How Much of Your Work Do You Share?

With the abundant presence of an online photography community, many of us choose to share our photos through one avenue or another (or many). It may be Flickr, SmugMug, DeviantArt, personal photoblogs, and many more sites and services that we can utilize. But no matter where we post our photos, we all have to decide how many of them to post.

Having been on Flickr for nearly two years, I’ve observed that there are three types of photographers sharing their photos:

  1. Share only the best of the best
  2. Share everything and anything
  3. Somewhere between the two

You know what I’m talking about. Some photographers post one photo per day (or maybe even per week), and that photo is a masterpiece in their own mind. Then there are those who post what appears to be everything straight off the memory card.

I find myself somewhere between the two, posting between 3 and 5 photos each day. The photos aren’t my absolute best, but I like each of them enough to justify my minimum 5-10 minutes/photo of keywording, captioning, titling, and processing. I probably post 25-50% of my film shots and 10-20% of my digital shots, averaging out to maybe 35% of my photos being posted. In fact, I just checked the photos from my last mixed-medium photowalk and that number is almost spot on at 36% (or 55/151 photos).

So where do you stand with your photo sharing? Take a guess at what percent of your total shots make it to the online community.


We also ran a poll some months ago about photo-sharing frequency that had more to do with how many photos you post. Check it out, it supplements this topic quite well, but it’s a different question entirely.

18 thoughts on “How Much of Your Work Do You Share?

  1. Jim Goldstein

    Funny I’ve been thinking about this consciously for several months now. I tend to post far less than 5% of the photographs I take. There are several reasons for this, but mostly due to time constraints and competing projects. I prefer to post my best, but I will break out of that at a moments notice if the subject material of my photography is pertinent to current issues. Good to see I’m not the only one thinking about such things. It’ll be interesting to read how others approach sharing their work.

  2. the_wolf_brigade

    I find that I rarely post more than one shot from each roll unless it was shot with the specific purpose of sharing the entire roll.

    I do shoot a substantial amount though, going through at least a roll every two days, if not a roll/sheet a day. I guess I’m doing well enough to even share one shot from the roll, but at this point I’ve just started scanning rolls from months ago that I’d never seen before…

  3. Janne

    I share perhaps 80-90%. That is out of the saveable pictures of course; I don’t count anything I delete before processing – mistakes and failures, multiple shots of the same subject and so on. The ones I don’t share are almost always pictures of friends, family or work that I haven’t asked permission to post online.

    Overall, I seem to save about 80% of film shots and 25% of digital.

  4. laanba

    I post between 70-80%, but as Janne mentioned that is also out of the photos that make it through my photo gauntlet. :)

    My workflow is centered around my photoblog. It has taken me years to figure out how to balance it with Flickr and I’m finally happy with the way it works. Each week I put up a new theme based on a where and what I shot. I go through and delete the photos that are just bad. I then make several more passes deleting more and more as I go. Lightroom is terrific for helping me compare photos. Once I’m down to the ones I think I’ll keep I start processing. When I’m done I pick the 5 that I think will tell the best story and those go on the photoblog. I export the rest to put on Flickr where I keep my "b-roll" for each theme. Even then I usually leave a few out before I do my final upload.

    Whew. That was probably more than you wanted to know, but it explains my 70-80% number.

    As for my toy camera photos, which is a burgeoning hobby, I probably show about 40-50%.

  5. Raquel

    Being a more casual photographer, I only like to share the shots that are worth while showing off on Flickr. Right now, it’s a rather small number.

    The rest of my photos tend to be snapshots capturing spur of the moment memories that are mostly valuable to me.

  6. Dave Wilson

    My posting frequency depends upon the kind of photography I have been doing. I may take 100 shots at one of my kids’ soccer matches then not post any (or post them on my "family news" Flickr account rather than my "real" one) but post 75% of the shots I take on a planned shoot. The average probably comes out to somewhere between 10 and 20% though.

  7. Gary

    I haven’t given much thought to a percent, and it’s difficult to even come up with one…

    I’m like you, falling into the "Somewhere in between" category. Most of my photos of my kids don’t make it to flickr, just the ones that are more artistic or interesting. I don’t like to post more than 3 at a time, because they seem to get lost on flickr if they are not at the top of my stream for a day.

    When I go out ‘shooting’, my goal is to get 2 or 3 shots that I would be proud to have in my stream… Some others might be ok, that I will hang on to in case I have a special project to do in the future that needs some stock-type shots. The rest are PURGED!

  8. jerry deese

    I guess I am somewhere in between. Some of the photo that I post are probably only fantastic through my eyes. It is usually a moment I captured (generally the family) that I want to hang onto. Some of those I think are good enough to share.

    My nature or still life shots, I generally pick the best couple of them and decide if it is worth posting more than one.

  9. jeff

    I post a fairly small amount, most of it in batches after a specific trip. I unfortunately haven’t made this into as regular a hobby as I’d like, so most of the non-travel photo stuff I’m doing is family (mostly my niece and nephew), and I post those separately in private Flickr sets.

    During travel I also fall victim to the ease of shooting digital, and shoot a lot. My trip to Egypt in December resulted in over 3500 photos, of which I posted 64 publicly on Flickr.

    It’s amazing how digital has changed my mentality in regards to shooting. I think back to my Semester at Sea experience in college 10 years ago, 100 days visiting 10 countries around the world and I shot 31 rolls of film, around 1000 shots. I I had that opportunity again with digital, I’m sure I’d be into the 10′s of thousands of shots…

  10. Andrew

    It really depends on whether it’s personal photography or work… my work stuff doesn’t usually make it online until its a photo of a tear sheet. Personal stuff though, I’d say between 10 and 20%.

  11. Eric

    Just going by Lightroom numbers – of the 30,000 images I have in the database, I’ve posted abut 3,000 of them online. So it’s a smidge over 10%.

    That’s kind of an unfair analysis though. A lot of that 30,000 are shots I’ve bracketed in one form or another. If I’m out and see a picture I want to take, I might experiment with different exposure settings, slighting different angles and whatnot. So I might have 10 frames of the same thing. I choose the best later, but it’s really just one photo I took 10 times, and for some reason I never delete anything. I can’t say what the real number would be though – maybe a third of that?

    Either way, at the end of the day I’m an in-betweener. I try not to post shots that are too similar to shots I’ve posted already (though I did back in the beginning). I’m a little more selective these days because I have a better eye now than when I began… but I try to post at least one photo a day. Many of them are only good photos in my mind, many are just "filler" because I’d rather post something than nothing.

    I might be envious of the guys who post only one photo a week or one a month to Flickr that inevitably gets a gazillion views and faves, but I’d be kind of annoyed with myself if I’d been at this for years and only had fifty photos to show for it, even if they’re really good. On the flip side my eyes glaze over when I come across a stream that has 20 shots only slightly different from one another. When looking at other photographer’s work, I like to see an evolution, a process, I like to see the flawed shots as much as I do perfect ones. That’s what makes it fun to me.

  12. Tanya Plonka

    I used to be somewhere in between as far as Flickr was concerned, but with a free account you run out of room pretty quickly, and I’ve never found reason to justify paying for it. Now what I do is post my favorite 1-2 from a shoot, and provide a link back to my blog where I may have a few more.

    I still try to keep my blog images down to a reasonable number so that people don’t lose interest as they start scrolling down ;)

  13. Joanie

    Many times I upload almost everything from a shoot because I’ll use the set as proofs. But, there are jjust as many times when I only post a few shots. Sometimes none of the photos from a shoot make it online because there’s simply too much going on.

    I’ve determined that I’m horribly random about my uploading habits. I have decided, though, to be more consistent this year, especially because I really like the idea of having all my photos somewhere other than on my computer, on my external hard drive, and on various disks…just in case.

    What I’ve found rather intriguing is that when I upload a whole shoot, the shots I consider the least appealing are often the ones other people seem to like more. It’s been interesting and it serves as a good reminder that not everyone is going to like the same thing. It’s a good way of keeping me on my toes.

  14. Brian Auer Post author

    Great discussion! It’s interesting to hear the different rationales and posting habits.

    By the looks of the poll numbers, it appears that I post a higher percentage of my shots than most. I guess a lot of that is due to the fact that most of my work in on film now. It’s not uncommon to post half a roll on Flickr, especially the medium format shots.

    I have 2 main reasons for posting as many as I do:

    1. If I don’t post them, they’ll just sit on my hard drive and be forgotten. What good are they then?
    2. I use Flickr as a testing ground to see which photos are more popular and possibly worthy of more time and effort in preparation for print sales.

    It’s always interesting to see which photos people latch onto.

  15. Andrew M

    I tend to post a lot of my work to various sites when I have the time to actually sit down and review and process my photographs. Being a passionate amateur, with no firm aspirations to break into professional circles at this stage, my photography is something I love doing, but it’s not always the highest priority for me in life to process, and/or share my work.

    I post my material for the following reasons:

    1. To get them off my hard disk, and allow people to actually see my work
    2. To increase the exposure of my work within my circle of friends, who do ask me to take photos for them from time to time.
    3. To try and make the odd dollar to keep me in nice glass, and other toys to support this photograpy habit! :)

  16. Atniz

    I’m not in photograph industry yet. As a blogger, you also need to be a good photographer. Nice pictures always attracts visitors to stay longer on our site. I always share most of my work in internet marketing strategies. Only, 10-20% I will keep for myself to make some extra cash. Others are free to others to make some green too.

  17. Pingback: What’s Your Experience With Film Photography?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>