Anyone who knows me well, knows I really love Facebook. If Facebook were a person, it might file a restraining order against me. I post loads of photos on my personal account, tell everyone what I am doing, where I am going. I am *that* user. But, to be fair, I have a lot of very social, put-it-all-out-there friends who are *that* user with me! I have always been a really talkative person and FB gives me a never ending conversation that I can pop in and out of to my hearts content. And I love that my FB business page gives me a platform to share some of my favorite images. I thought FB was the only social media outlet I really needed.
All of that began to change when, earlier this year, I was reading a book about how social media could help build my photography business (It's called Going Pro by Skip Cohen & Scott Bourne, and it's an excellent and easy read.) Up until then, I was feeling pretty good about how I used FB to further the reach of my name and my images. I had a twitter account but to be honest, never used it, had maybe 10 followers and 10 followees, all of which I knew personally. I never put the time into Twitter with regard to my photography because it felt like a pest... a fly buzzing around that never lands. No real conversation where everyone joins in... just a quick 140 characters to get it all out. Actually, the character limitation was probably my biggest issue because being brief is not my forte! Just before I read the book, I'd been to the Gulf Photo Plus conference where I attended a workshop with David Hobby, again, on the topic of social media. See my first ever blog about that experience here! Hobby also stressed the importance of Twitter, so I had already created a new account to focus mainly on my photography business. As I sat reading Going Pro, and it was telling me Twitter was crucial, I decided to tweet that I was reading it. I got a reply from one of the authors within a few hours and my jaw dropped. My interest in Twitter went up A LOT that day.
But from that point, it was a bumpy road. Some days I forgot to tweet at all and people dropped me. I had a lot of spammers, I felt like I was following 50 people for every one follow back. When a FB link gets 100 hits and a twitter link gets zero, the time wasted posting and maintaining Twitter comes into question. Still, I persevered. Eventually, I began to get some traction. I still get some spam but I have also discovered some amazing photographers, designers, computer geniuses, writers, artists and many other really interesting people that I would have never, ever known about otherwise! And I have received a decent amount of follows from people who do not share DNA with me, so that's encouraging! =)
One particular Twitter member that I've communicated off and on with is @PicSeshu. He is a wedding & children's photographer and the owner of tiffinbox.org. He has helped me with various questions over the past few months, including helping me get in touch with an author when I was missing a page from one of my photography books. Seshu noticed earlier this week when I tweeted to Scott Kelby that I read and enjoyed his book, Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It, on the plane from New York to Abu Dhabi. He asked me if I'd like to do a book review for Tiffinbox and of course I jumped at the chance. I really love to write... in fact, I enjoy writing nearly as much as I enjoy photography. Still, I've never written for any official purpose and I was literally chattering at the teeth! However, as I vowed in my last blog post, I am working on my confidence. To that end, I can say I am proud of how it turned out. I never, ever imagined six months ago, when I was tweeting my first real Twitter posts, that I would be published on a website for photographers today.
So my advice to you if you're just starting out as a photographer, artist, writer, or if you are just putting your big toe into Twitter and the rest of the ginormous world of social media... be patient! Be active. Put out small amounts of your best work. It will pay off in the end... I am proof of that. Being published in the company of very successful photographers that I have admired, is a huge mental leap forward for me in an arena that often leaves me feeling insecure. It can happen for you too, don't give up. Now, please go read my review of Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It over on Tiffinbox and let me know what you think!!