Is Flickr Really the Best Way to Store Your Photos?

Since Flickr has surfaced, photographers of all levels have flocked to it. However, how useful is this service really for the professional photographer?

Flickr advertises itself as a “the best way to store, search, sort and share your photos,” so I decided to take a look at whether they live up to their storage & archiving claims.

While loss of your work is always a risk, it is a more significant one if all or most of your images are digital. Can Flickr really be a reliable place for you to store your work? If you do use it as a storage medium, can you ever retrieve your images in their original quality, were something to go wrong with your own equipment?

Archiving your work on an external server, as provided by Flickr, can be more than tempting, but in order to receive the full benefits of the service, you will have to pay a subscription fee. The question is whether the fee really buys you what you think you are getting.

“I thought the relatively low yearly fee would be worth it, if I would not have to worry about losing any photographs,” says Carry, a photographer based in Toronto. “However, when I did want to download my own pictures in their original size, I received them back without their descriptive file name and in a fraction of the original size.”

Carry is one of many amateur and professional photographers who have been disappointed with the claims Flickr makes on its storage feature. While you will always be able to store and see your pictures online, you have to take into account that you cannot retrieve them in their original size. This has obvious consequences for quality, and for many professionals it is as good as not having the photograph at all.

There is good news for the use of Flickr as well, though, and we will dig deeper next article.

[tags]Flickr, storage, photo archiving[/tags]

2 Responses to “Is Flickr Really the Best Way to Store Your Photos?”

  1. Woefully inaccurate. Suggest you read about pro accounts and original file sizes on Flickr.

  2. Which is better? picasa or flicker?

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