Sharing your photographs on social networks is one of the best things that a photographer can do for a number of reasons. You can get educated feedback, get exposure for business opportunities and make connections, all in the time it takes to wire a picture to your computer and click the upload button, which by these days standards is an infinitesimal around of time and effort. Photography social networks do however work both ways and you will certainly need to learn your way around each individual network and have an input into the community.
Photography communities tend to be inhabited by friendly people who love to give feedback so you will almost certainly never run into trolls as you would on sites like youtubecom. You will encounter people of all stages of the skill from the beginner (who will most likely be looking for help from you), to the hobbyist (like me!) , to the professional. This social networks list for photographers that i have created includes websites that have niche groups in them comprising of dedicated photographers who loves certain types of work from night photography to, fashion to abstract, these have them all. There is a social network here for every keen photographer.
Flickr is the ultimate social network for photographers. Flickr is operated by Yahoo and has an alexa rank of 85 making it the most visited, dedicated imagery website on the planet. To get stated on Flickr all you will need to do is create a Yahoo account and you are away. Start by creating “sets” which are essentially albums – It is the best way to organise your photos on the website. Then start uploading your prized work! Make sure that you tag images properly and give full descriptions of your work. To actually get noticed on here you will have to join some groups. Do this by hovering over the “communities” tab and then clicking “search groups”; type in a keyword that might fit your niche and then join a group that you like the look of. Once you join a group you will be able to add your photos to it and get a lot more exposure.
500px is a truly awesome website and the one which i would be using primarily if Flickr happened to go offline. 500px is much better on the paid version but, you get a 14 day trial within which you will find out why this site is so good. After the 14 day trial your account will still be active but, you will not get the paid features anymore (people can still view your images). The best part about 500px is the community which are are very friendly and love to give feedback.
Deviant art as the name suggest is a website covering all aspects of art work. The photography community on here is absolutely massive so you will more than likely get a lot of “favourites” on your photos and make a lot of friends within a matter of days. The way in which website works is very much like Flickr so you will want to upload some artwork and then join some groups to get some attention – in my experience so far *touch wood* i have only come across really nice people. Just make sure that you upload to the right categories and everything should be good.
A nice bonus feature is the ability to add watermarks to you images; you will then be given the option to sell your prints which is awesome because you can make £50 a sale!
Out of all of the none dedicated photography websites, this is the in which you will get the best feedback in my opinion. In fact there is a huge community of people out there looking to appreciate your work and they will find you in time. The most important thing to remember with Google plus is to engage with other users. +1′ing posts and giving some in put will pay off massively because those users will check out what you have to offer and if they like it you will most likely get a new follower. The image galleries on Google plus are excellent too!
Facebook is not really at the top of my list any more because there are so many more dedicated options available such as the ones mentioned above. You need to have a presence on Facebook as it is such a huge network as you must already know which makes it a great way to get more traffic to your photo blog etc. The best way to promote photographic work on here would be to create a “page”.
Imgur is not what i would call a “website for the professional photographer”. However this website is hugely popular so if you post some good eye catch shots up there you will surely get people commenting etc.
Pinterest has sprung into popularity over the last couple of years. The site is essentially a image based social network which is laid out in the form of pin board where you post what interests you – hence pin-terest. Out of all of the social networks i have found this one the hardest to build any sort of following. In the end it will be worth it though because the users are there; pinterest is one of the highest alexa rankings websites in the world.
World of photo has a unique collection of high quality work by photographers from around the world. This website presents some nice opportunities to enter competitions – certainly worth signing up for,
By far the smallest social community of this list but, as the saying goes “good things come in small packages”. Jpg’s community is much more close knit than most-other communities so you certainly feel at home every time you log in. It would make you feel proud to be crowned “photo of the week” too wouldn’t it?
Twiiter is an excellent tool for getting your message out but, not such a good one for actually sharing your photographs on. The best way to use twitter is to engage and “follow other users and when you have a post to share link to it rather than hosting on twitter.
So there you have it – the top ten social networking websites for photographers. If you have an question or would like to add more sites to this list please comment below!