TikTok for Photographers: Tips for Getting a Head Start

TikTok for Photographers: Tips for Getting a Head Start

TikTok isn’t just for making video. Follow these simple steps for growing your audience and learn how TikTok can work for photographers, too.

Just as us photographers are finally getting the hang of using Instagram to promote our business, TikTok comes along and stirs up the social media game.

At first, maybe you thought it was a phase. Another app introduced to the mix to try to take down Instagram. But lo and behold, TikTok is thriving in the creative community. TikTok is fantastic for videographers as it’s essentially video editing to the extreme (and a really fun way to do it). The question is, should photographers start to use TikTok too? 

TikTok for Photographers: Tips for Getting a Head Start — What TikTok DoesTikTok by BigTunaOnline.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media video app built for creating and sharing short videos. To date, most TikTok videos consist of comedy, dance, and lip-sync vertical videos. It allows you to take various clips and string them together, essentially making a fully edited video.

The app was founded in 2017, but blew up in popularity just last year. With a mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy,” the app has over 500 million active users globally and over 1 billion downloads. That is a lot of potential eyes on your work!

Is TikTok for Photographers?

Yes! You can absolutely implement creating TikTok videos to your workflow as a photographer and creative.

Think of it as creating Instagram Stories, but more personable. For the past few years, Instagram users have had a lot of questions about Instagram’s constant algorithm changes, which change the way that people see your content on the app. Since TikTok is a relatively new app, it’s not saturated with ads or heavily sponsored posts (yet). So, now is the perfect time to introduce your photography work on TikTok.

Travel Stories on TikTok by @AwakenYourWild.

How can I create TikTok videos as a photographer?

The beautiful thing about getting on an app early is that you have the ability to make it your own. Now is the time to get creative on TikTok. It’s all about experimentation, and TikTok will notice if you are trying something unique with the app.

TikTok’s version of Instagram’s Explore page is called “For You,” and we’re sharing some tips on how you can get noticed and show up on this page. Let’s get creating, TikTokers!

6 Tips for Photographers on TikTok

Tip #1: Get familiar with the platform

Before you start building your strategy for the platform, start exploring TikTok. Search for things that interest you, and watch what other people are doing. You don’t need a big content strategy to get started, but knowing the ins and outs is a great way to get comfortable before you create anything. TikTok runs very similar to Instagram. People on TikTok use it to showcase work, engage with a community, and grow a following- sounds familiar, doesn’t it? 

Tip #2: Create really cool content

TikTok may be a video platform, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share your photographs. TikTok has an incredible built-in video editing function that allows you to create content with ease. This isn’t as simple as uploading your best images. Instead, you need to think in stories. 

TikTok creators can share looping videos between fifteen and sixty seconds long. The built in editing tools include a variety of filters and effects for creatives to use to create cool content. 

Photo Editing on TikTok via @instadavew.

On Instagram, you had the ability to create Instagram Stories and galleries in your feed using multiple images. Now, create a story out of those images for a TikTok video. We’ve shared some of our favourite styles of creating TikTok videos further down in this article.

Tip #3: Add music

The really cool thing about creating TikTok videos is that you can add music right in the app. TikTok has a massive library of music for your videos. Even if you’re not comfortable lip-syncing the way some users on the app are, you can still add a catchy tune to the content you create. Become a composer in your own right, and dabble with tuning and scoring the slideshows and videos you create.

TikTok for Photographers: Tips for Getting a Head Start — Simple Ways to Add Music@Pablo.phto to the song No Idea by Don Toliver.

Tip #4: Share your TikTok videos to other social platforms

One of our favorite features on TikTok is that once you create your videos on the app, you have the option to share them on any other social media platform. You can even link it directly to a friend or colleague.

Once you’ve published the video, simply tap and hold to save it to your gallery and then you’re free to upload it anywhere. TikTok videos look great on Instagram Stories, for example. Sharing TikTok content on other apps is also a great way to encourage your followers on different social media platforms to start following your work on TikTok. 

Tip #5: Ready to get serious about TikTok? Learn the basics of video editing

Play around with TIkTok’s in-app editing program before you get started creating. You can add special effects to your videos, and start experimenting with the transitions between your clips. 

We have some great videos on Shutterstock Tutorials that go into some basics for video editing. Take a scroll and see if you can implement any of these techniques to your TikTok videos. 

Tip #6: Search photography hashtags on TikTok for inspiration

Before you get started creating TikToks for your photography, search some of your favorite photography related hashtags on the app to see what else is out there. Generally speaking, any hashtag that you’ve used on Instagram has a high chance of being used on TikTok as well. Try hashtags like #PhotographyTips, #MakePortraits, and #TravelPhotography.

TikTok for Photographers: Tips for Getting a Head Start — Hashtags Works the Same Way as Instagram#Editing101

Tip #7: Built a TikTok Community with TikTok Codes

TikTok uses TikTok Codes so users can connect with other users around the globe. On the top of your profile page is the TikTok Codes icon (it looks similar to a QR code). Tap and save your code to your phone. Now, you’ll be able to share with other friends and creatives who may be on TikTok.

If you want to connect with your audiences on different social media platforms (such as Instagram) consider sharing your code with that community so people can find and follow your work on TikTok. This only works if you want your account to be public, not private.

4 Creative Ideas for TikTok Videos

Share behind-the-scenes secrets

Tease your audience with behind-the-scenes secrets on how you captured the perfect shot. Show the making of a photograph and hint at what you’re doing until the big reveal. Use type to illustrate your process even further.

This is similar to how you’d create content on Instagram Stories. But, you can provide your audience with a better understanding on how they can capture the incredible photographs you share.

Tips TikTok via @lyndoco.

Show your editing workflow

Take your photographs from start to finish in the form of a video. Not comfortable talking on camera? Simply screen record your laptop or phone and show how you manipulate the image. You can speed it up as needed to show the process quickly and keep your followers engaged. Voila! Your audience now has an inside look into how you edit your images.

Editing TikTok via @kyffinb.

Take your followers on a trip somewhere unique

Create a video sharing both images and videos from a photography trip you’ve recently taken. Introduce the video with where you’re going using bold and bright type, and then showcase some favorite images from that time. Type out the locations so your audience can find some incredible spots too. Share videos in between photographs for a personalized approach.

This is a really engaging way to create content that your followers will want to tag their friends in too, increasing your growth and reach on the platform.

Travel TikTok by @ScottCBakken.

Not comfortable with video yet? Create a photo slideshow

While you can create videos on TikTok as well as upload them from your gallery, you can also upload a series of photographs to create a slideshow. This is great if you’re just getting started on the app and want to test the waters before plunging into photo-heavy videos.

In the editing app under “Photo Templates,” swipe to choose a template, then select the photos you’d like to upload. This is helpful if you have a certain theme or genre of images that you’d like to showcase together. 

We hope this article helps inspire you to create some fun TikTok videos for your photography. The most important thing is to have fun with it and don’t sweat. It’s early in the game for photographers, and you could fall in love with this unique way of showing your photographic work. We can’t wait to see what you create next.

Cover by BublikHaus.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these articles:

Photographing Vegan Food: The Growing Trend of Sustainable Dining11 Creative Tips for Using Instagram Stories in 2020Showcase Your Visually Inspiring Travels through PhotographyEverything You Need to Start a YouTube ChannelFebruary Fresh: New Content We Love

The post TikTok for Photographers: Tips for Getting a Head Start appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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