Many times I have come across some of my friends have excellent photos, but they keep them to themselves. Assuming some of them would normally be interested in posting their photos on the web, I have interviewed a couple of my friends to try to identify what are the key reasons for not posting, these were the answers I got back:
- I do not know where to post / I do not have my own website.
- I do not think my photos are good enough, and that people would ridicule me.
- I am afraid that someone would steal my photos.
- Why would I post for free ?
Since there is quite a bit to cover regarding every subject, i will try to adress it in current and upcoming blog posts.
Where to post your photos
You do not have to necessarily own a website in order to post your own photos (especially so in the beginning). Considering the significant decrease in the price of both compact cameras and entry-level dSLR‘s, many websites have emerged that form around the photo enthusiast community. Some of the most common places where people usually post their photos are:
- Photo sharing websites
- Photography magazine websites
- Photo blogs and forums
Photo Sharing websites such as Flickr, Photobucket, PicasaWeb, Fotki, SmugMug, Webshots provide in most cases free web hosting and a huge user base, making them ideal places to start hosting your work. The registration process is usually quick and you can have your photos hosted in a matter of minutes. These types of websites usually have Copyright agreements in place to protect the author of the original photo against theft. There will be more discussion about protecting your photos in the later post (2/4). Also, note that they usually have a huge community with same ambitions, and giving (constructive) critiques is strongly encouraged. For an example flickr account, click on the image.
Photography magazine websites such as Digital SLR User, Digital SLR Photography, Digital Photographer and many more also feature user galleries where people can post their own photos. Although their community is significantly smaller than that of the photo sharing websites, chances are that some of the users providing comments might have more experience. Some of them have quite innovative approach such as streaming TV reviews, photo face-offs, and many contests with interesting prizes. Last but not least, there is possibility to have your own photos published in a written edition of the magazine. Check for their Copyright policies before posting.
PhotoBlogs are easy, straightforward and cheap way to post your own photos. Most blogging sites such as Blogger, WordPress provide free service, however note, that in this case it might be a bit harder to get comments, since you need to promote, edit, and ensure copyright protection of your work. The marketing is up to you, which might take your focus of taking photos.
Forums are excellent source of information and comments. Posting your photo in a comment forum will probably give you the best and the quickest feedback on your work. Also the photo forum community is usually quite responsive and provide lots of useful comments and discussions.
Your own website – This is one of the more complex, and yet most powerfull option, since you can determine the look and feel, the copyright policies, and almost every aspect of how your photos will be presented and protected. The additional bonus is that you can in most cases define your own domain (with your name or artist name), and if you do so, you might be taken more seriously in the business. However, with this comes also the responsibility of maintaining, updating, promoting your website, which can also take your focus of taking photos. However, it is possible to hire a developer to implement the site for you, and also web hosting is quite cheap nowadays, so if you think it will pay off, then absolutely, go for it. However, i would not recommend it for the beginners as your focus should be taking photos and seeking feedback in order to learn.
This was the first part of Seek comments tutorial. Join us next time where we will discuss how to protect your photos from copyright infringement.