Last month, I made the choice to upgrade from the free version of Flickr to the Pro version. For only $24.95/year I figured, why not? Do not think that I made this purchase without first researching other online services comparable to Flickr. Most noteworthy being SmugMug. In fact, I know at least 2 other photographers who have been more than happy with SmugMug’s services which include custom page layouts and pricing/selling your images. I’m not going to give a list of pros and cons for SmugMug and Flickr because you can easily look those up on Google. Instead, I’m just going to mention a few things that are important for me and how that impacted my decision to go with Flickr.
Being a hobbyist, I wanted to keep things as simple as I can for my photography portfolio. Flickr allows me to keep a basic portfolio with albums (a.k.a “Sets“) of all my pictures. Taking into consideration the fact that I am by no means a professional photographer, I like exploring other photographers’ Flickr photostreams to see their styles of photography. In my opinion, aside from going out to take pictures, looking at other photographers work is one of the best possible ways to get better. SmugMug, is not nearly as “explorable” as Flickr in terms of being able to look at millions of other people’s pictures. For me, one of the biggest benefits of being able to look at other people’s photostreams on Flickr is that I can find local places that I never would have imagined of going to. It’s great being able to get ideas from other people and learning of places to travel. Another useful feature of Flickr is how accessible it is. Whether you’re on a mobile device or a desktop computer, as long as you have an internet or mobile connection, Flickr can be easily displayed. After uploading images, you can make them more accessible (search-able by online users) by adding “tags” (e.g. “Myrtle Beach”, “Uncle Sam”, Olympics) and uploading your images to Groups. Even data (EXIF) that gets stored within your images is displayed on Flickr (Exposure settings, camera model, date). For under $25, Flickr is a very powerful tool that allows users to share their photography around the world in an easy way.