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!

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Birds in Motion

In the photography forums we talk about getting BIF images – Birds in Flight.  It’s a challenge to all those who enjoy ‘birding’ (bird photography) and I certainly fit into that category. It is one of the most challenging but satisfying goals I know.  Below are recent images taken at Birdsland Reserve over the past week.

Purple Swamp Hen taking off
Taking off

Pacific Black Duck coming in to land
Coming in for a landing

Eurasian Coot skipping across the water – love watching them do this
Skipping across water

Updates at Flickr

Flickr.com has updated its system and is now offering Pro members unlimited space for uploading their full resolution images.

Love that they’re giving us extra space – I’ll certainly use it as I have over 8,000 images uploaded there now.  However, I doubt, very much, that I will upload full resolution images there as they’re suggesting.  Too easy for people to download and use them.  I always upload low resolution with a watermark. I know these can be removed but it is nuisance value for those who are determined plus the low resolution isn’t suitable for printing.

I love using Flickr, through, as it’s a great way to host my images and I can use them on my blogs, websites and elsewhere.  It has a great search tool, providing you have used the key-wording facility, and you can save your photos into many categories and sets.  So I can go direct to a set, or do a key-word search, to find a particular image. Makes them so easy to find and so quick too.

If you’re a user of Flickr, what do you think of the new look? I find it a ‘bit in my face’ at the moment, all those large images, but guess I’ll get used to seeing it.  This is what it looks like currently (till I upload more photos).

flickrkmt

Fresh from the press!

Just arrived today.  2013 Calendars featuring the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia. Retailing for $19.95 they are made from good quality paper and each image would look great framed after the year has finished.

All images are taken in this region, some from my very own gardens or very nearby. Why not get your order in now while stocks are available?  Will make a great Christmas gift.  These Dandenong Ranges Calendars are now available through the Belgrave Newsagents on Burwood Highway, Belgrave. But if you can’t drop in personally you can purchase below.

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Christmas Cards

As I mentioned recently, I’ve been designing Christmas Cards with local nature images on them for sale at markets and a local tearoom. Below as the draft samples I made up before sending some of them to the printer. Below that are the finals I’ve had printed – they look much better in gloss and brightly printed.

266-365 Christmas Card Collection

272-365 The finished product - Christmas Cards

The cards are available for sale. $25.00 for a pack of 10 (2 of each design) or $3.00 per card. They come with envelopes.  There will be a charge of $2.00 for postage inside Australia and $6.00 outside of Australia. Please email me if you’d like to place an order.