How to get noticed as a photographer: A guide for beginners

First published:
September 18, 2023
March 7, 2024

How to get noticed as a photographer: A guide for beginners

First published:
September 18, 2023
March 7, 2024

Photo by Luis Quintero

There's no standard formula to getting noticed and it takes time, patience, and persistence. But there are people out where who will love your work, so here's how to find them...

Contents & tips:

- Introduction
Using your Picfair Store to get you noticed

1 Develop your photography skills
2 Define your style
3 Build a portfolio
4 Collaborate with other photographers and creatives
5 Promote your work on social media
6 Enter photography competitions
7 Attend photography exhibitions and fairs
8 Collaborate with local businesses
9 Offer a range of different photography services
10 Stay inspired and keep learning

- Final thoughts

Are you just getting started and looking to make the first-ever sales of your images, or totally new to photography and looking to share your work with the world but still trying to figure out how to get seen? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Getting noticed can mean many different things, and in all honesty, so much of it is down to sheer luck or being in the right place at the right time. But no matter what type of photography you do and the sort of images you take, there's going to be someone out there who will love your work.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the more effective strategies to give you that helping hand in getting your work in front of people. These range from improving your skills as much as possible, to promoting your work strategically, and where you should make an effort to put yourself out there. You’ll also see links to further reading where you can dive in-depth into particular topics.

The more proactive you are, the more successful you will be in the long run; it’s as simple as that. It’s worth remembering, too, getting noticed generally doesn't happen overnight. It’s all about time, perseverance, and building yourself up as a photographer.

But there's never a better time to get started…

Editor's note: Using your Picfair Store to get you noticed

Your Picfair Store is the home for your photography, and you should treat it as such when trying to get your photography noticed–-Picfair Stores are there to help you do exactly that.

Wherever you’re putting yourself out there to get your photography seen, ensure your Picfair Store is at the forefront of everything you do. Keep your Picfair Store up-to-date, well-put-together (see our feature guides if you need more help), and tightly curated with your best images.

Your store URL (web address) should also be visible across all of your comms and clearly communicated when you're talking about your photography–people should be able to refer to your Picfair Store whenever they want to see and purchase your work.

Your Picfair Store is an invaluable tool in helping you get noticed, make sure you use it to its maximum potential
Picfair Store Checklist:

Make sure you're doing the following to help you get the most out of your store (and get noticed):

- Your your best work is uploaded to your store

- You've done a tight edit of your best images and sorted them into albums

- Each image has a relevant title, caption & tags

- You've personalised your store to make it stand out

- You've chosen a colour scheme for your store that compliments the photography within

- You've linked up your social channels and any additional places you have an online presence, so visitors can learn more about your work and contact you

- You've included some about text so visitors can learn more about you and your work

See our feature guides for more information on how you can make the most of your Picfair Store layout.

Now, onto the tips...

1 Develop your photography skills as much as you possibly can

If you want to get noticed for having spectacular images, it goes without saying that you should spend time developing your photography skills as much as you possibly can in the first place.

Invest time in learning the technical aspects of your camera, understand the fundamentals of composition and what makes a good photograph, and experiment with different photographic styles and techniques.

On Focus, we have a vast amount of resources to help you do that, so spend time browsing the many guides and articles and challenge yourself to keep improving–it’ll pay off in the long run.

Also, you can join photography courses; many are out there, including some excellent free options. You can also attend workshops or practice regularly–take photos as much as possible and make it a learning experience.

Photo by Diana  D. Reinoso

2 Define your style

The most successful (and noticeable) photographers have a distinct style to their work, and you should develop a solid and recognisable style with your photography.

When we talk about recognisable style, that could be a range of different things. For example, if you shoot images from unique angles–push that as part of your style, and you’ll soon find that you’ll get noticed because of it. Or if you photograph particular places at specific times of the day, for example, coastal blue hour scenes. Make sure you showcase what makes your photography unique.

We have an in-depth guide on building a unique style as a photographer, which we highly recommend reading.

Photo by Diyar Shahbaz

3 Build a portfolio

If you want to get noticed by people, you need something to show them. What we mean by this is you should have a strong portfolio of work. Regarding your portfolio, this should be a substantial selection of your best work and/or tightly curated sets of images.

Make sure you have your portfolio of work ready to showcase; this could be as simple as displaying your work in albums on your Picfair Store, where they can be easily viewed and shared online.

For further reading, see our detailed guide on building a portfolio of work.

Photo by Bri Schneiter

4 Collaborate with other photographers and creatives

Networking is crucial in the photography industry. Really, it’s super important.

To widen your network and get your photography noticed in creative circles, you should absolutely get together with like-minded creatives. Collaborate with other photographers, video makers, designers and stylists, create work together and showcase it across your collective networks. These collaborations expand your creative horizons and introduce your work to a broader audience through shared promotions.

For more information on networking, read our networking tips for photographers.

Photo by Lê Minh

5 Promote your work on social media

This is perhaps the most effective way to get noticed, particularly in today’s digital age. If you want to get noticed, you really need to have a robust online presence, particularly on social media.

You should be active on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and share your photography regularly. When posting, use relevant hashtags to reach a broad audience interested in your type of photography, engage with your followers and be consistent in your approach to posting your work. We have many resources to help you build your social media following.

See our collection of guides on photography and social media.

Photo by Magnus Mueller

6 Enter photography competitions

Taking part in photography competitions is an excellent way to gain recognition for your talent, and you can enter many competitions out there.

Look for local and national photography competitions and submit your best shots. If you specialise in a particular type or genre of photography work, find a competition that specialises in your niche. You don’t need to win to get noticed; even being shortlisted can boost your credibility as a photographer.

See our guide on best practices to help you prepare for photography competitions.

7 Attend photography exhibitions and fairs

Visit photography exhibitions and fairs in your area to stay updated with what’s happening in the photography world. It also gives you a fantastic opportunity to connect with those in the photography industry.

You may also find an opportunity to exhibit your work in one of the galleries or fairs you visit. Don't forget, wherever you go, carry business cards to network effectively (tip: make sure your Picfair Store URL is your business card, too!).

"It’s worth remembering, too, getting noticed generally doesn't happen overnight. It’s all about time, perseverance and building yourself up as a photographer."
Photo by Bence Szemerey

8 Collaborate with local businesses

Approach businesses in your local area, such as cafes, restaurants, boutiques and gift shops, and offer to display your prints on their walls. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. They get beautiful artwork for their premises, and you gain exposure for your work; if you price them up too, you may well find you get some sales of your images this way too!

Photo by Scott Webb

9 Offer a range of different photography services

Consider offering additional photography services in your local community, such as family portraits or event photography.

Word of mouth is an extremely powerful marketing tool, particularly when getting word of our photography. Satisfied clients may recommend you to others, and before you know it, you could find yourself being approached for different photography jobs.

For more ideas, see our guide on how to diversify your photography.

10 Stay inspired and keep learning

Photography is a continuously evolving medium, and you’ll find that both you and your style as a photographer will develop over time.

Stay inspired by following your favourite photographers, reading magazines, and attending photography talks and workshops. Continuously learning and growing will help you stay relevant and continue getting noticed.

Final thoughts

By reading these tips, you have a better idea of what you should do to get your photography noticed. Remember that these things don’t happen overnight, and it can take time, patience, and luck to get noticed by the right people at the right time.

The biggest piece of advice I can give to you is not to give up. Seriously, keep going. Eventually, someone will find your work and love it.

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