Two things occupied my mind this week: hosting my photographs online and starting my blog’s transition from WordPress to Ghost.
The problem with taking too many photos
Like you, I take a lot of photos every day
. Photos of my family, photos of beautiful sunsets, and photos of the occasional dessert
. For most of you, those photos live on our phone, and for some of you, they are also saved in the cloud. Mine live in hard disks at home, backed up in separate disks. My best pictures are uploaded to Google Photos for sharing them to social media when the time comes. No, I do not use the automatic Google Backup.
My workflow problem is that I don’t show my photos to the world the same day I took them. And that breaks my heart.
Like you, I want to share that epic sunrise photo the day I took it and caption it “Magnificent sunrise today.” I want to share a life’s moment the moment it happens. I hate having photos sitting idle to share some time in the future for some unknown reason - usually to make for a better fit to a thought I had.
Twitter is great
for sharing a random event that took place in our life, but what happens with those better-looking, epic photos?
Where I host my photo albums
Till recently, I used to upload my best photos to Flickr
. No need to come up with fancy captions, be consistent, or avoid bulk uploads. I’m not stressed to build a following there; no point, either. Rather it’s a fine way to stay organized and showcase 20 or more photographs I took the other day. All uploaded at once. It’s great and affordable ($50/year), as well.
People have been using my photos in their publications, like here
, and here
(wow, right?). Don’t worry; they’re allowed to do so, as long as they give back credit (I use a Creative Commons license).
Trying out another route this week, I shared my first ten photos with Unsplash
, and the feedback was tremendous, as others have noticed. More than 3,000 people saw them, and 50 photos were downloaded in a couple of days! If you are looking for exposure, nothing beats that. The catch? Unsplash doesn’t allow watermarks in photos, but most importantly, people aren’t obliged to link back to the photographer. In effect, you are giving away you precious photos for anyone to use however they want. And that’s bad
. Still, you can build a name for yourself
Too many options for photographers
I haven’t made up my mind about where I should host my photos.
Sure, Flickr is a trusted solution, but they’re running out of money
, and I would hate to see my photos lost in a bad turn of events. It was recently acquired by SmugMug
, where I could also sell my photos as prints or digital downloads. Unfortunately, I despise the look of their templates; they feel so old-fashioned.
Alternatively, hosting in my blog’s server is a no-no for storage and bandwidth reasons, and Google Photos… well, let’s just say that Google’s interface isn’t the easiest way to share pictures with the public; it wasn’t built with that in mind.
Unsplash is more an experiment for me than building a portfolio there. It’s a resource for web publishers like myself
to find photos for their blogs, like Pixabay or Pexels. It was the first time I went to the other side of providing photos, instead of receiving.
And that brings me to transitioning my personal blog to Ghost’s content management system (CMS).
Having second thoughts about moving to Ghost from WordPress
As a blogger, when you write an article for your blog, you often need a featured image to introduce your content. Ghost has an option to search and use a photo from Unsplash directly in the editor! That was totally unexpected for me and different from blogging on the WordPress system, where I have first to find and then upload a photo to my post. In Ghost, you simply click on the Featured photo, and you are presented with millions of Unsplash photos to pick from.
It wasn’t the only different approach I came by, of course. Having published numerous WordPress blogs over the decades, it took me a day to familiarize myself with Ghost interface and workflow.
At this point, I’m moving the 500 posts of my personal blog to Ghost. Most things are done automatically, but they need a little editing here and there. I don’t mind the manual work, as I see it as an opportunity to refine my blog and get rid of subpar articles. Besides, building a personal brand
is a fun project for me.
Do I have second thoughts for the transition? I sure do. If it weren’t for the minimalistic theme I currently use in my blog, I would be more excited to move to a different platform that promises better speed (already confirmed it via Pingdom and Google Pagespeed). But because I truly love my blog’s current look
, I’m more reluctant to scrap that and build something different, not to mention from scratch. There’s so much work being put into my WordPress blog over the years that I would hate to throw it all away. Yet, at the same time, I’m a sucker for trying new things.