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11-09-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
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Expanding web presence for documentary photography with flickr?

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.

11-10-2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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Have you done a group search on, say, "street photography" on flickr? There are tons of groups of all kinds.

General thoughts about Flickr. You're not going to get hardly anyone viewing your images if you don't submit them to groups at first. Someone would have to stumble upon it. And if you do submit your work to groups, be selective if you don't want all the people who just post generic, canned statements with a big flaring image attached that screams look at my picture instead of yours or obnoxious animated gifs. Avoid groups that say post one; award X number to someone. Those are the worst. People are just fulfilling a requirement and often really say nothing.

And if you ever make Explore, you won't be able to avoid it with that shot. But you can post a notice on the picture that you don't want obnoxious flare in your comments and some may actually honor that.

If your pictures are something people like, you'll soon have people marking you as a contact. They will see when you have posted a new picture and you won't need to have it in a group to get visibly.
11-11-2010, 02:22 AM   #3
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I might be wrong but I don't think you'll find the audience you are looking for at Flickr. There might be a few good groups that are keen to discuss images but most of the time you'll just get comments along the lines of "great shot", "cool shot", "awesome image".

Some professional photographers have Flickr presences but I have the impression they only do it to help the sales of the books they've written.

I doubt a Flickr presence can help to increase the reputation of a photographer or even increase their visibility regarding a relevant audience. But I might be wrong.

The strategy nowadays seems to be to offer some free material, such as tutorials, tips & tricks, "behind the scenes" and "how I did it" descriptions. If people like the material, they'll "like it" on Facebook, they'll twitter it, etc. This way people seem to attract a large fellowship of readers and thus gain visibility. Whether it helped anyone's career, I don't know.
11-13-2010, 06:06 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Have you done a group search on, say, "street photography" on flickr? There are tons of groups of all kinds.

General thoughts about Flickr. You're not going to get hardly anyone viewing your images if you don't submit them to groups at first. Someone would have to stumble upon it. And if you do submit your work to groups, be selective if you don't want all the people who just post generic, canned statements with a big flaring image attached that screams look at my picture instead of yours or obnoxious animated gifs. Avoid groups that say post one; award X number to someone. Those are the worst. People are just fulfilling a requirement and often really say nothing. And if you ever make Explore, you won't be able to avoid it with that shot. But you can post a notice on the picture that you don't want obnoxious flare in your comments and some may actually honor that.

If your pictures are something people like, you'll soon have people marking you as a contact. They will see when you have posted a new picture and you won't need to have it in a group to get visibly.
There is alot of truth in that, as the generic flashing .gif's become quite annoying.

11-14-2010, 10:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
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 idea with flickr and joining groups is that you enter a community, somewhat like you do on this forum. You attract interest not because you have nice site or portfolio but because you become part of a conversation that includes photos. If yours stand out you will get some interest. It's not about presentation of your photos but the quality of them. If you participate in the Flickr community and upload good shots your following will grow.
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