Change in Photography [Uploading] Philosophy

Danke!, originally uploaded by archelenon.

I decided today to slightly shift the way I handle sharing my photography.

For years, Flickr has been my default dumping ground for my photos, as the site was one of the leading photography sites on the Web when I signed up for it, seemingly ages ago. (Yeah, OK, so it was only 2006…) Anyway, much has changed since then. For example, my photography has gotten a lot better. More and more photo sharing sites have popped up in the “Web 2.0” generation. Other sites, such as Facebook, have added photo sharing features that make it really easy to share photos to a mass audience.

Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, the change in thinking is thus: Flickr is for better and more artistic photography, and as such, will no longer be the dumping ground for all my photos. That doesn’t mean that I won’t upload multiple photos from locations or events that I shoot; I just won’t be uploading, for example, 200+ photos from Germany that I never even get around to naming or describing. The best of my work deserves to be on Flickr where plenty of other amazing photographers display their work. Throwing up 200 photos from every single location and event just waters down what could otherwise be a great collection of photography. Now, along with this change in mindset, I have tried to go through and at least name every photo in my Flickr photostream, and I have cleaned out several boring or mundane or just technically bad shots that weren’t meaningful. More of this will probably be happening over the summer as I have time to get rid of some of the junk. This will make it easier to find the “good stuff.”

The second part of the shift was a difficult decision. It has long been my policy that uploading photos to Facebook was a two-edged sword that I did not want to deal with. For one, you have no idea what Facebook will do with your photos, and in fact for a long time in the past (haven’t checked here lately) Facebook had in their user agreement that they could use your photos for whatever they wanted. I don’t exactly trust Zuckerberg with my photos, and given Facebook’s recent privacy snafus, they’re becoming less trustworthy for just about anything. But I digress. Even given these potential privacy/usage issues, I have come to believe that Facebook is not the location for my best work (those are for Flickr) but for photos for the community’s consumption.

For example, I shot over 200 photos for the BCM Spring 2010 Banquet recently, and uploaded 180 of them of Facebook. The feedback was overwhelming. Tagging people in the photos, to let them know which specific photos are of them, is a great way to get the photo noticed, and works especially well for large group events. Now, for those of you who might be active on Flickr, you are probably saying that Flickr has added the ability to tag other people in your photos. But this feature is limited by the very nature of Flickr itself – that it is primarily geared to photographers and not the general population. Thus, very few of my friends and people that I would be photographing are ON Flickr to see the work.

So, with all those factors weighed in, I think it best for Facebook to become the “dumping ground” for lack of a better term.

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