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As a photographer, you are constantly looking out for more exposure for your work. The starting point for showcasing your images as a photographer is definitely your own photography portfolio website, but you should not stop there. Participating in online photography communities, photography forums, and social media networks is an essential part of a photographer’s marketing toolkit.
- Photo staging can breathe life into your product shots, adding both movement and intimacy. When you take product photos in real life settings, customers can better imagine using, wearing or showing off your product. Establishing a relationship between buyer and product, and, more importantly, between buyer and you, can do wonders for.
- Shotkit Photography Presets TOP PICK. 2 sets of 100% free Lightroom presets – one for wedding photography, and the other for generic types of photography. Just download, unzip, and add to your Lr presets folder, to import and use the next time you edit. Brusheezy Photoshop Brushes & PSDs.
- If you’ve decided to use professional product photographers, POW Products On White Photography is a resource worth considering. The Chicago-based studio is dedicated to product photography and features transparent, reasonable pricing. Users have easy access to its online gallery for free proofing and image downloads.
Why should you join an online photography forum or community?
Market your photography business
A Photo community is a great place to generate exposure for your work and traffic for your photography website. You would often find collaborators and even clients on many of these photography forums and communities.
Share your photography work and get feedback:
Sharing your work on an online community for photographers can help you get feedback and constructive criticism that can be of great help in evaluating your work and improving areas where you are lagging.
Stay updated with the latest photography trends, news, and gadgets:
On active communities such as Fstoppers and Reddit, etc., there is a lot of discussion on new cameras, lenses, etc. You would also find animated discussions on the trends in photography and what the future holds.
Get a sense of community and camaraderie:
As you become actively involved in the best photography forums and communities, you get a sense of comradeship with fellow photographers. For example, on Createxplore, you can find 'creators' ready to shoot some unique, professional-standard photos for low cost or free! You can join as a creator to accumulate ratings and feedback. Many of the online communities spill over in the offline space too, with meetups organized frequently. It's a great way of making friends and interacting with fellow photographers.
There are lots of photography forums for beginners and communities out there. Each one of them has its own distinct focus and tonality. Which community would fit your purpose or personality better can only be answered by diving in and participating.
Here is the list of top 20 online photography communities and forums for photographers:
For Photo Sharing and Feedback
While this guide is not about social platforms, we can't help but include Instagram here. IG has emerged as the playground for many successful photographers. Photography is one of the most popular themes on Instagram, with millions of photographers sharing their images using Instagram hashtags for photographers. There are also several big hub pages with millions of followers which re-post and publish photographs and can bring you tonnes of exposure. Amongst the mÃ©lange of communities on Instagram, @Bkstreetart is a favorite haunt of street photographers. With 65,083 followers, it’s been highly successful in stirring up conversations on street art. Another, @bns_sky or Best Nature Shot allows feature, follow and tag options for uploaders.
Check out this guide on how to use Instagram for photographers.
VSCO is another big photography community which allows its users to add, edit, and share photos. VSCO has filters for effects as well as other editing tools. Their 'Discover' section has community stories and creative tutorials for photographers. Like Instagram, you can follow other creators and share your work as well.
On first glance, Flickr might appear a bit too large for its own good, with a tonne of sub-par action and general discussions going on. However, if you dig deeper, would find a lot of high-quality photography groups and communities still active on Flickr. Themes such as street photography, black and white portraits, surreal photography, film photography, people photography, landscapes photography, etc. are quite popular on Flickr.
The Street Photography Now Community (SPNC) allows images to be added by invitation-only. Into its fourth year, the groups work in a very off-beat way! They also have an informational newsletter to which you can subscribe. The invitation-only model ensures the community does not stray into unknown territory and knows who it' adding as a member.
500pixels is another community extremely popular for photo sharing. Photographers all across the globe are keeping track of the pulse of each others photographs. If you're seeking to build great global exposure, this is the site to be. 500px community rewards high-quality work, and if you are careful about curating the images that you showcase on 500px, you can easily get featured on its homepage and get massive exposure.
Behance by Adobe is a free online community for artists. A lot of photographers are using this platform to showcase their work and get feedback from the community. Their clean and appealing design is their biggest selling point. Photographers who want to collaborate with other artists can do so on their platform. And being part of the Adobe Family, Behance is integrated with other Adobe products.
Reddit is called the home page of the internet for valid reasons. Reddit draws millions of active users every day and its photography sub-reedits are some of the most active photography forums that you would find online.
Starting with the /r/photography subreddit which has over 300,000 followers, you can gradually start participating in other niche subreddits based on your interests.
Just make sure that you are not aggressive about just marketing yourself and promoting your work. Reddit users prefer and appreciate genuine participation and giving, so do comment and contribute to active discussions and build up your Reddit Karma.
EyeEm as a photography community is quite popular in Asia and Europe and is gaining followers in the US as well. In many ways, EyeEm is like a mix of Instagram and 500Px. EyeEm has one of the nicest designs and enables photographers to share images with tagging and geotagging. EyeEm has a lot of Instagram like filters as well (EyeEm introduced filters before Instagram!). Photographers can now even sell their images on the EyeEm marketplace.
OneEyeland is a super, selective photography community with top-notch content. What makes OneEyeland stand out is that expert photographers manually vet all contributions before becoming public posts. OneEyeland's features photo galleries by some of the world's finest photographers and its stringent quality standards shine through the body of work it does approve.
For Photography Tutorials
9. Digital Photography Review
DPReview has become one of the best online forums for everything related to digital photography. Digital Photography Review has tonnes of articles, reviews, how-tos on all aspects of digital photography. If there is one website that you want to refer before you make any purchase of digital cameras or any other photography equipment, you are sure to find detailed product reviews, being guides and user discussion forums on this website.
Tuts+ provide valuable tutorials and courses for various niche areas – photography and videography being one of them. Other than their well-fabricated blog, the keynotes of the site are e-books and jobs section.
11. Digital Photography School
DPS is possibly the top photography learning website for the new age of digital photography. There are a lot of photography tips and tricks, how-to articles, tutorials, and guides on all aspects of digital photography and post-processing. DPS features extremely active photography forums as well.
12. DIY Photography
DIY Photography started in 2016 to focus on providing expert advice and how-to articles written primarily on the topic of creating and fixing your photography gear. The DIY focus of the website has made it a big hit amongst photographers.
Strobist is a fantastic photography resource focussed only on the art and technique of lighting. Specifically, Strobist focuses on using lights and off-camera flash to take your photography to the next level.
The free Lighting 101 course is perfect for beginners as it starts from the very basics of lighting and explains everything that you need to know for using lighting in your photo shoots.
Photo.net is a large community of enthusiast, beginner and pro photographers with a vast repository of content available for photographers. With a lot of articles, online courses for photography and active photography forums for beginners, Photo.net has something for anyone interested in photography.
15. Photography Talk
Photography talk is a great digital photography community to find how to articles, e-books, and other guides. The site also has a place for forums for discussions. The forum is well designed and divided into categories like gear reviews, photography tips, galleries, editing, etc.
For Photography News
16. This week in photo
This week in Photo is the place to go for all the latest news, insights and scoops on photography events, gear and cameras.
17. Pop Photo
September earth wind and fire.
PopPhoto is buzzing with news on best photography workshops, contest, and events. It also has detailed reviews of the latest photography gadgets, cameras and lenses tested by photographers. Based on its reviews, this forum site also features a buying guide for photographers where it features recommendations on photography gear that it has tested.
PopPhoto's photography forum is also pretty active and has a vibrant community posting every day.
18. Photo Contest Insider
If you're struggling to keep yourself updated with the latest contests in competitions, then fret not. Photo contest insider does the legwork and gives you a comprehensive list of all the photo contests you can participate in.
GuruShots is all about photo contests for everyone - from beginners up to pros. GuruShots brings in the community aspects of peer-to-peer reviews in photo contests, wherein the winners are chosen based by the number of votes their images get from their peers (users on Gurushots). Gurushots is great to get feedback on your images - images that get a lot of votes tend to get featured on the home page, and contest winners also get a lot of exposure.
Photography Discussion Boards
LightStalking offers a ton of guides, articles, and freebies for photographers. But where it truly shines and sets itself apart from other such sites is its forums. The LightStalking's popular online forums are very active discussion boards featuring everything from general photography chit-chat (70,000+ posts) to Photography Challenges (25,000 posts)
This photography community provides the 'top resources for photography lighting, gear reviews, business tips, behind the scenes, and industry news.' The community features a 'picture of the day' of its clients and enables fellow photographers to comment and give feedback actively. If you thrive on a stimulating discussion about the latest camera equipment, this is the place to catch all the latest buzz!
With over 150,000 registered users and 30,00,000 posts, The Photo Forum is one of the most active resources on Photography and Digital Photography. Structured into various categories, The Photo Forum has active discussion boards for everything - contests, general photography news, beginners, photo critique, camera reviews, and much more.
23. Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums
With close to 400k members, Photography on the Net is one of the best online forums out there. This forum is said to be the go-to place for canon gears. Apart from discussing all photography things, you can showcase your work as well. Although you can browse most of the content on this photo forum as a guest, for posting and viewing some threads, you need to register first.
24. Photography Forum
This photography forum discusses the need to improve the skills of photographers. You have separate threads on landscapes, portraits, wedding, etc. The forums here are also divided into topics based on the skill levels of the photographer.
For Business of Photography
25. Photo Attorney
While running a photography business, the redundant legalities that come with it can be daunting. All the worries akin to copyrighting photographs can be put to sleep because of cogent solutions provided by Photo Attorney.
With so many photography communities and forums to participate in, you need to quickly find the best 4-5 online photography communities and forums that you want to be actively engaged with and slowly move up the chain and become a valuable, contributing member of those communities.
So get going on the photography forums and communities and be a part of ones that make your journey as a professional photographer ever more rewarding and beautiful. Although you can showcase your work in some of the above sites, a professional website for your portfolio has its place. Create your portfolio at Pixpa by signing up for a 15-day free trial.
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There’s no way around it. Product photography has a major impact on how customers perceive your brand and its products.
When you use high-quality images and professional photo editing:
- Your products look more valuable — so you can charge more for them.
- Your store look more professional and trustworthy — which can build your brand reputation.
You don’t have to be an expert to master photo editing, as there are hundreds of tools and services that can help you whip your product photography into shape.
In this post, we’re sharing 14 of the best photo editing software tools that are both free and paid.
Best Paid Photo Editing Software and Services
Paid photo editing software is generally more advanced than free versions. Additionally, all photo editing services incur at least a small fee for you to outsource your editing. This makes paid software and services the best option for eCommerce stores with a high volume of product images or a desire to be more creative with editing.
Subscription Photo Editing Software
PicMonkey is a web-based subscription photo editing software. It provides all the expected professional editing tools, including resizing, adjusting exposure, and retouching. You can also use it to add graphics or text to your images. If you prefer, you can download the PicMonkey app for iPhone or Android.
This option is a simple and user-friendly photo editor that’s geared for beginners to photo editing. You can purchase a Basic subscription for $9.99 a month, a Pro subscription for $12.99 a month, or a Team subscription for $33.99 a month.
Adobe Lightroom is used by many professional photographers. It is a cloud-based software which means you can use it to back up your images or access your edits and images across all devices. It also offers organization capabilities, including a search feature for lost or miscategorized images you need to retrieve.
Lightroom is available as a monthly subscription. There are three different options: one that offers more cloud storage space ($9.99 a month), one that offers additional editing tools ($9.99 a month), and one that offers both cloud storage space and additional editing tools ($19.99 a month).
Adobe Photoshop is a popular photo editing tool with advanced editing capabilities. This feature-rich tool allows you to make extensive image corrections as well as to add graphic design elements for promotional images or marketing assets. Keep in mind that a tool of this caliber and extensive features may require some training to get up to speed.
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For individuals, pricing ranges from $9.99 to $89.98 per month, depending on the services and features you want includes.
One-Time Payment Photo Editing Software
Corel PaintShop Pro
PaintShop Pro is a popular photo editing software that you can download to your PC — provided it uses Windows 10 (it is not compatible with Mac).
In addition to the basic photo editing tools, PaintShop Pro also allows you to edit raw images, to create animations with your photos or to add drawings or text. For a one-time payment of $79.99, it’s marketed as the “affordable alternative to Photoshop.” (Photoshop is about $10 a month or $120 a year.)
Alien Skin Exposure X4
Alien Skin Exposure X4 can be purchased as standalone software for Mac or Windows, or it can be purchased as a plug-in for Photoshop or Lightroom.
What differentiates this software from others is that it merges all its features into a single screen, compared to other software that may open different screens for organizing files, editing, or exporting. You can use Exposure X4 for all professional editing, including batch-editing with preset filters to save time. The regular version is $114 and the bundle version is $149.
Photo Editing Services for Outsourcing
Pixelz is marketed as an on-demand retouching service, and it exclusively serves eCommerce companies for product photography. You send your images to Pixelz to be retouched to eliminate flaws or remove or replace the background, and you receive back the edited images within 24 hours.
In addition to paying a small fee per photo, you pay a subscription every month. For solo entrepreneurs the cost is $9 a month, for small to midsize companies it’s $95 a month, and for large companies with a high volume of images it’s $1,995 a month.
Fix the Photo
Fix the Photo is an established photo editing outsourcing service that offers everything from editing wedding photos to retouching product photography.
For product photography, they offer image cropping, color correction, noise reduction, and background removal. At the Basic Level, editing is a flat rate of $2 per photo, but there are discounts for volume orders.
Best Free Photo Editing Software for Mac and Windows
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The best free photo editing software for Windows 10 and Mac are enticing alternatives to more advanced paid options, especially if your product images don’t require creative editing or significant adjustments. In addition, free photo editing software is often easier to learn for beginners than high-tech software.
Free Built-in Photo Editing Software
Apple Photos includes basic editing capabilities, and it is automatically downloaded to your Apple devices. It offers a surprising number of features, including the ability to edit raw images. If you simply want to retouch or sharpen your images, then your built-in Apple Photos editor may be all you need.
Google Drive Editor
Google Drive Editor is one of the best free options for photo editing software for Windows 10 and Mac, because it integrates seamlessly with your Google Drive. This makes it easy to store and organize photos for editing. The editing options are basic, but if your images are already high quality, you may not need to get a more advanced photo editor. You can sharpen images, enhance with filters, or rotate and crop.
Free Web-Based Photo Editing Software
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Fotor is a user-friendly photo editing software you can use right from your browser. It’s designed for beginners to photo editing and is one of the most popular choices for web-based photo editing software. You can selective blur, retouch, add filters, add lettering or graphics, and more. And it’s completely free!