Social media for photographers: tips for growing your business

As a photographer in the digital era, leveraging social media to show off your work and attract clients has become essential to remain competitive and credible. People want to see your photos before hiring you, and social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are an easy and accessible way for them to do so.

Social media for photographers can also be a pivotal marketing tool to find brand partnerships and make money selling prints and photo books. But with so many available social platforms, it can be daunting to figure out which to choose and how to keep up. Before you create an account on every platform imaginable, work through this guide to find your niche and set up sustainable systems.

Why use social media as a photographer

As with most creative professions, social media is a potent tool for photographers looking to showcase their work, make new connections, and grow their careers. If you take your photography seriously, being active on social media is a must. Here’s why.

Reach future clients

Client acquisition is probably the highest priority for photographers that do social media marketing. After all, one of the biggest challenges for any photography business is attracting prospective customers who want to hire you. And on social media platforms, you have access to millions of people who might want you to work with them—plus the ability to target them in ways traditional advertising doesn’t allow.

Tapping into that huge network can be as simple as maintaining an active presence on popular social media platforms. Share photos to build your portfolio and interact with people interested in your work. 

Responding promptly to comments or messages shows that you value their engagement and are open to business opportunities, whether photo shoots or collaborations. And the more people like, engage, and follow your work, the more social credibility you earn as a photographer, which naturally boosts your business’s reach.

Establish credibility

Sharing your photos on social media helps you prove your worth as a photographer and gain the trust of clients and other photographers who can refer work to you. By showcasing photos taken for past jobs, you can show the quality of what you produce and the different projects you can handle. 

Plus, having a substantial following gives people more confidence in who they’d be hiring—especially if they’ve seen photos from previous customers or brands that have already worked with you. If those businesses are satisfied with your services, it stands to reason that they will be too. 

But establishing credibility takes more than just posting your best work. It’s essential to tailor your content and invest your efforts according to the strengths of each platform. For instance, Instagram is ideal for showcasing breathtaking photos that capture specific places or trends, which can gain traction organically with geotagging and hashtagging. Pinterest can work wonders if your work inspires new ideas and gets people’s creative juices flowing. And while Facebook may not have quite the organic reach as other platforms, it can be a great place to join groups, build your community, and support your overarching photography brand.

Build community and make lasting connections

There are no geographic boundaries to your community on social media. And you’re not limited to just one. Social communities can involve special interest groups fond of photographing one particular place or theme. They can also consist of other photographers you can collaborate with and learn from. 

In either case, exploring social media communities for your photography brand provides many potential opportunities.

  • Create or join groups. Getting involved with niche- or location-specific groups (like wedding photographers or Northern California photography) on Facebook can help you exchange ideas, find inspiration, and collaborate on projects.
  • Learn, collaborate, and cross-promote. Partner with other creators within your photography genre by bouncing ideas off each other, sharing editing or shooting tips, and promoting each other’s work. 
  • Attend in-person events. Use online social communities to discover offline opportunities to network. Attending photography-related events or organizing your own meetups can help you forge long-lasting connections with fellow photographers and potential clients.

Using social media to reach a wider audience and grow your business is possible by devising a strategic approach. It doesn’t have to be a rigid or well-researched marketing plan. But with the right marketing tips, you can take full advantage of these platforms to promote yourself and your photography brand.

Social media marketing tips for photographers

Simply posting photos isn’t enough to build marketing momentum on social media. To actualize a successful marketing strategy, apply these trade tricks across your platforms.

Determine the goals behind your social presence

Defining goals is critical for marketing in any industry. Photography is no exception. Next to establishing a photography portfolio and social presence, a goal-oriented marketing strategy can help you earn substantial photography work and retain ongoing client relationships.

Start by determining the types of clients you’re most interested in acquiring. If you’re a portrait photographer using cheerful, vibrant colors, perhaps targeting high school seniors would be a great place to start. 

From your target audience, it’s a great idea to create a simple marketing plan or strategic outline for your social media accounts. This plan will define your overarching intentions and allow you to fill in goals that expand upon your needs.

For example, your primary intention might be earning more sporting event gigs. Taking that objective, you might make your measurable social media goal to acquire a thousand new followers who are runners, cyclists, or event promoters in the race scene. With this focus highlighted in your plan, you can better orchestrate a strategy, or combination of strategies, that align with your goals, like who to follow and interact with, what type of content to focus on, and where to meet these people.

So think about your marketing desires. Are you working to drum up new clients? Gain credibility in your category? Find brand partnerships? Pick one or two objectives to start with. 

From there, turn your objective into SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). Instead of “find new clients,” you could try “generate five new client leads via Facebook ads in the next month.” Once you have a SMART goal, you can generate a proper plan and social media calendar.

Social media calendar

Create a social media calendar

Now that you have SMART goals, it’s time to create a social media calendar to achieve them. This should include when and where you’ll post, what kind of content will be shared, and how it relates to your objectives. Take the below steps before populating your social media calendar.

  • Narrow down content formats. Decide if you’d like to do short-form videos for TikTok, behind-the-scenes photos for Instagram, or audience polls on Twitter. Be honest about how much time you can dedicate to creating content—so if you have an hour a week for social media marketing, you won’t want to try to do long-form how-to videos for YouTube.
  • Bucket posts into categories. Many social media marketers swear by the rule of thirds, one-third to promote your business, one-third to share curated content from industry leaders, and one-third to create interactions with your followers. At Blurb, we break up our categories into education, inspiration, user-generated content, contests, and promotions.
  • Determine the frequency of posts. Look into the frequency of posts that are best for each channel. Every social media algorithm rewards a different amount of posts—from once a day on Instagram to multiple times a day on TikTok. From there, you can review your content types and categories to plan how often you’ll post each type!

Now that you have established your formats, categories, and frequency, you can start creating content. Remember to ensure each piece of content ties back to at least one of your SMART goals. It may be helpful to use templates or tools for this part, like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or CoSchedule. Additionally, consider scheduling posts in advance, if possible, to take some of the pressure off yourself throughout the month. 

Schedule your posts to remain consistent and relevant

As a photographer, you must be consistent on social media to stay relevant to your audience. One way to do this is by scheduling future posts. It’s easier now that you have a social media calendar!

Why schedule your social media posts? Planning out content in advance ensures consistent posting. More importantly, you can leverage the best times and days for engagement without being online at those specific times. Make sure to research the best time to post for each specific platform.

Several tools allow you to schedule social media posts, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, and Sprout Social. These platforms also offer analytics to track how well each post performs with your audience.

If you want to take scheduling to the next level, you can:

  • Follow your content calendar. Plan the types of photos or videos to share each day, week, and month. This ensures variety in shared images while keeping things organized and easy to follow. 
  • Determine optimal posting times. Use analytics provided by each platform (or third-party apps) to determine which days and times receive the most engagement from followers.
  • Vary your content. Mix up the images you post, including behind-the-scenes shots, client work, and personal projects. This keeps your followers engaged while showcasing a range of your skills.

Scheduling your posts in advance ensures you consistently share high-quality photos with your audience without worrying about forgetting or missing a post. 

Prioritize authenticity, brand consistency, and your best work

One of the biggest pitfalls photographers have is pumping out social media posts at the expense of authenticity, consistency, or quality. These low-quality social posts are usually evident by a lack of follower engagement or response. In some cases, less is more.

In addition to documenting your social goals and strategies, establish brand guidelines for your photography business to inform your social media presence’s cadence, style, and voice. It can be as casual, witty, or playful as you like. The key is to use your authentic personality and be consistent with each post to avoid shifting tones and conflicting messaging from post to post. 

Quality, a subjective measure, also hinges on the consistency of your previous posts and audience expectations. If you hit a home run with your first few photography posts and they earn a lot of engagement, your followers will expect a similar level of quality in the future. In short, share only your best work, even if that means posting less often.

Photographer's social media account open with someone hitting the heart

Interact and engage to grow your brand organically

Consistent interaction with your audience can help build relationships on social media, leading to stronger engagement, increased followers, and, ultimately, more opportunities. Here are some tips to put this into practice.

  • Encourage conversations by asking open-ended questions about photography topics, trends, or your work.
  • Tag colleagues, clients, products, and related brands you support in your social media posts to encourage engagement and reshares.
  • Respond to comments and messages promptly, ideally within 24 hours. Simply liking the comment someone left on your post is a good way to express your appreciation (but a short, sincere comment is usually better!).
  • Follow other accounts and interact with the content they post—whether it’s photographers or the brands and people who reflect your dream clients.
  • Share behind-the-scenes photos or videos of photo shoots, events, or other aspects of your photography business that give followers a glimpse into the process.
  • Share and reshare often, whether posting a story of someone’s work you like or resharing another account’s post that includes your work.
  • Be authentic and show your true personality by being yourself and using a consistent voice when engaging with others online.
Two photographers looking at social media marketing on a phone

Another marketing tactic to organically grow your brand is utilizing relevant hashtags and current trending topics. This is a powerful way to supplement your posts and amplify the potential of getting your work in front of thousands of new eyes. 

Harnessing hashtags and trending topics might seem straightforward, but several best practices can maximize their effectiveness.

  • Use a handful of popular hashtags to reach users who seek posts related to specific topics and themes, like #cycling or #weddings. But don’t use too many.
  • Add several small and targeted hashtags more specific to your photography niche or the content you’re posting, like #cyclingphotos or #newlywedphotography. This will help you get discovered more readily rather than getting lost in the sea of images shared under #photography.
  • Avoid too many hashtags. Most social media marketers recommend three to five. Including more than that can dilute your findability based on most social algorithms
  • Leverage hashtags and location tags (or geotags) that relate to your location to attract clients looking for local talents, like #coloradoweddingphotography.
  • Research hashtags and social media trends using tools like Hashtagify. Certain tags, songs, filters, and other enhancements can increase the likelihood of showing up in people’s feeds.

Besides social media platforms, other trending topics worth exploring include current events, recent news stories, popular music, television shows, and the changing seasons. There’s endless ebb and flow to what’s hot and what’s not; you can harness that energy to inform your content production and posting schedule.

Try paid ads

While creating a fantastic organic social media presence is a great way to market and build a following, paid ads can also help you grow your photography business. Paid advertising can be sponsored posts, social media ads, or paid campaigns that increase brand exposure, website traffic, and sales. Here’s why so many photographers use paid ads.

  • Reach a large audience. With over 4 billion people using social media daily, paid advertising can be a great way to reach a large and diverse audience.
  • Target a niche group. Social media ad tools allow you also to narrow down that audience. Unlike a billboard ad that will be seen by whoever drives by, social media companies allow you to use demographics, interests, and locations to target a particular group. So if you’re a yearbook photographer, you can only show ads to 17-year-olds who attend your local high schools. Perfect! 

Start small and test and iterate your ads. See what works for your goals before adding funds to your campaigns.

What are the best social media platforms for photographers?

While the tips above are universally applicable to most social media sites, certain platforms are better for certain types of photographers and creative professionals. Here are some of the best forms of social media for photographers, plus platform-specific tips for utilizing each.


Indisputably the quintessential social app for all types of photographers, Instagram is an essential place to have a presence. With over 1 billion active users worldwide, it’s no wonder why so many professional photographers have fully used this social media giant as their go-to marketing tool.

To harness Instagram’s global audience and organic growth potential, here are a few important tips:

  • Create a cohesive feed. Ensure all of your profile’s photos are high-quality and consistent with your brand’s style, mood, and voice. 
  • Establish a well-branded profile. From your account handle and thumbnail to your bio and link, maintain a memorable profile that helps funnel users to your website or online portfolio. Linktree is a great tool to add all your links to your bio. 
  • Use reels and carousels. Mixing up your Instagram content with reels and carousels adds depth to your work. Reels, in particular, are more prone to show up in non-followers’ feeds organically than traditional posts.
  • Add geotags and hashtags. Adding relevant hashtags or location tags improves your content’s findability among others interested in similar topics, genres, niches, and locations.
  • Engage with your audience. Responding to comments and direct messages builds relationships with potential clients. This also shows that you are an active platform user who cares about engaging with your followers.


If you’re a professional photographer looking to grow your brand, Flickr is one social media platform that should be on your radar. With over 100 million registered users and over 10 billion photos shared, Flickr offers a massive audience for photographers to showcase their work.

In addition to joining built-in communities related to your photography genre or interests, you can also:

  • Create albums and collections. Organize your work into albums based on themes like location shoots or specific genres like portrait photography. Creating collections keeps everything organized so visitors can easily find what they want.
  • Utilize tags. When uploading images to Flickr, make sure to use relevant tags. This ensures that people searching those keywords can discover your work. But, like Instagram hashtags, don’t use too many irrelevant tags, as this can be counterintuitive and dilute your efforts.
  • Promote your work. Share your Flickr albums and collections on other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to drive traffic back to your Flickr page. This can increase followers and potential clients.
  • Engage with the community. When joining groups on Flickr, engage in conversations by commenting on others’ works, participating in discussions, and sharing tips or advice. This builds relationships and credibility within the community and inspires others’ work.


Pinterest is a powerful visual discovery engine where people hunt for ideas, inspiration, and all things creative. All genres of photographers can leverage its power and the 400+ million user base to support their goals. Here are a few best practices on how to do it.

  • Set up a Pinterest business account. If you’re on Pinterest and haven’t done this already, switch your personal account to a Pinterest business account. That way, you can tap into Pinterest’s analytics and utilize Rich Pins and different advertising tools.
  • Create pinboards based on themes or genres. Organize your pins into different boards based on themes such as landscapes, portraits, black and white photography—whatever you’re into. Users will learn about your expertise and find the content they want when browsing your profile.
  • Add keywords to board descriptions and pin captions. Pinterest is a massive search engine, so SEO fundamentals can work wonders. Including relevant keywords makes it easier for people searching those terms to find you. In addition to your profile page, individual image pins, and pinboard descriptions, add keywords to your pins’ accompanying text.
  • Pin fresh content regularly. Keep your profile active by adding new pins regularly. Prioritize pinning your own pins, but also occasionally re-pin other peoples’ pins to your boards.


Behance is a social media network that caters to creatives, allowing photographers to share their work with other artists, potential clients, and industry professionals. You can create beautiful portfolios featuring your best work in various categories and seamlessly promote your work by sharing it on other social platforms.To optimize using Behance as a photographer, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Create a personalized profile. When setting up your page, eye-catching images representing who you are as a photographer will entice people to view more of your work. Personalize it with different aspects of yourself as well—not just photographs! 
  • Participate in groups. Join groups related to your photography genre or style and engage with other members. You can also create your own group and invite others to join.
  • Market your services. Consider offering your services directly through Behance by setting up a portfolio that clients can subscribe to and comment on.
  • Add detailed descriptions. Write the story behind each photo project explaining the intention or inspiration. This can be especially useful if you’re profiling client projects.
  • Promote others’ work. Engage with other users by commenting on their posts or projects if they inspire something within you too! This helps build a community of creatives who support one another.


Connected with Instagram through its parent company Meta, Facebook is also a social behemoth with billions of active users around the globe. While it’s a bit harder to reach people organically, Facebook can be a solid platform to advertise, build a following, and establish a supplementary marketing front for your photography business.

Here are several ways you can utilize Facebook to its fullest potential.

  • Create a business page. Unlike personal accounts, a business Facebook page opens up opportunities for added features, like boosting your posts and advertising to specific audiences.
  • Optimize your page. Spruce up your Facebook page by filling out the About section, including your physical address, and organizing your photos and albums to show off your best work.
  • Post mindfully. You don’t have to post often but do post consistently, even if it’s a few times per month. Avoid making every post a promotion; instead, share helpful and informative messages your followers will appreciate.
  • Diversify your content. Share stories, live videos, and other rich content outside your usual photography posts. For instance, posting videos of your photo sessions can give people a taste of your process and what goes on behind the scenes.
  • Test Facebook ads. Advertising through Facebook (and Instagram) allows you to reach new, highly-targeted audiences and meet specific social media goals, like growing your followers. You can also test boosting your posts for $5 or $10.

Put social media to work for your photography business

It’s one thing to have a presence on social media sites like Instagram or Pinterest. But it’s another to employ strategies to engage with followers, build your community, broadcast your work, and explore opportunities. While it might seem like a saturated space cluttered with amateur and professional photographers, there’s still tremendous potential to increase your visibility and differentiate your brand with the right strategic approach. 


Blurb is a self-publishing platform that helps photographer turn their work into stunning print books. A physical photography book can offer a unique and engaging asset to share with prospective clients, whether you’re creating a professional portfolio book or a self-published photography book to sell and distribute.

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