Twitter as a Tool for Photographers

I’ve been on Twitter for about a year now, and I’ve found it an absolutely wonderful tool to keep my finger on what is going on in photography, to learn about other photographers, and just to have a bit of fun. When I tell people about Twitter, often they think Twitter is about people detailing their coffee drinking, lunch habits or worse. Instead, by controlling who you “follow” it’s possible to have a good experience.

Through the reach of Twitter, I was recently able to meet up with an Australian photographer, Ilya Genkin (@igenkin) on a recent photo shoot in the Blue Mountains of Australia. I had a great afternoon picking his brains over a cup of coffee about the photography scene in Australia, as well as information and tips on photographing in the Blue Mountains. His friendship and time was well appreciated, and make that portion of my trip even more memorable and enjoyable.

Choose Who to Follow

I make a general practice to only follow those photographers who actively tweet about photographic subjects, either their latest work, or links to blog sites about photography, links about equipment, or any other link that is photographically oriented. Photographers who tweet political topics, or some other controversial topic generally find themselves “un-followed” very quickly. Keep in mind, photographers are human and will occasionally tweet about other subjects, even sensitive subjects; what I’m referring to is the general tone of their tweets. By controlling who to follow, I can more easily keep my Twitter timeline pared down to productive subjects.

When following another photographer, be sure to check who they follow. This will often lead to new photographers to follow.

Make Sure to Participate

The secret behind Twitter is sharing what other photographers are tweeting about. Make sure to retweet liberally, whenever they post a photograph, blog entry or web article that is of interest. Likewise, make sure to tweet about your photographic efforts that others may find of interest.

SampleTwitterTimeline

Pay attention to those who follow you. While you don’t need to be obligated to return follow everyone who follows you, many people don’t like to follow people who don’t return follow them in return. The more you followed, and are followed, the more your tweets will be of benefit towards others.

Like most people you will have people you follow who aren’t photographers. I’ve found that by creating a list of photographer, I can quickly get a timeline that shows tweets from only those I have identified as photographers (see figure).

 


Suggestions on Who to Follow

Well, onto my list (in no specific order). These are photographers whose “tweets” I have found quite productive. I know there are a lot more photographers that I should be following, but, I’m sure I’ll discover them as time goes by. Likewise, I may not always follow the same photographers that I currently follow.

For More Information

For a list of blog articles on this subject you find useful:

Above all, have fun.

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About roteague
I’m a landscape photographer, residing on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. I love large format photography, in fact, I love any kind of photography involving film.

7 Responses to Twitter as a Tool for Photographers

  1. Beno says:

    Thanks for the tweet on the blog.
    Well written and is really making me think.
    I might have to make up two twitter id’s I suspect, one for photography and one for automation. They are just so different I dont see how I can use both through the one username??

    • roteague says:

      I would think if you are tweeting infrequently, using one account wouldn’t be a problem. However, if you are a regular tweeter, you could confuse those who follow you.

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  5. Excellent post and helpful as I am just in my second week on Twitter. From what I have experienced and read about Twitter, I choose to use it as a networking platform to discuss my interests in photography, conservation and sustainability, yet at the same time, my simultaneous interest is in cultivating collectors for both my father’s and my own photography. Thus I am just as interested in meeting people for the purpose of selling photographic prints as in meeting people to discuss photography. With this in mind, according to my limited understanding thus far, I have geared my tweets toward showing who I am and what I stand for, as well as education people about who my father was: pioneer large format color wilderness photographer Philip Hyde. I join conversations about photography as you recommend and Retweet messages by other photographers, but do not limit my scope of participation to the discussion of photography. Photographers do buy prints, but I find that a wider scope of discussion also draws in more other types who may also buy prints. This at least applies outside of Twitter. We’ll see if it applies to Twitter. I realize I run the risk of turning off photographers like yourself who are primarily interested in the serious discussion of photography with photographers. I find that most of that sort of talk though can bore potential collectors. I’m sure there are those who it interests too.

    • roteague says:

      Thanks David, I appreciate your comments. I’m well aware of your father work, and glad to know that you enjoy what I’ve written here.

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