Great night at the camera club last night. Kevin Meredith AKA Lomo Kev talked us through his impressive photography achievements from the early days of flickr to the publication of his books. 52 Photographic Projects and Hot Shots: How to Refresh Your Photos and of his upcoming publication Toy Cameras which I’m looking forward to.
Using Flickr as a platform to publicise your work is a must in the array of Social Media options for Photographers. Kevin is a shining example of someone who used Flickr to show his images, and gain world wide recognition for his unique and quirky style. Over time, people started to hire him for commissions; He has worked for Dr Martins and The Times newspaper – all because of his evident passion for photography displayed in his account on Flickr. One thing he mentioned in in talk is that it is good to create themes and sets of subjects. His interesting collection of shoe images and of course the reputation that he had built up, were key to his Dr Martins commission for which he was sent to LA – not a bad gig. His wellie collection lead to the Times Newspaper feature, and his portrait montages have lead to fashion commissions.
Flickr’s big strength is in its communities. There are Flickr groups consisting of photo libraries and discussion forums for nearly any topic imaginable. Whether it’s a type of camera, a technique, a theme, a location, or even a color, there’s a Flickr group of fellow enthusiasts devoted to that topic.
I myself have sold work through flickr, got commissions etc. I have had enquiries from magazines, newspapers, sportswear suppliers, families the list goes on. People have found me by searching for location or subject matter, for example when I cover an event I often get enquires as my images are well tagged and will come up prominently in searches for the event name. Flickr supports a wide range of metadata. Keywords are the most obvious (Flickr calls them tags). I have been asked to exhibit through Flickr and requests often come in to use my images on the web with credits or links to my site, that’s all great for SEO (search engine optimisation).
My flickr account: Heather Buckley on Flickr
Lomo Kev’s Flickr account: Kevin Meredith on Flickr
Here are a few reasons why, as a photographer you should be maintaining a Flickr account:
- It is the #2 rated photography website in the U.S., UK, it holds a near 40 percent market share in the U.S. Photobucket is still the leader, – Flickr’s global presence could still be greater.
- Yahoo! acquired Flickr in 2005 – so it has been optimized with the Yahoo! Image Search tool.
- Flickr’s photos are listed in the Google, Tag your images properly and it is not too difficult to appear in on the front page of Google’s image search.
- Technorati, personalised and start pages, as well as various other portals, websites and blogs will pull in and display Flickr pictures through RSS feeds.
- All of these direct sources can be funnelled back to your website, and at least make others aware of your brand and/or product.
It’s not just photographers that can use Flickr for SEO and Publicity gains, although you need to use it creatively as it’s not supposed to be used for commercial advertising.
So if you are not already using Flickr as a photographer time to get started and if you already have an account time to seriously start tagging your work.
Silicon Beach Training run a great set of Social Media Training, SEO Training, WordPress Training and Blogging training courses.
You can see Kevin talking about photography and Social Media at Google headquarters;