Forget the new Instagram flare that the giant social media platform introduced to their stories. The new update allows users to add colorful text into their stories without photos or videos required. Some might say this is huge but to be honest, I really don’t see myself using it.
What I am really interest in Instagram is actually it’s ability to showcase different talents and making it able for creators especially photographers to be able to show the world the work we do. And Instagram is the tool.
As a Photographer I relentlessly have the urge to understand the art of photography and how I can show the world my work without spending so much many on the resources. This is always hard due to the fact that most photographers living in third world countries cannot afford the equipment and platforms like online platforms like a personal website. That is why it’s important for young photographers to maximus their use of freely available platforms like instagram to publish and promote.
The new change in instagram algorithm has proven that it is definitely going to be the biggest social media platform on the planet above Twitter and Facebook
Here is how you can make good use of Instagram to make your photography venture a success;
Find a niche
For consistency purposes it’s important to publish according to your photography niche. As a Photographer you should have a field of photography that you are interested in and that is what you should definitely post regularly. This will not only give you a specific audience but make you different and that is what you should be. A good example is David Guttenfelder.
This will not only give you the ability to promote your commercial work but also enable you to connect your instagram with your facebook page which makes it easier for you to post simultaneously on both platforms. This is how to turn your account to business account.
1. Go to your profile and tap .
2. Tap Switch to Business Profile.
3. Tap Switch to Business Profile and select the Facebook Page you’d like to associate with your Business Profile on Instagram with.
Make sure your profile is set to Public. Private accounts can’t switch to Business Accounts.
4. On the Set Up Your Business Profile page, review your business’s contact information, make any changes and tap Done.
With a business account, you’ll get access to new business features and Instagram Insights.
Use relevant Hashtags
This is the most misused part of social media as far as I am concerned. A lot of users tend to overuse the hashtags in order to get a lot of taps and followers. It is good to use hashtags but I also believe it’s best if you stick to relevant hashtags related to your photography niche. There is nothing confusing that seeing a photo of a puppy in the #Foodporn or seeing a plate of fries in a #fitness
What I am trying to say is that we should use hashtags related to the post. This will lead to have real and substantial followers who are interested in what you’re doing.
Make good use of Instagram Stories
Instagram has proven to be a force to recon when it single handedly took snapchats stocks into the gutter once Stories was introduced. Unlike Twitter which is run by politicians and journalist, we do not have to worry about instagram stories. Try and make videos and photos of your stories as creative as possible.
Also try to be original and post consistently which is a big plus. One of my favourite photographers Peter Mackinnon shared a video on his Youtube channel to explain the importance of being different on instagram and I hope you can learn a few things from it.
2017 was a pretty bad year for most YouTube creators due to the ADPOCALYPSE as it is referred by most Youtubers like Pewdiepie and the rest. Well, this was part of the challenges that came as a consequences that followed after YouTube came up with strict measures to punish anyone who goes against their terms. I thought that we have learnt and maybe 2018 was going to be better and more successful in terms of YouTube revenue BUT Oh boy!!
Just 3 days into 2018 came one of the biggest YouTube scandal after the most subscribed person in the history of YouTube said the N word during his gaming live stream. This time around was Logan Paul. He was in the frying pan this time round for recording a suicide victim in Japan. This caused an uproar all over the place which led to Logan Paul being removed from YouTube’s ‘special ad program’ which only a few channels have the opportunity.
But if you think about it, then you will realise that such measures do not really have a major impact to this gigantic channels like PewdiePie and Logan who enjoy more than 80 million subscribers combined and over 4 million views each per day. Even if YouTube strikes them out of the ad program this does not really affect this guys. It’s like pinchin an elephant. The creators who really get affected are the ones with less than 5000 subscribers, when YouTube decides to punish the whole community equally, YouTube does not know that the smaller channels suffer the most.
After Logan Paul did what he did, YouTube has come up with a ruling that states any channel with less that 1000 subscribers will not have ads running on their channels. That is most of African channels by the way,unless it’s a musician or a Major media house.
Most channels in Africa do achieve more than 10000 subscribers which means that no ads to all this young and upcoming creators. The creators who suffer due to the mistakes made by big shots in the YouTube world. This means that for an african child whose dream is to be a YoUtuber has to wait forever to achieve 4000 watch hours.
YouTube claims to do this in order to protect the legitimate channels which really have content that is up to standards, which I can totally agree and support but YouTube should also look into ways that can promote fairness when protecting it’s creators and not seem like favoring a few who are already established.
Africa has the fastest growing viewership after China which means it’s time for YouTube to start looking into the matter and protect creators from Africa.
As a photographer we are seamlessly seeking for gigs and opportunities in every corner just to make it possible to get our daily livelihood. We tend to pick up any call that comes our way hoping it to be better than the last ; The one where we worked over 8 hours only not to be paid for our services. Been there,done that!
We also tend to work really hard not only to feed our empty stomachs in this third world economy,but because we love the art of photography. Even in the midst of all the challenges , we tend to have one thing that has always been our bloodline in the photography business. I mean, if you don’t have a camera then you are not a photographer,right? Well, the same can be said about owning a camera. You can own a camera but that doesn’t make you a photographer.
It doesn’t matter if you own a camera for professional services or even for personal use. we all want safety. Safety for our equipment and our health.
Well, there seems to be a new challenge to achieve all this my friend. A couple of weeks ago, over 3 photographers have been robbed their equipment by a notorious group pretending to seek services from photographers. Esther Wanjiru was the latest victim to this gang who pretend to work for an EU organisation. He has managed to do all this through his sleek moves masquerading as a client seeking to hire photography equipments but later he and his partner in crime flashe a gun on your face and get away with all your hard earned equipment. The matter has been reported to the police and they are looking for the gang. Let’s just hope the police don’t let us down.
This man robbed photographer Eshter Wanjiru her equipment. This week alone, his gang has robbed 3 photographers,his accomplice has a gun. He poses as as an employee of a fake EU NGO or a camera buyer. Police are looking for him. pic.twitter.com/lAjhHd8Glz
Tools which are part of your life. The ones you’ve worked hard and acquired.
I ask my fellow Photographers to watch out for this and be careful and vigilant whenever something like this ever happens to one of us. We should be careful whenever dealing with people we don’t know well and even bring a friend if possible when meeting someone you really don’t know. This way we can save our livelihoods and keep on doing what we love and that is photography.
You are probably a photographer either abroad or just locally based and you want to know about Kenya laws on photography on the streets of Nairobi. Well, I am not sure what you really want to hear but all I know is that I have both good and bad news for you ‘Ma frend‘ I am going to start with the good news maybe to ease you up abit.
By now you have probably seen this tweet from Nairobi Governor; Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi
So let me give you a little back story on the tweet, this was a reply to one of the many Nairobians whom have either been directly or indirectly affected by the harassment coming from the ‘Government’ on the streets. The Governor replied saying that Larry Asego’s wish of freely taking photos of Nairobi has been granted.
This got different opinions from different people on Twitter:
Just be careful with a blanket approval that could be exploited by terrorists. Let those who seek permission get it in person from ur office
If you cringed while reading HON KIBUCHI MWAI tweet don’t worry we are together on this one. It’s people like Mwai who only care about themselves and not about the livelihood and careers of other people. He was probably tweeting from his fully furnished office or pale archives but I am not here to talk about him.
Mike Sonko the Governor
So the good news is that the Governor said he is going to protect photographers. That’s it??!! Yes, that was my reaction too.
Let’s look at the bad side of the story now. As much as the message was shared on a verified twitter handle of the Governor, that does not mean anything when it comes to legal matters as Christopher said:
Tweeter is not legally binding, put that in law and we’ll be fine.
I fully support Christopher’s sentiments on this because trust me I have seen a couple of people still being harassed by the police or people masquerading as the police. This is a really an issue that most leaders do not want to talk about maybe due to the fact that it doesn’t affect them. That is where they get it wrong.
Photography and terrorism
Andy to those who think that Photography leads or promotes terror should focus. (Pun intended) There are so many photos of Nairobi or any other city in that case that are being published both in Kenya and abroad; even in Mogadishu News papers. If photos are the problem then we could all be dead by now.
I just hope the government of Kenya looks into this issue and urgently protect both professional and amature photographers. They are our only hope. Photography has nothing to do with terror and we should be allowed to freely document our country without any harassments. This are our jobs and livelihood. We don’t want to brag about promoting tourism yet. That’s a story for another day.
We all know how expensive our equipment cost,right? well, at least for me. Most people tend to forget about how important this cameras and lenses cost or rather will cost if they happen to either mistreat them or just deteriorate from poor maintenance that can always be avoided through regular cleaning all together.
I am pretty good at keeping my equipment clean…. Peter Mckinnon
Being a photographer in a 3rd world country
As an African Photographer it is very religious to make sure that I clean my camera equipment due to the climate of the sub-saharan climate which is windy and dusty. My Camera and most importantly my Nikon lense happen to be very dusty most of the time due to these harsh climates and that’s why I recommend it’s very important for every photographer to rethink about cleaning their lenses regularly.
I don’t have a very expensive lenses; don’t get me wrong! It’s just that my camera happens to be my source of livelihood and to be honest I can’t afford to lose it especially from having dusty lenses which is something that will take about five minutes of my life. I can’t lose my livelihood from that? I am not that person!
To help myself understand more about this major problem that most of us photographers tend to ignore, I decided to go online and find out what most ‘BIG’ photographers think of this topic and to my luck I came across one Canadian Youtuber who from that point happened to be my favorite photographers and Youtuber. On one of his videos, he clearly explained why it’s important to clean your DSLR lenses and I couldn’t agree more. Peter Mckinnon explained that he has had always not thought that his cameras could be any ‘FILTHIER’ than what he considered to be slight dust from his daily shooting in Canada but that all changed when he visited Kenya.
In Kenya, Peter Mckinnon noticed that his equipment were more dusty than what he has always known. Welcome to Africa Pete! He said that his equipment was filled with dust and that’s when Peter appreciated MAX whose camera had been ‘Filthy’ from his long stays in Kenya. Peter had to learn the hard way. Who said ‘Hakuna Matata’ in Africa?
This didn’t Make Pete stop cleaning his lenses though. It’s also very important for all other Photographers; big or small to it important to take care of our lenses and equipment because this is our ‘guns’ and we should always shoot to protect our careers.
You can watch the video below that Peter Mckinnon shared 🙂