How I Became a Travel Photographer | Education | Hampton Roads Wedding Photographer, Brandilynn Aines

How I became a travel photographer: Two sure fire ways to connect with your audience across the world.

As we all know, the popularity of Facebook and Instagram has allowed us to connect with people across the U.S.  Today most people know what a hashtag is, but do you know its power and its potential to reach millions? Facebook has ads but do you know how to effectively make use of this tool? Well here we are and these are my two sure-fire ways to connect to others using the power of social media.

Let’s talk Instagram. I love it! It is the world of hashtags. It’s the world of endless options. So why do so many business owners think they only have one option when it comes to Instagram? Business owners constantly make their unique tags and then assume that others will come solely on them alone. However, we have options my friends. Feel free to utilize hashtags that relate to your business also. Example, when I post an image that has extreme golden light, I use the hashtags #chasinglight and #goldenlight.

Now how do I connect? It is 100% okay to make the next step and seek your next potential client. What do I mean by this? Search for couples or whatever it is that you photograph in places you will be visiting using hashtags. You can do this for local areas as well. You’re basically just searching for people who look like they will align their personal image with your brand image. Reach out to them if you love their style and it fits well with your brand. Offer a session or even just a grab coffee meet. Get to know them! Make yourself stand out and believe it. I did this and I met the coolest couple Anahita and Ryan in Laguna Beach, California this past summer. They even became great friends.

Another tried and true example of this is, I was planning a visit to Cali this past summer. Ya’ll know I am a beach loving gal and there is nothing better then a great bikini! So knowing I was headed west I searched within the local market and came across a fantastic product by an even more fantastic chick named Dani Dunn. She is the owner and operator of Rivi Bikinis I decided to send her a message to grab coffee and get to know her and her business more. I knew I was going to be traveling to Bali in November and of course, wanted a killer bikini. Of course being a #girlboss myself, I wanted to know Dani. She looked cool and like my kinda girl! After we got to know each other and shared about our companies, I offered a session to photograph some of her awesome bikinis. It wasn’t long before had a great foundation in business and friendship, I mean it’s not hard to do so when you are working with a great product and an equally awesome chick! So reach out to people. Break free of the comfort zone. Get adventurous!

Now moving into Facebook. So keeping with theme of putting yourself out there, if you know you are traveling soon or planning to travel, let-people-know! Create a cool image that highlights where you will be, tag the location, and share the dates. The more you share and put yourself out there more people will notice. This is how connections happen.

Now how do you get people to see your posts if they are not apart of your following? Ads are a great way to get your name in front of those who wouldn’t normally see you. Facebook gives many options so why not take them. Half the trouble is using this tool effectively and efficiently. Ads can be a slippery slope and that is why I suggest keeping them to a minimum. I personally spend no more the $25 on a sponsored post only if it’s in an area where I do actually want to connect with others. If you are unfamiliar with sponsored ads on Facebook I encourage you to play with this feature. It is made easy for one reason, for businesses use it. We should utilize these paid for tools in moderation, sometimes these can be way cheaper than paying for advertising with large companies.

How do they work? Well I suggest a practice run to start, create one as if you intend to publish and get familiar with the easy step-by-step process. When you decide you’re ready to share your sponsored ad, share away! Ultimately, ads show other people on Facebook who you are and allows them to connect to your audience easily.

So let's sum this up. Instagram and Facebook offer a sea of possibilities for connections, but it’s only you that can follow through on those connections. Being bold and adventurous and stepping outside of that comfort zone are the ways to connect with many humans across this world. So get busy connecting!

Swimwear // Rivi Bikinis