the social media fallacy

Four reasons why photographers limit their use of social media

Unfortunately, in the process of chasing that number one magic number on social media, artists are losing the ability to carry out their craft and are no longer focused on the one thing that will actually shape the next generation of artists. We are slowing down processes that we must speed up. This is a call to action for every visual artist – photographer, writer, producer, designer, etc. Yes you. Social media has convinced us that we need to embed ourselves in our work and by doing so, we have forgotten why we do what we do in the first place. We are here to create meaning and share it with everyone who will listen.

The idea of ​​why I started taking photos got lost in a sea of ​​likes, comments, tags, and shares. Social media is taking advantage of you. It’s time to stop using social media at least for a little while. You have to escape the hype and illusion of social media. Be a true artist and follow these four suggestions to limit your social media use and focus more on creating images, rather than just showing them.

Social media is not the be and end all marketing

We all know that social media is a huge part of our lives – but it’s not the only way to reach your audience.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “If I didn’t have social media, I wouldn’t be able to reach my clients.”

This is simply not true.

People will say things like, “The times are evolving — you just haven’t caught up with them yet,” or some other random excuse why they should stick with what they know instead of digging into other tools. But here’s the thing: There are tons of great ways to reach your audience without relying on social media.


Here are some ideas:

  • Create a personal website with great SEO.
  • Attending conferences and public communication events.
  • Use outreach initiatives such as outreach via email or paid advertising on sites like Facebook and Google Adwords.
  • Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get new clients!

Social media is great for getting your name out there and connecting with other photographers, but it’s not the only tool in your toolbox.

Bryan Wark Explore the outside world

The algorithm is the fictional boogie man

The algorithm is not the problem.


They’re the ones who convinced you that you should spend every waking hour on social media, posting and interacting with a million posts in the hope that you’ll get enough feedback to take advantage of the super secret client package that social media hides from you.

The truth is, many successful artists can go days and weeks without uploading content to the web without being “hipped” or “shadow-blocked”. They do this by focusing on the quality of their work, taking some time away from social media, and focusing more on having the right people in their network (rather than just random people) in hopes of giving them feedback. And you can be just like them!

Unnecessary drama

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: There is a lot of drama on social media that simply doesn’t need to exist.

I’ve seen plenty of photographers get tagged in posts from their photography accounts on Facebook, where people tag them to say something like “Did you know this person is a mutual friend? I thought I’d warn you that they (don’t enter any offense)”

This is a huge problem, and it happens all the time. It’s one thing when someone asks you why you take pictures of people who have different political/religious beliefs than they do. It’s another matter when someone asks why you worked with so-and-so 7 years ago at a birthday party, they gave a dirty look. And it’s another thing when someone asks how dare you let someone comment on your posts that they can’t stand the way they spell their name.

Yes, these kinds of things happen all the time — and if you’ve never seen it, I hope you never do. But when you’re a social media photographer, people will always want you to be on an apology tour for things beyond your control!

Brian Wark spends time with his wife, Krista

No one actually needs to reach you 24 hours a day

Social media is a powerful tool. But it is not a business model, and it is not a replacement for all other forms of marketing, no matter how much you like it.

Whether you are a photographer or an accountant, the most important thing to remember is that your clients do not pay you to access your Instagram account. They pay you because they need your services – and because they trust you to provide them well.

So, if you’re going to base your entire business model around social media platforms, create a schedule and stick to it — and in that schedule, set aside time to sign off and turn off notifications (although most phones already have a scheduled sleep mode, you can set it up to turn it on automatically). And go spend some time with your family! No customer needs to reach you 24/7. They don’t – inquiries can wait until the morning, and emergencies can wait until the morning. You are a photographer, not a doctor (unless they specifically designate you as a doctor).

Social media isn’t the only way to go

Social media is a great tool for photographers, but it’s not the only one.

If you want to be a social media photographer, that’s fine. But if you’re a photographer and feel compelled to use social media in order to become successful — and wish it were different — well, it can be. There are plenty of other ways to grow a business without feeling trapped by algorithms and hordes of people who are waiting to jump in for whatever reason to watch a business go up in flames simply because they are fun to watch knowing full well that the company has done nothing wrong.

So take it from me, there is life to live and beautiful art to be created outside the four walls of Facebook and the ‘Gram’. You must try it sometime.

The world is a beautiful place to explore when you don’t have a screen glued in front of you

About the author

Brian Wark is a USMC veteran and award-winning portrait photographer from Binghamton NY. You will find more of his work at website and on Instagram. This article is also published over here and share with permission.

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