Not every photographer can make it on Instagram; and with the new algorithm added to the news feed it’s going to be even tougher at times. One of the best ways to hack that is to find a way to reach out to the curators; which I’ll be talking about in an upcoming workshop being taught by yours truly about online marketing for photographers. You can save $30 on registration with discount code “thephoblographer”.
If you’re looking for something a bit more organic, then there are still a number of other communities that may appeal to you.
What is it?: The VSCO company is probably best known for their filters and Lightroom/Photoshop presets that render film emulsions. Download their very swanky app though, and you’ll find a whole slew of different filters as well as a number that you can buy. Hidden deeper into the Explore section is news from VSCO and then you can go ahead and search out tags, people, etc to curate and find your own specific inspiration.
VSCO doesn’t have the best way of interacting with one another and in some ways that’s fine. Sometimes you just want to view a portfolio page and VSCO arguably does the best way of doing this.
Who is it for?: A friend of mine who I wouldn’t exactly say is the early bird describes it as a spot for “the cool kids.” Indeed, everything about many of the VSCO artists and the company’s marketing is all about cool. It can’t really be described otherwise, but you know it when you see it. Most of the stuff on my profile is complete crap compared to most artists on VSCO: and highly curating your own work is a big part of it. I can easily see most of the photographers featured on the Phoblographer on a daily basis on VSCO.
What is it?: The app and community that I consider to be a personal darling of mine is centered around the concept of actually taking good photographs and is designed in such a way that it will appeal to photographers that care less about the networking game and instead about getting discovered. Luckily, the Instagram trend of domination of images of puppies, hot chicks doing selfies, hot chicks doing yoga, etc doesn’t really pertain here. Instead, you’ll see genuinely good food photography, street, portraits, conceptual work, architecture, landscapes, etc.
EyeEm‘s editors also feature loads of new photographers on their blog and discovery feed. Beyond this, EyeEm also allows you to upload images via the desktop. Finally, they also give photographers the opportunity to sell images on Getty.
Who is it for?: The photographer who is typically sick of playing the “tag us in your image to get featured” game that most of Instagram plays on the part of the curator. EyeEm is very serious about the rights of the individual shooter. To that end though, the community rewards work that is actually good. So make sure that your work, you know, doesn’t suck.
What is it?: The 500px community has been around for a while now. It’s evolved quite a bit and for the most part has a big emphasis on putting up lots of very good work–the way that it first was designed to showcase. You can build your website from your 500px profile, etc. The community actively comments and gives one another feedback. The feedback is generally pretty constructive too.
Who is it for?: The photographer looking to improve their work all the way up to the photographer who knows their work is dope and wants to use the platform to professionally show off their images.
What is it?: The Oggl community was created by Hipstamatic–there’s a name you probably haven’t heard in a while, huh? Hipstamatic actually has a solid image editor though it can be random at times. Its community, Oggl, has an emphasis on square images. By far, it is the smallest community listed here. But almost all the work put up there is really top notch. Want some monochrome inspiration? You’ll get it! How about landscapes that are minimal but have a flawed, toy camera look with their own charm? It’s got it!
Who is it for?: Oggl is available only to Windows Phone and iOS users. If you’re a fan of the square format and are as pleasantly surprised by Hipstamatic’s products despite their lack of appropriate marketing for them, then dive right in.
What is it?: Behance is where I find many of the photographers featured on this site that haven’t pitched themselves via email. The work is typically of professionals, semi-professionals and creatives that want to collaborate, be found by brands for gigs, etc. It has very good and easy integration with lots of Adobe’s products since Behance is actually owned by Adobe. So if you’re a Creative Cloud user, it’s a no brainer. I’m genuinely on it many times a week
Who is it for?: The photographer that wants to work with other artists, work with brands, and wants to present their work in a presentation type style. Think: you’re at a gallery and put on the spot. It’s game time; what are you going to say?
What is it?: The Tumblr world is in all its glory a giant cluster of stuff and things. It’s a platform for photography curators and a platform for photographers to be recognized by said curators through hashtags and such. But it’s also an absolutely excellent way to create a photography website if you’ve got the right theme and set the website/navigation up just right.
Who is it for?: The photographer that is really into fashion, food porn, black and white street stuff, etc. You generally don’t mind your images being shared, reshared and probably even stolen because you’ve got a legal copyright on the work and can go after anyone that steals with all the fury of the law. Or you make it private on the dashboard and just make the website visible in and of itself.