Flickr: Your Best Friend or Worst Enemy — You Decide!

by Miserere


This isn’t a peeve with Flickr, it’s a peeve with certain Flickr users. Everyone is entitled to use Flickr how they see fit, which is why some upload photographs of trips or social gatherings so their friends and/or relatives can enjoy them, while others simply empty their whole hard-drive of photos to Flickr. There is nothing wrong with these practices.

Unless you’re a photographer trying to showcase your work.

I will often stumble upon photographers online who include their Flickr account address in their signature; being the inquisitive guy that I am I automatically click on the link to see what they have. Much too often I am greeted by a front page filled with 10 shots of the same subject framed from slightly different positions. But it gets worse, when I scroll down to the bottom of the page I see this:

You don't have 8,763 awesome photos
I immediately flee the page, never to return.

I don’t care who you are, there is now way you’ve taken 8,763 decent, let alone good pictures in your lifetime. If it took me only 1 second to look at each picture, I would still have to sit in front of my computer 2-1/2 hours to see the whole portfolio. I don’t have that kind of time nor stamina.

If your Flickr account contains a few dozen of your best shots, you’re fine (and this article isn’t for you); I’ll stay a while and enjoy your work, pausing every now and then to note my admiration for a particular image through a comment. I will then continue with my Life feeling enriched for having seen some good photography.

If your Flickr account contains every single frame you’ve ever shot, please, please, please heed my request: Create a set titled My Best Pics or something similar, and locate it at the top of the sets sidebar; inside you will place your best photographs. And no, you do not have 350 best photos, trust me. Just choose the very best, and if you can keep it under 25, you’re golden.

If you don’t know or can’t decide which are your best shots, you can use an automatic set generator such as that provided by Dopiaza. It’s easy to set up, letting you choose the number of pics to include and even which tags to look for (so you could have a set of your best B&W shots, for example, if you tag them ‘B&W’). The set regenerates automatically about once per day, choosing your most interesting photos based on how many times they’ve been viewed and favourited (is that even a word?).

“Don’t bury your best work amongst hundreds of drab shots; it deserves to be showcased!”

You spent a long time taking photographs, and maybe even longer processing them on the computer or scanning them. Don’t let all this time go to waste by burying your best work amongst hundreds of drab shots; it deserves to be showcased! If you can’t be bothered to highlight it for me, don’t expect me to spend hours digging it out. Be proud of it, and let everyone who visits your Flickr page know that—give your best images their own set. Not only will you get more exposure, but you’ll be giving your visitors 2-1/2 hours of their Life back. I, for one, will be eternally grateful to you.


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