This democratisation of photography is a good thing. Photography is an avenue for people to express their creativity and engage with the world around them.
However, with more voices vying for attention, there is an increase in competition to be seen. Just because someone can take a photo and publish it doesn’t mean that anyone will find your photo, or even want to look at it. With an ever increasing amount of information and images readily available at our fingertips, we do live in a society of information overload and decreasing attention spans.
What does this mean for photographers?
Firstly, develop your own unique style. Being different is a good thing. People get bored of very similar images and will probably end up ignoring them. Challenging people with a different way of looking at things will make most people look a bit longer. For instance, I focus a lot of my personal projects b&w photography and making the ordinary look interesting.
Secondly, don’t be afraid of technology, and understand it. Photography covers a lot of different processes, both digital and analogue. The question isn’t whether one process is better than another, but which is works best for your style and what you are trying to convey. I have found myself shooting my event photography in digital as it’s much quicker to turn around and clients want digital. However, for my artistic photography, I like the quality of b&w photography and it suits my work better than digital.
Also understand how you can best use online environment to showcase yourself sell yourself. If you have a website or blog, learn about search engine optimisation and find out what key words are good for you. Also try to get reciprocal links from good websites. Like many photographers, I have my own website, but I have also started promoted myself on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and a blog).
Lastly, be persistent and believe in your work. It’s very competitive out there. Keeping a positive outlook, which can be hard, as well as working at your photography is key.