What is TikTok, and why is it important?

Main image by Oliver Bergeron

An introduction to TikTok and why it can be a powerful resource for photographers.


Tiktok is everywhere these days. If you don’t already have it, then chances are, you know someone who does. Its meteoric rise has been driven by short, snappy and highly entertaining content created by the platform’s users. But it’s not all trendy dances and makeup tutorials. As this guide will explain - for a photographer, it can be one of your strongest tools for growing your audience and showcasing your work to a diverse and engaged group of people.

Tiktok has become much more broad in terms of both users and content. Users across all interests, age-ranges and backgrounds share their creativity via short- form videos (less than 60 seconds long) across the platform. In fact, people aged between 30-50 years old are the fastest growing user demographic on the app. It’s not just about video either. Users intersperse their videos with still images to enhance their content. Whether it’s telling a story, promoting their work or raising awareness for something, TikTok presents an exciting opportunity for photographers to grow their audience, and ultimately help increase sales of their images.

In this guide we will explore how TikTok works, the basics of putting together a TikTok video, and how you can use TikTok to gain exposure for your work.

Holding a mobile TikTok open by Olivier Bergeron - f/4.5 | ISO 1600 | 1/125s 

What is TikTok and why is it important?

TikTok is a video platform structured into two tabs: your ‘For You Page’ (FYP) and your ‘Following’ page. The videos of those who you have followed will come up on your ‘Following’ tab. The ‘For You’ page consists of videos that TikTok suggests to you based on your likes, views, interests and interactions. After a while of using the app, your FYP will better reflect your interests. For creators, the aim is to make videos that will land on as many people’s ‘For You’ pages as possible so that they can discover your profile.

The ‘For You’ page is an endless stream of videos curated for a user; this means that it is easy to lose track of how long you’re scrolling on TikTok for! Users on TikTok spend approximately 95 minutes per day on the app. With so many engaged viewers, it opens phenomenal opportunities for marketing oneself or a business. One of the best aspects of TikTok is that it is characterised as an entertainment app, so there is no expectation for refined and filtered content like other platforms. People want to see real, authentic and emotive content.

For a photographer, TikTok can really help you get your work and story out there to a massive audience, helping you build a community of fellow photography enthusiasts and potential buyers.

A visual reference of how TikTok looks on screen
Try Picfair Stores, the all-in-one solution for showcasing and selling your photography. Create a beautifully-customised photography store in minutes.
Go to Picfair