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Don't Ruin Your Photography Business in Seconds: Think Twice Before You Post on Social Media

Social media is a powerful thing that can vault photographers into the spotlight overnight. It can also bring them down in seconds.

Coming to you from Scott McKenna, this great video talks about the importance of professionalism on social media. Personally, I've seen colleagues make extremely ill-advised posts on Facebook after being let go from a job or having a bad experience with a client. The problem is compounded in that many of us have a mix of connections across social media that include both personal and professional relationships, and we don't always do a great job of making sure who sees what is clearly separated. Even if you do keep things perfectly compartmentalized, word of mouth is powerful, and all it takes is one screenshot of you complaining about a client to do serious damage. I think there's a tendency to believe that if one is in the right, they're immune to consequences, at least in what I've seen in my experience. If you feel you were fired unjustly, then smearing your boss/former institution on Facebook shouldn't affect you since it wasn't your fault in the first place, but all future employers see is someone creating a pool of drama and bad press for a company. Be careful online. 


Lead image by Bruce Mars, used under Creative Commons. 

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17 Comments

Billy Walker's picture

The real truth is social media is primarily stupidity performed by people with nothing better to do. Is there "good" social media? No doubt. But the stupidity seems to reign supreme.

After watching the video, professionalism, or a lack thereof, is absolutely a problem. I look at it this way: if you put out content you are in effect a publisher. Many years ago at this point we had "gatekeepers" at the Editorial desk for example so letters to the editor were reasonably intelligent or certainly within reason. Today you have so many putting out pure crap with zero vetting. The accuracy of what is published never seems to have importance. It's the great dumbing down of America via Kardashian-type influence. And, of course, mob rule reigns. So, so many examples.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

I am not a pro photographer but a teacher working in secondary education. We have the same problem. I used to have Facebook but I killed my account a couple of months ago because I was sick and tired of the utterly uninteresting timeline filled with commercials.

I still have Instagram but I will never post anything that could result in problems. I usually post pictures of rather innocent stuff.

Anonymous's picture

You create/curate your feed.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Sorry, what do you mean?

Anonymous's picture

I mean that my feed is full of high end content, such as environment; science, technology, and engineering; psychology; neuroscience; medicine; and open source intelligence.

If your feed is garbage, that is completely a consequence of your deliberate, or unthinking choices.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Innocent does not equal garbage. I post lots of nice pictures but the subjects are safe to post.

Anonymous's picture

You specifically said "I was sick and tired of the utterly uninteresting timeline filled with commercials."

You should probably stop now.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Maybe you should read what I typed. I deleted my Facebook account several months ago.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, I saw that.

And, since it clearly needs to be explained, the purpose of quotation marks is to denote that is what you wrote, verbatim.

If you did not intend to convey that "I was sick and tired of the utterly uninteresting timeline filled with commercials", perhaps you should not have typed it.

So, I reiterate, if your timeline was full of garbage, that was entirely of your own doing.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Do you use Facebook. Most of the timeline is filled with other content than your own..

Anonymous's picture

Apparently you have issues with comprehension. At this point, I would suggest you read what I wrote above. I really do not like repeating myself.

But it is nice to know that the only thing in the universe that is of any interest to you is yourself.

Anonymous's picture

And this, right here, is your response when you worked out that you have not come across particularly well.

I wish to remind you that I suggested you stop, but you chose not to.

liliumva's picture

This is one reason why you keep business and personal separate, and not make posts public on FB on your personal profile. I tend to keep people I do not know off of my friends-list. Everyone has the right to rant about a hard day of work, or someone who miffed you. It really doesn't matter the field you work in. No one should be essentially forced to wear a mask, which is sorta what they're suggesting, of being happy go lucky and excited all the time. False realities are just that, false.

Kirk Darling's picture

There is nothing you can post online that can be guaranteed not to be repeated where you don't want it.

The only good rule is: Never, ever post anything to social media that you can't stand repeated to the world.

And not even in private messages to anyone you're not at least sleeping with.

Maybe not then. Those folk aren't always trustworthy either.

Let me state that rule better: Never, ever post anything to social media that you can't stand repeated to the world. Period.

John Ohle's picture

So true. Last week I came across a person working in HR whoses sole job was to go through candidate social media accounts to fine any 'issues'. And yes bad mouthing a previous employer was considered an issue.