All about Flickr

If you’re trying to promote yourself as an artist, you gotta have a website. Or if you don’t have a website, set up a blog you regularly update. But if you can’t commit to posting frequently and HTML makes you dizzy, there is another option: the photo-sharing site Flickr.

The site is great for casual photographers—uploading party pics or snapshots of family members has never been easier—but it also can work as a networking tool for artists and other creative types.

As long as you have digital images and internet access you can make use of Flickr. You create a username and homepage for yourself on your site (your “photostream”) that displays your most recent pictures. (Or not—you can make pictures you want to keep to yourself private, or share them only with users you allow.)

Having a photostream is a great way to show your latest work, or even your works in progress. Some artists like to share pictures of their palettes, or of their studios.

When you upload a picture, Flickr automatically resizes it, and you can add “tags” to it—words to describe the image and its content. For example, the artist has tagged this painting with terms

such as “daily painting,” “acrylic,” “dinosaur” and “wood.” You can also add your photos to groups, which is great way to get more traffic on your photostream.

I also like using Flickr as an image host—by linking to the resized image in my photostream, I don’t have to worry about having the actual files on the computer I’m using to post images on my blogs. (Including this one!) You can also think of it as an external hard drive—when you upload images, you’re creating a backup file. Very good in case of computer meltdown!

A basic account on Flickr is free, or you can pay $24.95 a year for a pro account that ups your storage limits and removes ads from the website. I’ve had a pro account for about three years now, and it’s been well worth it.

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