Like many of you, I’ve often wondered why my “wonderful pictures” don’t get the attention I think they deserve.
There are so many reasons your work loses out to someone else’s cat, cute kid or baby.
I believe Ansel Adams put it best: “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
So before you beat yourself up any further, maybe you should consider the following points.
Know your Audience
If you’re posting to Facebook and Instagram and the general population, you must accept that ‘likes’ mean literally nothing.
I have since stopped clicking ‘like’ whenever I read or see something I like. Instead, I take an extra second to comment.
I dislike the idea of some algorithm using my like as endorsement. Haven’t you ever notice how an ad might say “Peter Phun likes ….?”
Facebook is making use of you to create revenue but I digress.
Personally, as far as feedback goes, a ‘like’ for my picture posted in “gen pop” (general population) or my timeline weighs a lot less than one posted specifically in the innumerable specialized photography groups within Facebook.
Even amongst Facebook’s photography groups, not all of them are equal since many of these groups don’t have stringent standards and anybody can join or be added.
So generally speaking if you want a lot of eyeballs on your pictures, it would then follow that group photos where everyone is tagged will do better.
By that same reasoning, if you’re picking subjects to photograph, the more well known your subject the more ‘likes’ you can expect assuming you do a good job.
Or else the more “FB friends” or Instagram followers the person you are tagging in your picture has, the more ‘likes’ you can expect.
Again, there is an assumption you made your subject look good, different but in a flattering way either through posing, style of lighting, makeup or wardrobe.
But there will always be folks who just ‘like’ every picture just because of the person in the picture and not because of the photography.
Whenever I get a lot of likes for a picture, I tend to take a look at who is liking the picture as well.
Are they photo friends of mine?
Are the likes coming from my friends or my subject’s friends?
Are they blood relatives of my subject? Their aunts, uncles, grandparents etc.
Know Your Platform
Not all the social media platforms are created equal.
I only started using Instagram when I recently bought a used iPhone 4s.
After a few months of using Instagram, I found an important limitation of Instagram: you can’t zoom in to make the image bigger.
Anyone who paints or draws understands that canvass size matters because it dictates the kinds of pictures you can post and still make the important details legible.
Don’t expect to post group shots of more than 15 people without losing your audience.
Even on today’s biggest cellphone screens, the faces will be too small especially if the lighting is marginal when the picture was taken.
I’m fairly certain copious amounts have been written about best times to post on social media etc so I won’t get into that.
You’ve spent lots of time going out and capturing moments with your camera and you’d like some recognition for that effort.
I’m sharing my opinion on how to find enjoyment in your photography when you share it.
By the way, there’s bound to be encounters with trolls along the way, don’t let them get under your skin.
One final word, always, always watermark your images with your name or domain name. That makes it possible for folks to find you.