To Flickr? Not To Flickr?

I have noticed that many of my fellows Dreamstimes members maintain active Flickr sites. I've enjoyed looking through those, and have gotten lots of great inspiration from the photos.

I'm wrestling with the idea of creating my own Flickr site. I see a couple pros, and a couple cons.

On the positive side, I can see that sharing photos is (almost) always satisfying. Once the shots are on Flickr, it's no work at all to get them to clients, family, friends. . .

I have a sense that Flickr offers a lot of community features, too, many ways to find photographers with similar interests.

Finally, unless I'm wrong, it's free.

On the other hand:

I use Apple's Aperture and my .mac account to create and share web galleries. I'm pretty happy with the integration between Aperture and the web galleries. Publishing is simple, the images are high quality (or at least as high quality as I can make them!). The galleries are semi-public in that they are open to all, but their addresses are just about impossible to stumble across accidentally.

But Aperture has no community features, and .mac does cost $99/year (not to mention the cost of Aperture itself).

And, specific method of web-sharing aside, I'm puzzled by the impact of web availability on sales. If images are available publicly, does that inspire viewers to hustle over to Dreamstimes to purchase? Or does it inspire people to just download from Flickr (or wherever) and thus undercut sales?

As always, I am eager to hear from others on this. What has your experience been, pro and/or con? Any comments would be appreciated!

Interior, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Photo credits: Charles Sichel-outcalt.
Charles Sichel-outcalt
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January 25, 2008

The way I run my flickr account is this: I take a photo, downsize it, provide a watermark (sometimes two), and I add a link to Dreamstime. I refrain from publishing EVERY photo available on DT, just one from a series to be an example of what can be expected on DT. See my flick profile:


January 24, 2008

Thanks Charles!

Just had my first two approved..Yay!



January 24, 2008

Charlotte, thanks for the additional info about Flickr. I wasn't aware there were so many pools/competitions/sources of advice on Flickr. Yet another kick in my backside to get me moving in that direction!

By the way, your 'Along came a spider' is SO creative! I live in DC, have walked by that spider sculpture 100 times, and never once thought of framing it like that.

Good luck with Dreamstimes--here's hoping your uploads are quick and your sales are brisk.


January 24, 2008

Hi there,

Interesting discussion. I have been a member of Flickr for quite a few months and enjoy the fact that people can comment on your photos and also say what they like an don't like - it's a good way to learn more. This week I decided to try out dreamstime and see if any of my shots were suitable for stock photography...just waiting to hear back on my downloads so fingers crossed!

I must admit that I am not sure if any of my shots will be suitable as stock photography seems to be quite a bit different. I think the objectives change from is this a pretty or nice to look at image to will someone be able to use this to sell something or can it be used in a story. Interesting challenge!!

I've taken the advice of the comments above and have stopped other people being able to download images from my Flickr account but I will have to wait and see if any of them will be good enough to sell!

If interested my flickr account is

Thanks guys x


January 23, 2008

Hi Charles... my name is Amy but my Italian husband calls me Emilia because that is easier to say I guess. I like the combination of AmyEmilia because it is a visual symbol of the bridge between both worlds - the Amy world and the Emilia world.

The Matera photo (which by the way I submitted to Dreamstime but they rejected it on the grounds that it was overfiltered) has had some work done to it. We visited Matera during a very cold, windy, foggy, misty weather period, and the contrast on my photos was really awful. So I spent a little time in Paint Shop Pro clarifying and pumping up the colors a bit. I like the effect but agree that it is possibly too overbearing for stock. I might try a little less aggressive approach and resubmit. (Don't you love digital?)

As Fotogeek suggests, you can upload lower resolution versions of your shots. I don't do it, since I know that my family and friends do like to print out the pictures from time to time. I agree with him though and have been more picky about submission lately. But if you upload full resolution photos and then restrict access, that should help. Just be careful about who you create as friends!

I am going to add the Dreamstime pointer to my profile on Flickr too, as well.

Thanks for bringing this up!


January 22, 2008

Excellent idea.

I checked out your Flickr site. That photo 'Sentinels' is amazing. Would you mind sharing the technical details on that shot?


January 22, 2008

Hi Charles,

Just upload watermarked web resolution pics on Flickr and that should keep you safe from theft. In the comment you can direct the viewers to your DT account to buy the high res pics to print them themselves.
That is what I plan to do, but so far not done due to lack of time. However, I have started to be picky about what I post on Flickr lately.
Hope this helped.


January 22, 2008

Wow! 2043 photos! You are a Flickr champ!

Seriously, I appreciate your thoughtful response. You are helping me get motivated to go with Flickr. What you said about the community features sounds really useful. I didn't realize you can restrict downloads. That puts my mind at least.

Hmm--I wonder if it's necessary to remove photos that are on Dreamstimes as exclusives? What do others think? I can see that it would be really good for sales to have a message on Flickr along the lines of 'You can purchase a high resolution version of this photo via Dreamstimes.' Is this OK? What do others think?

Amy (or is it Amy Emilia?) I have to tell you that photo of Matera is amazing. Did you do much with the color on that, or is that the way God (and the photographer!) made it?


January 22, 2008

Hi Charles! I've been an active contributor to Flickr for a couple years now, and the Flickr community has really helped me.

As you mentioned, the ease of sharing is terrific. As an example: my husband and I went to Italy for a month last November. I created a set on Flickr called Italy 2007, and invited them all to the set. Then as we traveled throughout Italy I posted photographs as internet access permitted. It was a wonderful way of sharing the journey, and helped sharpen my eye as well for things that would be fun for "the folks back home" to see. Of course this method of photojournal requires a laptop and internet access!

My Flickr friends have also helped my confidence. I doubt if I would have been able to dredge up the courage to submit any of my work here. I've been able to gather a sense of what people like and don't like, and have paid a lot closer attention to the way a photo looks on a monitor.

The Flickr community is the most exciting part of the site. I have made friends with photographers in Australia, Iceland, Italy, Canada, Chile, Norway, Finland, Korea... not to mention all over the US. You get the picture! It is great to share photos with people who love photos.

Flickr is free, but you will be able to post unlimited photos, and see larger pictures, if you pay the Pro fee. I think it's all of $20 a year or so.

I have set my Flickr preferences to restrict downloading to friends. And while I used to use Creative Commons licensing, it seemed to me that I should change to "all rights reserved" once I started uploading photos to Dreamstime. Also I am considering removing from Flickr the photos that I have had accepted on Dreamstime, to prevent any overlap. So far that is only 13 so not a big crimp in my Flickr-style!

Also interesting to me is that most of the photos that have been successful on Dreamstime (in terms of acceptance - I haven't had a sale yet) aren't so interesting to folks on Flickr. So my conclusion is that the stock photography style isn't so much pretty as it is supportive of a message - at least in my case anyway! I don't shoot portraits or recognizable humans most of the time so that may make a difference.

I'd love for you to visit my Flickr site.

Thanks for bringing this up, it is a very interesting subject!