There are a number of photography related websites available where one can view, buy, share and upload all types of images. Linking to these sites and getting them in turn to link to my site is going to be an important part of my search engine promotion activities in the coming months. Community sites such as Flickr, Snapfish, Yahoo Photos. The list is large and growing. Like all marketing activities – online and offline – I need to decide on the end goal. It requires some thought and a level of planning.
There are two distinct facets to my photography practice. If I think hard there are probably more than two, but for now I want to limit myself, it helps me to focus. The first area is a general practice that will produce portraits for people who want nice studio or location based photography of themselves, family or friends. For now I am going to steer clear of social occasions such as weddings or birthdays. I want to be in nice calm situations where I can interact with people on a one-to-one basis.
The second area is where I will be working on projects that interest me. This is what will be my social/documentary photography practice. This second area will produce images unrelated to individuals and will concentrate more on visual research and social, cultural and political suitations.Area one I will continue to refer to as Portrait Photography whereas I will refer to area two as Social or Environmental Photography.
Now, just because I have limited myself to two types of photography, that does not mean I am limiting the markets in which my photography may be seen or sold (yes the object of any photographic practice is to make enough money to live as IT is going going almost gone!).
It is therefore imperative for me to determine how best to promote my photographic products and services to the right people so I must know something about the places that they visit. There is another diffence that makes it all the more important to sell to the right people. Cost.
People looking for Fine Art photography are looking for high quality images taken with high quality kit. The majority of people who are looking for Portrait photographs are also looking for high quality images, however it is unlikely that they will require one meter square prints to go into their family album or on their walls. It is also unlikely that they will want to pay upwards of £250 for a print. I am not saying they won’t, just that it is unlikely.
For this reason, I have made up the rule that images produced for either category will not be shown together sites that I use to display work. Also where possible I will control which sites link to either stirlyn.co.uk or morlenefisher.com and where possible not have links to both sites visible.
There are crossovers however, for instance I have this image currently on Flickr but it could easily be used as a social photograph. It was taken at the Southbank in London. There is a long history of Skaters using this part of the Southbank on a Sunday afternoon. Anyone doing visual research on Skate board culture in London would find this image useful. It could front the report or be shown as an example of the stunts performed by young men who love concrete.
Why is this image on Flickr and not on morlenefisher.com. Simple. This image was taken with my Nikon D100 digital SLR Camera. As a result I cannot enlarge it higher than 8X10 without losing out on the quality. It is however a good example of the variety of images that I do take and may appeal to someone looking for a different type of portrait.
To sum up. Making sure that you link your images to the right photography website is very important in attracting the right clients. It is also important to know which sites are popular for the type of work that you do. Be aware however, that sites such as Flickr have millions of images on them so it is vital that you keyword or tag your images correctly so that they appear in the searches that people perform. Lastly, if high traffic sites have a link to your site this will give your site in turn higher importance and increase your ranking on sites such as Google. You can use Googles PageRank® or sites like Alexa (see here) to see which sites are ranked higher by users.