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Is Flickr a good place for professional photographers?

flickr_logo_gamma.gif.v59899.14I spend a fair amount of time looking around at other peoples work, the blogs of other photographers, some very experienced commercial photographers and others just out of college. Some use flickr to show off their best work, some just dump all of their random shots there and some don’t use it at all. Flickr is clearly the biggest online community and sharing site for photography, but not necessarily photographers. Many people just post their shots there for storage purposes, not to show off their creativity. So, this being the case, is it sensible or necesssary for pro photographers to put their work up there?

Flickr is an image and video hosting websiteweb services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular website for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository.[2] As of June 2009, it claims to host more than 3.6 billion images[3], up from 3 billion in November 2008.[4]” – Wikipedia

I use Flickr and I am a professional photographer. I have a website on which I can showcase over 600 images if I wish (I don’t). I also have a blog, which you’ll have realised by now if you’re reading this! I wouldn’t say that I put much work on flickr that is in my portfolio. So why use Flickr?

Well, one of the things I use Flickr for is to post images that don’t really fit into my portfolio. Stuff that I really like but can’t really use… personal work I guess. I also like the fact that I can get instant feedback from my contacts and people in my groups. They offer advice, criticism and sometimes say nice things, which always helps!

The other reason is that I can use it for inspiration.. looking through other peoples work makes me think about how I can improve mine and it also plugs you into the world of photography… what cameras are people using? what techniques? who likes what?

I posted images on flickr long before I thought of doing it as a job and I guess I don’t really want to stop.

I would love to hear other photographers views on flickr as a tool or just for fun?