“Likes” are meaningless. It’s also flooded with adverts for stuff I don’t need. Additionally, Instagram is aimed at uploads from mobile phone users. Most serious photographers want their images processed and uploaded from a computer and then viewed on a bigger screen too; tiny images are less impressive than large copies.
Instagram’s owners, Facebook, block third party apps such as Lightroom’s plugins from accessing their platforms. Fortunately, there are still ways around that restriction: Facebook Business Suite and the Vivaldi browser both allow desktop uploads to Instagram.
I believe Instagram, Facebook and Twitter devalue photos. Although it is nice to share our images with others, especially in groups where there is a common interest, we are also giving them away for free to huge multinational companies. Without our posts they would be nothing. Consequently, I’ve searched for other social media platforms.
A new kid on the block is Vero. It’s an advert free app that aims to beat Instagram at their own game. However, like its rival, it only allows mobile phone uploads.
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Flickr is good for displaying fewer than 1000 pictures for free. 500px is a similar hosting site with first class images on it. Others worth discovering are Tumblr, Steller Stories and Youpic.
The last of these is aimed mainly at professional photographers, so I’ve been trying it out. It seems easy to use and hosts great photography, but it’s heavily promoted premium account is pricey.
Most hosting sites do sell premium accounts. They give you extra benefits which may include additional storage space or maybe your images reaching a greater audience.
Moreover, some platforms can help sell your work; good photography can create a modest income.
Selling prints, publishing images through agencies, or even writing a book and illustrating it with your photos can create revenue, though it won’t pay the mortgage.
The internet is flooded with photo competitions that take your image rights away. Similarly, doubt is expressed whether we are giving up our copyright when we post to social media. A few platforms emphasise that you retain the rights to your images, so it’s worth checking the terms and conditions of these and not just clicking “accept”.
Beware businesses wanting your photos for free. Last year, a building contractor asked photographers to provide images for the screens around their site in return for the publicity it would bring. Think of similar displays around building sites or photos on the walls of shops and restaurants. Do you remember the names of the photographers? Probably not.