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Be Socially Smart - PPA Today

Be Socially Smart

facebook_beaker_blue_500.jpgMany photographers agree that some form of social media is necessary. But you've got to be smart about it. Two PPA members share what works for them (socially) in the August Professional Photographer magazine issue, and we've snagged a bit of that article for you right here:

Know What Works Best Where
When using more than one social media platform, it's tempting to link all the accounts you can and auto-update. While it may feel like saving time, it might not the most effective use of those spaces. Selective posting may be a better bet, as both John Pyle of Georgia and Jordan Brian of New Jersey have found. Here are a few pointers of what they post where:

  • Blogs--Both Brian and Pyle post longer, educational pieces on their blogs. Brian and his staff create articles for brides in-house (or share what vendors send) on topics like how to time the hair and makeup sessions.
  • Facebook--"It's all about engaging with your clients," says Brian. So instead of giving online images to the clients, he asks them to tag themselves on his Facebook page, even in the behind-the-scenes images and video slideshows. Pyle treats Facebook more as a traffic feed for his blog. He'll post teaser images from a session (linking to the blog), make announcements or even share the accomplishments of his senior clients, such as when one signed with a college baseball team.
  • Instagram--Pyle's favorite social media platform, Instagram, allows him to share behind-the-scenes images on Twitter, Facebook or email without having to log in to a separate site. He likes to show the client just arriving, picking out the wardrobe or trying to get in position for the shot. "With Instagram, it's easy to build excitement around what we're doing now," he explains. "I am able to keep everyone updated on my destination shoots, and I get comments back instantly with seniors saying, 'Can't wait until my session!'"
  • Twitter--Because his senior clients check this site often, Pyle also uses it to keep his name top of mind. He shares music he likes and cool products he sees--anything to put himself in the "cool crowd," as he says.
  • Pinterest--Gathering and sharing visual ideas is where Pinterest shines. Brian shares tips and suggestions for wedding photographs, along with detail ideas from weddings he's covered. Pyle even created a Pinterest Style Guide to ideas of what to wear to sessions.
Keep Your Images Safe
Whatever social media you use, don't forget to keep your images as safe as possible. Any online use of an image means your rights as the creator could be infringed. Help protect your images in these ways:

  • Register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office at
  • Add a visible watermark or a caption.
  • Embed metadata into the file properties of your images.
  • Link images back to your website.
  • Indicate that your images are "all rights reserved" (if the social media platform offers that option like Flickr does).
Read the full "Be Socially Smart" article in the "PPA Today" section of the August Professional Photographer magazine issue. Learn more about PPA member Jordan Brian at Learn more about PPA member John Pyle at

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on August 21, 2012 6:18 PM.

Keeping Your Images Safe from Infringement was the previous entry in this blog.

PPA Charities Portrait Award Winners is the next entry in this blog.

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