First I’d like to thank John Greene for the question he asked me the other week, which gave me the great idea to write this blog post. John is also another keen photographer like myself; so I introduced him to the photo sharing website Flickr, as he was keen to get his photos noticed. He asked me what was the best way to get lots of people to see your photos online? Well John, here is the blog post I promised.
I feel there are two main ways that people will come across your photos online. The first is when people are searching for a particular photograph of something and your image appears in the search results; this could be on Flickr or a search engine like Google. The second is when people stumble across your images or links to your images while browsing photo websites. Below are some useful and simple ways to get more out of Flickr, which will hopefully lead to more people viewing your images. Most of these techniques can also be applied to other photo sharing sites like Picasa and Photobucket to the same success.
1. Meta Data
Metadata is basically data about data. In terms of Flickr, it’s the data that you put with your images to describe to others (and search engines) what is in the image. So get typing! Give all your images titles, give them descriptions and tag your images with relevant keywords.
For a start it just makes your life easier and second it makes it easier for anyone else that might want to browse through your photos. Group your images into sets, and if you can group your sets into collections. By doing this it means if someone does find an image of yours through a search they will also able to find similar images quickly and easily.
Yes posting your images on Flickr will get them on the web so others can see them. However, Flickr is not a one-way kind of place. To get yourself noticed out there you need to interact with the other people in the community. Search the groups for topics you have taken photos of, places, landmarks and styles of photos are a good place to start. Join these groups, post your photos onto their photo pools and interact with others in the group on message boards and by commenting on other photos.
4. Comment With Links
While out on your mission of interacting with the community, leave a little link back to your work. I’ve found a good way to get started is to use the explore section of Flickr to find images your interested in. Or find images of places, objects or events you’ve taken photos of as you can easily relate to these. Write constructive comments don’t be spamy but there is no harm in leaving a thumbnail of a photo which includes a link back to your images. This can be done easily with a little html in the comment box, with the URL of the page your image is found on. Use the preview comment button to check the link or thumbnail works before you post.
Now didn’t your mum always tell you to share, well it’s the same with photos online if you want people to find you. The best way to do this is to remove the copyright from some of the images you’re happy for others to use for free. There are free licenses for creative people at creativecommons.org to help you share your images the way you want to.
So if you don’t mind people using your images for a profitable use, be it on a website or billboard, yet you want noted credit for those images, there are licenses out there to cover you. These licenses can be applied to your photos from within Flickr when viewing the image by clicking the ‘Edit’ link next to ‘All rights reserved’. You can also batch edit a whole group of photos to a different license when using the organise section of the site. You’ll find the licenses under ‘Permissions’–’Change License’.
Hope this has been helpful John.