The Internet is a vast resource of information. We’re able to research everything, from a scholarly journal to the latest news in pop culture. But it can get rather daunting. Thinking of the right terms to use in your search, or even thinking of something fun to look into can be a little tedious – and, let’s be honest, how often do we go past the front page of Google’s results?
With all that in mind, we at KitSplit compiled a list of the best photography websites. Check it out!
Instagram is a titan of social media and for good reason. If you’re not familiar with how Instagram works, just think of Facebook’s News Feed, except Instagram only allows you to post a singular photo and a caption to go with it. This makes for a very clean interface, one not muddled with a lot of text, ads, or birthday announcements. The benefit being Instagram is great to keep in touch with the people in your life without all the clutter. In addition to the photo-making, they also just announced a new service called Boomerang, which allows you to make a one second video that will get looped in perpetuity.
When it comes to marketing, Instagram incorporates a very efficient hashtag system in order to reach audiences outside of the people that already follow you. This has enabled people to become quite famous solely through their service. Do a quick Google search, and you’ll be bombarded with articles featuring popular photographers you can follow for inspiration. Once you find your niche, you too will be able to carve yourself into one of the many communities and make a name for yourself!
500px doesn’t boast as many users as Flickr (roughly 6 million registered users), but they tailor to a different sort of crowd. There’s a little more emphasis on style and art, where Flickr is a sort of catchall for everything you’ve kept in your photographic arsenal. 500px is the type of place to showcase your best work.
500px also has something called a “Popular” page. They use an algorithm to determine the “pulse” of your photo, and if it gets in the 99.0 range, you’re almost guaranteed a top spot on the front page. Don’t be discouraged by the amount of users, though, because there are also pages for “Upcoming” and “Fresh” photos, in order to get your photographs seen so they can skyrocket to the top. If voting, feedback, and ratings is your thing, then check out 500px.
The iron workhorse of photo-sharing websites, Flickr has been around since 2004 and is host to some ~87 million users. With over 6 billion images uploaded and continuing to grow, it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And amongst the many stellar amenities Flickr provides, it boasts an excellent tagging system to help get your photos seen (and faved!) by people all around the world, as well as a very efficient search system to gain some inspiration.
One other very cool service Flickr provides is the ability to purchase your prints in a variety of mediums. You can buy a traditional photo book, put together any way you like, as well as other options — a canvas wrap and photo mount, for example. Let’s just say there’s nothing cooler than seeing your own picture on your wall, hung up.
Something to note is that Flickr is taking quite a bit of flack for some of their business decisions lately, to the point where some popular publications are even recommending fleeing from the service. That’s not to say Flickr is going to collapse anytime soon, but it might be time to question the future of the service, and where you see yourself in the process.
SmugMug is a paid service, but it’s affordable. Their lowest service, “basic,” rates at $3.34/month, and they offer a variety of tools to really make your page pop, for those who want more control over their page. SmugMug is essentially your own personal website for all your photos – think a less complicated WordPress. The real focus is on producing a very flattering webpage for your portfolio. You can also use it recreationally, possibly like a cool spot for a family photo album people can view.
SmugMug’s big draw is their themes. When you sign up with SmugMug you’re presented with dozens of preset themes in which to choose from, and you also have the ability to customize them or create your own from scratch. Suffice it to say, the more money you’re willing to spend, the more features you’ll get. A couple examples include: using your own domain, enabling right-click protection, and adding custom watermarks to your images. If you’re looking for a fully customizable page to plaster your best photos on, SmugMug would be worth the look.
News & Tutorials
Popular Photo is chock-full of photo news, gear reviews, buying guides, and a plethora of tutorials. Believe me when I tell you it’s pretty easy to get lost for an hour or so on this site. The interface is bright and welcoming, the articles are smartly scribed, and all the information is updated daily; in addition to a vast archive of goodies to look through. Pop Photo is a good place to keep updated on the most recent news in the photography world, as well as a great source for interesting tutorials and inspiration.
PetaPixel is a photography news source worth incorporating into your daily routine. Their daily articles are well-written and plentiful, the website is easy on the eyes, and it’s easy to navigate. Not too mention there is a lively comment section beneath a majority of their posts, especially ones dealing with controversial subjects — for example, their recent article about Flickr.
The news feed on their homepage deals with everything from new product launches to tutorials to opinion pieces, and if you want to delve into specific subjects they have them categorized at the top of the site. It really is a great website because you get to look at their own personal feed right there on the front page, constantly updating with fresh content from their own writers.
PetaPixel is the place to go for breaking photography news and we couldn’t recommend them enough.
A very solid go-to for tips and tutorials, with a deep archive for beginners. Digital Photography School is a smart place to start for the budding enthusiast. They have an entire section devoted to beginners, offering varying degrees of difficulty, incorporating topics as baseline as “How to Hold a Digital Camera” and “Introduction to ISO.” If you’re looking for a non-threatening website that will show you the ropes, leading you onto the next appropriate steps, then DPS is ideal.
You don’t have to be a member of Reddit to enjoy the endless vat of information it provides, but if you aren’t, you should seriously consider it. Between the weekly editing and submission challenges, to the constant flux of top-notch articles “upvoted” to the front page, Reddit’s photography subreddit is a very active community worth your time. Not only can you post questions directly related to your situation, but you can also view others’ inquiries, possibly gaining unsolicited information on a topic you knew nothing about. Reddit is a great place to meet new people, and discover articles on websites you may not otherwise have known existed. Join the club, and they’ll welcome you with open arms!
Digital Photography Review is the spot to go if you want to get serious about researching new gear. With extensive reviews on numerous products, and a message board frequented with people as smart as some of their reviewers, DPR is undoubtedly a great place to visit before a purchase. One feature unmatched is their side-by-side comparison of cameras and lenses. All you have to do is pick what gear you would like to compare (up to 20), and DPR will place all of your choices next to each other. It’s a really handy tool, and definitely worth checking out.
This is a really nifty service, especially if you’ve bought used or refurbished. As the title implies, Camera Shutter Count is a website that will tell you the exact shutter count of your camera, and all you have to do is take a picture and upload it to the site. So, if you just recently bought a used or refurbished camera, you now have the ability to find out precisely how used it really is. The site hosts a large selection of cameras, so give it look if you’re curious!
B&H has quite literally anything you would want from a photo/video superstore. Based out of NYC, B&H is constantly offering up great deals, and stocks practically every piece of gear you can imagine. The photography department is premium, but they also carry everything from GoPro’s, TVs, and computers. I would highly recommend starting out here before you start pilfering the Internet for any other deals. You’re going to find great gear at really good prices.
If you don’t want to spend the cash on something new right now, then check us out at KitSplit. No matter what it is, from a Canon 5d Mark III to a Phantom 3, a specific lens or lighting accessories, we’re the place to go. Our community is the friendliest, coolest people around, and you should be a part of it! Camera sharing is super flexible, because it’s powered by people. Meeting times, prices, and rental dates are all determined by the lenders and you, so there’s no need to worry about store hours. It’s MUCH more affordable too. If you haven’t already, rent some gear from a local photographer or list your own to earn some nice cash.