You have probably heard of Flickr and other photo sharing websites, but did you know they are more than just a place to post your photos?  Sites like Flickr are vibrant social communities that contain some of the best photography on the Internet.  Flickr is one of the leading photo sharing sites.  What makes it unique is the quality of the photos.  Many professional and amateur enthusiasts post their photos on Flickr, making it a great place to find the perfect photo for your website or ad campaigns.

Pro Nikon Photographer at Morro Rock 04 Dec 2007
Creative Commons License photo credit: mikebaird

Share your photos

Flickr is a wonderful place to share your photos with others.  Why would you want to do that?  Well, if you are a manufacturing company, you may want to share product photos with others so they can use them on the Internet resulting in great things such as product recognition, brand building, logo/product placement, buzz (if picture is creative enough).  If you are a photographer, it is a great place to post your photos and be found by businesses who are looking for your type of photography which may lead to eventual commissions and PR (find your picture used on a major news site and you have some great PR to jump off from).  One of the added social benefits of Flickr is the ability for others to add comments to your photos.  These comments can be invaluable in measuring reactions to your photos.

Create a passionate community of customers

Companies like GM have created communities out of their customer photos.  Everyday they receive photos from clients.  Their blog (http://fyi.gmblogs.com) contains many brilliant photos from their Flickr customers.  Each photo has a link back to the Flickr account of the person who took the photo.  Their Flickr group (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmblogs) contains photos from across their company and from customers.  Imagine having 1000’s of photos at our disposal for using in your campaigns. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could encourage your customers to share photos of themselves using your product?  Image what you could do with a plethora of photos at your disposal…

Reborn
Creative Commons License photo credit: heat_fan1

Find photos

Many of the photos you find on Flickr have a license that will allow you to use them on your website or marketing materials.  It can also put you in touch with photographers that take the kind of photos you want.  When you find someone you like, connect with them.  My blog posts use photos from Flickr.  If the photo came from Flickr, it is clickable back to the person who took the photo.  Flickr also has great search feature that allows you to find that perfect photo.

One of my favorite features for finding photos in Flickr is to use their map function.  This allows you to find photos that were taken at a specific geographic location.  Try it.  Go to http://www.flickr.com/map/ and search for photos taken in your city.

Creative Commons License

"Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright."

"Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright."

Pay attention to the copyright on each photo.  Some photos should not be reproduced, or used according to the terms of the photographer. You should become familiar with Flickr’s copyright symbols. http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

ONE ACTION ITEM:  Go to www.Flickr.com and setup your account.  The video in the top right corner of this page may be helpful for you to watch before setting up your account.  While you’re on Flickr, search for photos of your business, competition, photos in your zip code, or that perfect photo you are looking for your next blog post.

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