones that promote human connection. If you’re still scratching your head and need advice, then try things the old-fashioned way and use social media to actually...socialize

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you admire or businesses you deem successful. Get a cup of coffee and pick photographers' brains. Be open-minded to new perspectives, collaborations and critiques.

We're all in this together!


Share your thoughts with the Likeable Media team in the comments below!