The Best Place For Photographers To Connect Online

The internet is a wonderful tool for connecting like minded people, as well as giving us a number of platforms and forums for us to meet up, hang out, and share our mutual passions.

Recently I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons, and find new places to meet and talk with fellow photographers.

Of course I have 35hunter, which I value greatly as a place not just where I can ramble about photography, but hear what others think too.

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Flickr has been pivotal in my photography life since 2009, and whilst I still use it to share and archive photos, on the conversation front I use it much less than a couple of years ago.

It just seems quieter, and the core people I spoke to in the past seem to use it less now. (I have recently started following Hugo Poon though and enjoy much of his work.)

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Instagram I tried, abandoned, tried again, and have virtually retired from once more.

Mostly due to the frustration of the tiny format, its dependence on being a mobile device only platform (at least for sharing) and the generally vacuous and superficial level of interaction – all “likes” and silly emoticons.

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Google+ I enjoyed a few years back (c2014) and met some interesting street photographers.

Returning recently though, as much as I love the layout and set up, I’m struggling to find enough activity to make it worthwhile. It feels something of a tundra. Any recommendations for people or groups to follow there?

I sometimes drop in to Pentax Forums on threads like the Pentax K10D Club, and the Takumar Club.

The people there I’ve found very friendly and helpful, but often the conversation (for me) is too gear based (what we use) and not towards to the more philosophical (why and how we photograph) end of photography.

Other forums I’ve dabbled in but most are even more gear obsessed than Pentax Forums. Comparison shots of newspapers from 5m and 100% crops between seven versions of the same lens are not what I’m looking for.

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So largely, my interaction with other photographers is here on 35hunter, and other blogs like Jim’s Down The Road and Frank’s Why Film Cameras?.

Or I just read. For example, recently I’ve been reading Wouter Brandsma‘s excellent, intelligent and inspiring blog from the first post onwards. He started it in 2008 and I’m currently somewhere in late 2011.

These blogs are great! But I’m looking to explore more. Not a dozen sites, but maybe three or four core ones overall.

So, where do you hang out online? Where do you mostly share your photographs? Where do you converse most about this shared love of ours?

Have you tried Twitter? 500px? Ello? Where else? What’s worked for you?

Please let us know in the comments below (and remember to tick “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for reading. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too.

15 thoughts on “The Best Place For Photographers To Connect Online”

  1. I gave up long ago on finding That One Place where I could discuss photography. I found a lot of photo bloggers and have worked hard over the years to encourage community among us. It is especially gratifying to me when we all are commenting on each others’ blogs.

    1. It’s strange because when I was first writing this post, I was thinking about all the typical “social media” sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc, as well as photo specific sites like Flickr, 500px etc. Then it dawned on me that probably the three places I chat most with other photographers now are my blog, your blog, Frank’s blog, and two or three others. Maybe I’m looking too hard for something we already have…

      Thanks Jim, not just for your comment but for all you do for our photography community.

  2. Mostly just my blog (thanks for naming it!).

    Then I share each post to four or five groups on Facebook. But no way I’ll trawl the depths of Facebook. I just check reactions to the things I share and leave some replies.

    Instagram no more! Deleted my account….

    Then again when I updated to Luminar 2018 I got one year free on SmugMug… still trying to decide if it’s worth the hassle.

    So that leaves mostly my blog and the small of regular and welcome visitors.

    1. Hi Frank thanks for your input.

      Very interesting how the authors of the two blogs I mentioned I talk most on – yours and Jim’s – both have a very similar take.

      I’m unlikely to return to Facebook anytime soon, I deleted my account about seven years ago and haven’t looked back. I’m curious though how many views you get on your blog via Facebook though?

      Maybe I should forget the social stuff completely at least for a while and focus my time purely on Flickr (which I use for a range of reasons as you know) and blogs. The simplicity of this approach is very appealing too.

      I came across a pretty frightening article a couple of days ago about the guy who invented the dreaded Facebook “like” button and others in the social media industry about how all these things are designed to hook people, and some compare them with a drug or gambling habit.

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia

      That’s not something I want to be caught up in!

      1. I agree that Facebook is a drug! Even I who don’t like it get sometimes sucked into the game of reading stuff I’m not really interested in. liking silly things and losing my time. I still have to really drag myself away from Facebook sometimes. Happens less and less though.

        I just checked and of my over 41000 views over the 3 years I have run my blog about 2000 come from Facebook…. not that much but it’s the biggest referrer. Next is Hamish’s 35mmc with about 1700.
        I think I’ll keep sharing my stuff on Facebook for the moment, but nothing more.

        The problem is, I like those likes… I like seeing that I get views on my blog and that I don’t only write my stuff for nobody.

        It’s dumb, I know, but I think we all need some recognition.

        I read the article in the guardian… a frightening world that is ruled by social media. Even presidents communicate their ‘alternative facts’ by twitter.

        Life was easier 30 years ago… we had less ‘friends’ and it was more challenging getting your information but at least we didn’t lose time with stupid stuff. And we talked to people! Real people! And we read books! And there was only film… 😉

      2. Frank, interesting that in fact Facebook gets you a very small proportion of views. I wonder how many people view your posts entirely within Facebook though and don’t ever visit your blog directly? Similarly with email, I know often I read your or Jim’s posts within my Gmail and if I’m not commenting I don’t really need to view the post in a web browser also. I wonder if WordPress tracks these things, I’ve not delved into it much.

        Do you get the views from 35mmc from comments you’ve made there, or guest posts you’ve written? Can you tell?

        I’m in two minds about the whole guest post idea. Sometimes it seems to work but some blogs seem to let anyone who asks write a post and in my view the overall quality of the writing can drop drastically. Which I don’t personally helps the overall reputation of the site.

        Yes much was easier or at least simpler in the past. I’m of a generation that grew up with the first phases of home computers but certainly most of my childhood was action toys, Lego and playing outside in bikes, climbing trees etc. As we’ve discussed before the internet is a blessing and a curse!

  3. I agree with all that has been said. I have an idea for the three of you. Why not start a new WordPress site for just such a forum? We can invite other photographers and not just share images but share discussion about the process we went through for an image, why we took it etc.
    I’ve been struggling recently with my blog and will be changing it up in the new year and making my posts more informative but I also think a shared blog/forum would be an interesting thing to be a part of.
    If none of us are finding the sort of discussion we want on other sites then it seems like an opportunity to start one.

  4. I use flickr to share my photos but read blogs like yours and Jim’s to interact with regarding Film/Digital photography
    I don’t think there is anyone place that fits all my online photography needs on one site only wish there was.

  5. I’ve enjoyed your blog, Dan, and Jim Grey’s, because of your discussions of the dichotomy of film/digital that i continue to deal with. I like Hamish Gill’s 35MMC site. I share photos mostly to Flickr. Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge, but also your feelings with the rest of us.

    1. Martin, thanks for sharing your feelings too. It would be no doubt baffling to one of the photograph greats of decades ago if they could have time travelled to our time and see all the soul searching and heartache we have over whether to shoot film or digital and how to find the hybrid that works best for each of us! We are so spoilt for choice it can be crippling (not just with photography – go and look at the toothpaste or tea or cereal aisle at a big supermarket, how did we ever get like this?)

      Hamish’s site has been one of my favourites for ages, I just wish he would write more posts himself. Very few of the many guest posts, for me, are worth reading compared with his.

      Flickr is an oldie, but a goodie! I struggle to find much fresh inspiration there, but as an archiving and sharing tool it remains excellent I think.

  6. I have been following Jim’s blog for years, but I appreciate you bringing Franks blog to my attention, I enjoy it a lot. I also enjoy Flickr and have struck up a few actual friendships there over the years. Not very active any more.

    1. Hi Jon thanks for your comments. Frank has a great blog for film photographers especially. Even better, what I really like about Frank is how often I see him on other people’s photography blogs adding thoughtful and valuable comments to the conversations.

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