Sharing your Photos
Episode #9 of the course Introduction to photography by Robin Whalley
Yesterday, you learned about software you can use for editing your photographs. Today, we look at ways to share your photography.
Why Share Photographs and Who to Share With
It may seem odd to talk about the importance of sharing photos. After all, it’s what many of us do all the time. But if you are serious about improving your photography, you need to consider this. It’s only when you receive constructive feedback about your photography and then work on said feedback, that you improve.
You can share your photos with anyone you like and in any format. Most people start by showing photos to friends and relatives. Their natural reaction is to tell you that you’re a wonderful photographer. Everyone wants to encourage you in your new hobby, but that won’t help you improve. What you need is constructive criticism from people who are more experienced. Let’s look at a few ideas to help you.
Photo Sharing Sites and Forums
One of the most popular sharing sites for photographers around the world is Flickr. You can even find me there (@rnwhalley). Although Flickr has lost some of its popularity in recent years, it’s still a valuable place to post your photos and receive feedback. Look to join active groups who promote feedback and critiques; just be ready to participate fully and follow the rules.
How long Flickr will exist in its current format is uncertain. It was purchased in April 2018 by SmugMug, which provides website services for photographers, and they have yet to announce plans.
As well as photo sharing sites, there are many active forums on the internet. ePhotoZine, Photography Forum, and Talk Photography are all popular forums with active members. Search Google and you will quickly find many more.
Before joining a forum, it’s best to find one that’s right for you. Be clear about what it is that you want to gain as a member and spend time researching the discussions. It’s also best not to join too many, but rather be an active member of one or two.
If you’re looking for feedback or critique, check the forum discussions to see if any are dedicated to this and what activity there is. Often, there are many more people seeking feedback than people have time to give.
Starting a Website
There are many good services for photographers who want to start a website. You could do it the hard way by developing a site yourself or customize a ready-made site from SmugMug or Squarespace. But before you commit any money, be realistic.
It’s tempting to think that launching a website will share your photography with the world. While this is possible, it’s far from likely where photography is concerned. Until you have an audience that wants to see your work, few will pay any attention to your website. You may receive a few passing visitors, but most of the time, it will be quiet.
If you do want to build an audience and fan base, social media is the place to start. Once you have a following, then consider launching a website.
Camera Clubs and Societies
Camera clubs and photographic societies can be a valuable resource to develop your photography. Most have a wide range of experience amongst members, many of whom are happy to help others. Most clubs organize regular competitions both internally and with other clubs. Usually, these will have an independent judge and can be a good way to receive valuable feedback.
Tomorrow, you will find out the secret to developing your photography further.
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