It’s very easy today to build an online presence to share both your photography, and your thoughts around it.
There are also plenty of free options, which most of the time I used to go for.
But increasingly I’ve been happy to commit to paying a small fee for a few key services that support my photography and make it a little easier and smoother.
1. WordPress Personal Plan.
I’ve had free WP blogs for years, but a few months back I’d just had enough of visiting other sites and seeing ads. Even if they were related ads, like camera bags on a photography blog, I just don’t like them, it’s just an invasion of my viewing experience.
This article from 2015 suggests the average American sees 4000-10000 a day. I doubt it’s much less in the UK. I don’t want to be part of that as a blog reader so it seemed utterly hypocritical to force ads on my own blog’s readers.
So I went for the ad free Personal plan, at £3 a month. I also get a custom domain name (ie no wordpress in the URL, just 35hunter.blog) and 24/7 support, though these are secondary benefits. For all the potential that WP gives me (and without ads) I feel £3 a month is very reasonable.
2. Flickr Pro.
A few years back the main advantages of a pro plan over the free one were no ads, and unlimited storage. That was enough to make me happy to invest $25 a year (around £18), or £1.50 a month.
These days I’m not sure there’s so much of a differential (if any) between pro and free, but again it’s a service I get so much from, I’m prepared to support them financially.
3. Google Photos.
I could probably explore Flickr’s automated options more, and with unlimited storage, maybe I don’t need any other kind of cloud storage.
But Google Photos is a very simple and slick interface and quickly syncs photos from my MacBook and Xperia phone. It’s become the hub of my current post-LightRoom editing and processing flow.
The storage allowance of 100GB is £1.59 a month. This covers all Google apps, and I use GMail, Google Docs and Sheets, and Google Play Music too so it makes sense to invest across the whole platform. Given I have only 6GB of photos on Flickr from nine years of uploading, I don’t anticipate ever using the 100GB.
4. danjamesphotography.com URL via GoDaddy.
Another one I first set up years ago, so if I ever had a different photo website I could use the URL. For now (and for years!) I have it redirecting to my Flickr stream. I probably don’t need this anymore, but at around £1 a month I’m keeping it for now.
So my total outlay is £3 + £1.50 + £1.59 + £1 = £7.09 per month.
As I said at the top, I could use free options or alternatives for all of the above, but for the sanctuary of being ad free, and the simplicity of the services I have chosen, this seems a sensible investment.
Plus compared with the over £10 a month Adobe were charging me for LightRoom before I left recently, it seems an absolute bargain.
What do you use and pay for online to support your photography?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. (Remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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22 thoughts on “What I Pay For Online To Support My Photography”
I splurge for a premium plan with WordPress as I need more space (don’t use Flickr like you) and it allows me to uplod videos… just used that feature for the first time today in my latest post!
Then I get my franklehnenphotography domain with GoDaddy… might one day be useful…
And I use Apple’s Cloud storage to upload/backup all my photos, documents and iPad and iPhone backups. I’m on a 2Tb plan that is 9.99€ a month but this includes family storage for all the members of my household. I don’t mind the price as the service is rock solid, works all the time and syncs all my data between my (soon to be defunct) Mac Mini, the iPad and the iPhone. Painless!
Makes a stunning total of 8€ for WordPress + 1€ for GoDaddy + 9,99€ in Apple’s pockets… 18,99€ a month…. hmm. Pricy, but the Apple stuff serves 6 people for the moment and the Premium WordPress comes in handy. As for Apple’s iCoud, the next smaller tier is 200Gb at 2.99€ a month. We use nearly 300Gb of storage now and the difference is not that important I think.
Sounds pretty similar to mine, a small outlay but worth what you get. What about backing stuff up, is it all in iCloud?
In iCoud and one automatic Time Machine Backup (backs up everything that changed each hour) on external RAID hard drives (two mirrored drives) and an periodic backup on a drive I leave at my workplace…. Paranoïd?
Does TimeMachine back up from your iCloud? What device is it on – the iPad? And you hook up the iPad to external HDs? This is the bit I don’t understand if you’re using just iPad and everything else online – how you make HD back ups.
Ok, I still talk about the Mac here (not sold yet). Of course on the iPad I’ll be down to iCloud. Guess I need to have one more coffee before the brain kicks in 😉
The only thing that’s worrying me now….. on the iPad I’ll be down to just iCloud.
Frank this is another reason I’ve found I can’t switch just to an iPad. Aside from the physical keyboard and trackpad, and screen size we’ve talked about before, it’s just too “dumbed down” in terms of connectivity and compatibility.
I have been very impressed with the Neverware ChromeBook software on my wife’s old HP laptop, which has a decent keyboard, screen, trackpad, its own sizeable HD (I think my 2017 iPad is only 32GB, which isn’t expandable) and just things like an SD card slot, and USB ports.
The actual computer processor must be using only a fraction of its capacity as I just have the Chrome OS and Chromium (which is the Chrome web browser, but on a ChromeBook – I can’t tell any difference). So it’s running very lean and fast compared with being a bloated and lurching Windows machine.
But aside from the OS, it’s just useful being able to easily plug in cameras, SD cards, external HDs, thumb drives to stick photos on to print, things that all require much hoop hopping or aren’t possible at all with an iPad.
I thought you had said on your blog you hadn’t used your Mac Mini in weeks, so I wondered how you were using external HDs and TimeMachine with the iPad. I was trying to figure out how you were doing this with your iPad.
Well, backup as I said is still a little problematic but I can use a spare PC to connect to iCloud and back up my stuff. If there’s a will there’s a way as they say.
I must be helluva masochist but I love working on that iPad….
Hey Dan, I found a quick and easy way to copy the whole contents of my iCloud account to a local drive connected to my router…
You can believe them when say that ‘there’s an app for it’
Local backup… check
Oh, nice work Frank. Do that once a month and you’re sorted. Another step towards being a one device man!
One trick pony you might call me…
I pay for WordPress Premium, my domain name, Flickr Pro, Adobe Creative Suite (Ps and Lr tier), and cloud storage for my iPhone. The only one that is any real money is Adobe.
I’m sure you’ve read some of my recent thoughts on Adobe. Maybe for a pro photographer that lives in Adobe LightRoom and uses the cloud storage it’s worth the money, but for the average user I think it’s way overpriced, and as I said previously, i just don’t like the restrictive subscription model for the software.
We also use WordPress premium – again mainly to eliminate ads and allow the use of a custom domain name.
I run a smugmug pro account too, which allows private galleries of images that can be shared with clients etc. This costs (I think) 80€ per year.
I also pay a small subscription for the Ulysses markdown editor – about 25€/year (from an offer). This makes it much easier to write longer blog posts, prior to uploading directly to WordPress.
On top of that we have a virtual Linux server that handles email, along with several (non photographic) domains. This is by far the most expensive part, at 150£/year. Originally I hosted the photo blog there, but the bandwidth usage meant that it was cheaper to move this to WordPress than pay to upgrade the server hosting!
Mark, thanks for your thoughts.
This reminds me I used to write all my blog posts with Ommwriter – https://ommwriter.com/ – which I really liked. But that was a previous blog that didn’t have any links or pictures in the text, just one picture per post at the top.
Back then the WordPress experience was much more clunky, these days it’s not that different to Ommwriter so I have used it directly for a couple of years now.
Is it possible to move anything else from Linux, and have a cheaper sub? But then that’s only £12.50 a month so if it does a lot for you that’s affordable for most.
At the moment I don’t pay for anything, although i’m interested in the WP plan, didn’t realise it was that affordable! I would love a custom domain name. I would also be tempted to look at the other tiers so I can upload as many images as I want, and not worry about having to resize them to make them smaller.
It’s well worth looking into Melissa, I didn’t realise the Personal plan was so affordable.
The Business plan I believe have unlimited storage for £20 a month, if you have a lot of content to upload (photos and videos).
For me the Flickr hosting works well for now.
I retesting post. I pay for and host my own WordPress website at http://www.lmstevensphoto.com, about $130/annually. No Flickr. No iCloud. I use google drive to transfer files if necessary. I store my photo library and back ups on my own drives. I’m old school and want control. Also, pay for Photoshop and Lightroom CC $9.99/mo.
Interesting post, sorry
Hi Lisa Marie, thanks for you comments.
Do you use LightRoom and Photoshop much? I found (aside from other reasons like the locked in yearly subscriptions) I used so little of LightRoom’s features (and never opened Photoshop) that the £10 a month was much better spent elsewhere. Like funding everything listed above, plus change to spare!
Well I used to use them both a lot,before I got back into shooting film. Now my use of them both is limited. Considering alternatives but haven’t settled in anything yet. Just haven’t had time to really investigate and try other platforms. Any suggestions ?? Oh, I also do a little real estate photography and the photoshop perspective warp tool does save my bacon here.
I wrote a post on LightRoom a while back, check that out and see what others suggested in the comments – https://35hunter.blog/2018/01/17/lightrooms-last-hurrah-why-adobe-has-lost-my-trust-and-business/
Personally I now just use Snapseed and a couple of very similar presets I’ve set up. Keep it simple! I know it has a rotate tool that can auto rotate to make horizons straight, and a perspective tool that you can “warp” images with. I haven’t used either, but they could help with your architecture shots. It’s free to download, maybe get it and have a play?
Thanks Dan I’ll check them out.