Nothing will ever substitute the importance of taking a really good photograph but where you choose to share it has an impact on how many people will see it and consider it as such.
As I write this, I currently have 2,087 photographs uploaded to Flickr since I signed up for the service back in 2005 and never have I garnered an enormous amount of views in such a limited amount of time as I did with an iPhone photograph I took.
What was the secret? As Thomas Hawk so eloquently put it, “if you want people to look at your stuff, make your stuff worth looking at.” I know the concept sounds so obvious but through experimentation I’ve concluded that to truly get the most out of Flickr and boost your visits, your priority should be in recognizing what people are interested in seeing.
That includes being selective in what you choose to share and being this meticulous will improve your skills as a photographer because your priority will shift from uploading everything you shoot to just shooting something that has more of an artistic edge to it.
About the Photograph
FedEx has just delivered my iPhone 4 and if you love Apple as much as I do, you can relate to the uncanny habit of photographing their products as much as you use them. The gadget was obviously new and as Flickr slowly began to flood with mediocre images of enthusiastic owners gloating their ownership, I was inspired by Mark Jardine’s immaculate product shot that I too wanted to share how amazing the iPhone looked but in a way where you would equally admire the photographs as much as the product.
Within minutes of uploading, the flood of comments and praises soared to a point where I had to disable the option of Flickr emailing me every activity coming from this photograph alone. The photo landed on the front page of Flickr’s Explore where magical things started happening and what blew the roof even more was when prominent blogs such as Mashable and Phototuts+ asked if they could use the photo for articles.
All of this brought even bigger exposure and it also elevated the amount of views I received in my overall Flickr stream because I assume viewers were interested in uncovering more work from me based on that one photograph they fell in love with.
The photograph also got recommended for Getty Images which I was flattered for but somehow I knew the honorable mention wouldn’t go far because the idea of making money from a product that I didn’t create didn’t sound right. Either way, the photo qualified me to acquire an special invitation to be contributor to the exclusive Flickr Collection on Getty Images.
Did I make any money from all this? Absolutely not but it increased my ego for about a week and it was a great feeling knowing that my photographs were reaching more people. It also drove me to try new techniques, to pump out more quality shots and to only upload photos that I fell strongly about.
Moral of the Story
Aside from just sharing photograph you feel proudly about, I would be holding out on you if I failed to mention that what contributed to my photo gaining the amount of views it did was by tagging it appropriately and by posting it to an insane amount of Groups on Flickr.
Don’t assume your will be seen by many just by uploading it. What makes a difference is where you choose to share it and I can’t emphasize the importance of submitting your images to Groups. It’s like flying a kite. You can’t expect for it to gain instant flight by just tossing it in the air in front of your home. The kite will truly sore when you find the ideal place to give it string.