We tried dozens of Instagram Hashtag Generators to create a list of the top 13 tools for finding the best hashtags for posting to Instagram.
Well, I have been back from China for a couple of months and here is a followup post on how things went. If you didn't see the last blog post, on my recent trip to China I made these changes to my workflow:
- I only brought a Micro 4/3rds camera (as apposed to also bringing a full frame)
- Tried to select and edit with Lightroom CC (instead of Lightroom CC classic)
What I have found is that I am not ready to fully transition over to either of these becase there are still some cases where I need my full frame and Lightroom CC classic. However, I am going to be using my full frame camera and lightroom CC classic much less going forward.
Micro Four Thirds vs. Full Frame
I have decided that I am not going to sell my full frame camera just yet. I found at low ISO, the quality of the GH9 is really in distinguishable from my full frame Nikon and I got some shots I love with the GH9 on the trip like this one.
However, when I was out shooting at night and needed higher ISO, I was missing my larger sensor. With the GH9 I found anything over 1600 ISO was too noisy to clean up in post processing. Where with my full frame, I can normally clean up a 3200 ISO shot in post. Here is a shot with the GH9 at 3200 ISO that would look better with a full frame sensor (but still not that bad).
I was really impressed with the low light landscape shots I took with my GH9 on a tripod. I found the quality much better than with my old GH4, here is an example.
So, going forward I see myself using my Nikon full frame less and less often but I will take it along if weight is not a factor like when I am traveling by car. However, if weight is a factor like when taking multiple planes or hiking I wouldn't hesitate to just go with my GH9 and leave the full frame at home, just knowing that I may need to deal with a bit more noise after blue hour.
Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom CC Classic
Lightroom CC did not end up working well for me but I do still see the value in it. The main problem I had with using CC was the speed of my Internet connection but it is also missing some key features, and is buggy, it crashed multiple times on my Windows laptop.
I wanted to upload the photos with my laptop then do selections on the go with my tablet. However, rather than uploading all the previews first, then uploading the RAW files after, Lightroom CC does the files one at a time, which meant that it took days for one days photos to move over to my tablet. In addition, even though Lightroom CC Classic works very fast on my laptop, Lightroom CC was unusably slow when it was uploading, and often crashed. I found that disabling the sync made it more stable but would have expected it to better manage my processor so I could do both at the same time.
Lastly, I use compare view and survey view in Lightroom CC Classic to find my favorite that I will process and post online. I really missed these views in Lightroom CC and needed to go back to Lightroom for selections. However, once my selections were made, I found I was able to process my photos in Lightroom CC without missing any features because I do heavy editing in Photoshop which works well with Lightroom CC. However, the main portion of my workflow that I wanted to do with my tablet was the selections so this was a big disappointment.
That being said, I loved having all my photos in the cloud and everything in sync between my laptop, desktop and tablet. As a result, I have purchased a 1 TB creative could plan from Adobe and have adapted the following new workflow:
- Upload photos in Lightroom CC, this put the full RAW files in the cloud and makes them accessible from all devices and Lightroom Classic
- Start up Lightroom Classic and the photos will sync in automatically, then do selections in Lightroom Classic
- Process the photos in either Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC. If I am at my desktop then I still use classic for processing photos, but if I am not then I use Lightroom CC on my tablet or laptop
I have been doing this since China and it works well. The one downside is that the RAW files are stored twice on my desktop, once for Lightroom CC and once for classic. However, my home desktop has 7 hard drives that in total hold 21 TB of data so it isn't really an issue because I have the room.
Overall, a very successful experiment, I can see how a couple of years from now I will only be using Lightroom CC but it just isn't there yet. However, I do think I will always need a large and small sensor camera. The are just some limitations with the small Micro four thirds sensor size in low light that can only be resolved with a large sensor, but for 90% of my photos, the smaller sensor is all I need.
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We have kept busy over the winter working on new features that will be released very soon. Now that spring is in the air, I am looking forward to getting outside and taking more photos. However, I plan on doing things a bit different this year.
I recently purchase a Panasonic G9 and have been experimenting with Lightroom CC. Tomorrow I leave for a three week trip to China and am planning on learning a lot more about both of these on the trip. Here is a quick video where I explain how the tweaks I plan to my photography workflow.
I will follow up with more posts and musings while I am on the road and after I return to let you know how things went.
Keeping up on the new sites and apps for photographers could be a full time job in itself. New sites are being created every day and old sites are going out of style and not worth posting to anymore. Here is a list of the top sites to consider posting your photos to in 2017.
I have broken the list up into six high level categories to group similar sites together.
In 2017, social networks have become part of most photographers daily routine. It is hard to get noticed without a presence on at least one of these networks if you aren’t already a world famous photographer.
With its start as the premier mobile phone social photo app with filters that made it easy for anyone to process photos in interesting ways quickly, it has grown to the #1 site for photographers. Facebook still has more users but Instagram is more photo centric and a recent review of the top photographers on social media revealed that even though Facebook has more users, photographers get as many followers on Instagram. Also, Instagram hasn’t been fully monetized with advertising yet so it is still possible (although getting harder and harder) to build a following without paid ads.
Main advantage - Massive number of users and can still grow a following without paid ads.
Usage may be slowing with the younger generation but it is still the largest social network. However, as Facebook continues to monetize the platform, it has become more difficult to build and reach followers without paying for ads. If you are starting out with social media and don’t have a budget for advertising then it may be easier to grow a following on other sites.
Main advantage - Largest social network with great tools to build a following if you have a budget to buy ads.
Twitter is a better place for discussing photography trends, than posting photos. You will find that photos are posted to support the accompanying tweet rather than as a main focus of conversation. It is still worthwhile for photographers to post photos but you will need to do more than post photos to get a large following on this platform.
Main advantage - Best for joining the public conversation about photography related topics.
Nearly half of Tumblr users are 16-24 years old, and you can tell when you use the platform. Some photographers have found real success and huge followings on the platform for certain types of photos.
Main advantage - Reach a large younger audience who love to reblog things they like.
Pinterest allows you to pin photos and articles into collections or boards. The main demographic of the site is female and photos of food, DIY projects, fashion, and travel destinations can get added to “Dream boards”, “Bucket Lists”, and “To Try Out” boards and very quickly drive traffic back to your blog or website. Photos will do well on this site that focus on items that can be added to visual boards.
Main advantage - Reaching a large audience of females and drying traffic back to your blog or portfolio site.
A couple of years ago, G+ would have been near the top of the list for photographers. When Google plus was first released, photographers were the first to jump on board and loved the full sized images and photo related features. However, G+ never caught on with the general public and photographers began to focus their social media efforts on sites with more users like Instagram.
Main advantage - Being owned by Google, many believe participating in G+ helps with SEO.
Niche Photography Social Networks
The majority of the users on these platforms are photographers so when you are followed it will typically be a professional or advanced amateur photographer. On these sites you will find much higher quality images and more advanced conversations about techniques and the art of photography.
500px started as a site that had a unique scoring algorithm that allowed the best photos each day to become popular and get a large number of views. Now they have expanded and could also be listed in the portfolio sites and Microstock sites section as well. In 2017, it is growing increasingly difficult to get a photo on the top popular page without a large following or extensive use of bots to grow your following.
Main advantage - Viewing inspiring photos from other photographers and a growing sales from the sale of uploaded images as Microstock.
Flickr was once a great photography community but a number of mistakes and lack of growth after being purchased by Yahoo has left their growth flat while sites like 500px has been slowly pulling users away with better features and upgrade. There was a time when agencies and advertisers scoured flickr to find unique photos to buy licences and it was a great place to redirect them back to your website to sell photo licences, however those days have passed and Flickr has become more of a place to store your photos online then a way to get traffic back to your site or blog.
Main advantage - Ability to upload 1TB of images and an online tool that help manage them.
Like 500px, EyeEm has been slowly transitioning from its origin as a mobile social network like Instagram to a microstock site like Shutterstock. Indications are they want to me more of a Microstock site than a social network but right now they are a bit of both.
Main advantage - Mobile photography social site where you can make a couple extra bucks from Microstock
The best description I have for 1x.com is a “Fine art photography site for Europeans”. It isn’t solely for Europeans it does seem to be much more popular in Europe than North America. A main feature is beautifully curated lists of fine art photos.
Main advantage - Finding inspiring photos and exposure for fine art photography.
Portfolio sites are designed for photographers to create their own photography websites. While social networks are great for increasing your following, your own website allows you more control over the design and pages. Typically you want only one website and will have your social networks profiles link back to these sites for more information or purchase items.
These portfolio sites allow more marketing tools and customization than what you will get on social networks. Many also allow selling licences or distributing photos to clients. These are typically targeting professionals and advanced amateurs who are making money off of photography and normally come at a monthly cost to get the benefits of the full version. Each has its own set of features that are too numerous to list but these are the top portfolio sites photographers are using in 2017.
Microstock sites have a primary purpose of selling licences to your photos, either via a subscription or a one time fee. They are called “Microstock” because they sell for a fraction of the price stock photos were sold for previously. However, the industry has spoken and Microstock prices have become the typical price for many types of photos (good luck selling a photo of two people in suits shaking hands for more than $10 in 2017). All the stock sites are similar in that you upload your photos and they will sell licences then give you a percentage of the sales. This percentage is often quite small but it can add up as these sites have many clients who are constantly purchasing photos. In 2017 these are the most popular sites with stock photographers in order of popularity.
- Adobe Stock
Photo Contest Sites
Photography contests are nothing new but a couple of years ago sites started to pop up that focused on these contests. These sites have a social aspect but the main draw is to submit your photos to contests to win prizes and recognitions.
This is my favorite contest site, maybe because I have actually won a contest on it, but mostly because of great engagement from the community and a really well designed site. There is a free version but to get access to all the contests you need to upgrade to a pro account.
Main advantage - Submitting photos to different themed contests.
The unique feature of Pixoto is you need to vote on a number of others photos before you can upload your photo. This ensures that all photos get a chance to be considered for the contests and prizes rather than only photographers who have a large following. It is a great concept but the site hasn’t been updated in years and it seems to be fading out, rather than growing.
Main advantage - Each photo gets a quality score that is based on user votes, not number of followers.
Here are a couple of other sites that are useful depending on the type of photography you shoot.
Fine Art America (FAA)
FAA is a print on demand site, which means, you can upload your photos and they will sell prints to those photos. When someone buys a print, FAA handles everything including the printing and shipping to the purchaser and just sends you a payment that you can set when uploading the image. There are a lot of sites like this out there but I have photos on many of them and have found that FAA is the only one that has a large enough number of buyers to get consistent sales.
Main advantage - Selling your photos as prints and allows you to set how much profit you make per sale.
In 2017 there are increasingly more sites to upload your photos than most photographers have time for. This is why we created Photerloo. Photerloo allows you to upload once and have your photos posted to multiple sites with no extra work, we don’t support all the ones on the list yet but a good number of them, signup for a free account to try it out.
Did I miss one of your favorite sites, add it to the comments and let me know why you love it.
Photerloo is all about giving photographers back time in their days to get out and shoot. So, I am going to start uploading videos showing photos taken with the extra time Photerloo gives me. I just got back from a trip to Alberta, Canada so had some great places to get out and shoot.
This will also kickoff regular Photerloo posts to Flickr, 500px and Instagram. We have NO FOLLOWERS yet, remember how that felt ... so please be the first to follow us with the buttons below.
Now checkout our first of many, #WhereDoYouPhoterloo videos.
PS: I know what you are thinking, Photerloo doesn't support Instagram, so why are you setting up an Instagram account, well we have our reasons that will be announced sooner than later :)
As of today, you can link your Photerloo account to Adobe Stock and upload photos to Adobe at the same time as Shutterstock and your social sites. If you were a Fotolia contributor from before it was purchased by Adobe, then it is very easy to link your Adobe account to Fololia. When you do this, each photo that is uploaded to Adobe Stock also appears in your Fotolia account.
We have also made a number of improvements to reduce the number of upload errors and decreased the page load time for when you are using Photerloo on a mobile device.
For those counting, we have now added Shutterstock, Facebook Pages, Twitter and Adobe stock since our initial beta in February. That brings the count of supported sites to 7, how many more do you think we can add by end of year? We use your feedback to decide which ones get built next do leave a comment below with your favorite site that isn't supported yet to move it up on our list.
I have been developing software for a while now and strongly believe in listening to those who use the software to figure out the best way to improve it. On that note, I am happy to announce that we are releasing two of the most requested features to Photerloo today, posting to Facebook pages and Twitter.
It is now possible to link Photerloo to a Facebook page and a Twitter account and post as with other sites. Photos that have already been uploaded to Photerloo can also easily be posted to these two new sites easily from the photos page.
Here is a short video showing the new features:
We have also added a number of bug fixes and minor improvements listed below:
- Fixed a number of bugs to make uploads made more stable with less errors
- Popup shown with using Edge or IE which are not fully supported by the site
- .jpeg file extension now supported
- Typos fixed and other minor updates to text on site
Last but not least, we have a new logo. This logo better represents Photerloo as a social media and Microstock site posting tool for photographers by putting the sharing icon in the photo lens, let us know what you think.
Last week I was very fortunate to have a chat with Raymond Hatfield, Host of the Beginner Photography Podcast. We talked about photography, Microstock and making money from your photos.
Well, it is 2017 and blogs are old school but you still gotta have one, so here is ours. When thinking about what we should blog about I released how much content there is out there about photography. You could easily spend all your free time reading about photography and never take a photo. So, we aren't going to be blogging every day to add to the masses.
However, I have had some success getting my photos distributed across the web and even made a bit of money in the process. This is what this blog is going to be about, how to get your photography seen by other, including those who need to licence photos.
Of course, Photerloo is built to streamline distributing your photos to different sites, and we will announce when new features are released here, but we will also blog about other areas where I haven't found much info line line, thinks like:
- How much money can an amateur photographer really make selling on Microstock sites?
- How are top photographers using social media?
- Other ideas as we come up with them :)
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