Why every musician should have a flickr pro account.

flickr sticker on mac

For many years I had the photos I wanted to show the world on my record label’s website. Photos from live shows, promotional photos, studio photos and photos from other artists on my record label. I used Gallery and then later Simpleviewer to make the galleries. All the photos were stored with my ISP on my server. You could come and see the photos if you came to my website. The only way you would know when new ones were added would be if you were on our mailing list. Lame! It’s 2007 and there is a much better way.

There are some major advantages to switching from the above method to a flickr pro account.

First off to be clear you can still have your photos on your main website. In fact, the process of putting your photos on a regular web page from flickr is easier than using a gallery generator. A site called flickrSLiDR makes it simple. You input the URL of your flickr set and if you want to limit the gallery to certain photos you list the tags of only those photos you want. Next, you put the size you want your gallery to be and click ok. It then gives you the code you need to put in your html page. Another generator is called PictoBrowser and it works in the same way but the end result has a different look and it has more color options. Both are free.

Here is a flickr slide show/gallery I created using flickrSLiDR from my live show last week: The Horrorist live in Stuttgart

flickrSLiDR - screenshotFlickr has an open API which means other software and websites can access your photos if you give them permission. This means that you can also have the same photo set now appear on your MySpace and Facebook profiles. Now we are getting somewhere! MySpace doesn’t allow Javascript and it suppresses most galleries ability to click on photos. Luckily there is flickranywhere to the rescue. There are several choices for adding flickr photos to your Facebook profile. The two most popular are My Flickr and zuPort: Flickr

You can also have your flickr photos on the sidebar of your blog. See on the right side of this blog you are reading right now? Those photos from the Things to Come Records studio? Those are from flickr. They are from my own photos tagged with “studio”. I used a plug-in called flickrRSS for WordPress to do it. There are many ways to add your photos into blog sidebars for any of the blogging platforms available.

People can subscribe to your flickr photos using RSS. And you can use RSS to collect your latest photos and send them in an email newsletter. For example, I use feeddigest.com to send fans the latest news from the Things to Come blog and I combine it with the RSS from my flickr feed.

Do you think all the above is too complicated? Well there are super easy to use badges and widgets that will show off your flickr photos. You just copy the code for the widget you create and paste it anywhere that accepts html. The three top widget companies are Widgetbox, SpringWidgets and yourminis. Easiest of all flickr has it’s own badge service. All these different wigetizers look a little different and allow different kinds of customization.

Wow your photos are everywhere now. And you didn’t have to repost the actual photos anywhere. And guess what else? Because your photos are in flickr they show up in google searches! I think thats major deal.

But there is a ton of great things that you can do with your photos inside flickr itself.

Most importantly for you as a musician/artist is the groups feature. There are tons of public groups in flickr. For example “Electronic Music“. Now when I upload my latest show photos I pick the best few and send them to that group. Cool no? You can join as many groups as you like and you can create your own group. So in fact you can create a group for your band and your fans can upload any photos they want to it. Originally I think flickr had weddings in mind when they created this but I see some really great band groups happening on flickr. Here’s a really cool group: The words of Leonard Cohen. “Images that reflect the writings of Leonard Cohen. All images must reference quotes from his work”.Things to Come Records - geotag

Flickr has a world map and you can pin your photos on the map where you took them. People call this geotagging. This is actually a lot of fun. You get your own map URL so for example you can show your fans all the places you performed and the photo sets associated with each show.

Flickr also lets you get prints, books, calendars, etc… I didn’t try these out but there a lot of options.

With a pro account you can create as many collections and sets as you like. You can set any set or individual photo as private. You can have family and friend rules set up so you decide who gets to see which private photos. There is a contact/profile system and forums for each of the many flickr groups.

Your a band and need an album cover? Image for a flyer? You can search photos with creative commons licenses. Many of the photos on this blog are found in the flickr creative common pool. Many times the only requirement to use a photo is you leave a credit.

Lastly is the peace of mind knowing that when your band mates smash your computer in a drunken rage all your photos are safely backed up on flickr!

photo credit: spo0nman

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

5 thoughts on “Why every musician should have a flickr pro account.”

  1. Another interesting cool surprise I just discovered on flickr is that any photo you upload is available in a bunch of sizes including 3 small sizes. So for example any photo is already avatar size. Flickr even has a little copy/paste code box ready for you so you can embed the image other places.

  2. Great post! I find I spend a lot of time reposting photos between my blog, myspace, facebook and my party crews photo gallery and usually miss somewhere or just get lazy. Definitely need to check this out.

  3. Hi Oliver:

    I thought this website designed to introduce new musical talent to the world would be of great interest to you and your readers. All free, no gimmicks.


    If you have any questions I’d be happy to help.

    Thank you, Glenn

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