I know I’ve spoken recently about how to increase traffic to your photography site by improving it’s SEO. So it only seemed logical to look at some places where you can create your photography site (maybe these posts should have been the other way around!).
The list below contains what I feel are the most popular of these sites (it’s not a definitive list). Ranging from sites that provide professional looking portfolio sites where you can sell your work. Right down to sites where you can simply just share your photographs. Most of them offer free accounts but with limited useage and restrictions. And they give you the option to upgrade to a pro paid for account. So in no particular order:
You’ll see some well known professional photographers on Photoshelter as they cater for everyone by creating powerful portfolio websites. They also give you the ability to sell those images as prints through your site as well. Photoshelter is run by photographers so they understand what you need and how you need the site to run. Their simplist account is free. And then they offer a range of pro accounts with different benefits.
Smugmug is another site that will cater for the whole range of photographers. Like Photoshelter their sites look attractive straight off and they are committed to helping the photographer succeed. They don’t have a free account though, but they do have a range of paid for accounts with a ‘pro zone’. Having said that, if you’re looking for a professional looking photography site to promote and start selling your images from. Then I think you would find it hard to choose between Photoshelter and Smugmug. I know I would.
Redbubble is primarily a community site where you can upload and sell your images from, in a wide variety of formats and even on t-shirts. They do have a free account and give you a free ‘bubble site’ with your account. Which is a basic portfolio type site – take a look at my bubble site to get the idea. The bubble site can also be easily integrated into a blog, as you can see from the ‘prints’ tab in the navigation bar of this blog.
This is where the sites start to change a little. From a portfolio site to display your work and promote yourself as a photographer, to a site that’s more focussed on prodcuing and selling your images as an end product eg. cards, calendars, photo gifts, prints etc… They still provide a website to share (which is the focus) your images. And the account is free it just has a more ‘relaxed’ feel to it.
What more do I need to say. Probably the most well known photo sharing site out there, and I’d guess the largest. They have free accounts and the option to upgrade to pro when you get to 200 images, they also give you the option to make prints, framed prints and photo books etc… If you want you can view my Flickr photostream and take a look around, there’s a very strong community feel to Flickr and I enjoy having an account there.
Zoomr is more of a Flickr type photo sharing site and looks to have some very similar features, with pro and normal accounts. A true photo sharing site, I love the way their home page is just a ton of images that you can search through easily within different categories.
This is a new site to me anyway, that I came across recently. Actually until then I thought they sold photographic gear (which they do) only and didn’t know they had a print side. And that’s what they seem to focus on. Although they do offer photo sharing (or photo galleries as they call them) and storage they pride themselves on producing the finest quality digital prints. I think they’re a very interesting site and I’ll be looking into them deeper.
This is a site that I’ve heard a lot about and it’s been around for a while but I have only found it recently. It’s hard to get a feel for what the structure is like and how it works without joining though! Simply because it’s not as visual and informative when you reach the home page as the others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but when you’re working with visual people like photographers…
Their service is free and gives you good control over your images. Which they have a lot of and they are obviously a popular site, catering more towards the ‘relaxed’ Zooomr photo sharing end of the market.
All of these sites are good so it’s down to personal taste as to which one to use. I’m looking for more of a portfolio type site that I can promote, partly because I already have a Flickr account. And that’s why I created my Redbubble site. And in the future I’ll look toward Photoshelter or Smugmug to take it to the next level.
Have I missed any photo sharing sites that you use? Let us know below in the comments…