Week 3 Challenge: Image Virus

As I am new to developing my photography business, I was nervous about conducting this weeks challenge. The concept of starting a viral image, which could then go onto creating issues with new and potential clients was a too greater risk for me at this time, largely as its a small world where I live!

However! I have taken the spirit of the challenge onboard, and have since spent the time looking to push my online presence as far as I could.

Firstly I set up an Instagram account. My first stab at this platform and one I have avoided up until now as I was always concerned about images getting pilfered.

My account – found at r_j_jones-photography has been set up to represent my business interests and is looking to develop as the business does.

Initially set up as a page for family, I changed this to be more outward focusing, following a chat with a professional photographer friend (and mentor) of mine, Ian Rogers – IG

Developing my IG account led me to read and watch endless ‘how to’ works, but in the end, I have settled with what works for me at this time. It is noted that, at the time of writing, my IG account lacks any tags, or use of data to help spread the image around. This is something I will be looking at in due course. I am told its essential!

Since Monday (8th Oct) I have achieved 36 followers (Thursday 11th Oct) Most shocking for me was finding my mam had her own established account! I am now following, but yet to receive a reciprocal follow!

So to find a viral (not the best word to use for an NHS related bod) footprint, I started to look at alternative options. Not the best at self-promotion, I looked at potential sharing sites that could give me a foothold, that could be run as an experiment over the duration of this module.

Firstly I joined Gurushots, one of a number of photo-contest websites to appear in recent years. I am sceptical, as these sites often need you to spend money if you want to progress. However, the regular challenges, tests and seemingly consistent public voting on images does appeal. I am sceptical as I am very aware a lot of these sites use AI to push you forward, then drop you off if you don’t spend any money. However for the duration of this module its worth a flutter.

So far I am climbing the heady ranks of the newbie rating and am looking to try out my luck at online exhibitions. With apparently countless millions of ‘members’ and (at the time of writing) some 400 likes to my six images, I shall take it all with a hefty dose of salt.

Secondly, I sold my soul. Yes, that’s right I went down the road of stock photo .. all in the name of science …

Joining stock sites has been a no-no for me since a bad experience in my TV add making days. Losing control of image rights was no fun and the memory sticks with me.

But we digress. I have now joined up with my old mate Shutterstock and am setting up a stills image account under RJJonesPhotography

So the plan is to see where this takes me over the next twelve weeks. I am looking to also join other stock photo sites to run a comparison. I am keen to learn what happens when you upload your hard-fought images to the great online cloud.

At the end of the day, a photographer is only as good as the images they actually like. All the exposure, publicity, IG followers and similar mean nothing if you don’t enjoy the work you do.

After all, we image makers have the power to stop time, the power to influence someone’s life and the power to bring a smile to an otherwise rainy day.

No viral image in the world is worth a bean if we don’t first love the creation we transport off to the masses.