I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou
What is shoved in front of our faces on the Internet has become highly personalized. One of the benefits/drawbacks of so much data mining is that content is, allegedly, targeted toward what we really want to see. So, if you’re not interested in horse and buggy construction you don’t see that content. If you mention you enjoy being around bees, you’ll see more content related to every possible aspect of bees. People are gullible, so they click right on through.
As a photographer, I see plenty of headlines with titles such as 10 Ways To Get Your Photos Noticed and 5 Cheap Must-Have Photographic Accessories in our Toolkit. Before clicking either of those links, be aware that someone is trying to sell you something on either site. There’s always a catch, always a spin, and quite honestly, a good portion of the information is nothing more than horseshit filler that the author read somewhere else. Again, folks are gullible and if the list comes from someone who says they’re an expert then the naive among us are going to believe them, no matter how wrong the advice actually is.
Three such articles were begging for my attention this morning, so I decided that rather than bother suffering through the click bait that would follow if I clicked those links I would just write my own advice column. After all, I’ve been around the block. I know what I’m talking about. I have advice to give.
Just, uhm, know that I’m being totally sarcastic. If you actually take this advice you’re crazy.
Don’t Take Too Many Pictures
Did you know your camera has a click limit? Well, not exactly a limit, but a maximum number of shutter clicks beyond which warranties are invalidated and things start to fall apart. For Canon cameras, the cap is about 100,000, 150,000 for Nikon, and 300,000 for the Sony a99 II. So, obviously, you need to be careful about how many pictures you take. After all, you paid a lot of money for that camera! You don’t want it to start falling apart about the time you finally learn how to use the damn thing! Be very careful of what you shoot so that every shot is sure to be a masterpiece.
Have People Take Behind-The-Scene Photos Of You
Nothing says “I’m important, pay attention to me” quite like having someone else take pictures of you behind-the-scenes. What you’re doing doesn’t really matter. Maybe you’re on the phone trying to keep the electricity on. Perhaps you’re staring at the back of your camera trying to figure out how to get it out of black-and-white mode. No one cares. What matters is that, oh-my-gawwwwwd, you’re behind-the-scenes and you’re going to take pictures. That must mean that the pictures are really important and everyone needs to look at them when they’re done. A couple of tips for behind-the-scenes shots: first, you must look serious because, you know, this is really seriously hard work and you take it super seriously. Second, anyone else in the picture needs to be smiling because you’re such a fun person to work with and shooting with you is always a party. People will absolutely notice your pictures if you this with every shoot.
Post Unedited Pictures On Social Media Immediately After Every Shoot
You posted the behind-the-scenes shots, so now you have to show people what a wonderful photographer you are by posting at least three or four unedited shots. Not only does this prove to people that you actually did have a photoshoot, but that you’re such a good photographer that your pictures don’t really need any editing. Besides, if there’s a problem you can always blame it on the fact that Facebook’s compression algorithm sucks and that the original looks a lot better on your computer. Everyone believes that. This helps people be even more amazed when they see the edited version.
Edit Way More Pictures Than Anyone Needs
I mean, you shot for, like, an hour, dude. You took so many pictures! Surely there are more than ten good ones out of all that, right? So, be sure you edit, oh, maybe 100 pictures from every look. Never mind the fact that half of them are the exact same pose and expression. This one’s a little closer than that one, and this other one is almost full-length, and hey look, you got kind of an almost quarter profile in that one. So yeah, edit all those. Besides, it gives the subject plenty of options to choose from.
Use At Least Ten Filters On Every Photo
Those filters are in Photoshop for a reason, dude. Use them. Use all of them. Use all of them on every picture. They make your work look so much more artistic, especially the ones that mimic paint daubs or pointillism. I mean, anyone can just take a picture, right? Show people you have real talent by using a lot of filters, changing facial features, making skin smooth, blurring the background so that old creepy dude next door isn’t so obvious, changing the shade of lipstick the model is wearing, completely altering all the makeup the makeup artist spent an hour doing, and all those other really neat and fun filters. Everyone will praise how creative and insightful you are. They’ll tell you that your photos almost look like a painting. Accept the compliments graciously. Those people have no idea what they’re talking about.
Post Everything To Social Media
Careful, a lot of people post a lot of pictures. If you want to stand out and make sure you’re photography is getting noticed you have to do this one just right. Post all your pictures one at a time. If you post them as a group, people only see like the first six or so in their newsfeed. If you post them one at a time, however, you can fill the newsfeeds of everyone on your friends list who hasn’t unfollowed you yet. Make sure you tag the subject, too, as well as the hair stylists and makeup artists. Not only do they deserve the credit, you’ll fill the newsfeeds of all their friends, too! Now everyone can’t help but notice that you’re a photographer! For maximum exposure, post to Instagram first and click the buttons to cross post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and every other social media site you’re on. No one will be able to escape you no matter how hard they try!
Take Pictures Of Famous People You Don’t Like
Post Pictures Of Complete Idiots
Post Pictures Of Boobs
Sigh, okay, if you insist. I know this is what you’re really wanting:
Distribute Your Business Cards Everywhere
Try leaving your business cards in places where people can’t help but find them. Popular places include the restrooms of really popular nightclubs and upscale restaurants, an OB/GYN’s office (because everyone wants baby pictures), shower rooms at Interstate truck stops, strip clubs, and any other place where really classy people are likely to congregate. You can also take advantage of any long lines you see and hand your business cards out there. Donut shops are especially good for that tactic. However, you probably want to stay away from the lines of people waiting to pay bail. They tend to not respond so positively.
Leave Reminders On Other People’s Photos
This is so very important! Anytime someone takes a picture of their baby and posts it to social media, be sure to leave a comment reminding them that you do photography now and that the burn scars from the deep fryer are starting to fade so you really don’t scare as many babies as you did the last time they saw you. The same applies to family photos, or drunken nights out with friends, or any other picture that you didn’t take. People need to just hire you, you know, and let you follow them around taking pictures. Those would be such wonderful pictures. Everyone would notice. They would be so popular.
Getting Serious Again
Do any of those things and I will come over to your house and slap you. Hard. We’re joking, okay? We don’t mean for you to take this seriously. This isn’t PetaPixel or anything like that. DO NOT DO THESE THINGS! Have I made myself perfectly clear?
Sigh, I know, everyone stopped reading when they got to the boobs. Have a good Saturday or whatever.