Source: richardbernabe.com

Every pho­tog­ra­ph­er wants to share their work, get feed­back from the pub­lic and crit­ics, and final­ly seek recog­ni­tion. But when your favorite social media turns into ad machines that show only pro­mo posts, it’s time to look for alter­na­tives.

The world’s most pop­u­lar social media, Face­book and Insta­gram, have ceased to be the best place to show­case your pho­tos. They have become a ter­ri­to­ry for cor­po­ra­tions, adver­tis­ing, politi­cians and big blog­gers. More­over, if you care­ful­ly read the terms and con­di­tions of these plat­forms, you will know that they can use your images in any way they like. Instead of bring­ing peo­ple togeth­er and mak­ing dig­i­tal art avail­able to a wide audi­ence, the media giants are more con­cerned with big data algo­rithms and paid ser­vices.

How­ev­er, social media is an impor­tant part of our lives and post­ing your pho­to there is still the eas­i­est way to show­case your work to the pub­lic and get feed­back. All cre­ative peo­ple appre­ci­ate the reac­tion of the pub­lic to their work. But some­times build­ing a pop­u­lar social media account takes too much time and effort. And often suc­cess is based not on the val­ue of the work, but on the work of the algo­rithm by which the most famous social net­works show pub­li­ca­tions to the audi­ence.

Why Facebook and Instagram are no longer good places to post your work

Although Face­book is still quite pop­u­lar and can show­case your work to a huge num­ber of peo­ple, many pho­tog­ra­phers pre­fer Insta­gram because it is more suit­able for visu­al con­tent, and also does not allow down­load­ing pho­tos (although there are, of course, there are tricks here), which helps to pro­tect intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights.

Among artists and pho­tog­ra­phers, Insta­gram has earned a rep­u­ta­tion as a place to find poten­tial clients and sell your work. An Insta­gram account can serve as a port­fo­lio, and the num­ber of fol­low­ers and likes increas­es the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

At the same time, Face­book and Insta­gram man­age a huge amount of infor­ma­tion and decide who sees mes­sages based on inter­nal algo­rithms. In addi­tion, the pop­u­lar­i­ty of social media has cre­at­ed a new prob­lem: fake news.

Source: naturettl.com

Last year, Insta­gram launched an algo­rithm to hide fake retouched pho­tos, but along with the fakes, the algo­rithm also removed a num­ber of works by dig­i­tal artists and pho­tog­ra­phers. New Insta­gram algo­rithms get infor­ma­tion from sites that ver­i­fy infor­ma­tion and do not dis­play pho­tos marked as fake. How­ev­er, works with var­i­ous post-pro­cess­ing can also acci­den­tal­ly fall under the rink of the algo­rithm, which is why they will not be shown in the hash­tag search and the Inter­est­ing tab.

Source: sproutsocial.com

On the oth­er hand, pro­mo­tion­al posts receive spe­cial atten­tion. Mar­ket­ing agency Omni­core reports that Insta­gram has approx­i­mate­ly 2 mil­lion adver­tis­ers and 25 mil­lion busi­ness pro­files every month. And these num­bers will grow. The com­pe­ti­tion for pho­tog­ra­phers and likes has become too dif­fi­cult for reg­u­lar pho­tog­ra­phers. Now it’s not enough to take a good pic­ture and use the right hash­tags. You need to be active online, fol­low and com­ment on the posts of pro­files with sim­i­lar inter­ests, know the basics of search engine opti­miza­tion, online mar­ket­ing and PR, and invest in adver­tis­ing. Thus, main­tain­ing a pro­file takes much more time than tak­ing a pho­to.

In response, pho­tog­ra­phers are increas­ing­ly turn­ing to alter­na­tive social media that encour­age cre­ativ­i­ty. When choos­ing new chan­nels to dis­trib­ute their work, they seek copy­right pro­tec­tion and equal oppor­tu­ni­ty for all users. Pho­tog­ra­phers want to show­case their work to audi­ences and spend less time fig­ur­ing out algo­rith­mic intri­ca­cies and mar­ket­ing strate­gies. If you want an easy and effec­tive way to show­case your pho­tos, paint­ings or designs, get feed­back and find oppor­tu­ni­ties to sell your work online, check out the list of alter­na­tive media plat­forms we have pre­pared for you.

Alternative social media for photographers and artists

Over the past few years, a new type of social net­work­ing site has emerged. These plat­forms do not seek to reach the largest audi­ence, rather they try to bring togeth­er the most engaged users. Niche social media is tar­get­ed at a spe­cif­ic audi­ence: you can share your work with pho­tog­ra­phers, artists and oth­er users who are inter­est­ed in dig­i­tal art. While this reduces your audi­ence reach, you get more help­ful feed­back and engage with a more pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ty.


VERO’s mot­to is “No ads. No data min­ing. No algo­rithms. VERO aims to be a respon­si­ble mobile app that brings net­work­ing and con­tent shar­ing to every­one. You can use VERO to share pho­tos, videos, music, books, links, and places of inter­est. Notable pho­tog­ra­phers who use the plat­form include John Rankin, Greg Williams, Ben Sta­ley, Clay Enos.

VERO allows you to upload full res­o­lu­tion pho­tos and col­lect them into col­lec­tions. You can choose your audi­ence by shar­ing your pho­tos with every­one or a spe­cif­ic group. Like Face­book and Insta­gram, VERO has built-in chat and tools for refer­rals, pur­chas­es and dona­tions. The plat­form aims to be a com­mu­ni­ty, not a busi­ness, and peo­ple val­ue it for its sin­cer­i­ty and authen­tic­i­ty.

While VERO isn’t just for pho­tog­ra­phers, the plat­form offers an ad-free ser­vice and can be one of the eas­i­est ways to share your pho­tos and build your fan base. The sys­tem is very inter­ac­tive and pro-social, some even think it could be the new Face­book for artists.

All VERO ser­vices are avail­able free of charge. The app works on Android and Apple.


The pho­tog­ra­phy plat­form YouPic is used by many famous pho­tog­ra­phers such as Joel Meyerowitz, Steve McCary and David Hearn. This site works like an online port­fo­lio and allows you to show and sell your pic­tures.

Just like any oth­er social net­work in YouPic, you com­plete your pro­file, includ­ing your skills, leave com­ments, share con­tent, and fol­low oth­ers. Like Insta­gram and Face­book, YouPic uses tags to fil­ter and serve rel­e­vant con­tent. It also pro­vides sta­tis­tics to help you keep track of your best pho­tos.

On YouPic, you add a descrip­tion to each pho­to, along with infor­ma­tion you want to share with oth­er pho­tog­ra­phers, such as cam­era and lens mod­el, shut­ter speed, ISO, or loca­tion. You can upload an unlim­it­ed num­ber of pho­tos to YouPic, orga­nize them the way you want, and add sto­ries. To pro­tect pho­tos, you can add copy­right infor­ma­tion or share them pri­vate­ly.

YouPic is a free ser­vice, but there is a paid sub­scrip­tion that opens up var­i­ous advanced options such as web­site per­son­al­iza­tion, get­ting a cus­tom domain, etc. Plans cost from $5 to $30 per month.


Expo­sure is a social plat­form for pho­tog­ra­phers who want to share their sto­ry. It not only pro­vides a place for your pho­tos, but also allows you to share the sto­ries behind them. You can use Expo­sure as your own pho­tog­ra­phy blog and a place to find inspi­ra­tion for your next pho­tog­ra­phy project.

Although Expo­sure only has a web ver­sion, the plat­form is very inter­ac­tive and allows you to com­ment, sub­scribe, like and share. At Expo­sure, the sto­ry behind a pho­to or an entire project is as impor­tant as the pho­tos them­selves. On the plat­form you will find trav­el­ers, adven­tur­ers, pho­to­jour­nal­ists, street and por­trait pho­tog­ra­phers.

Expo­sure pro­vides sim­ple tools to add pho­tos, text, videos, embed­ded media from oth­er plat­forms, and geolo­ca­tions to your posts. You can also choose the design options for your mes­sages — lay­out, col­ors and fonts. Expo­sure does not lim­it the num­ber or size of images you can upload. At the same time, the plat­form does not pro­tect your images in any way, and any­one can down­load them.

You can reg­is­ter and pub­lish three sto­ry projects for free. To pub­lish an unlim­it­ed num­ber of sto­ries and access more design and brand­ing tools, as well as addi­tion­al busi­ness options, you can sub­scribe for $9 per month for per­son­al use or $99 for com­mer­cial use.


Behance is one of the most pop­u­lar dig­i­tal port­fo­lio plat­forms. The resource cov­ers all cre­ative areas and pro­vides sim­ple tools to show­case your work. The plat­form was specif­i­cal­ly cre­at­ed for pho­tog­ra­phers, illus­tra­tors, graph­ic design­ers, archi­tects, film­mak­ers and artists. It even has a job page where you can find cre­ative jobs and start your career.

Like any oth­er social net­work, Behance allows you to com­mu­ni­cate, leave feed­back, and fol­low the work of your favorite artists. Behans also has views and likes coun­ters so you can gauge the pop­u­lar­i­ty of your work. The plat­form is owned by Adobe, so Behance places a par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on dig­i­tal pro­cess­ing tools.

On Behance you can meet pro­fes­sion­al artists and pho­tog­ra­phers, crit­ics and clients. Works pub­lished on Behance are avail­able to every­one, and you can eas­i­ly get feed­back from the pros. The plat­form does not change the uploaded images in any way, the abil­i­ty to upload in high res­o­lu­tion is avail­able. In this case, any­one can down­load your pho­to at will.

Behance is free. You can upload pho­tos from your device or direct­ly from Light­room, add text to cre­ate addi­tion­al con­text, and cre­ate gal­leries. You can add tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion, such as cam­era and lens mod­el, and expo­sure set­tings, to each pho­to. Behance is avail­able as a web ver­sion, as well as apps for Android and iOS.

Going beyond Instagram and Facebook

Of course, these are not all social plat­forms that pro­vide a plat­form for artists and pho­tog­ra­phers. Pop­u­lar resources also include DeviantArt and Tum­blr, Patre­on for those who have already been able to gath­er an audi­ence of loy­al fans who are will­ing to pay for work, and Twit­ter remains pop­u­lar among many NSFW artists.

In our coun­try, the social net­work VKon­tak­te, cre­at­ed in the image and like­ness of Face­book, is also pop­u­lar. How­ev­er, this plat­form is main­ly used by a Russ­ian-speak­ing audi­ence, so it is not very suit­able for a wider pro­mo­tion of their work.

Source: fstoppers.com

The suc­cess of Face­book and Insta­gram has trans­formed them into busi­ness tools and cre­at­ed an entire indus­try around them. Each time it becomes more and more dif­fi­cult to bypass the algo­rithms and find a loy­al audi­ence, and achiev­ing suc­cess is no longer asso­ci­at­ed with the artis­tic val­ue of your work. As a result, pho­tog­ra­phers and artists are turn­ing to alter­na­tive social plat­forms that pro­mote val­ues ​​such as authen­tic­i­ty, equal oppor­tu­ni­ty, and the impor­tance of the com­mu­ni­ty. Yes, these plat­forms offer a small­er audi­ence. But you can be sure that view­ers are inter­est­ed in what you have to share. Why waste a lot of time and ener­gy on a plat­form that does­n’t guar­an­tee it will show the work of your tar­get audi­ence? And what will it show?

Alter­na­tive social plat­forms such as Expo­sure, VERO and oth­ers men­tioned above are cre­at­ed to cre­ate a cre­ative com­mu­ni­ty, bring experts, crit­ics and famous photographers/artists togeth­er. You may get few­er likes and com­ments, but you will be sure that what you got is real­ly worth it. If you want to be part of an art com­mu­ni­ty, con­nect with peo­ple who tru­ly appre­ci­ate art, and build a qual­i­ty port­fo­lio, you need to find the right plat­form.

* the arti­cle was writ­ten based on mate­ri­als from skylum.com and onfoto.ru