Online communities such as Flickr can be a great place for encouraging and fostering personal and career growth for photographers.
For beginner photographers, it can be hard to meet other photographers who are already successful. Certainly, there are great photographers everywhere. But it is challenging to get to know them and have access to them whenever you need it.
I started getting into photography around 2006. I didn’t personally know a single photographer at that time. Then in 2007, I discovered social media, primarily Flickr.com. After taking my photos, I would eagerly upload them to Flickr to share them with other photographers. I joined various groups, engaged with people, left comments, and emailed. I tried all of the fun things Flickr had to offer for aspiring and professional photographers. It was in that community that I first learned a lot about photography and how I could improve my images. Several of the people I interacted with on Flickr are now friends on Twitter and Facebook as well.
The Power of Online Photography Communities
Part of the power that Flickr provides to photographers is they give every person an opportunity to “go “public” with their image. According to John Suler, this helps validate their work and shape each person’s visual identity online. The fact that people know others will see their work, gives it more emotional power. This makes the experience of photography more real.
Flickr is no longer the most popular image-sharing community. Though it has had a profound impact on the social media world. Nowadays there are other popular photo-sharing communities like Facebook, Instagram, Imgur, DeviantArt, and many others. All of these sites provide people with great opportunities to connect with photographers who can inspire and encourage them.
You don’t have to be a photographer to join an online community. There are online communities for all types of hobbies and interests. Being a part of online communities impacts what and how much you learn about your hobbies or passions.