Every device we buy these days seems to have a camera on it but it can still be difficult to find great pictures when you need them for a website, brochure, presentation or just about any other type or print or digital media. Well what if I told you that you could tap into more photos than you would know what to do with without breaking the bank or the law. Interested?
Most of us have heard of Flickr and may even have created an account and uploaded a few pictures. So what’s the big deal? Well, Flickr has two great pieces of functionality that make it easy to take advantage of all the talent and content on its site that now has over 1.5 million photos uploaded to it daily.
- Groups: Flickr Groups allow you to create groups for just about anything. I am in local government so I would usually create a group named after the city I work for but you can be creative here. The cool thing about groups is they let you create a “Terms of Service” for joining the group, more on this later but I am pretty sure you can see where I am going…
- Geotagging: People that upload photos with location information have the ability share that location information as well. Flickr provides the ability to search photos by location. Here is a quick video on how to accomplish this: http://www.flickr.com/help/screencasts/vol2.
Now that you know about those two features, let’s talk about how to use them to build your own collection of great photos.
It is real simple:
- Create an account and upgrade it to a pro account (cost $25 for a year or 45 for two years).
- Create an appropriate group for the type of photos you are trying to acquire.
- Create a “Terms of Service” for the group.
- Search for Photos.
- When you find photos you like, post a comment asking them if they would consider adding their great photo to your group (link to your group).
- When they join the group they will have to accept the “Terms of Service”.
- Download and use the photos J
It is always good to give credit where it is due when you are using photos in a public space. Most people will share their photos with you knowing that you are a government organization and are not looking to make money on their photos. If they don’t… it is a good thing there are a lot of photos to choose from.
Check out the City or Round Rock, Texas Flickr group for an example of how this can be done. When you join the group you will be presented with a “Terms of Service” like the one below: