Photography

Where do you showcase your best work online?

I often wish that I hadn’t fouled my Flickr space by dumping into it every photo I take that isn’t an abject failure. I wish I had used it to showcase my best work.

Flickr_160726

My Flickr space

When I joined Flickr a decade ago, I just wanted a reliable photo host that let me share my photos anywhere online. But who knew that I’d come to think of myself as a serious amateur photographer, that I’d build some real skills, that people would enjoy my work?

I’d love to have a single URL I could share, a digest of the photographs I think show my stuff the best.

It’s too late for me to change my Flickr space. 95% of the photos I share on this blog are hosted at Flickr. I hope Flickr never goes away or this blog is toast.

My option, then, is to start a new online space that I will curate carefully. One option is to start a second Flickr account. That appeals to me because a large community is already there. Unfortunately, my existing followers (387 at last count) don’t automatically come along!

So I’ve been trying Instagram again. Now that they don’t force you to crop your photos square, I’m uploading the photos I like best and skipping the filters. I already have 237 followers there. But even though you can go to my Instagram page and see all of my photos there, the app is really meant to be about the present moment, your latest photo. And I tend to post there only photos that look good on a phone’s small screen. Intricate details need not apply. You can see my Instagram photos here.

Garfield Park Conservatory at dusk on expired film. Olympus Stylus, Fuji Superia X-tra 400.

A post shared by Jim Grey (@mobilene) on

I’m also experimenting with Tumblr. Check it out here. It’s much better suited to being viewed on a PC, and works equally well on a mobile device. But I have few followers there. I can’t figure out exactly how many but it’s got to be about 20. At least it’s an easy URL to share.

What’s your strategy for showcasing your best work online?

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24 thoughts on “Where do you showcase your best work online?

  1. Good morning Jim. A very good question for todays post, me thinks.
    I feel I’m a bit like following your own line at this, to be honest. I have a flickr account, and kind of like it. It works fine, you have a great number of people in there, and it’s easy to navigate and search. It’s got all the right things, in my opinion.
    That’s why I’m a bit more in doubt about where I was hiding my brain when I also decided it was a good idea to join both 500px and youpic. I got no particular reason to do it, and I am really thinking about getting rid of those accounts.
    Flickr is different, though, and I need to do one of two things in there. Either start deleting stuff, or as you mention start a new account. I got no idea what I will end up with, but I should really start doing something about it.
    And Instagram is cool enough, but for totally different reasons, as you quite rightfully mention. I will add you, of course :)

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      • Jim, I use Flickr, and used to feel similar to you about wishing I had only uploaded my best stuff. But what’s my “best” today, I might not like in a year or two, in the same that some of the older stuff on there now I don’t like much, I just don’t want to go through hundreds of photos and delete them. So now I’m happy that my Flickr is more like a journal of my photographic journey, than a portfolio of my best work.

        Your post then has got me thinking about a plan that would work for me, to create a best work portfolio.

        I have the URL – danjamesphotography.com – and it doesn’t have anything hosted at the domain, it’s just set to redirect to my Flickr. So I can use/share this URL rather than the clumsy full Flickr URL.

        You can redirect a URL you own to any other webpage. So a simple option for you (and maybe me) is to try this –

        1. Set up a new album/set on your Flickr called something like Personal Favourites or Portofolio. You could add photos to this over time, you don’t need to go back through your entire stream in one sitting. Then of course when you upload a new photo to Flickr that you think is worthy of this album, simply add that too.

        2. Acquire a URL like jimgreyphotography.com, then just redirect it to the new set you’ve created on Flickr. This way you have on straightforward URL that leads to your best photos, to share with people.

        Just a thought that would allow you to retain your current Flickr photos and followers, but still curate your best work in one place, and have a URL that leads directly to it.

        Let me know if that’s any help. I’m off to ponder starting a Personal Favourites set in my own Flickr…

        Dan

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        • Dan, that is a very solid perspective. Thanks for sharing it! I already own jimgrey.net — if you want a good chuckle, go look at it now, as it’s straight outta 1997. I’ve been meaning to retool it for years and perhaps you’ve given me the strategy for it, to make it a portal for my portfolio. I already have a “Favorite Shots” album on Flickr and I can link to it from there.

          Johnson Co Courthouse

          It will sound familiar that today there are things in that album that I don’t like very much anymore. What a person thinks is good work does change over time!

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        • You can always redirect jimgrey.net to your Flickr Faves set, and then at a later date if you do want to rebuild that site you can remove the redirect. Or redirect it to something else.

          After this conversation I’m planning to set up a set of favourites myself on Flickr and redirect my danjamesphotography.com URL just to that, rather than my main Flickr… It’s good to talk!

          Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if, quick and dirty, I can make jimgrey.net/portfolio (or something) redirect to my Flickr favorite photos album. I’ll have to noodle on that. I’m reluctant to redirect the main jimgrey.net there because that page, as out of date as its design is, does serve a useful purpose already. I hope to revamp it entirely in 2017.

      I didn’t know about the Flickriver popular/interesting thing! I scrolled briefly through it and chuckled over a couple of the photos included there — terrible photos of things that people sometimes search for.

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  2. I’m about to revamp my portfolio site for this very reason. I tend to post everything on Instagram, but that also includes Works-in-Progress, and even the occasional photo from my daily life. So definitely not a showcase of my very best work.

    I was going to suggest simply creating a new Flickr collection where you are intentional about best work, but it seems a few people already suggested that idea. :) I think that’s the best way for you to accomplish what you’re hoping to do, without having to lose your current following on Flickr (or having to ask them to migrate to the new platform/collection/etc.).

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    • Yes, I think the idea of using my existing “best of” Flickr album and having a simple URL redirect to it is great and I’m going to do it.

      Instagram just isn’t meant to be a portfolio site, I don’t think. You use it as it’s intended: here’s what I’m doing right now.

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    • I have an account there and have uploaded a couple pics, but have hesitated because of the work necessary to build a following. I have enough to do to maintain my followings in the places I already am! But I am charmed by 500px’s purpose and mission, and may try again there.

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  3. Michael McNeill says:

    Wow – looks like you touched a chord with this post, Jim. Apart from my blog I don’t really do anything special with scans of my negatives or prints. Once a month I post a print made in the darkroom off to another member of the Film-And-Darkroom-User forum (http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.org.uk/) and I get a print in return. It sounds easy, right? One a month. But some months I really fret over getting something of a good enough quality (either negative-wise or print-wise) that I’m happy going out the door with my name on it. It usually means I send off my best work – which means I have to re-print them for the ‘wall-in-the-smallest-room-of-the-house’ where my best prints currently hang.

    When I think about it, perhaps it’s a good way of keeping the quality up – maybe it’s just too easy to click that Flickr/500px/? Upload button?

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    • I’m part of a film photography postcard swap myself. But given I have no printing facilities I send my scans to a place that prints them on postcard backs!

      I think it *is* to easy to just click Upload and not think too much about it.

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