photo collage template
Free downloadable 18th birthday photo collage template for PS/PSE.
Easy to get started.
It only takes about 5 minutes to open your account, then another 10 minutes or so to upload and organise your first photos. Give yourself a good half an hour at some point to explore the site.
I have been meaning to join Flickr for a year, ever since our fantastic website designer (Nige from Freebird) told me how great it is. I have been putting it off, mainly because I wanted to make time to do it properly and not upload everything to the wrong place and then have to redo it all. I shouldn't have worried. It took me 5 minutes to create an account, and I didn't need to start uploading photos until I'd had a good look round to see how it works. You can check out my (slow but methodical) progress on my Flickr page here.
Flickr (www.Flickr.com) is primarily a photo sharing website. You upload your photos, and then other people can look at them easily online. You can restrict your photos to be private, so that only approved people can see them, or set them as public, where anyone can see them - so for example you can create a private gallery with some holiday photos to share with your family, or a public set of photos to share with anyone who's interested.
Apart from easily sharing your photos, there are 4 other fantastically useful aspects to Flickr.
Flickr members who share their photos publicly are an incredibly generous group of people. You can find inspiration for your own photography, or just browse through gallery after gallery of interesting, unusual or quirky images.
The thing I love most about Flickr is the Groups. Any member can set up a group where like-minded members can congregate, share pictures and discuss their niche. With very few restrictions, all members are free to join these groups and participate straight away.
If you have a Pro account (the basic account is free but comes with limitations), you can upload full resolution files which will be stored for you on the Flickr servers. This is a great offsite backup facility for precious photos in case anything happens to your computer (see our post on why you need to backup here).
Flickr have an affilation with Snapfish, and it is incredibly easy to click through from Flickr and order prints, calendars, books, collages and more using the photos you have already uploaded.
You set up your account from the Flickr main page, and at this stage the only decision you need to make is whether you want the free account or the subscription ('Pro') account. Can't decide? Start with a free one and upgrade later. The Pro account does come with great benefits including unlimited monthly uploads and full resolution archiving. You also (at the time of writing, March 2012) get a free Pro account if you have a BT Yahoo! account.
To start off with, just use the 'Upload' section to get some photos into your account, and the 'Organise & Create' section to sort them into folders ('Sets') and 'Collections' (a group of sets is called a Collection). Browse other people's home pages to see how they organise their photos to see what the difference between sets, collections and galleries is, because it can be confusing to start with.
If you have a free account, don't upload all your photos on day 1. You only get 300MB of photos to upload per month and you can't free up space by deleting photos.
Use the 'Explore' section, or the search field in the 'Groups' section to find your area of interest. There are Groups for any aspect of photography you can think of. Search by camera type, subject matter, country or city, post processing technique, level of expertise or type of lighting. There are hundreds of projects to join to inspire you and get you motivated - Project 365s, 52s and 12s (daily/weekly/monthly photos) and projects using just one type of lens or taken at a particular time (4am Project anyone?). There are projects for quilters, puppeteers, people who use pinhole cameras or who want to learn how to pan. There are over 5,000 different groups dedicated to Lego photography alone.
Where to start? Search for 'Beginners' if you are in search of a friendly group that will offer encouragement and advice to a new or improving photographer. There are many beginners groups - pick one with a good discussion board and lots of daily new posts. Look through the comments and see if the feedback is friendly and constructive.
We've picked 7 groups for you to have a look at that have a big membership and have been running for a while:
Yes, 2 things before you get started.
1. Flickr enforces its commerce-free status rigorously, so follow their guidelines for posting photos (in the Help/FAQ section) if they are business or blog related.
2. If you join a group, be generous and thoughtful with your comments. Today somebody wrote about one of my photos, 'Excellent shot, light, color and composition', and even though I'm a professional photographer and I knew it was a good picture, those comments made my day. So every time you post a photo in a group, leave a comment for another photographer as well.