Experts say that taking walks help spur our creativity, but we’ve all been in situations where taking a brisk walk just isn’t possible because of other responsibilities. However, it’s very easy to browse the web and find inspiration from other photographers and artists. You’ve probably heard of some of these social media networks and sites, but others you haven’t.
And others you probably haven’t even thought of.
What is it?: Pinterest is a site that lets you curate images into boards. These boards are where you pin ideas and share them to specific categories. It promotes the free-flowing of visual ideas. You can jot down little notes with each pin too.
Why’s it so great? Pinterest is very female-friendly and seriously geared towards this audience. If you want to do a study on how to appeal to folks in terms of fashion, food, architecture, home decor, fitness, etc. then you can figure out many visual ideas from the way that folks pin photos based on popularity, shares, etc.
Tips on using it better: First off, we recommend that you have your own photographic identity settled. Start out by creating your own boards with your own work. Then start by creating boards for inspiration for projects that you want to do. Make them public.
What is it?: 500px was originally a website where photographers were encouraged to show off only their best work. However, it exploded in popularity and people put every single images from their shoot up there without naming or tags. The Editor’s Choice and curated images are still honestly some of the best photos that you’ll find on the web.
Why’s it so great? 500px’s photo viewer has to be the best on the web. Big, beautiful images along with descriptions and hashtags that aren’t intrusive. Ideas can be curated and shared and you can get more ideas from folks in groups.
Tips on using it better: Landscapes and nudes are very popular. But use tags, write descriptions, submit to categories, etc. Sync it with other apps of yours like Tumblr.
What is it?: Adobe purchased this company a while back. It’s a place for photographers and artists to collaborate and share projects with one another, and it’s a great spot to find new work.
Why’s it so great? Tried and true creatives are on it and because people are trying to find and get new work, they’re constantly trying to show off their A game. You can get ideas from these folks, though we never encourage plagiarism.
Tips on using it better: Use the messaging feature and include lots of tags to make your images easier to search for.
What is it?: Instagram is the single largest photo community out there. It includes pros, semi-pros, and ordinary folk. Searching for the stuff that you like is simple and interacting with folks via comments is also very straight forward. It’s based on square images, filters, editing, and syncing with other platforms.
Why’s it so great? For serious photographers, Instagram’s search feature will help you find inspiration faster than anywhere else because everyone is all about hashtags and nothing else. The search is much better than VSCO, arguably Instagram’s biggest competitor.
Tips on using it better: Like real life, we recommend that you network. Find a way to be of value to the power users and those that curate the feeds of other photographers.
What is it?: EyeEm is a service that I’ve known to be more popular in Europe and Asia, but the company tells us that they’re actually even more popular in the US. It’s based on filters, editing, geolocation, hashtags, and sections. In fact, your main news feed features hashtags that you follow and in order to find your friends, you need to go to a specific area. It’s a much easier way to get discovered by other photographers.
Why’s it so great? Despite it being a large service, the ability to be discovered is much more democratic. EyeEm also offers missions that let people compete for prizes.
Tips on using it better: Talk with people. No, really–EyeEm’s community is very much about people talking to one another and not ignoring their followers. There is lots of great inspiration to be found.
What is it?: Flipboard is a news service where people can curate their own magazines and share great news and photography.
Why’s it so great? It’s extremely popular for folks who want to kick back on a Sunday and find new inspiration while reading the news.
Tips on using it better: Create content that folks with large magazines will want to share. It’s about figuring out the specific audience and talking to the curators.
What is it?: The wild west of the internet in terms of visuals–Tumblr can still be a great place to find inspiration with specific hashtags.
Why’s it so great? Tumblr’s photography editors are very, very picky people who spend a lot of time on Tumblr. They’re either curators or creators.
Tips on using it better: Study the type of work in tags like #blackandwhite, #portrait, #landscape, etc. You’ll eventually figure out what these people like.