Photographers on Twitter: How They Use It


What is Twitter? You may have heard of it from many different sources like the social media geeks in your life. Perhaps it was through corporate news like the recent Twittering Moms against Motrin incident or how the online shoe retailer Zappos uses this micro-blogging platform to transparently communicate with its customers.

Regardless of what you’ve heard, it all started with a 14-year old Jack Dorsey (now CEO) who way back when wondered: what if you could create an instant messaging service to easily and quickly share your status with friends and vice versa?

Personally, I created my own profile after reading that NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander was posting updates of its mission on Twitter. Soon after choosing my profile picture and a photo to customize my Twitter background, I discovered there was a whole world of online communication happening—with over 3 million users all sending messages to each other, in 140 characters or less.

Within the Twitter-verse, I’ve found many who identify themselves as pro photographers in their bios. In this blog post, I’ll identify some of the photographer’s I follow on Twitter and how they’re using it to communicate with friends, find new customers, share their brands and grow their businesses.

Geeks & Tech Heads

@GordWeisflock is a marketing and business development manager for the Asia Pacific region in the Kodak Graphic Communications Group. Keep up with Kodak developments with @cornpoppy, who also works at the company’s Rochester headquarters.

@newmediaphoto tweets links to his podcasts and about the ways in which photographers can benefit from social media.

@thomashawk recently tweeted about his pre-order for the Canon 5D Mark II while @susheel_c reps the Beyond Photo Tips blog and recently rendered HD video using Photoshop.

Underwater and travel photographer @JasonDPG feeds his blog posts, links to his portfolio and also updates the Twitter page for the @DivePhotoGuide.

Like many on Twitter, @wmmarc uses Twitpic to share his shots. Podcaster @frederickvan is an Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 fan who also tweets reviews about cameras like the newly released Nikon D3x.

Business Uses

@photographyvoter is a Web site that aggregates photography news on the Web and feeds their updates in to Twitter while the business Twitter account of @PhotoHand advertises its photography restoration and retouching services.

@photojojo, in their own words, are “the world’s awesomest photography newsletter!”

Washington, D.C. photojournalist @jaymichael is a Twitter newbie and I bet he’ll have a spot at Obama’s inauguration.

U.K.’s Colours Magazine publisher @zakazmi might just convince you to get into high dynamic range (HDR) photography.

@polaroidgirl links to her Etsy boutique where she sells adorable Polaroid prints and has recently tweeted some sweet holiday discounts.

The unofficial FFFOUND Twitter page @FFFFIND offers feed updates of users’ found, shared and uploaded images -– a great way to discover new work and find inspiration if you’ve got crippling photographer’s block.

Fun Self-Promotion

Music photographer @jorycordy uses Twitter casually and often hangs with fellow lifestyle photographer @FredEgan. Both have recently tweeted about their recent six-day Mammoth Men photographers road trip along with @michaelnorwood –- sounds like it was fun! Half of the husband and wife photography team @imageisfound is also a fellow Mammoth Man.

My friend @missmaro is one of the few women photographers I’ve found on Twitter. She is the in-house photographer at SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio and gets to shoot radio hosts and guests -– everyone from Martha Stewart to Mary J Blige. In her spare time she also shoots freelance for the Village Voice.

@jswright
is a photographer who’s not afraid to explore how to use Web technology to display his work. You’ll see him tweet links to the pics on his Tumblr account as well as collages made using VUVOX.

NYC area location scout/manager @rrhobbs constantly tweets the names and Web site links of the photographers he works with.

Photographer @wolf_brigade still seems to enjoy shooting with good old film, even exploring the effects of expired film –- you’re encouraged to check out his Flickr account and see the results.

And then of course there’s me @mestrich. I feed my Dodge & Burn: Diversity in Photography blog updates into my Twitter account and link to my Web site/photography portfolio from my profile –- every month I consistently see Twitter as a referring site in my analytics reporting. The other day I tweeted about fashion photographer Steven Klein and how I interned at NV Labs in NYC’s meatpacking district where we developed his prints. Another fashion photographer @pipercarter saw my tweet and replied about her experience as Klein’s assistant.

Marketing & More

I’m still discovering new photographers and the ways they use Twitter. Do you have a Web site or photo blog? Then RSS feed your new posts into Twitter and get more/new eyes on your work.

Or how about finding and following photo editors, sending them a tweet or the more private direct message (DM) with a link to your online portfolio? It might be faster and more effective than a random e-mail, cold call or wasted mailing.

Even photo editors can in turn use Twitter to their advantage — like for instance, tweeting photo requests for your publications. Stock photography agencies can also set up Twitter profiles to receive image requests and/or new submissions.

So try this: brainstorm three ways Twitter can benefit your photography business, then sign up (it’s free), create your profile, follow some people (like me), watch as others start following you and start tweeting! You never know … your tweets might lead to your next assignment, gallery exhibition, press coverage (many journalists use Twitter to sniff out new stories) and so much more.


69 Responses to “Photographers on Twitter: How They Use It”

  1. Thanks Qiana for putting the list together - I find your viewpoint valuable and can learn a "trick" or two from other peers. We do update Twitters on our PhotoHand.com photo retouching offering and it produces very good results.
    I have looked at the overall traffic of Twitter (compete.com) from half a million a year ago to over 3.5 million visitors today. Very impressive...it would be a shame not to use this flow of information and reach out to professional peers and analyze the "threads" of our potential clients and cater PhotoHand.com offering based on them....

    Warm regards,
    PH

  2. @fricafact We're using Twitter to highlight a number of photographers images of Africa. We only showcase Creative Commons licensed photos, and we'll send out one each day along with one fact about the continent.

  3. Qiana,

    Thanks for that fun and informative article. I run a free Lightroom tips and tutorials website called TheLightroomLab.com, and I'm on Twitter almost every day as @TheLightroomLab.

    I follow the public Twitter feed for people talking about Lightroom and try to answer any questions that I can. I'm also alerting my followers when I post new articles on the website or if there is other news they might be interested in.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  4. Great article, Qiana. Personally, after blogging for three years and starting to feel like social media was becoming too diffuse (and obtuse), Twitter reconnected me to people in a way that other social media hadn't. It's how I found you, after all :)

  5. This is great thanks. I would like to use Twitter to meet like minded humanitarian photographers.

  6. Very nice Qiana. I'm following you right now!

  7. I couldn't agree more! Twitter is an amazing tool with the power to inject an amazing amount of eyes on page, conversions, and if nothing else, new friends.

    I'm on twitter WAY too much with the user name @trontastic talking about search marketing, online marketing for photographers, and just about anything else tweet worthy.

    Consider yourself followed!

    Cheers!

    Levi aka Trontastic

  8. sorry, one other thing I think should be mentioned to people new to Twitter. You can go to twitter.com to use their web based system but I highly recommend you use an application like tweetdeck or twhirl to manage your twitterverse. It will make interactions MUCH easier and more enjoyable. There are also applications for your phone too so you can tweet on the go.

    Tweetdeck - http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/
    Twhirl - http://www.twhirl.org/
    Other Twitter Downloads - http://twitter.com/downloads

    I recommend starting small. Follow some of the people from this post. Then as you get the hang of it, build up your list and brainstorm ideas for using it to build your business.

  9. Timely article! I was wondering how photographers were using Twitter. I am at @SeshuThePhotog (http://twitter.com/seshuthephotog). I am totally bitten by the Twitter bug.

  10. Qiana - thanks for the love and all the great info. Twitter has become a fairly ubiquitous tool amongst marketers and social media junkies, and photographers are just now catching on too. I'm discovering more and more new contacts and friends this way. Thanks again!

    - @JasonDPG

  11. Thanks for the shout out :)

  12. Good information. I've met some good people since joined Twitter--and have been finding more and more photographers.

  13. I use Twitter, http://twitter.com/dcuthbert, to let people know about the photographers, from the African continent, I've featured on my site (http://text.hmmm.co.za).

    It's been pretty useful so far as a marketing tool.

  14. Good information on Twitter. I continue to tell people about twitter and it is still not widely known compared to the likes of MySpace and Facebook. Right now I just use it to indicate new blog posts mostly as well as random things I am doing, but this will help find additional ways to use Twitter as a tool.

    Cheers,
    @neilcorman

  15. Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments and praise! I know this was a quick breakdown of the genius that is Twitter but I'm glad that I've been able to contribute to such a great community of photographers :) Stay tuned for part 2!

  16. Hey, thanks for the mention!

  17. great post..MJR uses twitter as an aggregator for our users to tap into the stuff we find interesting.. from gadgets that we've purchased that never leave our domke's to interviews, blogs, photo essays and sneak previews of our own projects.. our blog was the kindle to some great exposure and community building.. and twitter is the gasoline!!

    hope black star is doing well!
    @wearemjr

  18. http://www.twitter.com/mammothmen woot! woot! thanks for the love! great article!

  19. Great article. I love twitter. I've met many photographers around the world through twitter. The search to finding (and friendly "Stalking") is search.twitter.com

    I've also used a combination of facebook, twitter and flickr to keep in touch and connect with people in industries related to me. (PR, marketing, web designers)

    One thing to remember when using social media is to NOT be too "pushy" on promoting yourself. Talk about your industry, comment on things related to what your interests are, be genuine. Don't be "that guy" who just spams links to your stuff all the time. Remember it's about listening and participation, not just you.

    Feel free to follow me on flickr and twitter @acmephoto.

    Adam Nollmeyer
    Phoenix, AZ
    http://twitographer.com

  20. I just found - and followed you through Twitter! I find Twitter much more immediate and easier to use than other social networking sites. I can tweet from my phone whenever I think of it and use it to catch up on what's going on.
    I have my blog update Twitter and my Twitter updates appear on on my site as well as on Facebook.

    Still building connections but getting there.

    I'm @abstracts on Twitter

  21. Thank you for the all the info. I've been using twitter to follow local news and friends. Now, I'm even more excited and can justify spending so much time on twitter and call it work!
    http://www.twitter.com/khaner

  22. Great tips from someone just starting to use Twitter!

    http://twitter.com/kwwphoto

  23. I'm also a pro photographer and a new twitter user... mostly for my blog updates but I sometime post other stuff.

    http://twitter.com/yanikphoto

  24. Great article! We use Twitter account (macgroup) for announcing all of our new products, content, special offers and blog posts.

    http://twitter.com/macgroup

    Wonderful times we live in!

  25. http://twitter.com/asyouwish
    for my photography business
    and
    http://twitter.com/loriluza
    for me, personally

  26. Great article.

    http://twitter.com/hakandahlstrom

  27. Nice article Qiana. Just starting on Twitter and have linked my blog http://www.jonboyes.com/blog/ to my twitter site http@//twitter.com/jonboyes so it updates when I blog and the blog sidebar holds the last three tweets.

    I will master this web2.0 stuff.. :)

    Jon

  28. Cool, I found this blog post by searching "photographers on twitter." I think Twitter can definitely be a useful tool, and I am still exploring ways in which I can promote my photography.

    BTW, I am now following you on twitter, thanks.

  29. Barely know how to use my 2006 imac, but did for video on my space.
    See video and photo's. Old time film guy but love the enter connecting of the
    modern world. Trying to catch up. Thanks I'll be checking back to see
    what this old guy can learn.
    R. Force

  30. One of the coolest things about Twitter is crowdsourcing. Pop in a question and usually you will receive a response. Possibly many. It's like having a room full of friends and acquaintances in a room together where you can shout out an idea and get feedback. This is one of the coolest things about twitter.

    - Wade Holloway
    FolioMojo.com
    @foliomojo

  31. Very useful article, thanks.
    https://twitter.com/Photomonthly

  32. Wow. Qiana, this is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing this great information. I'm also a photographer and I joined Twitter about a month ago but until recently I never saw the importance of using it or even how to use it..I'm very much into Facebook and LinkedIn and I just thought that Twitter was just another so called "kids" thing and I really didn't pay much attention to it. Your post just reaffirmed my interest in a great way of getting my work out there and hopefully noticed one day...

    Thanks again....Will certainly be "following" you as well here on Twitter. Take care.

    Cheers,

    Todd

  33. I joined Twitter when it was relatively new and then started using it later to microblog, but since I've developed my photography business, I've found a lot photographers and vice versa.

    http://www.twitter.com/stephencharles

  34. Reading on an iphone, love the wptouch plugin for wordpress.

    Having a twitter client on my phone has made it much easier to check in during the day.

  35. Very interesting article, thanks for sharing this. I am just starting out using Twitter and can already see a lot of benefits to the business.

  36. I was going to write about Adam Nollmeyer with ACME who does a great job using all social and web media to promote his photography business - we've actually done business together because of that and twitter is no different. Lots of great tips on here - thanks Quiana! (BTW our studio twitter account is at http://www.twitter.com/orangephoto - we recently got a Web 2.0 gig because of our twitter integration for a recent shoot too!)

  37. I really enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for putting it together.

    http://www.twitter.com/wearephotogs

  38. What a great and useful post! Thank you for all the info! :)

  39. I enjoyed your article .. and want to add my name to the mix!

    I specialize in Product Photography and work with many Etsy style and small / developing businesses. Photography is what I do ... what I enjoy ... and I think I'm pretty good at it. My portfolio (which is quite diverse!) is at http://www.suebrucephotography.com.

    Would love to welcome some new friends to the fold ...

  40. A very informative and interesting article, Qiana!

    Thanks!

  41. thanks...
    been struggling with how to use twitter.
    been looking up the peps on your list.

    thanks !!

    jacob

    http://twitter.com/jacobschere

  42. Just saw your re-post of this on Twitter. Like the tips... and I especially like the "think of three ways to use Twitter" idea. That one's going to be mentioned during my program on social media, for sure!

    Thanks again :)

    Betsy (aka @learnwithbetsy")

  43. (oops, should be @learnwithbetsy. but you knew that, right? ;) )

  44. Awesome post! I'm going to check out some of the twitter photogs you mention.

    I have a photoblog and at this point, twitter is my main source of traffic. It's a fabulous tool, and a great way to interact with others in the same field.

    http://twitter.com/nancypics

  45. I'm a music/event photographer from NY and I've recently joined Twitter. I've been using it a lot lately and it has become my primary networking tool right now.

    I'm always looking for new friends and people to network with.
    also since I am fairly young and new in the industry I am always looking for work and representation. I've been working really hard lately so hopefully it will pay off!

    feel free to follow me on twitter
    http://twitter.com/evatography

  46. I am a art/event/urban photographer based in Reading, UK. I use the RSS feed of my blog via twitterfeed to auto tweet my my new posts. I include the #photo hashtag.

    I follow a few photographers including @samtimes and @chromasia.

    Why not follow me on twitter:

    http://twitter.com/sihawkings

  47. Hi Qiana,

    I've just discovered this very informative post.

    I'm a natural history and conservation photographer based out South Carolina. Most of my work focuses on conservation issues and the flora/fauna of the Southeastern, US. It would be great to create a dialogue on these subjects with other like minded individuals on twitter.

    Follow me at: http://twitter.com/naturalimagery

  48. Thanks, Qiana.

    One of the more detailed and practical post I've found helping photographer us Twitter. Finally, another quality person to follow.

    I create portraits of people and places that have style, presence and elegance.

    Take a ride with me at http://twitter.com/atl_portraits

  49. I've been using twitter as a way to let clients know what I'm up to, and meet other photogs. @MooreClick.

    I'm also using the blog in the same way. I think having a blog lets clients know a little more about you. I do a lot of wedding photography, and it's hard to decide who you want to do your photos when you're considering a bunch of strangers. I like to get to know my couples, and having the blog and a facebook account make that easier.

  50. hey, thanks for the information. i'm a recent twitterer (less than a week now), and was wondering if twitter would really be a benefit to me and my photography.. and already i have some great followers!

    and on a side note i interned at steven klein studios back in 2002. funny connections.

    thanks again!
    ashley suzanne
    http://twitter.com/4blankwalls
    (i don't know how to do the @4blankwalls and make it work... or if it just works.. haha) : )

  51. Awesome article! I'm a Twitterer as well, and pretty regularly hang out in the twittosphere. I post updates to my shoots, fun stuff found in my travels, and lots of iPhone photos (posted to Twitpic) of where I'm at, or really Random stuff as well. I love Twitter, and the fact that it's like a river of streaming consciousness - just dip in every once in a while and see what's happening. Or not. You can use it however you'd like, and it works for all.
    Thanks again for a great read! (and I'm following you now on Twitter - would love it if you'd like to follow me as well - @randomphoto)

  52. I'm here to make new Art/Photography contacts and to show my 70's Street Photography along with my newer images...

    @robertmjohnson

  53. Just signed up for twitter. I'm hoping to expand beyond my small bubble of fellow landscape photagraphers to learn marketing, improve skills. Great article, thanks.

  54. @SWalesPhoto Weddings & ALL THINGS NEW HAMPSHIRE. Live Free or Die people.

  55. Thanks Qiana.

    follow me plz: @musicoooool

  56. Why not...

    http://twitter.com/whoisariston

  57. I use twitter to help draw people to my photography website. My stats have increased since I've been on twitter. Thanks for the info.

  58. Still not sure if Twitter is just more static in cyberspace or really a valuable tool.

    I use it (along with Linkedin...someone called it Twitter for grown-ups") to drive traffic to my photo blog This Photographer's Life (htpp://robertwalls.wordpress.com) and it works...but my blog is purely a sel-indulgent, anecdotal exercise based on nearly 50 years as a working hack. It's not designed to generate business...which makes it fun to write.

    Interesting article, Qiana...

  59. it is good to note that significant market players like B&H, Adorama, Calumet, and little old us (profoto) are using Twitter with great success to stay in touch with our customers.
    It is wonderful to learn what people are thinking online quickly.

  60. Twitter is a great way to build your brand and direct traffic to your website. @afterdarkedu we're trying to think of how we can use it to keep people informed at our After Dark Education events (the first is in Austin Oct. 11), which have a real spontaneous component to them. Part of the After Dark experience is a learning eruption when people collaborate, brainstorm, experiment and explore. It would be great to be able to tell people when these magical moments are occurring so they can partake in or observe them. Anybody have experience with this?

  61. great list of people to follow, I will be adding some of these people, and follow you as well.

  62. great list of people to follow, I will be adding some of these people, and follow you as well.

    Follow me @turtzilla

  63. Thanks for compiling this list. It's an interesting list of people to look at and learn more about how to use Twitter more effectively and efficiently. I have been on Twitter for the last few weeks and already can see how this too can be very useful for communicating with clients, suppliers and fellow photographers. It is part of my social media presence from facebook.com/advertising.photography to my twitter stream @photosbydepuhl, both of which invite people to my blog.depuhl.com and my website http://www.depuhl.com

    Thanks again for getting this list compiled.

    ... catching the light!

    Pascal

  64. Many thanks for all that information.

    Rgds,

    Richard Baker.

    @bakerpictures

  65. Very Nice Info. Thanks for your kind help.

  66. Thanks for the info...

    Rgds
    Paul Stoakes
    http://twitter.com/paulstoakes

  67. I still cant get my head around it.......hopefully in time, but in the mean time its great to read the comments

    Wayne

  68. I find twitter to be simple, expressive and outreachy. Can be good for SEO, too.

  69. I love Twitter! It's a great way to meet new photographers.

    Follow me: https://twitter.com/#!/LadyTorii

Leave a Reply