I’m guessing that most creative people reading this have shared their work with the online world at some point. Digital photographers have it easier than most, our files are ready-made to be shared …
The trouble I have with online sharing is that there are so many potential places to show off my work. Posting to all of the popular sites is exhausting, yet I feel that if someone has made the decision to follow me on a particular photo-sharing site then I should at least make the effort to upload my photos there.
After I’ve entered the title, description, keywords, set sale prices and set appropriate categories, albums and groups numerous times I just want to shut down the computer and have a rest. So apologies for not immediately getting involved with discussions in comments :)
I’m currently active on Flickr, Facebook, Society6, Redbubble, DeviantART, Instagram and Twitter. I also have accounts on Tumblr, 500px and Pinterest that I update less frequently.
I’d love there to be one site that did everything I wanted, but each site has a little unique feature or particular following that makes it stand out. And now I’m going to tell you what those features are.
The Old School
Flickr was my first social photo site, and still my favourite. It’s not as active as it was, but there have been a few nice updates recently which have shown a commitment to keeping up with modern technology. The feature that makes it a winner for me is the control you have over your files. The public can only access the smaller files, but I have access to the full resolution photos. I can also generate a link to the high resolution version which is super useful if I need to send the original image somewhere when I’m not at my main computer.
DeviantART is a strange one, the audience feels much younger, and it has a much higher proportion of non-photographic content. It’s showing its age in terms of site design, the ability to add animated smilies and gifs in comments was probably a mistake, and the green colour scheme is… an acquired taste. So DeviantART is terrible? Actually, the community is massive and very active. They also love geeky stuff, a perfect fit for my photos. And they have a shop where you can sell prints with very little effort.
Redbubble was the first place I started selling prints of my photographs. It tries to be a social sharing site, but it never really took off. But, the print quality of their photos and calendars is excellent. They do all sorts of extras now, but most of my photos are only available as prints or canvases. I’ve been asked about T-shirts many times, but I shall save the explanation of my decision not to sell T-shirts for another time.
Society6 is a fairly new site to me. It’s very similar to Redbubble, so why upload to both? Redbubble isn’t that popular in the USA, Society6 is.
It’s obvious that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the cool places to be at the moment. The sheer volume of people you can reach on those platforms is mind blowing. I’m terrible at self-promotion and marketing, but getting noticed and retweeted/mentioned by someone with a lot of followers can multiply your follower account overnight. No print sales on those sites of course, but if you want exposure, those are the places to go.
I really would like to like 500px. The site design is lovely, but the content turns me off every time I go there. The popular photos page can be summed up as “sunsets, sexy women, and flowers”. You would be hard-pressed to find more cliched photo subjects in one place. Of course they’re all beautifully lit and technically perfect, the whole site gleams with professionalism, but if there are original ideas to be found, they don’t make it easy. Plus they don’t have a “toys” category, and that’s a crime.
As a bonus, I also have a Snapchat account. I literally have no idea what to do with it. Help!
So that’s a whole lot of places to put photos. At least if my computer and backup drives all explode at once I know I’ll be able to get my photos back from somewhere :)