Resource reviews last Friday’s keynote debate on social media’s role in photography. Prestigious photographers list pros and cons of photographer’s use of social media.

A little about the conference, PhotoPlus Expo 2018 is the largest photography and imaging show in North America. They bring together 200 different exhibitors and brands with the newest and latest technology and services for all to try, touch, and compare.

Mentioned in the event page, this panel serves as an ongoing debate on the arguments for and against the use of social media. Even if social media heightens photographer and videographer’s exposure, social media carries its burdens and costs.

The two lead panelists are Allen Murabayashi, Chairman and Co-Founder of Photoshelter and Adriana Teresa Letorney, Founder of Visura. They will be leading the argument and debates on the pros and cons of photographer’s use of social media.

Adriana Teresa Letorney took the side of the cons side with Dusty Wooddell, and Allen Murabayashi argued the pros with Rhynna Santos.

Cons: How Much Hours A Day Do You Spend On Social Media?

One of the major arguments against social media in a photographer and videographer’s career is time. Both Adriana and Dusty are not ardently against social media, they consider a better management of the tool. And it is just that, a tool where people are able to engage with each other and create more. But, they take into account the statistics.

According to them, one study suggests the average American spends roughly two hours per day across various platforms. For freelancers, understanding that time is money is key.

Dusty argues that the average hourly income in the US is just above $24. Social media requires $1320 per month by the average user. A professional, however, he believes, may invest even more time. He also considers that having an account is like having a child.

How Do We Manage it All?

The question is: how do we manage it all? They both conclude that the demand to have an online presence is now mandatory and unavoidable.

They both consider the time spent and invested in social media and the lack of return. Especially in small towns and new businesses, its a lot more dependent on word of mouth than it is transient online connections. To have a growing portfolio is also important.

Its also argued that through their own websites, emails, phone calls, or even in person, leads to more inquiries regarding jobs rather than 20% of inquiries made on Facebook and Instagram leading to a paying job.

They ask, what does this all mean for the professional photographer? It is important to remember that there are pros and cons to social media, and how one wants to go about their business really is a deciding factor. I heard others ask whether or not social media is affecting the photographer than the photography, but all in all, is it worth it?

Pros: The Internet, The Greatest Resource In The World

On the side of the pros, the infancy of the Internet and social media make it harder to determine where photography will go, and yet, it is doing so much for exposure. Even if that exposure may not be entirely there, the future of technology and the internet is the future of photography and imagery.

For Alex, the Internet has become such a significant information exchange and networking service that allowed him to create a demand for products like PhotoShelter. With the new digital frontier, new possibilities are discovered and are sublimated into different products and styles that end up helping influencers and redefining photography.

The Accessibility Of Social Media

Another point that was made is the accessibility of social media and the digital world. Where photography was once for those who could afford cameras, now cameras are affordable and are shareable in a public space. They both argue that there is a wider network that is at the disposal of the influencer and photographer, and new forms of photography and art that are coming into being.

Technology and photography refreshen one another, and they argue that this new digital platform will broaden their scope in reaching out to others. As well as making it accessible for marginalized communities and experimental film.

No matter where you draw the line, the debate goes on and on. Technology is changing the format of photography. Both panelists understand the impact of social media in a photographer’s life. To sum up, the pros focus on the accessibility and possibility with social media while the cons hone in on the possible misfortune and loss that goes into the time spent on social media. Wherever social media takes you as a photographer or just a casual user, it is important to keep both in mind as you go along your career.