Aloha everyone, it’s Friday!
I can’t believe its been a month since I last wrote something here. Things have been crazy as you can imagine. I’m going through a ton of stuff here, bidding on projects and trying to make the transition over to focus on my photography.
You see, my goal for this year is to focus on honing my craft until I can get to a point where I’m really happy with my photography. Then I’m hoping to approach some local art galleries and see about getting my works displayed. I’ve seen a lot of stuff out there in some high end galleries, that’s really just not very good. I’m pretty confident my works are better than most that are out there, but the daunting task of marketing, making appointments, setting up showings, getting a couple of galleries to take a chance, all that stuff takes a lot of time, money and effort. But, alas…. that’s the goal…
So, how do I plan to market for fine art photography online?
Well, the first thing you may have noticed is I’m changing some things up with my branding. I bought a few new domain names and am having them all point to a new domain that I’m going to be using from here on. The new domain is mknbr.com. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s my name (mike neubauer) without the vowels. I know its kinda strange, but the benefits to it are 1) It is a 5 letter domain name – which is incredibly valuable. 2) It’s a lot easier to spell than mneubauerphotography.com or neubauerstudios.com (both of which I own as well). And 3) Once it is understood, its easier to remember and link to. Well, these are my thoughts anyway.
And of course I still own EarthTrot.com and will have that forwarded over to this domain as well. So that any time someone types in one of these other domains, for example earthtrot.com, it will automatically redirect your browser to the new mknbr.com. By using a derivative of my name, I’m also helping to promote myself as a person, not just Earth Trot which people who don’t know what it is, may not understand right away.
Yep, this is a big one. And one I don’t know too much about… but I’m working on it. I’ve setup a Facebook page for my photography. I’ve also setup a new twitter account (@mike_neubauer). Granted, I’m terrible at writing on Twitter, and I think I only have about ten followers (if that), but I’m hoping to grow that. So if you have a twitter account, please follow me! Chances are I’ll be posting new photos to Facebook and Twitter before I post them here.
As far as I can tell, those are the big two. However, Google+ has some really cool features. I just set up this account, though I don’t think I have any friends yet, so if you have a Google+ account, please add me as a friend, I could really use some!
Flickr is another great social media site for photographers. Of course there are tons of others on here and a lot of people you can interact with. I’m not sure who has time to do that, but it is possible… On Flickr? Add me as a contact!
There are a couple additional photo sites that I think are really cool. There are two that I use that have really big followings. One is 500px. This is a very cool site with tons of great photographers from all over the world. The second is actually pretty similar, it is called Fotoblur. Fotoblur is a magazine with all kinds of different types of photography. Another cool site to check out. If you’re on either of these, hit me up as well!
It’s almost impossible to be on every social media site. Of course there is Pinterest and LinkedIn which I’m also working with. But there are a gazillion others, too many to count. In my opinion the best method is to focus on a couple and try to grow your following. Don’t ask me how to do this, I’m not quite sure, yet. Though if you have suggestions, please let me know, I’d love to here about some new techniques!
There are plenty of online photography contests out there. Some of them are scams, some don’t do more than collect your email address and contact information (and probably sell them), but there are some really reputable ones too. I haven’t done much with this yet, but I’ve been looking into some and gathering information. A good place to start with this is through PhotographyCompetitions.net They are like a database to all kinds of contests. Some are free, some paid entry, and many worth looking into.
Other than this blog, I submit articles (usually some of the same ones I write here) to a variety of blogging sites. This increases my exposure and by writing about photography, it authenticates me (to a degree) as a scholar in the field. Even though many of my followers don’t care what I’m writing about, they still follow me. Why? Because they want to see new images. And, most of the people that follow me like to see landscape photography of Hawaii. Maui sunsets, beautiful waterfalls, and amazing long exposure photography. These are my signature styles, and its what keeps people visiting my website, blogs, Facebook pages, etc.
Blogs like this are a great way to market yourself because you can riddle your blog with keywords that can get picked up by search engines like Google. In fact, did you see what I just did? In the last paragraph I used key phrases like “Maui Sunsets,” “Beautiful Waterfalls,” and “Amazing Long Exposure Photography.” These keywords get indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others so that when someone searches for these keywords or others that pertain to you, like “Hawaii Landscape Photography” or whatever, my site gets placed higher in the results than my competitors. Well, theoretically, that is…
Of course, I’m learning all of this as I go. By no stretch of the imagination am I an authority on any of this online marketing stuff. So take what I write here with a grain of salt. But stay tuned, as the year goes on, we’ll see how everything develops and maybe I’ll have built a substantial enough following and who knows maybe I’ll even have a few art galleries take a chance on my fine art landscape photography.
But for now, let’s get to the good stuff. Here’s a few of my most recent works. Hope you enjoy!
Sunset from Mokuleia in West Maui. I really like the colors in this shot. And I like seeing my old friend Moloka’i in the background. I Aloha Moloka’i!
Ahihi Bay in South Maui. Just before sunset on a cloudy evening. Water like glass!
Another shot from Ahihi Bay.
My friend Mike lives right across the street from this beautiful beach in South Maui. Sometimes I meet up with him here as the sun sets to talk story and enjoy scenes like this!
Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. One of the most photogenic places on Earth. Well, in my opinion, anyway…
Not a bad shot from Makena, Maui. Wouldn’t mind seeing the sun set from here every night!