How to create the perfect social media post of your photography: step-by-step guide for beginners (2024)

First published:
February 9, 2024
March 1, 2024

How to create the perfect social media post of your photography: step-by-step guide for beginners (2024)

First published:
February 9, 2024
March 1, 2024

All photos by Philip Mowbray

Learn how to create compelling photo posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to showcase your work, build an audience, and ultimately, drive image sales...

Step-by-step guide to the best social media posting practices for photographers

Posting your photography on your social media profiles, such as Facebook or Instagram, is hugely important to get your work out there and to help build an audience to drive sales of your images.

But how do you post your photos as best as possible to look good while encouraging viewers to follow you and look at more of your work via your website and/or Picfair Store? Sounds like some juggling to do, right? Well, it’s really not, and in this guide, we’ll give you the top tips on how to craft the perfect social media posts for your photos…

1 Choose what photos you want to post (and think carefully about it)

First, consider carefully what photos you want to post on your social media channels. To stand out, you want to convey your unique style and story in your photography as much as possible, so ensure this is reflected in what you choose to publish.

What we mean by this is just be considerate in your approach–if you want to drive traffic to your photography site and/ or Picfair Store, make sure you're creating well-thought-out and engaging posts. Choose pictures that reflect the very best of your work, those that give the 'wow factor' or have a fascinating story, and those that uniquely resonate with you and your photography.

Go through your images and make a selection. For the purpose of this guide, I've chosen to do an example post from one of the images in my photo archive, as seen in Lightroom below:

Choose your images carefully when deciding what to post on your social profiles. Here I'm using Lightroom to take a look through my image series to decide which to post
How to build up a body of work:

If you want to know more about building up a substantial body of photographic work and anything else related to what you should post on social media, read our dedicated guides, which you can find across Focus. To get you started, here are some below:

- Build a cohesive body of work
- How to create a photo essay
- Harness of social media for sales

2 Prepare your image for posting (resize and crop if need be)

You can share any images on your Picfair Store directly to social media using the share buttons on your store (screenshot below), which is fantastic for quick sharing, and we recommend all Picfair photographers try out this functionality in their store. However, if you want a more considered approach, we suggest manually doing elements of your social posts (so read on).

You can share any image from your Picfair Store to your social media profiles directly from the 'Share' option at in the top right menu. But for greater creative control over your posts, you can also post manually

First, you need to ensure the image you’re sharing is the correct size and ratio for the social media platform you’re posting it to, and should resize your pictures appropriately if necessary. For example, with Instagram, you may want to share your pictures in the signature square format that Instagram displays images (1x1), so you could resize and crop your photos to a square format before posting them (although you can also do this internally with Instagram, but for the sake of simplicity and learning along the way, we recommend you resize your images beforehand).

For further reading on all the recommended sizes and ratios for the different social media platforms, this cheatsheet from Hootsuite gives you all the best (and most up-to-date) dimensions and ratios you should be resizing your images before posting them.

How to resize your images:

If you post photos from your mobile phone, almost all smartphones now have internal editing apps to crop and resize your pictures as appropriate. If you’re working on a desktop and posting from there (to Facebook, for example), you can use editing apps such as Mac’s in-built, Preview, Lightroom and Photoshop, or free apps online to resize images.

For best results before posting your photos on your social profiles, make sure that you crop and resize them (if needed) beforehand. Although some platforms like Instagram will let you crop and resize in-app. Here I'm using Preview on Mac to resize my image

3 Add meaningful copy to go with your image post

Never just post an image without any information or context. Viewers love to know more about the picture and the story behind it, so you can always provide some contextual information or the story behind your image in your posts, too.

Any text doesn't need to be a substantial long-winded paragraph (if you don't want it to be); it can be as simple as a short sentence, a short caption, or a title, which will give more information behind the image's story. You can also share more information about yourself as well for example, you could talk about why you took a photograph, you could talk about the conditions at the time, talk about whether it was challenging to get the image, or you could talk about whether it's part of a more significant project–there are loads you can talk about. You can experiment with it, too, make it interesting, try out different texts with different posts and images, and see what works best for you.

Here’s example copy to go with an image in the post:

Railway Graveyard, 2008 🚂

Despite not being 'technically perfect' or my absolute best work, this picture is special to me... I stumbled upon this abandoned train yard during a walk in the rain 15+ years ago and was blown away by what I discovered.

The photography conditions were far from ideal, but the chaotic composition, scattered light, and dark, murky atmosphere make this image uniquely beautiful to me–and a snapshot of a moment in history that is now completely lost.

Funny enough, I recently learned that this train graveyard no longer exists, so consider this image a homage to a place that once fascinated me.

Below you'll see n example from Facebook showing you the initial steps to putting together a social post for your photos:

When creating a post (for this example it's Facebook), start by going to 'Create post' and selection your image
Once your image has loaded you can start adding everything else
Make sure you're adding some meaningful and interesting copy to your image posts too
Top tip:

Adding an emoji or two to your copy can help with visual impact and engagement-so try to include one or two of these too, where you can.

4 Always include a CTA (call-to-action) in your posts and encourage engagement

If your intention is to drive viewers of your post to do something next, for example, visit your Picfair Store or direct to where they can buy the image, add this to your social posts in the form of a link, or tell them where they should navigate to (i.e. with Instagram it may be the link in your bio). See the example below.

Another call to action could be an invitation to start a conversation for example, you can ask viewers to comment on your picture for instance or share their thoughts, or you could ask them to post their similar images in the comments to strike up a conversation; the more you engage with your audience, the more likely they are going to continue to engage with you.

Here’s an example CTA and prompt for conversation:

📷 View this image along with the rest of the shots from the series in my Picfair store, here: {Insert link}

Know of any other train graveyards, or other cool abandoned places? I'd love to hear about them!
Example of CTA (call-to-action) in a Facebook post

5 Post (but don't forget about the details, too)!

Once you've got your image, copy and CTA together, it's time to post, simply press 'post' on whatever social platform you're using and you're done!

Remember to check spelling and grammar before posting, and that your links work (you always want to give the very best impression when posting online and small details like this make a huge difference).

Also it may feel less relevant in 2024 compared to a few years ago, but still remember to include hashtags in your posts too–it'll help the visibility, meaning more eyes on your photography. If you're looking for hashtag inspiration, take a look at Hootsuite's Hashtag Generator.

Also, platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to tag the location (and also people) in your posts. If it's relevant to the image and its story, then tag away too!

An example of an image post on Facebook which includes; the image, copy to go alongside the photo, a CTA, a prompt to encourage conversation, and hashtags added at the end
Bonus tip: don’t neglect analytics

Once you've got the hang of posting images to your social media profiles, it's always worth keeping an eye out on the analytics of those posts; so, for example, the obvious one would be to look at likes, but likes aren't everything. Look at how much engagement your posts get (comments, positive feedback, etc). With your Picfair Store, you can also keep an eye on the view count on your dashboard or for each image to see if your views increase when posting on your social posts.

If you find analytics exciting and want to go into it deeper, you can find out all sorts of things you can find out about who viewing your posts, where they are from, and how long they stay on your page, for example. You can even connect your Picfair Store to Google Analytics; find out more.

Final thoughts

If you've followed all those steps, then you've successfully created an engaging post of your photography!

I also hope the above tips have shown you that it's not too daunting or difficult to create an effective social media post for your photography that directs viewers towards where you want them to go (for example, your website or Picfair Store).

Remember, nothing will always be a standard formula, so you'll find that you'll be experimenting a lot to try different things also, just remember to have fun with it–photography should be as enjoyable as anything else, as you want people to look by your images you should also be having fun with it enjoy trying out different posts enjoy sharing your work and enjoy talking about it as well.

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