Using Social Media To Build Trust And Credibility As A Photographer

Industry Observer

 Panasonic Lumix GH2

Photography is a passion of mine and you'll frequently see me with camera in hand when I'm out exploring western Oregon. I've developed an eye for composition and am gradually building a local reputation as an amateur photographer.

Since photographs are taken to be seen and not just stored, I created a Facebook page called 365 and More Things To Do in Lane County, Oregon. I post 1-2 times daily with photos and links to stories about places in Lane County and western Oregon.

365 And More Things To Do In Lane County, Oregon

This page has given me the opportunity to meet local people I would never have known otherwise, such as:

  1. Colette Kimball. She is a local writer who also maintains a blog called My South Lane.  We have collaborated on a few articles in publications where I've supplied a few photos.
  2. Walt and Amanda of Johnson Farms.  Amanda reached out to me on my Facebook page and suggested that I post about this local, fourth generation farm.  I thought that it would be a fun opportunity to visit and learn more about the farm from the owners themselves.  I invited Colette to join me for an afternoon of touring and talking.  The result was this blog post that she wrote about the farm and my Facebook page.
  3. Neil & Sue Shay of BlueBird Hill Cellars.  The first two photos on their front page slide show are mine.  I took the pictures on the weekend that they opened their tasting room.  The meeting inspired me to write an AR blog post about it.  They ended up naming me their staff photographer.

In addition to my Facebook page, I also upload photos to a Flickr account.  Since my goal for now is to share the images, I use a Creative Commons copyright so that others can use the photos with proper attribution.  That approach has led to a surprising number of media outlets choosing my pictures to help illustrate their stories.

The list includes Huffington Post, RunnersWorld, Oregon Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, Portland Business Journal, and even a London-based publication.  Links to the stories are below.  The first two photos on the McKenzie River Events poster below are ones that I took and shared with the local Chamber of Commerce.

The Oregon Farm Bureau selected a photo that I took of ripe pinot grapes at Iris Vineyards to use as the November photo for its 2017 calendar that it mailed to its 66,000+ members.

I have sold a few photos, but the revenue is nowhere near enough for me to consider quitting my day job.  For now, the goal is to continue practicing the craft and learning which photos and subjects are of greatest interest to my audiences.

As more and more people become aware of my work, I expect bigger opportunities to present themselves.  The fact that major media outlets selected my photos out of all of the ones available is a good indication that I'm heading in the right direction.


Posted by

Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest.  He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.

To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook.  You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.



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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I am very fond of localism posts which bring to life communities in which people dwell.  Photo journalism certainly is a great avenue for that.  You've provided good information about Lane County, Oregon.

CONGRATULATIONS on having this blog FEATURED in the PHOTOS group!

Jul 12, 2016 09:16 AM #1
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

You got a lot of write ups on Oregan with stunning photos of the nature....  Local events.  

You have a lot ammo in your portfolio.


Sam Shueh

Jul 12, 2016 12:34 PM #2
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Congrats Rick Obst  it must make you feel great

Jul 12, 2016 01:01 PM #3
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm very impressed with your success. And I love the idea on your FB page.

Jul 12, 2016 02:29 PM #4
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Rick, you have indeed been very successful with your photography, congratulations.  This must take a lot of time?

Jul 14, 2016 12:22 PM #5
Susan Laxson CRS
HomeSmart Professionals - La Quinta, CA
Local Knowledge & Global Network

Rick, I am glad that I found this post from the contest page link! What a great way to introduce people to Oregon and your photos are amazing, as well as your FB page! Good job!

Jul 16, 2016 04:57 AM #6
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Rick Obst - way to go! Facebook does help promote our business for sure. In this case, with beautiful photography.

Jul 22, 2016 03:48 PM #7
Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Awesome photos!  Congratulations on your success and looking forward to seeing more of your shared talent in photography.

Jul 29, 2016 09:44 PM #8
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