Photography and Social Media tips

I’ve been a blogger for many years, since 2005 in fact, and own a few blogs on various topics. Firm believer that you should keep your blog focused on one topic – although you may have many categories under that one topic. In this case, this blog relates to photography and the categories relate to various aspects of photography.  While I mainly share my own photos here, from time to time I like to share information and tips. By the way, this is my 1400th post on this blog 🙂

Many will know I have a Facebook page called DandenongRangesNaturePhotography and I thank those of you who are following me there. I know many of my followers are from outside of Australia and I love that you love seeing Australian flora and fauna and bird-life. They are my passion.

In May I registered a new business and website called Garden Imagery. I spend a lot of time in my own garden and in other people’s gardens and love to photograph gardenscapes and also individual plants, flowers, leaves, trees, fungi and other interesting things found in a garden. This new site is designed to be a stock library with images for publications and individuals to purchase.

Early May I set up a new Twitter account called GardenImagery. This is because I’ve been concentrating a lot on gardenscapes and love the variety seen in gardens everywhere. Everyone who owns or works in a garden puts their own stamp on it. My love for gardening came from my grandparents on both sides, but probably more from my maternal grandmother whom I used to stay with as a child and in my early teens. I often worked with her in her garden and she would tell me stories about all the plants she had growing. I also grow some of those plants today because it brings her closer to me.

Most recently I started an account at Instagram also called GardenImagery.  Using Instagram has been a bigger learning curve for me as I’ve never used it before and while I applied some of the same principles as Twitter, it is quite different.

instagramaccount

Below are tips that will help you for Instagram.

  1. Create a name that relates to your topic. Unless you specifically need people to follow your name.
  2. Make sure you fill out your profile and include your web or blog address. Your statement should outline what you do, who for and why, if possible.
  3. Use quality images to upload rather than quick snapshots. If you’re a photographer you’ll want to do this anyway.
  4. Watermark your images with your web address or something that lets people know who took the photo.
  5. Add an Instagram badge to your website, blog and anywhere else, linked to your account.
  6. You don’t have to write a lot but adding a description helps.
  7. Use #hashtags with keywords to describe your image, i.e. #australia, #gardening, #plants.  Instagram will show you words that have the highest amount of usage when you begin typing different words. These hashtags can be used by many in searches to find topics such as yours. Make use of them.
  8. Create your own unique hashtag if you can. Mine is #gardenimagery.
  9. Post to your other social media accounts too, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’m told that IFTTT.com is perfect for this.
  10. While you can’t post your images direct from a desktop you can use a program like Later.com to preschedule from your desktop, including your para of text and hashtags (if you’re like me I hate trying to type lengthy things on the phone). I’ve found this to be an excellent resource for scheduling multiple posts over several days so you’re not spending all your valuable time posting on a regular basis. You get 30 free posts a month or there are subscriptions for more posts per month.
  11. Stats – Instagram will show you how many followers you have, how many have liked your photo and comments that have been left but if you want more than that then perhaps iconosquare is worth checking out. I haven’t used it yet but have read that others swear by it.
  12. Monitor your posts – which ones get the most likes and why? Can you post more images of a similar nature?

Well, I hope this tips will help you with your social media accounts and particularly Instagram. As I use it more I’ll probably have more tips to share!

Save

Managing your photos

If you enjoy taking photos, as I do, even if it’s not quite as many, have you thought about how to manage the organisation of your photography files and folders? I’ve sometimes wondered how others do it but worked out a system that seems to work for me and, pending finding anything else that might prove to be better, I’ll probably stick with it.

The article at Digital Photography School yesterday covered this topic.

And here are my thoughts after reading that article:

Good article. I must admit I never looked to see what anyone else did for managing their images. I just created my own system. I file images into a folder for each month and each month into each year. Then each image is keyword tagged as I process them from RAW to jpg. But even when I used to shoot just in jpg I still created keywords.  If there’s a special event, like a trip somewhere, or a conference, then I might make a folder specifically for that and file it into that year’s folder as well.

photofiling

I upload a lot of my images (low res) to Flickr and again, keyword tag them there. So if I want to find something quickly I can either search for it on my Flickr account and then find the corresponding date folder on my computer, or open my Photo managing program and do a keyword search there.

flickrsearch

Having the images filed in a date order is very useful for when I want to look for things that I know took place at a particular time – don’t even have to do a keyword search.

I’m always interested in finding out how others manage their photos!  How do you do it?

Taking a photo a day

Hi, have you missed me? I have been around, mostly at Facebook, and life before Christmas was incredibly crazy. But I don’t stop taking photos almost every day of my life.  A great way of improving my skills, getting to know my camera well and seeing things in a way that I might not have, had I not been using my camera.

Does that describe what you’d like to achieve?  Have you heard of Project 365?  In 2010 and 2011 I did Project 365 via a photography forum and also Flickr, choosing to take a photo a day for a whole year, twice over.  This really did improve my skills and my knowledge of my camera. While I would not consider myself an expert by any means I do believe that I’m a lot more proficient than those who only use their cameras now and then.  Doing this two years in a row actually got me quite addicted to taking photos regularly and my camera travels with me everywhere now.

If you would like to improve your skills too, I’d like to encourage you to consider joining a group I started for this year.  It’s called the 2014 365 Photo Project. Currently we have 31 members but there’s room for a lot more growth in the group. The object of the group is for each member to post one photo a day to share with the group, so as to encourage them to practice regularly. Some can’t do it daily, and that’s ok, some have chosen to do a compilation of the week once a week instead. Whatever suits you, I invite you to share with us your photo a day, whether with a regular camera or your phone camera.  I guarantee at the end of this year your skills with your chosen tool will have improved a great deal 🙂  Why not join us today?  By the way, if you don’t want to post photos but would like to see what others are posting, feel free to join us still.  Leaving comments to encourage others would be a good thing to do.

365projectimage

Business cards for photographers

If you are into photography, as I am, at some point you will have either already thought about, or will now you’ve read this post, getting a business card designed.  My first photography business card came from Vistaprint and I liked the design so much that I had a graphic designer do a similar style with my own images when I was ready to update.  All the photos are mine and most reflect the region I live in.  The brigher side is the front and the lighter side the back.  Means I can write on it, or the recipient can.
My business card

I thought that if you’re looking for ideas you might like to see what others have done. Some choose to use their photos on their cards and others choose not to.

This one and others was listed at slodive.com

Wedding Photography Business Card

This one and others at the Mooblog.

me by moo

And 12 different ideas about cards at photojojo.com

front-back-500

And if you’re still not sure there is a great book to read about business cards by Ivan Misner called It’s In The Cards’ – great for all sorts of ideas, not just for photographers.

Great use of a fisheye lens

I hang around various forums online. Not all are photography forums, some relate to my work as a Virtual Assistant and others relate to things of interest, and in this case, mountain biking. Regular readers will know that my husband is a mountain biker but currently not participating in events as he’s recovering from a serious accident of over 5 months ago.

However we did go visit his Team Sally mates at the Rockhop 2011 MTB Enduro last Sunday and while there I took over 600 photos of the riders and have now posted some of those shots online for viewing and purchase. I was chatting at the Rotorburn forum (MTB) to let them know I’d been at the event but also to catch up with the chats there and discovered some fellow photographers in a couple of threads. One thread in particular had a great link to a blog post about a photo taken in Austria using a fisheye lens. Now it’s got me wondering if I should get one 🙂

Tristan says:

This photo was taken on June 3, 2008, and despite the many questions I’ve been asked surrounding the way it looks, I can confirm that no, it is not fake.

In 2008 I spent 6 months travelling through Europe. I’d just turned 18, I’d just finished school, and I was just desperate to get out of Sydney to explore the world. So I did what many people my age do; I booked a one-way flight to Europe. While there I spent time in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Slovakia, Vatican City, Scotland and England (technically not Europe but close enough for me), and Austria, which is where this photo was taken.  Click here to read the rest and see the picture he’s talking about.