Any Pros using Flickr?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ipedro, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. ipedro, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    I've been using SmugMug for 5 years now and in all that time, I realized that I never really focused on selling prints. I've had maybe 5 or 6 orders ever and that's ok. It's never been my priority and it's not how I make my income. My priority now is to get my photos seen.

    Smugmug recently doubled their prices from $150yr to $300. It made me reconsider whether I should keep it. Flickr is built into Aperture so it would be easy to share and manage my photos. Also, Flickr appears to be a much more community oriented website with a lot of photographers and sharing going on.

    I used to use Flickr years ago but it kind of fell by the wayside back then. It recently got a lot of buzz for its new iOS app but has the Flickr community remained vibrant or have users migrated to Facebook like I suspect?

    Any Pros using Flickr?
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    I'm definitely not a pro but want to comment because I recently made the move in the opposite direction to SmugMug from Flickr. The main reasons for the move was the ability to customize to my liking, unlimited uploads and price.

    I signed-up for a "Power" account (no provisions to sell) for $60.00/year and I paid $45.00 with an on-line coupon. For me, that seemed quite reasonable and I'm being realistic that there is no market for my shots.

    If you're really not selling photos, why have a costly "Business" account? You'd have to sell a lot of photos to justify the $240.00/year cost difference.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #3
    I ended up going for a duel system for now. I kept my SmugMug account but lowered the tier to $150 which I'm surprised isn't missing any of the features I used anyway. I also opened a Flickr account and purchased the Pro option.

    Both together ended up being less than the now $300 SmugMug subscription. I do the occasional wedding and/or family event so being able to sell prints might come in handy. I'll assess it over the year.

    I'm going to redo my website to show a Flickr slideshow, not the one from SmugMug. While Smug allows you to customize the look of the site entirely, I prefer to design my own site and include the elements I want. Also, it's going to be much easier to manage my daily uploads with a built in Flickr sync in Aperture.

    A big advantage of Flickr is that Getty Images uses it to search for photos to license. This could be a great avenue for networking and for getting my photos seen by more people. :)
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #4
    Can someone explain to me what exactly you get from SmugMug that is worth $150-300 per year? I know nothing about the site, so I'm really in the dark here. What can they possibly provide that is worth that amount of money? Why not just set up a Wordpress site and choose a good hosting provider for it? You can have a site hosted for about $50/year, and you can get nice Wordpress themes for free or for nominal one-time fees. So what does SmugMug have to offer over that route?
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #5
    Zenfolio is a nice portfolio site for photography and they have pro options with online sales, too. Most of these operations seem to double their prices when sales are included. A portfolio on Zenfolio maxes out at $60 and the sale option jumps it to $120. If you want to show your stuff their are a lot of options. If you are serious about sales, do what Madam P suggests. You can have a killer sit built for what SmugMug is asking.

    If you want to spread your name around, just open an account on 500px and let the Pinterest uses do that for you.

    Dale
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    The appeal of services like SmugMug and Zenfolio (I won't get into a SmugMug vs. Zenfolio discussion) is that people with minimal or no skill at all can be up and running with a basic custom photo site in one evening. They offer a one stop shopping approach with unlimited upload/download/storage and UI design with templates.

    I don't know about Zenfolio, but SmugMug also has an online community forum for photographers and photo website development that is quite helpful.

    For a hobbyist like me, $45 to $60/year is reasonable. If this were a business venture, I would carefully research all options.
     
  7. nburwell, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #7
    I don't offer prints for sale on Flickr, but I do have a pro membership. I have been able to sell some of my work to ad companies who have contacted me. Plus, I like the entire Flickr community as a whole. For a hobbyist like myself, it's well work the $45/year.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #8
    I'm impressed with what Zenfolio offers. I'm not saying they'll drive traffic to your site, but as Dale mentions, ease of set-up and use can't be beat, great aesthetics for viewing photos, they keep upgrading (now offering video hosting), and the options for sales, in a variety of formats and products is impressive.

    I'd like to set up a Flicker acc'nt for the reasons you mention, but only so many hours in a day...
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #9
    Oh, OK. Thanks for the explanation. I thought maybe they had some feature that was particularly valuable, but I wasn't finding anything unusual in their lists of features. If ease of setup is the benefit, then I can understand why people might be willing to pay triple the amount of more hands-on options.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #10
    The only thing I would seriously suggest people research here apart from $ value is about the colour profile demands of the hosting services. If you are working in a 16 bit ProPhoto RGB environment in Photoshop, why would you want to lose that quality when you send it off to be printed?

    SmugMug demands you use sRGB profile on your pictures, 500px allows you to use ProPhoto RGB, but has zero personalisation features for your site. I haven't looked at any other services, but did find this interesting that SmugMug forces this on you.

    Of course, if you follow Phrasikleia's advice, you may well be able to keep it all as ProPhoto RGB colour profile too, depending on the printing services you link up with.

    That's something with which I am still investigating as I'm a million miles from selling my pictures yet.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #11
    Ouch, sRGB is surprising. I would think that they would at least use AdobeRGB. Yes, that's the beauty of having your own customizable WordPress site: you're not locked in to anything. On my website, I'm using a widget that allows for manual print fulfillment, so when an order comes in I have the option to get the prints done wherever I want and ship myself. Alternatively, I can defer to a high-quality automatic printing service with a single click, and then the service handles everything from printing to shipping. It's nice to have options.

    The problem with customization, though, is that it does require a lot more of your time at the beginning to get set up. For people who are not tinkerers or don't want to hire a web designer, something like SmugMug makes a lot more sense.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #12
    I'm on a SmugMug Power as well. All I want from a service is:

    1 - Unlimited photos
    2 - My own page layout
    3 - My own domain name
    4 - Ability to publish directly from Lightroom

    There are not a lot of providers I found that are able to satisfy all four. Only ones I found were SmugMug and Zenfolio. SmugMug is faster for my location, so that's what it became. For what they offer and the reliability of their service, that $60/yr is more than worth it for me.

    I could run it of my own web server, but bulk uploading from Lightroom proves to be difficult for most gallery software I have seen.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #13
    I have 300GB of photos on my SmugMug for client proofing.

    Putting that on my hosting provider, would jack the cost of my hosting into the stratosphere (where are you finding $50/year hosting? hopefully, not GoDaddy).

    Flickr does not let you link to any commercial websites. If you attempt to sell prints via flickr, they can use it as grounds to immediately delete your account (and have done so, in the past). Furthermore, Flickr automatically drops the "nofollow" tag into any links in photo captions, so it does nothing to boost SEO results.

    Furthermore, for someone like me, who needs large numbers of photos to be "hidden" from the public and from respective clients, flickr is not an option, as it doesn't offer fine-grain controls over whom can see what.

    Finally, Flickr's photo-resizing package absolutely murders image quality. Exposures typically darken by 1/3 stop and contrast is boosted by half-a-grade. This is the primary reason why so many are flocking to 500px.

    I'm not 100% thrilled with SmugMug, especially after the price hikes, but they seem about the best option of what's out there. (The fine print of Zenfolio's terms of use allow them to appropriate your photographs (including non-public images) for their own commercial use -- it sounds unlikely, but I know a photographer who was shocked to see a photo from a client's private photo proof gallery on a Zenfolio banner ad on a 3rd-party website.)
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #14
    I'm with Bluehost, which is one of the best-reviewed hosting sites, but they're also rather expensive. But there are decent hosting sites out there that offer prices in the ballpark of $50/month. I don't know much about GoDaddy, but they do have pricing around there. I've used them only to purchase domains, not for hosting.

    You, however, seem to have some rather niche needs, if you need to present such a large library of images. It's good to hear that SmugMug can accomodate that kind of volume for a good price. I really would have no idea what the options are for someone in your position: I have neither the need for that kind of volume nor any knowledge of what SmugMug provides versus the competition.
     
  15. macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #15
    I came here looking for suggestions myself, and I honestly think that Squarespace actually has extremely beautiful layouts for decent monthly or yearly prices with a bunch of customization that's up to today's easy standards. Can anyone weigh in?
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    #16
    A happy Zenfolio customer

    I have been using Zenfolio for the past couple of years and I am very happy with it. One of my friends that is a pro photographer uses it for client proofs and also has a separate web site that is, I believe, built using Wordpress. I wasn't aware of the ToS issue mentioned by an earlier poster so I will have to check that out - it is worrisome.

    Good luck in your decision!
     
  17. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I'm on the basic account of smugmug and I've been with them for years - I'm very happy. You do get a lot for the money. At least I do for the 40 bucks. I may up my account to the power one so I can use my own domain but in all actuality I use smugmug as a repository of my images for my family and friends.

    In a way facebook (much lower res) has replaced a lot of the functionality of smugmug for me and I've been questioning the account but as I said I do get a lot for the money.

    I see a lot of people using Flickr but since I don't make money off my images, its hard to say which is better.
     

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