Flickr is great place to share your images, commune with other photographers, and even earn a little extra money. But, it is not the place for your professional portfolio.
Every serious photographer needs to offer prospects a professional portfolio online. Today, physical portfolios are optional; Web portfolios are standard for any photographer seeking business.
An online portfolio should be displayed on a creative Web site. A photographer may create her own, hire a designer, or enlist the services of a professional hosting service geared toward creative people, such as Livebooks.
Using a blog is good option. It offers many advantages over a standard Web site, such as easy updating and search engine optimization advantages. But, a blog also has some of the same drawbacks as Flickr.
Flickr is a community-building site. A photographer may share hundreds or thousands of images with the Flickr community. People can comment on photographs and share ideas. It’s a place where a photographer can get a second opinion on photography styles or a lighting scenarios. Most often the site is used to share images with friends and family.
Friends, family and random comments connected to your photos do not belong in your portfolio. It is not professional. A portfolio should be created and controlled to show a photographer’s very best work.
Flickr accounts often contain hundreds of unrelated images. A photographer should not make a potential client work hard to find her best photography. In most cases, the prospect will not even try. A portfolio needs to be organized and specific.
If the first few images are not what a customer is looking for, they will move on. If a potential client, unless they are looking for cheap stock images, notices a few images that offer a style that connects with them they may look for a Web site link. The photographer’s Web site is where the sale is made. If no site is available, then it may be assumed the photographer is an amateur and not for hire.
Opportunity lost. No fooling.