How to Get Noticed as a Photographer in 2020

Getting noticed as a photographer in 2020 can seem like an impossible task with all of the millions of images being uploaded daily, but here are some proven tips that will work.

Before watching this video and being utterly disappointed, this is not a quick fix and I don't believe that there is one out there unless you have obscene natural talent of the likes that the world has not seen before. Assuming you have just got to grips with manual settings and nailing flash, you are probably looking at 2028 to 2030 before you produce any work of real note. Not to say that you wont take good photos along the way, but it takes time to get there. 

If that hasn't put you off completely, then this video goes over how to get noticed in the modern photography world, looking at what is important and what really doesn't matter. From knowing how to follow trends whilst remaining original with your own perspective and point of view through to how to use social media correctly for your goals rather than just to gather likes and follows. 

I then go on to talk about how I approached ad agencies and agents over the last decade and at which point they started to take note of me as a photographer. 

The internet is a great place, but a lot pf photographers have been led to believe that you can get good in just a few years, where as the reality is that it takes many years of hard work to even get a rejection letter.

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Robert Nurse's picture

Scott is always a welcomed splash of cold water no-nonsense reality. Whenever I listen, I'm reminded of what I shouldn't be doing which is kind of a relief. I don't have to be like the next guy to be good or noticed: nurture your own vision.

Nox Vega's picture

I must have been very lucky.
Owned a D3200 for about 5 years (never shot anything but auto and it was mostly collecting dust). I took it to Thailand in early 2017/2018 but was always frustrated that my phone took better photos.
I wanted to understand why. Why does this huge camera suck so much compared to my phone?
I thought it was gear. Now I know it wasn't (although photo quality between my old D3200 and current A7R IV is night and day).
I just didn't know how to use it.

Early summer 2018 (June). Bought Sony A7R III + 24-105 G.
No prior knowledge of camera settings. Clueless about the most basic settings like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc.
Bought a few courses on Udemy and spent the whole summer self studying photography.

Flash forward 11 months (May 2019).
Got contacted by a smaller motorsport organizator if I want to come and shoot their event.
I was reluctant as I never did that before, didn't know how to pan and was never interested in motorsport but agreed anyway. They had a few other test guys shooting.
I went home, edited the photos and sent them. They decided to hire me even though I was asking for 3 times as much as the other guys.

Flash forward a year later (May 2020).
Now I own A7R IV + 135mm GM, a combo that is fast enough for motorsport yet produces amazing details. One of the guys who bought my full resolution photos was impressed by the details and told me to talk to one of the much larger organizers he's driving for.
I contacted the representative, they told me to show up and take some photos. Spent about 1 hour there, went home, edited and sent photos and they replied to come shoot a full event in August and then we'll talk about the next season.

My recommendation is to be moderately perfectionist. Don't hate your photos, but always try to improve them. People will start noticing.
And how did I get hired instead of those other photographers who asked for 3 times less?
I extensively studied panning and motorsport photography (both action and static car shooting) before the event.
I shoot RAW instead of JPEG, I edited my photos by hand.I made the cars pop.
They asked for 150 photos. I sent them 300.
I overdelivered and they were impressed.

Now, I'm in no way a full time professional photographer. I'm not a great motorsport photographer. I have a lot to learn. But it didn't take long for people to start noticing. So I consider myself lucky.

Andres Entuna's picture

Now that story has inspired me :) thank you sir :)

Mike Dochterman's picture

I want to know about this: 'Got contacted by a smaller motorsport organizator'.... how did that happen? where did they find you?

Nox Vega's picture

Well, that's where I got lucky :)
I put up an online ad for an event photographer. But I was thinking birthdays/weddings.
They contacted me, I couldn't the first event, but then they asked me again for the second one and I said yes.

Yucel Yalim's picture

Yes, when starting out an early mentor said it would take 5 years going to get going... 10 years later, I see how true that was.

Johan Doornenbal's picture

This both inspired and depressed me. Thanks for putting out such consistently informative and no-nonsense videos, Scott, they are appreciated.