Do you think social media and the online world we frequent each day is changing the way wildlife photographers look at and share their own images?
I am not talking about the resulting likes and comments on the various online and social media platforms, as that is a completely different discussion, but rather the thought process behind which of our images we share and how we do it.
The reality is that the way we consume our media has changed – in a big way – and this has without a doubt influenced what we share and, more specifically, how we share our wildlife images.
From a marketing point of view this is important to know and embrace, as today’s tech savvy consumer wants bite-sized chunks of information. They want to be able to scroll through their Twitter feed, Facebook timeline or Instagram feed to get a quick overview of what is going on and share what catches their eyes with their own friends and followers.
They will then do this again and again, all the time looking for new updates or images leaving the image or update you posted an hour ago out of sight and out of mind.
From a photography point of view I think this bite sized, ‘fight for my 15 seconds in the social media spotlight’ type approach is causing a lot of wildlife photographers to share images that, when looked at as a collection or portfolio, will make no sense at all.
Yes, the way we share has definitely changed but is there not still something to be said for working on a portfolio, a collection of images, with a common theme?
A collection of images that tell a story?
I believe there is.
Taking time to work on, nurture and ultimately produce a portfolio of say twelve images will make you grow much, much more as a photographer rather than simply posting random images each day and calling your Facebook album your ‘portfolio’.
Could the problem be that a lot of photographers are not sure how to start working on a portfolio? What to do? Where to start? What to look for? A lack of patience?
Or is it perhaps that the 21st century need for constant online recognition and feedback has surpassed the need to create something more than just one great wildlife image and the digital ‘recognition’?
I am the first one to say that social media is the future – actually it is the now – and that, as wildlife photographers, we should embrace it in order to learn, inspire and share but I still feel that a strong portfolio of images still has great value.
I urge you to try this – next time you go on a photo safari or your own trip to the bush try creating a portfolio of twelve images from the trip.
Choose a theme, stick to it and focus on shooting your images, and processing them, so that when your portfolio is complete they best represent this theme as a coherent collection of images.
The important thing is that until your portfolio is complete do not share the individual images. Resist the urge and wait until you can present a completed portfolio of images.
You might not be the flavor of the moment online and you won’t have people liking every post you put up but yes, it’s worth it!
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt[divider scroll_text=”Go to Top”]