Myself as an artist.
I always loved to draw as a kid, I thoroughly remember pausing the TV or taking pictures and trying my best to copy them into drawings constantly. I would always love to do Andy Griffiths inspired doodles on any paper that was lying around and fill a page with random thoughts. Going into college I loved art design class. I did well here, and this is likely what caused me to pursue studying at NMIT. Art design was where I first got to use Photoshop and to this day I still love using it. I have shifted heavily from drawing into mainly using Photoshop and a drawing tablet now. With a good knowledge of Photoshop I became increasingly interested in getting a camera and trying out different kinds of photography.
From trying out photography I found a real niche for taking photos of different birdlife/wildlife around the region. This has grown into a bigger passion and something I would love to pursue as a job in future. For me to continue producing photographs in future I would love to have a bigger target audience. I think using this comparative study is a good opportunity for me to think of ways to promote my own work by incorporating other popular wildlife photographer’s communication practices into my own to amass a bigger following. Currently any photos I take and like get edited and uploaded to Flickr but without much of an attempt to gain following.
One of my favorite influences for my own work is Mark Smith , a Florida based youtuber who regularly uploads video narratives to YouTube documenting all his favorite photographs from a wildlife shoot. Mark talks in one of his recent videos about how his channel started. He says he just started sharing his photos and stories with his family, when his son recommended he uploaded it to YouTube . He has now conjured over 50,000 YouTube subscribers in just a couple of years which is pretty humbling. I’ve found his videos one of the most interesting and entertaining ways to present wildlife photography.
A few of Mark’s Instagram uploads
I know from watching countless hours of YouTube that it can be a tough place to gain a strong following and requires regular uploads to gain subscribers. It should be common sense that knowing your target demographic paired with regularity and quality will help you accumulate higher status on any social media platform . I know this can be easier said than done. Mark Smith also has an Instagram account with over 15,000 followers . This is important as he is catering to different audiences by using multiple social media platforms. Instagram is subjectively one of the most popular platforms for photo sharing, so it makes sense to upload here. You can imagine some people may not have time to watch a 10-12 minutes video containing a large photoshoot and would rather just see his finest work condensed into a portfolio and this is one of many great places to do so.
With the addition of a following Mark now has his own website where he offers up wildlife photography workshops  and even has his own collection of books  that can be purchased digitally or physically. Again, he is catering to different audiences and this provides a way for his followers to connect with his work. He also has his own merchandise on his website which can act as a small business whilst allowing people to show their appreciation. Mark has done a great job creating a large following out of something he was passionate about using various social media platforms and I hope there are things I can take away for my future work.
Aside from Mark I would like to think about other social media platforms that would well suit the demographic of wildlife photography. Myself I have used Flickr  to try and share my wildlife images. Pinterest  is another great website. Both these websites (Flickr & Pinterest) are places people predominantly go to find photographs/artwork and you can tag/flair your work to help people find it by searching key words. For example, I might tag a wildlife photo with #Nature and the name of the animal so that people in my demographic could have a change at finding my work. Once people find you they have the options to follow and share your work if they like it allowing you to further expand.