Most pro and enthusiast photographers want people to see their photos, and that means promoting your work online. A wide range of options are available to photographers from branded networks like Fstoppers and National Geographic all the way to mega-networks Facebook and Twitter. There are also five social networks that have distinguished themselves with content focusing primarily on photography; 500 Pixels, Flickr, Google Plus, Instagram, and YouPic.
Unfortunately, one person cannot be in all these places. It’s probably best to do well on one or two of these networks unless you have the time to invest in a serious social media marketing campaign. That’s why you will need to select the right place for you and your content.
Here is a brief review of all five networks in alphabetical order.
If you followed our Kickstarter campaign for the Trioplan 50, then you know we like 500 Pixels quite a bit. This social network is filled with serious photographers, people who are committed to their craft and want to excel. Most of the photographers’ expertise levels range from professional to serious amateur.
500 Pixels has some really strong features for photographers who are just getting established. You can host your portfolio on 500 Pixels, and you can also license your photos via their site.
If you are on 500 Pixels, please follow me there.
The original photo sharing social network, Flickr has suffered quite a bit of criticism of late thanks to parent company Yahoo!’s missteps and woes. As a result, traffic on the social network has suffered as of late.
Still the social network has its strengths, including incredible search traffic for photographers who are seeking to be discovered via free Creative Commons licensing. The community tends to range from serious enthusiast to consumer. It also serves as a photo storage network. If you want to see the best of Flickr, check out its daily Explore feature. Also, a new owner (Verizon) may create a momentum change. We shall see.
If you are concerned about Flickr losing traffic, then be very concerned about Google+. The network has waned in the past two years as Google reduced its commitment to the network.
With most casual users gone, this is a network that primarily serves photographers now, and there are many vibrant photography communities there still. Like Flickr, Google+ offers photo storage via its Google Photos service and that is its saving grace, in my opinion.
I am currently inactive on Google+.
Instagram is the largest photo social network, and competes with Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is definitely a consumer network, but there are many photographers on the network who share their images with friends, family, fellow photographers, and yes, potential clients.
This is a great social network for branding your photography business or just sharing pictures with friends. It will give you the most access to wide varieties of audiences, but offers the least control over your images as anyone can re-share your photos.
If you are on Instagram, please follow me there.
The newest of the photo-based social networks, YouPic offers a more gamified version of social networking. There are contests, user feedback, and levels of photography excellence. Because YouPic is newer than the others, it is easier to make a big name for yourself on the network.
It’s definitely a network of reciprocity. The more you give, the more others will remark on your photos. Of course, the design is meant to keep you engaged and posting, too. Unlike 500 Pixels and Flickr, you don’t have to pay to get access to analytics, which is nice.
I am on YouPic, but am an infrequent contributor.
What do you think of these five photography networks?
A version of this blog was originally published on the Meyer Optik Goerlitz blog, and was authored by Geoff Livingston.