Deciding on what content to post, and when to post it, is something that a lot of people tend to struggle with. Be it in the field of wildlife photography, or just photography in general, having an understanding of what to post, how to post it, and when to post it will not only alleviate the pressure of trying to decide, but should also increase your amount of organic followers and profile activity on popular photographic sharing platforms like Instagram.
Whilst there is certainly no hard and fast rule about social media posting and personal content management, there are some guidelines that may assist you when choosing your next set of images to post. Most of these guidelines tend to revolve around a single concept, diversity!
Diversity in a photographic portfolio is paramount, and probably the most important element to consider when posting images. Diversity is also multifaceted and is relevant to a number of different sub-categories
All too often people share the images that they know will simply get the most likes, and choose not to post the images that might not be enjoyed by (or liked by) as many people. The problem with this, is that although you may receive a lot of ‘likes’, your portfolio very quickly starts to look biased towards a certain subject, and all of your images begin to take on a very similar look and feel. When considering African wildlife photography, there is no doubt that leopards and lions, particularly young cubs thereof, gain the most likes and attention. I am by no means saying don’t post these images, because like many many other photographers, they just so happen to be my favorite animals to photograph, but, don’t post too many of them one after the other.
Look to change things up with pictures of elephants, rhino’s, buffalo, a wide variety of antelope species, birds, giraffe, zebra, hippo’s etc etc, the list of subjects is endless. Diversity of subjects may mean you notice a drop off in likes on certain images in comparison to others, but, you will attract the attention of a much wider audience, people who are interested in far more than just lions or leopards, people who would like to enjoy the wide variety of African wildlife. So if all you are interested in is likes, then post the content that you are confident will continue attracting likes and ignore the rest. But, if a wider audience and a greater sphere of influence is what you are after, irrespective of the amount of ‘likes’, then be sure to incorporate as much subject variety as possible.
Similarly to a variety of subjects, it is equally as important to change the type of shots that you are sharing. Once again, if you are capturing all of your images at a certain focal length, your portfolio begins to look one dimensional. Capture images at varying focal lengths, even within the same scene, you may be surprised as to how pulling back and capturing the animal in its natural environment can change the entire feel of the image. Shoot at full 400mm extension and include facial detail in a close-up portrait, but don’t forget to pull back and showcase the animal interacting with its environment. What is it doing, how is it doing it, when is it doing it and more.
Wider scenes tend to tell more of a story than close up shots, and again, I’m not saying don’t shoot tight, because its often the best way to portray strong emotions and finer details, but don’t underestimate the value of shooting wide. Capture the odd sunrise and sunset, and the occasional landscape image too. Diversity of focal length will also do wonders in attracting a wider audience.
Being creative when it comes to photography is something that only really comes with practice, and like anything to do with wildlife, a lot of patience. Including images in your portfolio that are of a different nature adds an exciting element to your page. Panning shots, intentional camera movement, radial blurring, spotlight photography, high-key black and whites, star photography etc. All of these techniques, although more challenging to achieve, will make your images more attractive.
When you are presented with a particular scene, bag a set of photographs that you feel comfortable with, and once you are happy that you have got those shots, have the confidence to try different techniques, you may just surprise yourself with the outcome.
First step, don’t over-post. There is nothing more frustrating to anybody, than scrolling through endless feeds of the same persons images. Do more regular posting of 2-3 posts per day, rather than not posting for a few weeks, and then dumping all of your content online on the same day. You will lose audience very quickly if you smother people with your content. Keep it light, and keep it relevant.
As far as timing goes, it is important to understand who your audience is. If you have a following that is predominantly local, then post during the times where people are most likely to check their devices. Make a comparison to your own daily routines if you are unsure, first thing in the morning, during lunch breaks, after work in the late afternoons and before bed at night, are the most popular times for people to engage with their social media platforms.
Dont post images in the middle of the night for a local audience, but if your audience is predominantly overseas, then time difference plays a large role, and posting early morning and late at night would service that audience as well.
Know your audience, understand their patterns, change it up and post accordingly.
At the end of the day, social media is a platform for you to share your own creative nature, a window into who you are as a photographer if you like. Use the opportunity to display as much diversity about yourself and about your photography as possible, and don’t get caught up in posting the ‘safe images’, or the content that will ensure you get a ton of ‘likes’. Be creative, and force yourself to think out of the box when it comes to social media posting. If you are having fun and enjoying yourself when capturing your images, then I can assure you that the inherent passion will be felt by your audience too.
Share this Post