Do Photographers Still Need Facebook?

Do Photographers Still Need Facebook?

It has been a year since I deleted my Facebook account. Here is why I think other photographers should do the same. 

About a year ago, I was so snowed under with work and I was getting increasingly annoyed with the amount of time I was spending dealing with texts, Tweets, WhatsApp, e-mail, Snapchat, receiving calls, and Instagram messages as well as the main source of incoming requests from Facebook. Requests for work are obviously great, but I found that outside of email, phone calls, and Instagram that they were pretty poor leads. At this point I decided to streamline the ways in which I could be contacted to try and reduce my stress and to generally be more productive. I initially removed everything apart from my mobile phone number, Instagram, my email address, and my Facebook account.

And if I am completely honest, there was also a level of procrastination that I just couldn’t seem to brake. I would regularly find myself aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and getting angry at peoples opinions and views on various topics. The social media platform didn’t really give me anything, but it certainly took a lot of time and energy.

Even though Facebook was the main offender for poor leads when it came to people asking for cheap or free work, I hung onto it in fear. My concern was that without Facebook, no one would know who I was or that I was a photographer. It was the first social media platform that I really engaged in, so it seemed like the entire world revolved around it. It turns out that it doesn’t.

How Has it Changed my Photography Career?

In short, not at all. It has been a year since deleting it and I get more work than before, but on a trajectory that I would have hoped for. Obviously I can’t be certain that I wouldn’t have made bigger leaps in my career if I had kept it, but some simple arithmetic would suggest that the time that has been freed up dealing with poor leads and general time wasting has been spend else where.

I have left my business page open incase it has any form of impact on my website in the future and as a bit of a page marker, but I am not sure how I would access it if I needed to. I have also set up a new personal account under a different name that I use to run my weekly workshops from. I have a selection of photographers as friends and a group where I announce the next session. I check in on it once every few days, but there is certainly no apps on my phone nor indication that there may be a response from me if you were to send me a friend request or DM. I do however bow down to Facebook's amazing group system that it has. I am yet to find anything as good for organizing workshops etc. 

What Do I Do Now?

With the extra time I have having deleted most social media platforms, I put all of my time into my Instagram account and more recently on rebuilding my website, which will hopefully be done in the next few weeks. I give away lots of advice to other photographers and use the grid to showcase my work to clients. In terms of consuming, I follow accounts that show me the sort of work I want to see as well as accounts that produce images related to my hobbies. For now, this seems like the best way to get myself out there as a photographer and a teacher as well as the easiest way to reach the art buyers who might be interested in working with me.I don’t have any plans to return to Facebook.

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29 Comments

Nobody needs facebook.

user-128252's picture

I have deleted facebook and instagram a year ago. I did not have other social media accounts. I have to say I feel like I am born again:-) 99% of useless things are gone from my life. Life became simpler, calmer...I have more time for real things

David Love's picture

This has been my header for over a year now. No point in playing the "like" game when the game is fixed. Instagram is headed in the same direction.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Instagram has become totally unusable for photographers too...

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

Not surprising... it's the same company...

Back in the day it was an incredible marketing tool that was too good to be true. It was always going to be pulled in line at some point. I don't think there's anything unfair about what facebook does here. They need to make money off the site and businesses aren't going to pay for ads if they can make posts that get seen by thousands like in the old days. Artists are unfortuantely grouped with business here but, hell, the artists who are worried about marketting generally are buinesses.

I still think a good targetted ad on facebook can be a value for money investment. I use them for that every time I have something specific to sell and having a page, that's updated semi regularly, to host them from is time well spent.

Stuart Carver's picture

I’m a month in to deactivating it, need to keep messenger alive as I use it to contact non IOS users. I’m not regretting the decision at all, the photography community on there is on the whole petty and argumentative, much like every other community.

I do like Instagram though, if you use it correctly you have access to some awesome images which is all I care about.

Will Murray's picture

The only way Facebook will give you growth is if you pay; which is fair enough, as they are a business. Although I refuse to pay, as I am an amateur, if I were a professional, a significant amount of my marketing budget would be allocated to social media - subject to analytics.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

But they use your information to make money. So you allready paying for it!

Will Murray's picture

1. False dichotomy

2. Breach of fiduciary obligation

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

For me Facebook > IG. 99% of everything I do online is on computers. I like viewing large photos, not the dinky ass IG provides. IG keeps stored a 1080px version of the images but won't show it. And, when on a phone, I like to view landscape oriented photos properly by turning the phone so it fills the screen. Can't do that on IG. Hell, I even prefer Twitter over IG because the images are larger.

haha /IG_Rant

I am with you. IG's interface is bad for presenting good quality photos and the view/liked count may look high, but people swiping and tapping so fast that they don't really remember what they just saw.

So just to be absolutely clear here: because you "regularly find (your)self aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and getting angry at peoples opinions and views on various topics" you think all photographers should follow your lead? Even though you concede that it literally "hasn't changed your photography career?"

And you set up a new facebook account anyway, and you check that every few days? And you use that Facebook account to "run (your) weekly workshops from" and you have "a selection of photographers as friends and a group where (you) announce the next session?"

Yet with a straight face you end the article with "I don’t have any plans to return to Facebook?"

I hate to break it to you: but you haven't left Facebook. You are just using it differently. Thats understandable: especially if you have problems "getting angry" at what other people write on the internet. But you can't claim to "have no plans to return to Facebook" when you are literally using Facebook to do Facebook things.

Campbell Sinclair's picture

I personally love my FB business page for my photography. When I put a gallery up I copy the link to the FB and all people who follow my page get notified. If they have requests they just message me. Its been great.

Facebook is a nightmare. The stupid algorithms make sure 1% of your audience is reached. I hate it.

I have never talked to or met a serious art director or photo buyer spending their very limited time looking for professional photographers on Facebook since its existence and therefore never was tempted to waste my own time blowing bubbles in the wind.

Rayann Elzein's picture

That's a very good argument. It's pointless spending time on a platform where your clients are not. Of course, I can imagine that it's different for different types of photographers. For example, a wedding photog will want to be on FB and maybe even spend some ads $ there to reach his potential customers. This is not relevant indeed if your clients are art directors.

Jan Kruize's picture

As a portrait and modelphotographer all my contacts work via facebook. I’s a kind of showcase too for me. For me it still works very well.

Arun Hegden's picture

I still use Facebook which mostly give me work from friends of friends. Like the older days I hardly spent(less than 20 minutes a day) time on the same but gives me a good reach, not from my Facebook(10k) page, but my friends list on my personal profile.
I took a break from Instagram from which I was getting very less business even though the numbers are much higher. The break was pretty good as I could find more time for my family, workout and business.

One might for for someone whose network is still active on fb, insta might work for someone else better. Its more like limiting the use for the actual needs rather than scrolling through the garbage which is kinda inevitable. :)

Rob Mitchell's picture

'I have left my business page open incase it has any form of impact on my website in the future and as a bit of a page marker, but I am not sure how I would access it if I needed to. I have also set up a new personal account under a different name that I use to run my weekly workshops from.'

So, left but not really.

That's like giving up booze but still keeping a bottle in the cupboard, in case.

FB is a shite-hole, but it's also fun, if you don't take it too seriously or spend all day on it. Self control.

Brian Jones's picture

I prefer to chase the light, not the like. #growyourownplatform

dale clark's picture

If I gain business thru social media, it's thru LinkedIn. Higher end contacts (more professionals) and potential clients. I have all but deleted my facebook account. I only check our neighborhood facebook page (for community activities, issues). I'm in a much happier place.

No thanks, I don't need to be reminded that Russia hacked the US elections just because of my first name, nor do I need to re-apply for my account every 4 weeks just because some idiot thinks I'm a Russian bot, again because of my first name. Hell, I'm not even Russian, as they can clearly see I'm from South Africa. Why should I explain my position that I'm a photographer, and not some "Putin algorithm". How on Earth does my photography translate to propaganda? If Facebook cannot understand that I wish to use their platform to be in touch with my clients and not overthrow the USA, or worst, inform my clients that I'm "possible fake account", as they put it, then for all their stupidity they can go to hell! And no, I'm NOT changing my name as they suggested! Bloody retards!

David Pavlich's picture

My FB stuff is all photography related. Were it not for photography, I wouldn't be on FB. It's like a virus, but it does connect me with some good photo related stuff. Other than that......

Janet Hopkinson's picture

I'm so glad I read this article as I have been thinking about deleting Facebook for over a year, but not had the courage, believing it to be needed in order to boost my new website (still under development and upgrading). I think I will delete Facebook and Twitter and put my time into more important things such as creating better quality website information, instagram, and uploading my images into portfolios. Cheers!

Jordan McChesney's picture

It’s easier than getting my friends to check out my website or instagram feed. It’s not perfect, but as someone starting out, my friend and family sharing my info with their friends is free marketing, and I’ll gladly take it.

Rod Kestel's picture

No.

Their business model is Your Life, Our Data.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

Photographers never needed Facebook...

Instagram LMAO!!!!!!!