This life in pictures.

A Rambling Diatribe in Which I Attempt to Justify Giving My Work Away for Free

I have been battling a cold (and losing) for the better part of this last week, so I can’t say I’ve shot much of anything for a while. I’ve had a couple of non-shooting posts in mind for a few weeks, though and here’s one of them:

While I have publicly written about my move away from the Flickr, I must admit that I still check in daily. Right from the beginning, I made the choice to assign the licencing of my photos as “attribution/non-commercial/share alike” creative commons. This means I allow anyone else to use my photo in whole or in part within their own projects, as long as they attribute the photo to me and provide a link back to me. As an amateur photographer, I figured it to be a useful way of getting more eyes on my work. So far it’s worked out, although some puzzling instances have occurred, such as repeated and varied links to my photos from sites that don’t appear to have any photos and daily hits from Korean language search engines.

You might be wondering how I can track this sort of information. The answer is simple, I have a Flickr Pro account. With it, you get a dearth of daily information regarding what photos are being looked at and where the hits are coming from, among other things. You can even see what search engine keywords (is “keyword” still acceptable internet jargon? I’m a bit too light headed to care) are getting you noticed. As an aside, titling the photo below “Rotten Teeth” has resulted in multiple daily views… hooray poor dental hygene! I’m just happy the photo is decent enough to stand out in the search engine line-up.


Getting juice from search engines is all well and good, but what really gets me excited is when one of my photos gets used as stock photography. I know, someone is getting something for nothing and I should be getting paid for my work. At this level, however, I still feel that the number of viewers who click through the photo to my Flickr page is payment enough. It falls to me now to set up a vehicle for getting those eyes through to a print ordering system or something.

Blame It on the Blue Star


So far, I believe I’ve had photos used on three or four sites. The one above was most recently used on an educational community website, Unfortunately, Flickr only allows you to view the past two days of data on links. I feel lucky that in all cases, the sites using my stuff haven’t been personally offensive. Each has also been good for several visits to my Flickr site per day when the post is current and a couple more per week when the article gets pushed to the archives. It’s free eye candy for the user and free advertising for me, and that’s the short of it. If I were to start producing work with the intention of selling the licencing, I might have to rethink my position. For now, however, I’m happy to share.

Of course, my Flickr Pro account is up for renewal. Now I have to decide if the data tracking is worth the $30. I’ll save that for another time.


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