As photographers, there are a lot of us who want our images to be seen. We like to tell people where we have been or what we saw though images. Sometimes it’s about of rejection but sometimes it’s about constructive criticism. Either way, we put our content on sites like Flickr to be seen no matter the outcome. There are ways to increase the potential views of your images on Flickr through just changing how you think about your images.
The first thing to actually consider is your images. Putting up every single thing you shoot is not necessary. Being selective is more advantageous. Multiple shots of the same thing can look stale to people looking through your images so it should be avoided. It is all in how you think about your images.
I think it is best to think of your Flickr photostream as an art exhibition. Try to imagine how a viewer will see your images and also try to show your best work. This is very important in getting more views. People want to see your finest images, not the mistakes, or the one you have doubts about. Be brutal in your selections and remember people are taking their personal time to look at your images.
Sets and Collections
Organizing your work is indispensable in getting more views on Flickr. Placing your photos into relevant sets, like ‘landscape’ ‘coffee’ or specific events like PDN PhotoPlus Expo 2010 adds structure to your Flickr photostream and gives people a choice in how to navigate through your images. Organization of your images into sets helps you and others find your images faster. Sets can be viewed as a slide show and they can be ordered and placed into collections. If some of yours sets have a theme they can be placed together so your users can see all of them or you can present them that way.
Spreading Photos to Groups
Another form of organization on Flickr is groups. They are a great way to increase your views, especially if your join the right ones. There are groups out there who show images of members on their web sites. These sites have heavy traffic and increase views for you. If you’re a foodie, I suggest finding groups like Slashfood. Their Flickr group gets heavy traffic and give great spikes in food photography views. They sometimes use their members’ photos on their site with credit given.
Another site I like is NPR Picture Show—lots of interesting images pass through this group and images from here can appear on a NPR picture show blog. There are many groups you can join like local ones for your town and if there is not group you can start one , I did. There are groups like ThePhoblographer (our group) Nikon Rumors and the Strobist that are really great examples of Flickr groups.
Adding tags to your photo’s is something else that will really help you increase your page views. Flickr lets you add up to 75 tags per image. These tags are like labels or keywords that can help a user find a photo when looking for specific images like beer, coffee or Gundams. I’ve found that being detailed in your tagging makes your image more easily found when others are looking for something specific. When tagging images I like the idea of looking at the image and describing what’s there. Most times though I always include the camera, lens, my name, where it was taken, and predominant features.
Embedding your EXIF data
Some people don’t like to show their exif settings in their images, but on Flickr and on photo blogs it can be a talking point. As a record of the settings you used to take the image, this information is stored in the image and on Flickr it’s exposed unless you say otherwise.
Sharing your images
Using your images and letting them used by others leads to great improvement in your image views. As long as people give your credit, it’s good let them use your images. It gets your name out in the wild and gives you more of an idea what images of yours people like. You can also link your Flickr account with Twitter of Facebook. Letting people know that you uploaded new images is a good way to get even more exposure because if people like the images, they may spread word even further.
Just because you keep putting up images does not mean people will keep looking at them. Interact with your views as much as possible. Sometimes that’s just a ‘Thank you’ for a comment on your images or a retweet on Twitter. You will pay one of the biggest roles in the promotion and viewing of your images. Stand behind your photography, take the criticisms, not everyone will be positive to you, but if you try to be a positive individual you will get a better response.
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