The more I find myself in front of the computer, the more I want to be away from it doing something else. Particularly, being out in the field and taking photographs or spending more time with my kids. Let’s face it though, if your images are left to sit on your hard drive; is it likely that those images will ever be used? Perhaps, if you are a well known photographer and have returning clients who need particular images. Even so, with the digital age and flux of emerging photographers, every advantage to get your images out there could work to your advantage.
Today there is an overwhelming amount of free and open source technology where you can showcase your images. It can be quite daunting to decide where to upload your images/portfolio to; photoblogs, microstock sites, your own website, flickr, multiply, to name a few. Dan Heller gives some great advice on the pros and cons of hosting your own photography website and the business of photography. For me, I want to rank as high as I can in Google searches for particular photo keywords. I have tried to accomplish this by hosting my images on my own stock website in addition to other photo sharing sites, like Flickr. Again, Dan Heller covers this topic very well in this article.
It’s inevitable that you will spend a good amount of time on the computer uploading your images, adding captions, keywords, etc. if you want to rank well in search engines. However, when there are ways to make this process easier and less time consuming it’s good to explore available options.
My online work flow begins with uploading my images to my own stock website. I am currently using Gallery2 software and I use a remote interface called GalleryRemote to make uploading easier. This is where I add titles, descriptions, keywords, etc to all of my images. This is the most important place for my photos to be, because this is where my photos rank the best on searches (in addition to the place where customers can buy the image). After my images are watermarked in Gallery2, I use a module called Gallery2Flickr which exports my images to directly to my Flickr account. This module alone saves me a lot of time. With a push of a button my photos are exported to my Flickr account with all of their titles, descriptions and keywords. I couldn’t imagine spending the time to re-upload my images to Flickr manually. Flickr is a great place for photo sharing and getting more exposure (many of my sales have come from first seeing the image in Flickr). Additional, some of my Flickr images do really well in search rankings (especially with Yahoo). I always make sure each of my Flickr photos has a link back to my website. From Flickr I can import my images to Facebook or MySpace with another push of the button. Life is getting easier.
I am also exploring more the use of RSS Feeds. Currently, I have a photo RSS Feed for all of my new images. I have noticed that I receive a lot of links back to my site from the submitted feed, which can’t hurt search rankings.
That’s a little information about my online photo workflow. I would love to hear some feedback or other ideas that people are using.