October 14, 2010 7 Comments
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.
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).