How to use flickr effectively

Flickr can be an awesome site for photographers, but to really get the most out of it you've got to get your head around how the site works and crucially how to help other people find you. This post is my rough guide to getting the best out of Flickr including how to find endless cool stuff, effective networking and boosting traffic to your own photo's.

Getting around

The thing I've grown to really love about flickr is how you can end up on these endless  journeys of inspiration, there is just a massive abundance of amazing imagery and exceptional talent, it a bit like being given free reign of the world biggest photo library ~ very exciting and VERY daunting! Of course what you really need to get to grips with strait away is how to navigate such an endless sea of imagery...


On flickr there is a group (or sometimes several) for just about every possible subject you can think of, they are all searchable, have a group pool of images and a dedicated discussion forum. I've found this a great place to start and a fantastic place to find like minded people, discuss idea's, criteque work and get inspired.

The other fantastic thing about groups is that by adding your pictures to the pools of relevant groups, you automatically put them on display to a captive audience. This is one of the best ways that I've found of increasing traffic to your pictures, its a bit like putting your pictures in an art gallery instead of leaving them in a draw at home ;)


When people search for images in flickr {or anywhere else for that matter} its the tags attached to the images that the search engine uses to judge how relevant an image is. Flickr makes this really easy and you should definately make sure you tag all your images as you put them up, add as many tags as you can think of but make sure they are relevant and help desribe the image in some way.

To add tags you can either go through each image and add tags individually using the button down the right handside, or if you have a lot of similar images you can batch tag them in the 'organize and create' section.

Here's an example of the sort of tags I use...


Once you've found a few people who's work you admire, check out there favorites list cause there is a pretty good chance that the stuff they like will appeal to you also. This is where it can get pretty crazy, within one persons favorite list I will often find at least five other photostreams that I really like and obviosly each one of these people have favorites lists too ~ you get the idea!

Here's some of my favorites...Jamie's favorites


Its worth adding people as contacts if you like their work as then their latest uploads appear in your agregate feed at the bottom of your home page. Also in the same way as you can check out other people favorites, check out there contact list too.

A nice little side effect of this is that as you add contacts you'll find they often add you back, so then your latest pictures appear on their home page as you put them up.


I can be a bit stupid sometimes and I have to say it took me quite a while to realise the potential for networking on flickr. I don't know about you but most of my 'real life' friends aren't photographers and as such if I start whittling on about apertures, lighting ratio's and the latest camera releases I'm quite quickly faced with glassy eyes and a general air of boredom. It's something I've learnt not to do in certain circles! 
Being on Flickr is like joining the worlds biggest geeky camera club ~ go make friends! talk about what you love! and while you're at it swing by my place ;)   

 Jamie's Flickr stream

Hope you've found this post useful, if you've got any flickr tips you'd like to add post em up in the comments below.

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