Photographers have found a new lifeline with the birth of social networks to showcase their portfolio in the past decade. Flickr was one of the first sites to make online photo sharing possible and then Facebook took over as “THE” platform for visual appeal and amateur photographers got noticed.
Google+, with it’s recent design change, is also focusing on visual content to display news-feed. However, there is a need for a photographer social community which could solve the problem of many amateur photographers to get recognized, away from the crowded place that Facebook nowadays is.
F9pix is one such portal founded by Sandeep Kamble, which gives photographers a platform to showcase what they do best and to make money out of it.
On the first instance, you might think of it as ‘just another ‘Flickr ripoff?’ The website, as of now, is in Beta and ‘invitation only’. So you might have to wait a little before you get your invitation code via email (after it goes through approval) to create your profile. Social sign-in buttons make login a swift experience in the beginning.
What exactly can you do on F9Pix?
1. You can upload your artwork and create your own portfolios to showcase your content.
2. Follow influential photographers to get tips and tricks from.
3. You can sell your photos for professional usage.
Uploading your image portfolio, you can enter all the details surrounding each image from the camera being used to focal length etc. You can manage your stuff in the platform through the ‘Dashboard’ area where you could be viewing stats related to your portfolio (coming soon on the platform) along with Watermark Management. You can comment and share the photos which you are viewing just like any other social platform.
If you have to contact anyone whose work you liked or to start a conversation, you can also ‘Private message’ him although the feature is turned on by default and can be sent to people whom we don’t even follow. You can also browse the pictures via different categories (Popular, Trending, Featured). As of now, the site allows you to upload unlimited photos along with ability to sell your photos (without F9pix charging you for it) and also promises to safeguard your work and not ‘sell it’ without your consent.
The website still being in beta doesn’t boast of stock photos and extensive collection as yet. The search can also include user filters by key criteria such as resolution, which can always narrow down the search for the user and make him get what is he exactly looking for. Also, the portfolio sub-domain when created under F9pix, does not offer a lot of customisation to the user to design and choose the theme he would like to showcase his work.
If F9pix is showcasing it as a platform to be powered by a community, it is important to give the user the power to design their own profile. With the website in beta, I am looking forward if this feature would be added too. Users can be given customization option ranging from choosing themes to placements and how they want to showcase their images in the portfolio. As of now, my portfolio looks like a blank slate like below:
Will it excite photographers?
Having to be a one-stop place for professional images will require that community support for a website. With people using their mobile phones to click pictures on the go, it makes a lot of sense for the site to have a responsive website along with smartphone app. This would make uploading and sharing on the portfolio a less desktop-only task and more device independent. With passing time, we will see if F9pix can become that marketplace of photos to the Indian community.
Though, F9pix has some stiff competition from similar creative social platforms like – Intuce, TouchTalent, etc. TouchTalent, along with being a creative network, is also serving a market place for creative minds. Besides this the network also plans to get brands on board, a thought that was shared by the Founder Ankit Prasad in an interview with us.
Nevertheless, F9Pix is still evolving and it could be a great place loved by photographers. Do tell us what do you think about the platform in the comments below.