Free promotion for amateur photographers
Here are the best places where you can get the ball rolling:
1Flickr.com: This is by far the best community for photography lovers (and because of that also for all the photographers out there). All you need to do is sign up. If you already have a Yahoo e-mail address then you will be able to log in automatically. The main advantages are that you can subscribe and post to groups, make friends, tag, receive feedback, etc. You can also send e-mail notifications. The main advantage is that you may receive a lot of constructive criticism and increase your visibility in no time if your pictures are good thanks to the tagging system. The main problem is that you can only upload 200 photos (if you want to upload more then you need to upgrade to a paid version of the account).
2Facebook.com: Nowadays everyone has got a Facebook account. The more friends you have in your network, the merrier you get. Fan pages are less likely to work (who are you for wanting me to be your fan dude?!). Start up a regular page and add as many friends as you can. A hyper-active social life might help in this regard. You may add as many photo albums as you wish and share them on your profile (they automatically show up in your friends’ homepage) or mail them to your friends. You decide upon who can see your work and who can not. The main advantage is the possibility to set up a HUGE social network with members from all over the world. There are lots of photographic groups which you can join and where you can post your photos. The main disadvantage is that you can not tag and you have little control over the way your photos might be used (a copy-paste operation is enough to get your pictures, so maybe you might want to post in low-resolution).
3Behance.net: This is a portal where artists can exhibit creative portfolios. You have the advantage of a black background and you can post as many albums as you wish. There is a gallery of featured people and teams according to relevance criteria such as most viewed, most discussed, most appreciated. The main advantage is that you have the possibility to meet interesting people with whom you could collaborate and who might give you some important pieces of advice. There is a tip exchange area as well as a job list updated with available positions from all over the world. The disadvantage is that the visibility is rather global than local. Thus the chances of actually getting a gig and going pro depend much on your talent, but also on luck.
4Jpgmag.com: This is an online magazine which has undergone a drastic boom from its creation. There are 226,458 active members. Join them and you can post up to 20 photos a day. You can create a network of friends and receive important feedback. The main advantage is that you can enter the theme contests which they organize. If you win then you get published! The main disadvantage is the tremendous competition.
There are other important sites where you can post your work. But that’s the topic for a future article so stay tuned and keep shooting!