In some ways, Thomas Fitzgerald beat me to this piece. He wrote “Who do you take pictures for?” a couple of weeks ago and I confess to being a bit miffed at the time.
Being all grown-up, I’m over that now and find myself wondering at it’s necessity. After all, every photographer knows that his/her audience has a population of one, with occasional joiners, drifting in and out, telling you what awesome photographs you take, or how much they’d love to use you for this/that shoot, but you know…
Or, asking for the rights to a shot for a magazine, or Web site, but tendering no offer of payment in return. You might find solace and a common thread here.
If you’ve had success in selling images, or prints, well done. My sales to date remain minuscule and you know what? I really don’t care that much.
I do it for me.
Now, what about your images on the ‘net? Do you? Don’t you?
If my experience is anything to go by, you’ll make no money. You’ll get a lot of Likes and “awesomes” on Facebook, the odd comment on 500px and perhaps a comment, or invitation to join this or that group on Flickr, so why do it?
I do it because I enjoy the page views, the odd insightful comment and for a reason I can’t fathom, the white reversed out of blue button that asks me to post my picture to some or other group on Flickr. “You did it” it then proclaims, which of course, I did.
Most of you will tell me that posting on 500px or Flickr is a waste of time, leads to piracy and rarely gets you any better page views.
My insight might be a bit different.
I worked for quite a long time to figure out how to get my page view count up – I seemed to be plateaued at around 100 a day and nothing I did seemed to make much difference. Eventually, I decided to try to become a) more consistent and b) post images in themed groups. That meant a single daily post to each site and as much reciprocal commenting as necessary to encourage people to follow, or at least re-visit my own pages. People who followed me got a courtesy follow back.
It’s taken a while, but my daily page view count is now around 1500 on Flickr and I currently have more than 2.3 million page views racked up. It’s less on 500px, but that does tend to be a more specialised forum, where boobs, legs and chocolate box landscapes consistently win the page view race. I do manage a “Popular” ranking most days, however.
I post on Facebook to keep in touch with friends, the DearSusan page as well as submit (relevant) images to Facebook’s Cape of Storms photographic group.
The outlier for me is Ello, a site Steve Mallet discovered a while back, thinking he’d found a would-be Facebook replacement. It isn’t, but it is a creative hub and my experience has been slow uptake, to several thousand page views a day late last year, when I was added to the editor’s list of selected black and white photographers.
So, all good. And how do I cope with piracy?
I rarely post an image larger than 800px x 800px @ 90 d.p.i. (the standard is 72 d.p.i., but I often feel the slightly higher resolution produces marginally better Web viewing. That won’t stop the picture thief who doesn’t understand RGB and CMYK, high and low resolution and wouldn’t recognise pixellation even if it bit him/her in the arse, but it does make it a bit harder for them to lift an image and use it on a high res project.
This week’s photographs follow no theme – they’re genetically South African – to remind those of you who don’t live here that the exchange rate remains solidly in your favour and that a visit is a pre-requisite to enjoying DearSusan properly 😉
#880. Monday Post (22 Jul 2019) – The Sony Empire strikes back: A7R IV (and website news)
#860. Monday Post (20 May 2019) – A tale of two 100s – May challenge – Pixel madness
#851. Monday Post (29 April 2019) – Am I missing something?
#844. Monday Post (15 April 2019) – 100Mp mirrorless cameras, at long last …
#836. Monday Post (25 March 2019) – Love Vs. Hate, or Leica Vs. Zeiss, or Q2 Vs. ZX1
#830. Monday Post (11 March 2019) – Have you lost interest yet?
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