What makes this photo a Flickr favourite?

Waiting for people and texting their friends outside the Apple Store, Covent Garden.

Waiting for people and texting their friends outside the Apple Store, Covent Garden. © Neil Turner. November 2015

When I rejoined Flickr a couple of months ago my main aim was to learn the ins and outs of how it works so that I could help an important client build their Flickr profile. One of the side-effects is that I have become quite interested in how and why some pictures get no attention and why some others get loads. This was made all the more interesting when one single picture of mine went from the normal 100-200 views and 2-3 likes to having over 10,000 views and around 130 likes.

I don’t think that it is any better or worse than most of the rest of the (178 and counting) pictures I have uploaded so why did it get so much attention?

I genuinely don’t think that it is because it is a wonderful image so maybe it is because someone influential in the Flickr-sphere decided that they liked it and that prompted their followers to also like it. Maybe it is because I uploaded it on the right day at the right time in the right groups to get so much attention.

The truth is that I don’t know – and that’s a problem because that means that I have yet to master or even comprehend the vagaries of Flickr. If you remember, that’s why I rejoined the sharing site – to acquire a zen-like understanding of the medium.

Some things appear to be obvious though:

  • Black & white pictures get more attention and more likes
  • Certain people follow everything you do
  • If you interact with lots of people it helps to raise the ‘like count’
  • Likes don’t put food on the table
  • Social media takes a lot of work

The really interesting thing is that a potential client did see one of my photographs on Flickr and is keen to buy it for use in their business and so whilst likes don’t put food on the table having the right people seeing your work does. Whether Flickr will ever bring the financial returns that justify the amount of time spent working with it is still unclear but that’s the same for all social media.

Is the picture at the top of this post any better than any of the 176 (and counting) others on my Flickr Photostream? If you know why it attracted a comment of “Nice capture” when so many others didn’t, please let me know!

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