Whether you just picked up a camera for the first time yesterday, or you are a photo enthusiast, or even a seasoned pro...there are a few things you can learn about photography from using Facebook. Here we go...in no particular order.
- Join a group that talks about photography in your area. If one doesn't exist start one and invite your local friends to join the group. This is a great way to ask questions about gear, camera settings, etc. You can also share your photos to the group and ask for feedback. A great example of this is an Austin area group called Austin Photogs. Which has over 600 members and is active every single day with new posts, questions and comments. It is a great way to learn from a community. Be prepared to put yourself out there. There is not hiding behind a funny user name like there is in a photography forum. People know who you are...but if that doesn't scare you then by all means go for it...It's the only way you get any better.
- Take an informal poll. Post a few photos and pose the question to your friends to let you know which one they like best. You can also use the Facebook polling feature to dress it up a little. This is good practice for putting your photos in front of other peoples eyes. This becomes more difficult when you start asking for honest criticism. At least right now you are just asking people which one they like better (You could always ask them why as well).
- Create photo assignments for yourself and post them in your profile's photo album. The photo album feature is a perfect way to start thinking about how to tell a story with multiple photos. The albums are easy to view and when you post them it creates a great synopsis of your photo story. This will start you thinking down the path of developing your style. Seeing several photos from the same event next to each other will begin to show your photographic style and point of view.
- Speaking of Style (what a great segue)...Facebook is a great show and tell and playground all wrapped in one to help you develop your photo style. One thing people love on Facebook is photos...but often times people will just glaze over them because the photos don't strike them as special (minus close fam and friends...they will always comment on your photos. As they should). So if you want more people to take notice of your photos on Facebook then developing a style is very important. We will talk about how exactly to develop your style in a different post.
- Ask for constructive criticism. Facebook is full of people who love to give their opinions so why not ask those people for honest constructive feedback about your photos. Not everyone will take you up on it but a few might. The best place to ask for this criticism is in an environment where people know what they are talking about when it comes to taking photos. So this ties back to #1 on the list and joining a photography group. Again, you will need to have some courage...be brave and put your photo out there and specifically let people know you want feedback and criticism on your work. It is possibly the hardest thing you can do. Let's face it no one likes to hear that something they have done is bad, but that honesty and criticism will make you a much better photographer than if people didn't tell you what you need to work on.
There you go. 5 ways Facebook can help you become a better photographer. Remember that Canvas Press is always here to help you out if you need some direction.