Sharing is caring, as they say—whoever they are. Wherever that old saying came from, it’s as true in photography as it is anywhere else. In fact, if you look at marketing in general, this is what viral marketing is all about. However, it is extremely difficult to go viral, especially for photographers. It essentially means that you must capture a photograph that is so striking, millions of people will snatch it up and share it.
Most of us will never have a truly viral image, but even so, when sharing does occur, even if it’s just a small amount of sharing, it’s still valuable. That’s what gets our work out there in front of more people—and some among those people will almost certainly be interested in what you have to offer.
Is social media where the sharing starts and stops? I don’t think it is. Social media is the first thing that comes to our digitally-attuned minds when we think about sharing—that or sharing PDFs via an email list. But in this day and age, there are so many more ways to go about this sharing process. Creative ways, too, including many methods that surely none of us have thought of yet.
Books, as an example, can be helpful if you are a fine art photographer. You may not think of books as a way to share but rather as a way to make money from your art with people purchasing coffee table books filled with your artwork.
Well, if you think about that, coffee table books are your clientele’s way of sharing their favorite artwork with their guests. They sit on a coffee table waiting for a guest to drop by and thumb through it as they enjoy their coffee.
That’s just one thought, but there are lots of other ways to share via books. Perhaps it might suit you to create small, inexpensive books featuring a limited sampling of your work. Something that you can give out to people as a gesture of goodwill, and as a way to share and get more eyes on your work. Books can be placed in libraries, too, so that anyone visiting the library can check you out and see what you’re all about.
This type of sharing isn’t limited to books. It can come in the form of magazine publication. If you see an opportunity to place an image in a publication that suits it, then give it a shot! This gets you in front of even more eyes.
You can enter photography contests or print postcards to sell at tourist attractions. I often stop at postcard stands to look at the images and maybe even spend a few bucks on things that I like—and I’m surely not the only one who has stopped to browse postcards! There’s a whole collectors market around it. Or your form of sharing could be something completely unrelated to any of the things I’ve mentioned. The main thing that matters is finding ways to get your work out there—and doing it in ways that won’t put people off with overly pushy sales tactics but will give them a chance to enjoy your work and learn a little bit about who you are.