An average of 1.8 billion photos are uploaded to the web every day — but just where are those photos going? When it comes to sharing photos, there’s no shortage of options from social media networks to website hosting services. But, which ones meet the needs of photographers the best? Which ones allow photographers to expand their reach, showcase their work, book more clients and inspire the world? Here are some of the best photo sharing sites for photographers, based on web traffic as well as features so you can find the best online gallery to display your work.
The latest estimates suggest that 781 photos are uploaded to the popular social network Instagram — every second. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is centered on photos — you can’t share text-only posts. Instagram’s popularity and photo-centric design makes it a great option for expanding your reach as a photographer. There are a few shortfalls though — you have to upload from a smartphone or tablet, so if you’re shooting on a DSLR you have to transfer shots to your phone first, another step that other platforms don’t require.
Flickr is a photo sharing site designed specifically for photographers — which means you can upload fully edited photos from your computer or still share from your smartphone if you’d like. Alexa ranks Flickr as the third most visited photo sharing site on the web. Flickr allows photographers to share fully copyrighted images or public domain images that others can re-use with attribution. With a design that reads the exif data from your photos, it also does more than simply sharing the photo, offering insight into how it was shot as well.
Photobucket is for sharing photos — but it’s also for storing files and ordering prints too. Unlike Instagram and Flickr, Photobucket isn’t free, but most large cloud storage programs aren’t either. With 60 million visitors a month, they must be doing something right.
Deviant Art is for all artists, not just photographers, but with over 42 million members, it’s certainly worth a look. This platform is a community for creating a portfolio or sharing with other artists. One of the platform’s best features is the ability to sell prints and digital downloads online.
While some photo platforms are designed more as a social option, SmugMug is more geared towards building an online portfolio. Data suggests SmugMug receives over five million unique monthly visitors. With SmugMug, photographers can share images in a portfolio, store files online, create online ordering galleries for clients to order from directly — and even upload with a Lightroom plug-in and from a mobile app. Unlike options like Instagram, SmugMug isn’t free, but it’s one of the top options for sharing photos in a professional, custom photography site.
The internet’s accessibility makes it ideal for sharing photos, whether the end goal is to build a business or simply share a passion. But, with photography’s popularity, there are hundreds of ways to share your photos on the web — Instagram, Flickr, Photobucket, Deviant Art and SmugMug are some of best photo sites with the most viewers.