Google Plus and Photography – Chasing your themes

Some people don’t get on with Google+. They don’t see the point of it and find it harder to engage with people than when using Facebook or Twitter.

Google+ is more about communities than friends, there are many strong communities and very influential individuals that you could use to your advantage in marketing.

The trick with google+ is to post only your very best images on a regular basis and share them with communities that have an interest in your style of work. Finally, try and make some influential connections, so when you have something important to say you are more likely to get your message spread quickly.

Of course it is a global audience, if your business is local only it may be of less interest. Even so, if you have a photography business listed in Google Local (formerly Google Places) and it is associated with a strong Google+ profile, you will be much more visible in the search engine results.

I find Google + the easiest social network to use as a photographer. It’s not perfect, organising your photos could be a lot simpler, but the look and feel of the interface is far smoother and less cluttered than Facebook. It’s a magnet for photographers of all levels from around the world.

It’s no coincidence that Photographers Trey Ratcliff, Thomas Hanks and Tom Anderson hold positions 6, 7, and 8 of the most followed people on Google+ .

I know technically Tom Anderson is best known as the founder of MySpace but  photography is now his passion – look at his profile to see. If you haven’t already got a Google Plus account it’s daunting to begin with,  you have Trey with just under 5 million followers to compete with!

Of course it’s doubtful that anyone starting now will be able to compete with the universal follower magnets, but there is a space somewhere in the middle, for us mere mortals to build an audience for our work. I’d like to share with you a simple way to speed up the process to find friends and influence people 🙂

Museum Rome, Italy

Posted up today for themes #WomenWednesday, #hqspmonochrome, #hqspnonnaturephotos , #allthingsmonochrome , #streetphotography and #rawstreetphotography

I’ve watched people successfully gain influence and gather followers using circle sharing, competitions, themes and hashtags.

Here I’m going to focus on themes. Themes often have the added bonus that the curators (very influential people) will choose their favourites and reshare the images on the theme page itself, then you attract many more followers interested in your work. Also, as you are connecting to the groups who share your interests as a photographer, you will probably find that the quality of the comments you receive will improve.

The Hub of a theme is usually a Google+ Page or a Community.  To post photographs to most themes you need to tag an image with:

  1. A link to The Google+ Theme Page or Community
  2. The curators of the Theme
  3. The Theme hashtag
*NOTE: Remember to put all of the pages and curators into your circles – I have a circle called Themes and a circle called curators to keep them tidy.

There is a brilliant resource available that lists most of the popular themes and provides you with statistics, information and cut and paste code for your posts including all the essential tags and links.

I have used some of my favourite themes as examples but I suggest you make your own list using the themes listed on the resource I have linked to above.

The really annoying thing on Google+ is that when you cut and paste these tags from one Google+ post to another the links all disappear.  However if you cut and paste the Google+ unique ID number for each page or person, and paste it into a post, the link will be created.

That is why the theme listing site above is so useful, and why creating your own popular cut and paste tags according to your photographic style will save your hours in the long run.

*NOTE: Remember do not cut and paste from one post to another in Google+ as all of your people and page tags will disappear. Cut and paste from your own list like the one I have made below.

If you really want to build your follower numbers up fast, consider putting yourself forward as a curator. I imagine it is quite time consuming, which is why I haven’t done it myself, however I’m sure it’s a great way to get followers. The resource link I provided above gives details of theme pages that are looking for curators.

Here’s the list, and if you want more top tips and you like my images you can circle me here.

Daily Google+ Themes

One sure way to attract attention is to post your very best images regularly. The daily themes are a good way to keep a steady flow of images appearing on your page. They are popular so you can pick up quite a few views using the hashtag.

Monday Themes

Monochorome Monday
For +100721197069868019681 curated by +117470753717431753548 +110041558267751969861 +116985892549750076024 +102171842495058318978 +107343380917808930971 +100730482429607730997 #MonochromeMonday

Shoes Monday
For +103408014527622914546 curated by +106132563999059898886 +104361409217313730040 #ShoesMonday

Leading Lines Monday
For +106738248584813417297 curated by +108127039931400009413 +104355888553035365377 +108092188319505624535 +114830458019096176470 +113111857754202208081 +100784425740559013107 #leadinglinesmonday


Tuesday Themes

My Town Tuesday
For +100503825046812729376 curated by +114127684466692817416 +116042504805817667580 #mytowntuesday

Portrait Tuesday
For +110121585149280412897 curated by +100081010984768669358 +116678377243407600427 #PortraitTuesday

Cuban Woman in Paris

One for #PortraitTuesday

Transport Tuesday
For +108674867211728423383 curated by +111112809838472063992 +113635217936692280136 +108258998494605140446 +116843025732061565320 #TransportTuesday


Wednesday Themes

Wide Angle Wednesday
For +113413820629101434595 curated by +107916932044263516432 #WideAngleWednesday

Weather Wednesday
For +112404978094795040756 curated by +111940817266286694912 #WeatherWednesday

Wet Wednesday
For +105837174297260653678 curated by +104100048721044197927 #WetWednesday


Thursday Themes

Urban Thursday
For +100677528159245643709 curated by +105477838837461147904 #urbanthursday

Coastal Thursday
For +111400732361417799841 curated by +102444210972227492079 +101810868794261263831 #CoastalThursday

In Motion Thursday
For +106417709946558982641 curated by +103776299476527190352 #InMotionThursdays


Friday themes

Feet Friday
For +108574845125888832419 curated by +107926371512942521555 #FeetFriday

Colours on Friday
For +101895570915665777018 curated by +110027747567778716234 +101697458106330852210 #ColorsOnFriday

Fido Friday
For +111700522129731539879 curated by +105852782594022510198 +104962347070667053810 +100275369366064591159 +114839663135720829360 #FidoFriday


Saturday themes

For +109065685588567617650 curated by +109134942366253016489 #SilhouetteSaturday

Street Life Saturdays
 For +106162924928341362126 curated by +101006001190131292549

Sunday themes

My City Sunday
For +110904442002274084798 curated by +116905863525318361853 +111029390442511467115 MyCitySunday

For +108038105692242016215 curated by +108838388628190977623 +112941758576332332211 #ShadowsOnSunday


Black and White Themes

I love Monochrome, these themes are really popular on Google+

10000 Photographers BW Monochrome
For +118354348104191320538 curated by +117000139571713536948 +105549797352796189905 #10000photographersBWmonochrome

All Things Monochrome
For +104488912244914098950 curated by +103236949470535942612 +102630587810059958311
+103905243558297332495, +116009988727944699627 #allthingsblackandwhite #allthingsmonochrome

HQSP Monochrome
For +104112931232906076951 curated by +111892763335178073075 +110336976038750891860 #hqspmonochrome

Monochrome Arty Club
For +100063075762256579052 curated by +108019662279165160680 +115665147773049983469 +105101694711744871391 +103197072119870191855 +102550939011914482302 #monochromeartyclub

Street Photography Themes

For +117667139809211458332  #StreetPics

For +113332593582232559763 curated by +111395336413321899601 +103729298155391133062 #streetphotography

RAW Street Photography
For +115761369087241460953 #rawstreetphotography

Urban Snap
For +114855977826297290745 curated by +103650703836816496431 +109208819976630988946 #UrbanSnap


Really Popular General Themes

Pixel World
For +111030772181610401482 curated by  +118301062646383652931 #pixelworld

For +113338852684140641535 curated by +102921966230520584004 #creativephotos

10000 Photographers around the World
For +110538600381916983600 curated by +117000139571713536948 #10000photographersaroundtheworld

HQSP Urban & Street Photos
For +102873089149603762163 curated by +101997782486428462734 +105869820195207598778 +116560541114804305108 #hqspurbanstreetphotos

100 Strangers Project
+111291841020596011976  curated by  +107213813872748015663 +117939436980939541352 +109895985415340120002 #100Strangers

HQSP Portraits
+11645570634503681853 curated by  +114654114514872937512 #hqspportraits

Other Themes I Like

Low Angle Photography
For +118304888464001365482 curated by +114441204367012264249

Magic of Light
For #MagicOfLight #themagicoflight +105228416043631582555 by +115924865466302265389 +106901350204433474063 +103745203309160971155

HQSP Landscape
For #HQSP Landscape  +100379827397924071303 by +109079753818826549254 +116160296886796853429 +111507734943250706775 +117724447617982506837 +112898717782421875814 +110441510987025503659 +112055620905339459149  +115530531530181491807 +106625389810654522392

Stunning Moment
#StunningMoment +106314743058506488325 by +101159726845862944750 +108102879464925551155

#BTPLandscapePro +116416755205215746848 +116501742697641301903 +113408942588672463601 +110473080845421674567

Marketing for photography in a social revolution

Everything changes. Technology advances at lightning speed changing the way we live and communicate. The art of photography has been irrevocably changed. There are the obvious changes in the way we capture and process images, and then there are the ways in which we view and share images.

When I was a darkroom photographer, I would dodge and burn and print. The only way that I could get my images seen was to hang them on the wall or get them published in magazines. It was really hard to get noticed, to get exposure. Now I have Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and my own photography blog and website. I can get my images viewed by thousands in a very short space of time. I also have some control over how my images are indexed by the search engines, driving traffic to each of these accounts.

marketing for photographers

It’s time to look at the Photography industry in a different way

Photographers who cling onto the past, expecting to be able to earn large sums of money for one negative or slide are sadly disengaged from today’s market. Documentary and press photographers have been hard hit. Papers today can get cheap, and even free images, from members of the public for most news worthy events. It is true that the quality of images often suffers as a consequence and that many talented photographers are finding it harder and harder to make a living.

Then there is the stock image industry. Millions of people are uploading billions of images down-loadable, sometimes, for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Does this mean the death of the photographic industry, not at all; it means a transformation of the industry. People can speculate about whether it’s good or bad, but that is not going to help photographers get ahead. The first online digital image sharing services, introducing the concept of micro-pricing, were developed by entrepreneurs who recognised that the boundaries between creators and users have disappeared.

The stock image game is still there to be played but it is tougher than ever before. You need some dedication, persistence and hard work to make any money out of it and even then that is often not enough.

Successful photographers need to understand and use different tools and platforms for marketing, and either sell more images for less money, or be so good at photography, social marketing and search engine optimisation that both their images and their services as a photographer get noticed.

Whilst traditional photographers may get satisfaction playing the blame game, calling the stock image industry to task about their unscrupulous licensing model. They may heave and sigh that amateurs call themselves professionals because they have bought themselves a great piece of kit and can click a shutter, but all of this is a waste of time. To survive as a photographer now means refocusing on what works right now. To get noticed as a photographer you will still need to be great at what you do to make any money out of your art. However, being good is no longer enough; you will need to learn new marketing skills, social media marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation) and content marketing.

Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be writing a series of articles on the subject. Sharing what I have learned from over a decade of digital marketing for Silicon Beach Training in Brighton. So keep coming back and follow me on  Facebook,  TwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn for more instalments.