Do Not Start Social Media as a Landscape Photographer

When you start out as a landscape photographer, do not start any social media accounts.

The above sentence is the first tip from full-time landscape photographer Dave Morrow. Nine months of each year, Morrow live out of his vehicle and travel the wilderness by foot. He spends minimum amount of time on editing videos and photos, simply because he prefer to be out in the wild. That is where he feels alive.

I have followed Morrow for some years and I love his work. In his latest video he shares some tips and experiences on how to “make it” as a landscape photographer, and that does not include social media whatsoever.

As he states in the video, social media such as Instagram is a whole lot of downside and not much of upside. You can learn and get so much more healthy interaction by going and shooting with some friends.

I can very much relate to Morrow's tip about not using social media in the beginning. I just passed the 112,000 followers on Instagram, which I have spent four years reaching. Four years! However, I spent four years learning and trying out different photography genres and building up a solid technical level before that. By now, it makes sense to promote my photos and lead people to my YouTube, from where I have started to monetize my work and teachings.

Check out the video above, it is time well invested if you want to live from landscape photography. The above is only the first tip Morrow shares. Let me hear your thoughts below.

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10 Comments

Nicholas Morris's picture

I agree and disagree. The website/discussion piece is absolutely essential, but the social media piece is HOW you get that website out there. Why not start promoting it early? 5 years is a long time in the social media world... Waiting that long to start using it can hold you back from reaching thousands of people. It doesn't matter if your work is bad... People today want to see someone GROW on social media. That's what's truly inspiring.

imagecolorado's picture

This really has nothing to do with Social Media other than him mentioning how it worked for him at a certain point in time.

While I agree with much of what he says, it's seems a little narrow minded and repetitive.

I would disagree ... Just because Mr. Morrow doesn't want to do it ... doesn't mean it's not a perfect path for someone else. Such a blanket generlaziation seems pointless.

I agree that social media can be distracting in a couple of ways. First, just the sheer volume of content you have to submit and maintain is time-consuming. Then, If you want to grow your following, you have to engage with other content which is also a drain on time with what chance of getting *any* financial return? I am so tired of responding to insincere comments with insincere comments. UGH! However, I have found the more concerning aspect to social media (read: 'the grams') is how it can shape your own style and vision. I have found myself thinking about what will play well and receive attention for a quick-scrolling viewer. I question my own curiosities against what the followers like. It's no good. It becomes a job and not a voice of expression or impression. So, yes, there is validity in leaving the social media world either behind or putting it far down the priority scale. If I put as much effort into 'evergreen' content as I have IG, I would have more to show for it all besides a small little following.

All social media does is enforce bad habits, by making would-be photographers think their images are better than they are.

Mads Peter Iversen's picture

Some very interesting comments, guys! :)

If your livelihood depends on photography, then social media is a tool to grow awareness, engage with potential customers and generally keep your business top-of-mind. If you're just photographing for the fun/hobby, then it can be a way to share your photos with friends family. Both of those are valid, yet very-very different uses of social media, both in scope, KPI tracked, and ultimately ROI.

Toney Smith's picture

IMO... pretty narrow minded! I’ve met some great like photographers and friends via Instagram. It’s ones choice if they choose not to grasp it for their advantage. From what I’ve learned in some cases is that those sitting on the sidelines are only depriving themselves. Or that they just can’t grasp how it works.

Hal Moran's picture

The grammar in this article needs a lot of work. I couldn't get past the first two paragraphs.