About Albert Kennedy
Albert Kennedy was born and raised in California.
He shares, “I had a very common, typical suburban life. Two parents. I consider myself a military brat. After high school, I didn’t actually go to college. I went to the army. After I left the army, I ended up going to college and studied business. I got my first job in tech as an engineer.”
Around this time, he got his hands on a camera and began playing around with photography. Eventually, he began freelancing as a portrait photographer and video content creator.
Sharing Photography Online
Albert Kennedy began sharing his work on social media in 2017 when he started his business as a freelance portrait photographer.
He shares, “I figured [sharing online] is the best way to get noticed as far as seeking clients or even just to share your work in general, and that was my purpose, really just to share my work and to try to feel out kind of the direction I wanted to go.”
Initially, he shared portraits and street and landscape photography, which helped him build a clientele.
“I would say about 90% of the clients that I do have come from social media. I do have a website, but that in itself [social media] helps a lot as far as self-marketing myself, and just sharing the content that I do have on there helps a lot just to pull in more individuals.”
Albert’s Social Media Strategy
Albert Kennedy shares that spending time posting and engaging with his followers on social media has helped him to grow. However, having real interactions, where he shares parts of himself on Instagram stories or hosts live and in-person meetups, has been far more helpful.
“This has helped a lot more because people when they actually are able to interact with you in person – they can connect with the individual that they see online… so having that interaction has a helped a lot more as far as the growth in itself for me.”
He also hands out business cards so people can easily find his website and Instagram.
“The in-person meetups have helped a lot. Just sharing myself a little bit more. I think people like to be able to connect when they do see an individual or an account that they follow, but they want to be able to see the individual behind that, right?”
Throughout his years online, Albert has increased his personal interactions with his followers with mounting success.
One of the challenges that Albert faces as a photographer on Instagram is that video content is heavily pushed on the platform.
“I think there’s kind of this back and forth between a lot of photographers on Instagram right now in the last couple of months, and there’s been a lot of changes with the hit of Instagram making this push for video. If you want to get more visibility, that’s sort of what you have to do.”
However, he shares, “There’s still a lot of enthusiasts and a lot of individuals that do like pictures. For me, the most viewed content, at least from the photography perspective, is portraits. Anything that showed a lot of movement and that showed a lot of environment.”
People love photographs showing movement, which takes him a little more time to set up his equipment, but the results are well worth it.
“If you want a lot of exposure, so to speak, it’s those types[of photos] that have wide open environments, portraits that show a lot of movement in the shot.”
Albert Kennedy shares that he used paid ads through Instagram at first to direct traffic to his website.
He created his website using Squarespace, which allows him to track where his traffic comes from online. A lot of his traffic comes from Google searches currently.
He also strategically used keywords people were searching for, such as “bay area” or “California photographer,” to increase his website traffic.
Albert Kennedy shares that he has worked with various brands, including a sporting clothing company his friend was a part of the startup development for.
“He reached out to me and said, “Hey, I’m looking for some pictures with models that have this sort of look.” He gave me examples, and I say I can go source for that, maybe men in those cases. I would provide a rate, what I would charge, but also, if I’m looking for a model from an agency or of a model that is requiring a rate, I have to include that as well.”
He has also worked with a hat company, where he took pictures of models wearing and showing off the hats.
Albert’s brand partnerships usually involve posting photos and tagging the company’s page.
“[Brands] just give me the guideline of what and how to show it and what if I wanted to post, what captions I should use… in some cases, there are paid opportunities for it, but those have been some opportunities that I’ve been sought out to do more of.”
Biggest Challenges as a Creator & Artist
Albert shares that the biggest challenge he faces as an artist is constant change and staying on top of what is trending. For example, behind-the-scenes footage and details are a popular type of content among photographers currently.
Evolving your skills regularly is a big part of staying relevant and on top of new changes.
Albert shares, “I would have never thought I would’ve been able to do sort of the cinematic film and videos that I’m doing today. I knew nothing about videography two years ago, and because of where things have been growing, I had a lot of requests from individuals wanting this sort of content.”
He adds that staying on top of trends is crucial.
However, “the main thing for me is to make sure I”m maintaining my own focus for what I do.”
Albert is currently working on some upcoming video content with another content creator who works in social media marketing.
“I’m going to be working with a few South Asian, Indian women that are actually at fashion week, which is happening right now in New York. I have one [project] that I’m working on with another model that’s located here in the San Francisco bay area.”
He shares that he is also working on more creative studio work, which he hasn’t done much of up until now.