Expanding web presence for documentary photography with flickr?


CWyatt

Link Posted 09/11/2010 - 22:31
Here's the deal: I have a website which gets decent traffic, and a facebook page which has a couple of hundred interested people. Nothing too major. I'm a street photographer mostly, I do some shows, sell some prints, certainly looking to get into pro doco work in the next few years. I like photos to be seen as well, not just sit on a hard-drive, whether they result in money or not.

Anyway, I was recently advised by another photographer to expand my web presence by setting up a flickr account. I've never used flickr, and decided to set up my own website (through zenfolio) to have maximum control over the presentation, as well as keeping it minimalist and just about images. No offence to flickr users, but often it often seems to be a pat-on-the-back session for average photography (NOTE: at the same time, I have seen a couple of outstanding photographers' work on there, including those with their own separate websites), with some great amateur work. Is there a decent doco/street presence, or is it all people's pets?

This photographer advised me to join groups, add photos etc, and it might have a large impact on the overall visibility of my work.

So I guess my query is this: what do you think - is there a case for also using flickr, or is it a waste of time seeing as how I'm using fb and my own website?

Is it a good outlet for doco work? Are there any specific places doco work is big on flickr?

Thanks for thoughts.
'The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera' - Dorothea Lange

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Dangermouse

Link Posted 10/11/2010 - 00:02
I don't think it's a waste of time in terms of it being another free advertising medium. Flickr seems to be regarded a bit more highly than Photobucket by serious photographers (being professional is more than just getting paid, after all) and while there will be inevitable "look at my cute kitten" shots you'll find all sorts. I know I've seen loads of historical photos on there which make fascinating viewing, and quality will always attract a following.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

pnjmcc

Link Posted 10/11/2010 - 01:30
As part of a Marketing strategy its high advisable to use flikr in conjunction with other sites, I would also advise you to start a blog if you havent already and link them all together.

Flickr has lots of advantages, it can raise your standings in with search engines, it goes in addition to the gallery on your website. If your website only contains your very best work (as it should), then flickr can contain other great images from the same shoot / location. you choose your best but someone else might like a different shot / angle/lighting etc.

Definately a worthwile endevour

Regards
PaulM
All cameras are equal but.....
Some are more equal than others

bretti_kivi

Link Posted 10/11/2010 - 09:12
it's also the place where your photos are most likely to get stolen; it will also raise your profile in terms of the photo agencies using pics.

I see it with very much active ambivalence; as a backup it isn't really usable due to compression. Your call.

If you want exposure, then flickr. If you like your pics private, don't.

Bret
my pics: link
my kit: K3, K5, K-01, DA 18-55, D-FA50 macro, Siggy 30/1.4, 100-300/f4, 70-200/2.8, Samsung 12-24/f4, Tamron 17-50, and lots of other bits.

spirit_of_will

Link Posted 12/11/2010 - 13:29
bretti_kivi wrote:
it's also the place where your photos are most likely to get stolen; it will also raise your profile in terms of the photo agencies using pics.

I see it with very much active ambivalence; as a backup it isn't really usable due to compression. Your call.

If you want exposure, then flickr. If you like your pics private, don't.

Bret

Isn't the answer then to add a watermark to the images uploaded to Flickr and tell people via Flickr to look at un-watermarked ones on your main site?

I've got a FB page linked to my website and will when I have the time start uploading to Flickr too. A blog, as someone else has said, is another idea. What additional freebie marketing / online presence options are there?
Spirit_of_will

Fan and user of quality Pentax Shiny Kit

WEBSITE www.willbartonphotography.com & www.inspiredlightimages.com

Will Barton Photography: Landscapes, Cityscapes
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thoughton

Link Posted 12/11/2010 - 13:47
As usual I strongly disagree with the idea that your photos are likely to get stolen on Flickr. (I realise Bret only said "most likely", but the point is the same, don't let it put you off Flickr ) The payoff in exposure is surely far more important than whether or not some teenager swipes one of your photos for his blog with a double digit readership. Do note that you'll have to work at Flickr though, it doesn't happen automatically. You need to be spending a lot of time commenting on other people's images, and tagging all of your stuff properly, or there isn't much point.

PS Regarding using it as backup, if you have a Flickr Pro account you can download the original (uncompressed) file. It's only free accounts where you can only download the compressed version.
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr • Fluidr • PPG • Street • Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!
Last Edited by thoughton on 12/11/2010 - 13:49

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 12/11/2010 - 13:49
Have you thought about compiling 'slideshow' reports for Youtube?
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

CWyatt

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 21:50
Hmm, interesting points - I'm unlikely to dedicate the time tagging and commenting to get much out of it by the sound.
Have seen YouTube slideshows and never been too impressed, I think due to the image quality which seems to take away from it a lot.
'The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera' - Dorothea Lange

My Photography Portfolio

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dougf8

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 22:36
Lots of commercial artists use flickr, completely ignoring the flickr rules.

this person seems familiar
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lillyann/

this person seems to use it as a kind of teaser blog, she also must have a sponsor deal with Canon
http://www.flickr.com/photos/redpilotmedia/

I like this persons abtracts and they point to their other website. Its a shop window
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomatensaft/

This guy seems to do fashion shoots and blogs about them in picture form
http://www.flickr.com/photos/raiworld/

These folks show off their T-shirt art and life in general
http://www.flickr.com/photos/i_love_the_slow_loris/page9/

I think you can do what you like.
Flickr is social networking (so my wife tells me) so its just a way of communicating through images. You post something showing your have a pulse.

All the crud about "interestingness" and chasing popularity ends up in a very flickresque style of photo. Tick all the boxes and voila.

There are lots of tools and help if you want to automate tagging.
If you don't want your pics nicked, then put up low res images 480x320, enough for people to see but useless beyond that, you can put a watermark through too.

Post in the right groups and you'll get a group of contacts. make loads of people your contact. If somebody faves your image , make them a contact. When they log in, your latest pictures probably appear in front of their eyes.

People are interested in the creative process and flickr is full of people who have an interest in the creative visual arts.

There are some interesting articles about interestingness and building up a contact list.
Lurking is shirking.!
Last Edited by dougf8 on 15/11/2010 - 22:39

womble

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 11:45
I use flickr as a mixture of a showroom and a dumping ground and a way of getting stuff to other people. I did win a years subscription to a proper image website but I haven't really got that going yet.

As for getting images stolen, I just keep mine small (800px maximum on one side). At a print resolution of 300dpi that makes the images rather small for most purposes. I guess 480x320 would make them even harder to reuse.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

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El Dingo

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 13:36
Some of my best work is of my pets...
El Dingo - K3-II and K10D

spirit_of_will

Link Posted 17/11/2010 - 10:44
This post prompted me to get my butt in gear and start uploading some stuff to Flickr - via Lightroom it is surprisingly easy to use & manage but it's shown up one flaw in my workflow in that I don't take enough time to do my key wording properly!
Spirit_of_will

Fan and user of quality Pentax Shiny Kit

WEBSITE www.willbartonphotography.com & www.inspiredlightimages.com

Will Barton Photography: Landscapes, Cityscapes
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Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 17/11/2010 - 12:51
spirit_of_will wrote:
This post prompted me to get my butt in gear and start uploading some stuff to Flickr - via Lightroom it is surprisingly easy to use & manage but it's shown up one flaw in my workflow in that I don't take enough time to do my key wording properly!

Mmmm, I like LRPS Image 6. Not that I don't like the others mind, but that one stood out.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

spirit_of_will

Link Posted 17/11/2010 - 20:01
Cheers Dan! One of those lucky moments spotting the light while the missus was busy taking pictures of stray cats on holiday!
Spirit_of_will

Fan and user of quality Pentax Shiny Kit

WEBSITE www.willbartonphotography.com & www.inspiredlightimages.com

Will Barton Photography: Landscapes, Cityscapes
My Flickr
Follow Will Barton Photography on Facebook

edumad

Link Posted 19/11/2010 - 16:11
It costs nothing (for the first 250 images I think), uploading is easy and quick, so not much harm. Theft wise, you'll be more exposed then on zenfolio, because there's a greater crowd, plus the apps that feed off flickr. But if you use small images there isn't really much harm.
There are groups you can belong to, so you can expose yourself to people who work on the same subjects (you can discuss as well), or people who look for your specific subject.
Overall its a pretty good display for your work, and a very good way to connect with your other social media outlets. Many prof togs use it.

I wouldn't expect much business from clients though, probably more potential from networking.
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