Facebook pages for amateur event photographers

As you may know I regularly visit roller derby bouts to take photos of the action and of the events and the people surrounding that action.

I used to post the results to my personal Facebook account but have recently switched to using a separate Facebook page for my photos.

If you are in a similar situation, you may like to hear the reasons behind my switch, so here goes.

Advantages of using a page instead of an account

  • People don’t have to friend you or follow you in order to see your photos.
  • You can take breaks from Facebook, especially if you have empowered others to maintain your page in your absence.
  • Pages are (or can be) visibile to the public, whereas personal albums set to Public still require visitors to log in on Facebook.
  • Easy reference; people don’t have to ‘wade’ through pics from your personal life to get to the ‘good stuff’.

Disadvantages

  • Pages are public even if you’re not on Facebook. (Lower expectation of privacy.)
  • Facebook thinks page administrators are cash cows. Prepare for a barrage of little annoying ads on your timeline enticing you to buy more page views.
  • That’s right, Facebook artificially limits the amount of views that postings to a page get. The number of people that will get to see your photos just by following (‘liking’) your page will decrease drastically. Facebook lets you ‘buy’ more views from followers although the usefulness of buying such views is still very much a topic of discussion.

Notes

All of the above is still subject to Facebook’s many whims.

Facebook compresses the hell out of photos, making them look worse. This goes for both pages and accounts, and I only mention it because if you are considering switching to a page, why not consider switching to a Flickr or 500px account? In other words, how important are likes and shares to you?

If tagging is important, note that 1) tagging is disabled by default for Facebook pages, and 2) users may disallow pages to tag them.

Facebook pages require maintenance to counter Facebook’s ongoing War on Pages (as I call the commercialization of pages). There are a couple of things that might help:

  • Share your albums on your timeline.
  • Share the relevant albums or photos to the event pages.
  • Tag people you believe would like to be tagged.

It helps that you are shooting events, because events have visitors, and visitors like to talk to their friends about the events. If you’re shooting flowers or landscapes, posting your photos to your Facebook account may still be the better option.

So:

When? When not use a page?

  • When: if you post a lot besides photos and would like to spare your followers from this extra guff.
  • When: if you want to keep different types of photography separate.
  • When not: if all you ever post are photos.
  • When not: if your photos don’t naturally lend themselves to people seeking them out.

There are other reasons why you might be using Facebook as an (amateur) (event) photographer that I haven’t explored here. For example, you could use Facebook to draw the attention of your followers to photos you posted elsewhere.

Conclusion

I have had my page for a week now and posted albums of two events since then. The number of likes and comments I get seems to have stayed approximately the same, possibly helped by the fact that people see my posts about my albums on the event pages. Tags are down by an order of magnitude if not more. I am getting lots more attention from Facebook which wants me to start paying for views.

I am also still getting friend requests from within the community. The good thing is that now I know people friend me because I am part of the community and not just because they want to see my photos.

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