Op-Ed | Notifications On

Notifications On for Brandon Woelfel

Creators are ahead of the curve when it comes to viral trends and impactful cultural moments — they foster meaningful connections that resonate with audiences across the globe. Notifications On showcases the best and brightest Creators on Twitter. For this edition, we’re talking to photographer Brandon Woelfel about storytelling, how to use social media to boost your business, and community.


I was probably in 9th or 10th grade when I first got on Twitter. Looking back, I was just [Tweeting] about me waking up, sleeping, eating, and using it as a diary. I don't even remember looking at other people's Tweets or scrolling. Eventually, I started to Tweet random, low-quality photos from my mobile phone. No one was paying attention, but I just kept going. Now, I like to tell a story with the images you see across Twitter and all my platforms. My work, visually, is pretty whimsical and enchanting. I shoot with my friends, and it gets my vision across because I'm comfortable with them, and I can direct a shoot as planned.


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Having the chance to share up to four photos in a carousel has been a big turning point for me. You can see them all laid out aesthetically, and I think that's something photographers and creatives can hone in on. The day that the [no-crop] feature came out, the interactions were 10x. I remember I Tweeted out a floral image and it did so well. I think that's what’s fun about Twitter: experimenting with features and having those [new] things everyone gets excited about.


I didn't know it at first, but a big thing that helped my career in the long run was being interactive with other people on social media. I've connected with people I've shot with through being Twitter mutuals, replying to their Tweets, and being active in responding to notifications. It’s a good platform for those connections because you can see the face behind the content. I feel like my personality comes across on Twitter more than on other platforms. It’s always been a good space to connect with the photography community because, when you go on someone's Instagram, you see the photos they take, not their personality so much.

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It's really cool to follow other photographers doing the same thing as me because I can use them almost as a guide for my next steps. We're very much in the same space, working with the same clients, working with the same models, we have the same friends; it's just a very tight circle within that community. Nesrin Danan and Jessica Kobeissi are other portrait photographers sharing high-end work on Twitter, and their personality shines on the platform. They’ll share photosets and also Tweet their thoughts. Briscoe Park also really blew up this past year and a half. He shares landscape images, and his photosets go off. They do really well, and it's been cool to see someone just share photos because photography, in general, sometimes doesn't get picked up. 


It’s awesome to know that there are still people on [Twitter] who appreciate [photography] and want to see it day-to-day. It can be hard for certain photographers to gain a following if they're not shooting specific people like high-profile influencers or models because people might not have a reason to follow them. So, when someone follows you for your own work, it’s refreshing.


I've noticed smaller Creators will have one Tweet that gets, like, 400K Likes; it just goes wild. You can really see them start to grow and grow. I've also seen a lot of smaller Creators do test shoots on their own to get the attention of the brand they want to potentially shoot for someday. Twitter is a great place to try that because one person might see it, share it, then a chain reaction happens. I think it’s a great way as a Creator to build your portfolio and to create opportunities for client shoots on your own, if you're not already shooting for clients.

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I'm consistently working with the brands that I've grown a connection with, like Photoshop and Nikon, and it's been cool to have made those connections with brands that are so relatable to me. I also have two photobooks out. They were a really groundbreaking part of my process because people were able to purchase and hold it. It was just wild to see these images I'd been sharing on my phone screen in a real-life, tangible object that people can touch. This year, I’ve been thinking about doing something on a smaller scale — maybe a calendar of unreleased images. It’s also my goal every year to try to have an image on a billboard or a big screen somewhere a large audience can see it.


For someone who doesn't know where to begin, just know everyone starts at that point. Twitter is a great space to connect with people — keep at it and interact with one another. That's what I did unknowingly, and it was a big thing that helped me — just interacting on every space and every platform and using each other to grow. Bigger Creators notice and, if you're trying to get into the photo community or do photography full time, that's super key.


It's refreshing to see the grind people put in because they want it so badly. You can see that throughout Twitter — what you're sharing, what you're shooting, how consistent you are, and how interactive you are. You can just tell when someone really wants it.

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Notifications On

Hear more from the best and brightest creators on Twitter in the Notifications On collection.