The Ultimate Guide to Selling your Photography with TikTok

Tips for using TikTok to gain exposure for your work

First published:
December 6, 2022
Updated:
February 5, 2024

Tips for using TikTok to gain exposure for your work

First published:
December 6, 2022
Updated:
February 5, 2024

Main image by Nhan Nguyen

Creative and technical tips for using TikTok to get your work seen.

One of the most attractive aspects of the platform is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to posting on TikTok. However, below are some tried-and-tested tips to maximise your chances of putting together a video that will perform well and engage your audience.

Technical tips

Be consistent! - Even if every video doesn’t get a high number of views, posting consistently increases your chances of your work being seen. Posting frequently will also result in you being able to create videos much faster as you become comfortable with the app's features and establish your preferred video style. 

Consistency is key and the way you will see results with your videos. Running by Anthony Smedile - f/5.0 | ISO 200| 1/8000s 

Use emerging and trending sounds to reach more people - TikTok sounds consist of both music and original audios of remixes or verbal speech that people have made. You can see how many people have used a sound by clicking on the sound at the bottom of a video. This is a way to see which Tiktok sounds are trending and emerging and utilise these in your own videos. Ultimately, choosing a sound that best matches the style and message of your video is the most important factor to consider, as this will ensure that your video engages and resonates with people. 

Sound is the defining feature of TikTok. A vinyl record playing by Richard van Hout - f/6.3 | ISO 100 | 1/3s 

Use relevant hashtags - Hashtags are how the algorithm deciphers what audience to push your video out to, so ensure that you include hashtags specific to your video content in the caption. If you are promoting your Picfair store, use #picfair so that we and other Picfair photographers can find you! Examples of commonly used hashtags by photographers on TikTok include both generic, e.g. #photography #photoedit #photographer #photography101 #photographytips and more niche, e.g. #filmphotography #travelphotography #canon #photographylocation. 

Add links to your bio - If you have a photography website or Picfair Store, be sure to add the link in your bio as this will help drive traffic to your Store/website. You can also link your Instagram or YouTube profiles to your TikTok account. This is highly recommended to cross-promote across your platforms. 

Add a CTA (Call to Action) at the end of your video - Direct people to follow your page for more content, or direct them to your photography store/website in your bio.

A CTA at the end of a TikTok video using text native to TikTok

Monitor your analytics - TikTok’s analytics section on your profile can provide a valuable insight into your audience and their demographic. You can also see which of your videos perform best, how many people watch the full duration of your videos, and when your followers are most active. This data can help shape decisions around your posting time. For example, if you identify that your audience is most active at 5pm, you can post your videos in the evening to increase the likelihood of more people seeing your video. 

TikTok has a dedicated analytics section for creators within the app settings. Using iPhone by William Boon - f/3.2 | ISO 400 | 1/50s 

Creative tips

Be authentic - this is undoubtedly the most important advice to keep in mind when creating your videos. TikTok champions individuality and self-expression. Just as your photography style is unique to you, so should your videos. Whether you are someone who likes to be in front of the camera, prefers only doing voice overs, or prefers to not show your face at all, TikTok is a platform where you can still fit in, as there is no prerequisite for entering the TikTok space.

Always be your authentic self, your uniqueness is what draws people to you and your work. Inspire by Simon Willis.

Experiment - Play around with transitions, video lengths, content styles and sounds. When you’re first getting started on TikTok, it’s worth experimenting, and most of all, having fun with all the features and ways you can present your photography. 

TikTok is the perfect platform for creative experimentation. Wire Wool Spinning by David Chennell - f/10 | ISO 100 | 5s

Find an editing style that’s unique to you or best suits your style - This will happen naturally after experimenting and using the app for a while. Solidifying your style is how you can start to build a more personal brand which will help you stand out and become memorable. 

Try out all of the features TikTok has to offer to find your desired video style. Lisboa by Jacopo - f/2.8 | ISO 800 | 1/100s

Have an engaging intro - You essentially want to catch people’s attention within the first 3-5 seconds of your video, as this is how long it usually takes for people to decide if they want to continue watching or not.

Capture the audience's attention straight away. Dirt bike backflip by Kamil Green.

Participate in trends -Trends are a huge part of TikTok culture and there is always a trend that you can put your own take on. If you can think of a creative way to make something photography focused or relatable to you and your work, then hop on that trend! 

Keep up to date with online trends. Fountain Light Show by Ben Snowdon - f/4.5 | ISO 640 | 1/30s

Conclusion

If you’ve got to the end of this guide, you should now have a good understanding of how TikTok can be a powerful marketing tool for your photography, and you should also have everything you need to make fantastic, engaging videos.

Ultimately, TikTok is a platform that prioritises authenticity and creative expression over perfectionism, so we would encourage you to use it to tell your story as a photographer and get your work seen by a wide audience. There isn’t a solid formula for having success on the platform, but the tips provided in this guide will help with video engagement and putting together high-quality videos. We also hope that this guide has deconstructed any preconceptions one may have had about TikTok. As discussed, TikTok can be used as a medium for sharing photography, emphasising how photographers shouldn’t shy away from videography platforms. Furthermore, TikTok is not exclusive to the younger generation and is increasingly being used by people in the 30-50+ age range. Navigating a new platform can be daunting but there isn’t a better time than now to use TikTok to gain exposure for your work and build your brand. The first step is to make your first TikTok - so just go for it, remain consistent, and see where it takes you!

Resources

TikTok:

App Store - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tiktok/id835599320

Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zhiliaoapp.musically&hl=en_GB&gl=US 

Editing apps:

Capcut - https://www.capcut.com/

Inshot - https://inshot.com/

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