The best communities for photographers in 2022

Let’s be honest, photographers are really pissed off on Instagram. They considered places like TikTok and more, but those are spaces for content creators. Fortunately, there are still communities that believe photographers are valuable. So we’ve rounded up some of the best communities for photographers. Looking to ditch Instagram? Consider one of these places and find yourself a new home.

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VSCO: a nice place for photographers who hate comments

What is that? VSCO has been around for many years and has remained on the path to sustainability. It is a company that mainly focuses on creating tools for photographers in the form of presets and a few other novelties. From what company executives have told us, we interpret that VSCO will stay the course on creating tools. But they’re apparently going to improve on what Behance has been trying to do for photographers as well.

VSCO relies on sales to generate revenue. You can buy subscriptions and their tools for photographers.

Value for photographers: The value here comes in the form of having lots of different presets to work with. But there’s also the benefit of using VSCO Spaces for networking with other creatives. Talking with producers and others is a good way to possibly get gigs in the future.

Ethical issues: We found no major ethical issues in our research. VSCO is quite important in protecting the rights of photographers and their images. Personally, this is one of the reasons why I consider it one of the best communities for photographers.

Behance: Adobe’s gift to photographers

What is that?: The cool thing about Behance is that it is linked to other Adobe products like Adobe Stock and more. It’s Adobe’s attempt at a social media space for creators and photographers. We use it for research and we also know that photographers collaborate with brands through it. People here are often very serious about their work, and people tend to comment on other people’s stuff if you build relationships.

Behance is totally free, and honestly, we have no idea how they get any revenue. I would consider this a loss leader for Adobe. We’ve talked about how much we love Behance for years.

Value for photographers: What’s cool is that your images can integrate with Adobe Stock. So it’s a way to sell. But also, it’s a great way to get found by publications for feature film interviews. Anyone who says publications just “use them” is probably wrong when journalists work to ensure photographers are put in the best possible light. That, and the SEO benefits of having a post link to your work help a lot.

Ethical issues: We don’t have any major ethical issues around Behance. If you upload your images, by default they are set to Creative Commons. Be sure to change that. In my eyes, Behance is one of the most ethically good things about Adobe. But if you’re not one to make excuses for billion-dollar companies, you can stay away from this one.

Flipboard: a place to deepen your passion for photography

What is that?: The fascinating thing about Flipboard is that it is above all a place of publications. But in recent years they have tried to become more of a space for photographers who create content. They have had many algorithm changes and I know a few people who use it. But obviously, I don’t know many who got paid jobs from it. However, if photography is just your passion and hobby, you will easily spend a lot of time here.

Flipboard derives its revenue from advertising. Think of them like Apple News, but much prettier in some ways.

Value for photographers: The value here is more for avid photographers than professionals. I don’t know many who got a lot of sales. So head over to Flipboard if you’re a hobbyist.

Ethical issues: We use Flipboard a lot because many readers come to us from there. In fact, we’re the largest accredited photo publication on Flipboard. Years ago, when Unsplash started, Flipboard was a sponsor. We asked Flipboard why they would do something like this, and never got an answer. Unsplash uses very deceptive tactics to trick new photographers into giving away their images for free. At the same time, photography is only a small part of what Flipboard does, and they’re not trying to take money from photographers like a company like Peak Design does.

Flickr: Yes, they are still there

What is that?: The oldest of the group here is Flickr. It’s ugly, broken and hasn’t evolved much over the years. But it works ! The communities and groups within Flickr are a bit vibrant but surely on the decline. They rely on their audience for their income and there are a few ads.

Value for photographers: The cool thing about Flickr is that it fits into stock companies. And sometimes it’s a great place to find. But we don’t know how many major publications other than those related to photography still care about Flickr. Yet it has a lasting legacy that makes it one of the best communities for photographers.

Ethical issues: We don’t have major ethical issues with Flickr, except what they do around NSFW content is weird.

Tumblr: It grew!

What is that?: The service that used to be more or less a dumping ground for porn has been trying to move away from that reputation for quite some time. And now, believe it or not, tumblr is actually a cool place for people to be geeky about their passions. Photography is one of those great passions, but it’s also a mirror for people who post on Instagram.

Tumblr makes money from ads and selling website themes. It’s much less boring than Instagram.

Value for photographers: The cool thing about Tumblr is how beautiful the desktop experience is. You can literally build your own website using Tumblr, and it will rival the best of Format and Squarespace.

Ethical issues: Honestly, we don’t have a lot of ethical issues with Tumblr. In fact, they’re pretty big on copyright protection. You retain ownership of the content you share on Tumblr. Anything you upload is considered your intellectual property. Of course, Tumblr is important enough to protect photographers and their rights. The copyright protections are huge to make it one of the best communities for photographers.

Grainery: One of the best communities for photographers shooting movies

What is that?: They’re a newcomer to the neighborhood, and Graining tries to be what Instagram used to be, but only for filmmakers. Yes, we finally have a place where we can indulge our own analog love. More of that filter applied crap.

Grainery earns money through an incredibly affordable special membership program.

Value for photographers: The value for photographers isn’t really there yet, except for your own peace of mind that you’re viewing real film scans. It’s a brand new app, so there’s still a lot of work to do. But considering what’s going on right now, it’s one of the best communities for photographers shooting movies.

Grainery, please keep influencers away with their heavily filtered photos. We just want to see a movie.

Ethical issues: We don’t have any issues with Grainery yet. It’s still incredibly new. But management seems determined to make it a nice place for photographers.

EyeEm: powered by AI and boosting sales

What is that?: The app I trusted the most for years was Eye Em. They earn money through their missions, which are competitions held with companies in collaboration. They also have a stock service. Honestly, it’s a wonderful place for photographers to discover new work, chat with others, and share their tips.

Value for photographers: What’s cool here is that you’ll actually see photos and be able to network with other creatives. Plus, they integrate with Getty Stock and Adobe Stock. I read online that a photographer made more money in eight months using EyeEm than in two years using only stock companies.

Ethical issues: We parted ways years ago working with EyeEm due to the ethics of how they used AI. They published a magazine that studied the thought processes of their editors and removed the human aspect from curating or educating about creating better photos. This is applied to the image download experience. When you give it permission to view photos from your phone, it has a “suggested” option. This uses EyeEm AI to determine what a “good photo” is. In reality, it often turns out to be quite rudimentary.

They were bought out by another company, and things are changing for sure.

To EyeEm’s credit, they’re huge on copyright protection. In fact it is quite complicated, according to their explanations. Here is a quote:

“This means that you cannot upload photos obtained from other sources, such as online image search results or websites. Also, images you have taken that are already granted exclusively to someone else cannot be uploaded either. »

These are standard policies in many ways, and they help protect the community.

It should also be noted that the photographers uploaded images to EyeEm and were not paid. And to that end, some are angry. Here is an article by photographer Michael Moeller that we have already featured. This is a reason to hesitate a photographer.

Our thoughts

You might be wondering why I didn’t list 500px. The reason is that it always seemed a bit scary to me. It was huge on nudity, and over the years I’ve heard allegations of shady and unethical dealings with funding. Their image rendering is quite nice, but those of other services are too.

Overall, all of these services are easily the best communities for photographers. Photographers are also a big category. Some of us are content creators. Others really call it our hobby and our passion. Yet others are professionals and want to find new ways to generate income. Photographers haven’t shown much love compared to musicians or others when it comes to copyright protection. But I hope that will change.

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