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?
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Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.