In the 2012 Photographer's Social Media Handbook, we talk about…
Andy Adams is an independent photo editor and creator of Flak Photo, a photography website celebrating and showcasing online photography. Considered a hub for photographers worldwide, Flak Photo receives hundreds of submissions each week from eager artists hoping to get their work featured.
“My goal is to broaden an artist’s network,” Andy says. To get the word out, Flak Photo highlights a new photographer six days a week, as well as a selection of images in its monthly “Weekend Series.” Andy also promotes photography books from a diverse range of artists in Flak Photo’s “In Print” section. To select photos, Andy looks for images with “strong composition and interesting stories.”
Andy wants to help photographers find audiences for their work because as he puts it, “the role of the photographer is rapidly evolving.”
“There’s no denying that the Internet culture has influenced photography, and today it’s really become a double-edged sword,” Andy says. “Although the Internet creates exciting opportunities for artists, it also creates the need for greater responsibility. A photographer’s role is no longer just about making great images. You have to wear many hats and be your own publisher, your own marketer, your own publicist – all on top of being a great photographer.”
Andy sees firsthand that photographers struggle to keep up and will lose a hat or two as each week goes by. The self-promotion hat is often the first to go.
“Photographers often struggle with self-promotion,” Andy says. “That’s where Flak Photo comes in. I love promoting photographers I believe in, so the idea is that I can take some of these responsibilities off a photographer’s shoulders.”
To get people buzzing about the photographers featured on Flak Photo, Andy relies heavily on social media marketing. With a strong following on Facebook (20,527 likes) and Twitter (11,831 followers), Andy also hosts a Facebook Group called the Flak Photo Network. With more than 2,700 members, the group is home to ongoing discussions about the photography industry today. Access given by request only, the group provides photographers and professionals an opportunity to discuss topics ranging from the future of photobooks to recommendations for workshops, and so on. Using “Facebook Docs” – an option within Facebook Groups, Andy also provides the group with resources and recommendations including photo lab suggestions and photography website solutions.
Believing that online photography is the future of the photo industry–and arguably for some the present–Andy offers photographers some advice. “Don’t be afraid of the Internet. Challenge yourself to embrace the web. It will provide you with invaluable opportunities to broaden your reach to people all over the world. The Internet is your friend, I promise.”
To submit your photos to Flak Photo, email your photograph (sRGB JPG format, minimum 1000px wide) with title and caption details to: firstname.lastname@example.org.