“What should I post today, a photo that I spent time composing and editing to self-promote or should I just do a cute duck lip selfie?”
I am a photographer. I primarily take pictures as a hobbyist and journalist for Wingspan, but I do freelance work in my free time to pay for my coffee addiction. Since I do not work with a studio, and I cannot afford to pay for real advertising, I self-promote on social media. The obvious go-to for any photographer that isn’t 90-years-old is Instagram.
For us photographers, Instagram works perfect. Take a beautiful picture, edit it on a computer, send it to our phones, post it and BAM. Self-promotion.
However, the problem with self-promotion is the competition. Surprisingly, it’s not fellow photographers soaking up all the likes; it’s Instagramers that only post selfies.
My personal profile, as of writing this article, only contains eight selfies out of 80 posts. My profile is 90 percent creative and journalistic photography. For my photography, I take time to download the pictures off my camera and edit them on my phone. Compared to the selfies that take a second to shoot with my phone and only require a few words to explain.
My struggle is getting people to show interest with photography on my profile. I gage this based on the amount of likes each photo has and the number of followers I have. Meanwhile, an Instagram profile that features only cute selfies tend to get way more traffic. Most are just quick hand-held shots with a cheap inspirational quote.
Many say that the American society is narcissistic and self-obsessed. I am part of this group, and that’s why I try to keep my Instagram profile about good photography and very little about me. However, it’s hard to keep from being narcissistic when it seems like the people of Instagram want to see these types of posts.
I base this on the fact that profiles that feature only selfies tend to have much larger followings and will get many more likes per post than my creative photography posts.
What is even worse is the fact that the few selfies I have posted on my profile have gotten 27.25 likes compared to my post that feature creative photography that get 18.25 likes. Even 18.25 likes is high compared to my strict journalist photo galleries that only get 11.25 likes. I based these numbers on the average of my best four posts of each category.
If we are pushing to be less narcissistic on social media, then why do we condone the narcissism by favoring these posts and profiles?
As far as self-promotion on social media goes, if the people I advertise to care more about my selfies than my creative and journalistic photography, why don’t I just post selfies of me with duck lips, a camera and simply state that I do professional photography?