Quick Start Tips For New Flickr Users: Part I

Image of seagulls photoWith time you realize taking your own photos to use in your blog posts is often easier, and more fun, than searching for and attributing creative commons images. And sharing these photos online with your friends, using photosharing websites like Flickr, is even more fun!

This post is part of a series to help people started using Flickr or if you’re experienced using Flickr please share your tips for new people, by leaving a comment on this post.

About Flickr

Flickr is an extremely powerful image and video sharing website widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Reasons for it’s popularity include:

  1. It’s amazing range of tools and options for organising, editing and sharing your photos
  2. It’s excellent features for connecting with others to create groups and communities
  3. The extensive range of third party applications that let you use public Flickr data like photos, video, tags in new and different ways
  4. The incredible number of creative commons images hosted on the site

Setting Up Your Flickr Account

Image of new accountTo get started you will need to go to Flickr and create an account using your Yahoo ID. Create a Yahoo ID here if you don’t have one.

Once you’ve signed into Flickr with your Yahoo ID it will ask you to choose your screen name i.e. username. I recommend you choose a screen name that makes it easier for others to relate to you as a real person. e.g. Compare spwat3 with suewaters β€” which is easier?

Image of buddy icon

After creating your account you will be taken to your home page. Make sure you take the time to Create your Buddy Icon, Choose Your Custom Flickr URL and Personalize Your Profile. These make it easier for people from your other social networks to connect with you on Flickr; they are important for building your personal learning network (PLN).

Here is my Flickr profile and bubby icon.

WARNING: Your custom Flickr URL can’t be changed once created so if unsure skip this step and complete later!

You can edit any of this information, except custom Flickr URL, at any time by hovering mouse over your buddy icon, clicking on drop down menu and selecting Your Account.

Tagging and Flickr

Image of tagged item

Before uploading any photos it’s important to understand tagging as they are very important for finding your photos.

Tagging is an method of categorizing where users choose their own keywords or terms to describe online content such as web sites, pictures and blog posts. The idea is that the user chooses tag terms that are meaningful to them to make it easier for them to find their stored information.

There are no guidelines to choosing tags and it’s common to see the same item tagged using different keywords by different users. To make items more findable in searches it’s worth using a range of terms commonly used to describe the image.

Image of taggingOn Flickr, to use more than one word together to describe an image you will need to enclose words with quotation marks. For example, to use the tag candy jar you need to write as “candy jar” or it will be tagged candy and jar.

Uploading Photos

Flickr has a wide range of options for uploading photos including:

  1. Upload page
  2. Uploader application that you can download and install on your desktop – applications available for PC, Mac and Linx – excellent when uploading lots of photos
  3. Email your photos from your phone- configure your email address for Flickr here
  4. Upload photos from your iphone using applications such as Flickup or PixUp

Emailing photos from your phone or uploading from an iphone is a fast and quick method of sharing photos when you’re out and about. Applications like Flickup means you can share your photo on Flickr as you are uploading.

Editing Photos

Once your photos have uploaded you can edit:

  1. Details like their title or description by clicking on eachImage of editing titles
  2. Photos by clicking on the photo which will take you to it’s photo page where you have options including Add notes (here is an example of a Flickr photo with notes), rotating image, adding more tags and Editing the photo directly on Flickr using Picnik.

Image of Picnik editing


Flickr is definitely a site that you need to take the time to explore thoroughly.

If you’re a Flickr user please leave a comment on this post to share:

  1. What you like about using Flickr
  2. Your tips for new people getting started using Flickr
  3. Links to your favorite Flickr photos — bonus points for chocolate photos πŸ™‚

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45 thoughts on “Quick Start Tips For New Flickr Users: Part I

  1. Kia ora Sue!

    I tried all these at the time, the things you suggested, and nothing worked.

    But . . . I was also getting time-out messages which told me not much at all really except that either Edublog was down or there was a problem. I knew there was a problem! πŸ™‚


  2. Kia ora Sue!

    No, I don’t have Alzheimer’s. No, I don’t have Alzheimer’s.
    I don’t normally repeat myself, I say, I don’t normally repeat myself πŸ™‚

    I genuinely attempted three times to get my comment to take – without success the first two tries – but for some reason, the system accepted them all, despite the lack of response etc etc this end. Believe it or not, the first time I lost the friggin’ lot – or so I thought – that’s why the text is different in version 2.

    Ah πŸ˜‰ but I got the system licked the second time. I took a copy of the text before I posted. Hmmm, didn’t need to, did I? Apparently Edublog seemed to be having a hard time – Kevin’s site was the same. I gave up – sigh!

    Two repeat apologies.

    Catchya later

    1. Yes I knew Ken πŸ™‚

      It’s the threaded comment feature. Sometimes when you write the comment it loads the page without the reply. Try clicking on the title of the post and it should bring up the comment. Back also works well for retrieving the comment if you are worried about losing it.

  3. Hi Sue,

    I have just opened a flickr account and uploaded about 5 photos, so I’m definitely a newbie. Thanks for the information. It will come in handy as I explore flickr – especially the creative commons link. I have linked your blog to a group I am part of ‘Web2.0’ (http://web2learningspace.ning.com/). It is based on 23 things and next week our task is to create a flickr account and upload photos – so great timing.


    1. Hi Amanda – glad to hear you have set up a Flickr account. Hopefully this post and the next two posts will help you. 23 Things program is a good project – I hope you enjoy. Please let us know how it goes?

  4. Kia ora Sue

    I just think that Flickr is the cat’s whiskers.

    It handles html very well allowing links to be put in place on comments in a way that many social networking sites do not.

    I discovered recently that Flickr also permits links on notes. Check out this pick on Bonnie Kaplan’s photofriday Flickr site.

    I don’t get any bonus for chocolate pics for I have none, but this little cutie has chocolate eyes.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  5. Kia ora Sue

    I think that Flickr is the cat’s whiskers.

    It handles html very well allowing links to be put in place on comments in a way that many social networking sites do not.

    I discovered recently that Flickr also permits links on notes. Check out this pick on Bonnie Kaplan’s photofriday Flickr site.

    I don’t get any bonus for chocolate pics for I have none, but this little cutie has chocolate eyes.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  6. Kia ora Sue!

    I think Flickr is just the cat’s whiskers.

    It takes html very well, something that some social networking sites do not do so well with. You can put links in the comments in Flickr.

    On top of that, you can also put links in the notes. Check out this set of pics with links on the notes on Bonnie Kaplan’s photofridays Flickr site.

    I’m afraid I don’t get any bonus points for I have no chocolte Flickr photos. But this cute little creature has chocolate eyes.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  7. Hi Sue,

    I have used both Flickr and Picasa.

    Picasa suited me better since I am not a Photoshop whiz. You can download it to your computer and use it to catalogue and edit your pictures.

    It also eliminates the need to set a folder of original photos that are locked so that they cannot be changed accidentally.

    Picasa is also integrated into the various Google tools and works seamlessly to put images into Blogger and other parts of Google Docs.

    After reading your post, I need to go back and check out the usage of Google images in regards to copyright.

    But for myself, I find that Picasa suits my present needs and abilities much better than Flickr.

    1. Picasa allows you to copyright your photos using Creative Commons (CC). You can also have a default setting for applying your CC choice to images being uploaded, and you can change CC in batches.

      A problem I find is that you cannot search for CC images in Picasa or Google Images, but then I usually use http://search.creativecommons.org/

        1. Hi Sue, the answer is no, as far as I can determine. I prefer Picasa for it’s organization features but I fear all my creative commons photos are not been used. Flickr is much better for searching and displaying, I intend using it as my display album for things such as my 365 photos.

  8. very useful informative & full of knowledge blog
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    Didier Grossemy says, this can be a distinct competitive advantage for you… meaning converting or not and of course getting a return on your investment.

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    4. Relationship β€” opting-in to receive communications from the brand/publisher on an ongoing basis.
    5. Membership β€” registering to actively use the site on an ongoing basis in exchange for either payment, an implied agreement to view advertising, or to allow one’s activity data to be measured.
    6. Viral β€” telling personal and professional contacts about the Home page, perhaps via an email tool, blog links, word-of-mouth, etc.

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  9. Regarding free versus pro accounts

    Talia – good point about how you could use FB for uploading lots of photos and Flickr for your better photos.

    Shaun – I take such a wide range of photos that it was worth every cent I paid to have more than three sets. I prefer to use Flickr because of all the 3rd party applications that I can use to remix my photos.

    Bryan – I’ve been a pro member for awhile now and definitely money well spent. Just need to get in there and do some more tidying. Thanks for telling me about Flickr for Blackberry will amend post later and add it in.

    Glenda – I would love to do the 365 day project but am realistic that at the moment it would be too much for me.

  10. Meant to ask . . . is there a tool that you can use that will automatically paste attribution for a creative commons image that you have put in your blog?

    1. Paying CJB is definitely worth it. Thanks for telling us about the collaborative project. There are a few that you can use some of the better ones are plugins that we don’t have yet on Edublogs. Will check it out and get back to you.

  11. Hi Sue,
    I’ve used Flickr for a couple of years. I started off using it share photos of my chidlren with their grandparents who lived in another city. I’ve used up the free space and are seriously considering paying for an account.
    I also have started using it for Creative Commons images and I’m trying to promote the use of this rather than Google images with students that I teach.
    As well, a Year 5 class I supported in Term 4 used Flickr to participate in a collaborative quilt project on Remembrance Day. This was organised by Chris Harbeck in Winnipeg via Twitter and had classes from several countries participating. http://thepeacequilt.wikispaces.com/
    Thanks for all the helpful posts!

  12. Hi Sue,

    Very informative and well explained article. I wish I had found something similar when I was starting to use Flick’r.

    I find Flick’r uploading to be slow; however, it is easy to post to my blog once the photos are uploaded.

    I find the 3 sets for free access somewhat limiting and I wish that we could keep more than 200 photos available for viewing without paying a fee.

    I am watching the 365 Project Group, and belonging is in the back of my mind for 2010.


  13. I like using flicker just as a photostoring site for my favorite pics. It is also nice to be able to embed flicker photos VERY easy! I noticed after several months of use that it will only allow you or anyone else to view your first 200 photos without upgrading to pro. I just upgraded as a late xmas present to myself ($48 for 2 yrs ain’t bad) to give myself unlimited access. the pro account also takes off the 100mb/month upload limit. With these new cameras 100 mb will go VERY fast. I often found myself having to filter through my pics to find the ones that I wanted to upload…
    A few cool Flickr tools that I use:
    1. Flickr for Blackberry. This app allows you to upload directly from your phone.
    2. Flickr photostream on the side bar of my blog. This is a nice feature that allows your readers (who don’t use RSS) to see what you are uploading.

  14. I was wondering if anyone else found the 3 sets Flickr give free accounts limiting? I really like to group my photos as well as tag them so I have been using Picasa for the majority of my storage.

  15. Wow, Sue, helpful as always, even more when we’re starting a free online session for educators Images4Education (http://images4education.ning.com ) and the first topic is exactly Flickr. I’ll certainly add your post as a reference. Thanks for your invaluable contribution to the educational community.

    Carla in Key West.

  16. Hi Sue!

    Thanks for this post. Although I have a Flickr account, I haven’t done anything with it. Figuring it out–along with Creative Commons–is one of my next projects!

    Betsy Ko in Chicago

  17. Hi Sue,

    I thought people might liek to learn from my mistake I made when I first started with flickr!!

    When I first started on Flickr I would upload a LOT of photos all from the same event. Sometimes 60 photos. I found that, because I never got a pro account, that wasn’t such a good idea- I would then not be able to view any photo before my most recent 200.

    I now use things like facebook for uploading huge batches of photos from an event, and use Flickr for random photos, or photos from my iPhone, or photos for my blog. It works a lot better that way I find.

  18. I began using Flickr to show the kids in my class my photos of the Floriade flower festival as part of an art activity. I love the slideshow aspect for viewing the photos.
    I haven’t tried editing pictures with Flickr yet and really only have a few photos up. I mostly use it for photos that need their own URL for other online applications.
    I recently joined the Twitter 365 Project group, so am enjoying exploring Flickr further.
    Thanks for your tips here. You can see my photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    1. Penny – their slideshow feature is excellent and with good descriptions in some ways it is a great alternative to uploading PowerPoints to Slideshare.

      Hope you enjoy the 365 day project – thanks for sharing the link to your account.

  19. I’ve found Flickr to be one of the most friendly social networking sites around. From a content creator’s perspective I really like that you can apply creative commons licensing to content, and also search by license type using the advanced search function. It means that if none of your photos fit what you need, you can easily identify others you are allowed to use.

    1. I totally agree Mollybob – when I was first introduced to Flickr I thought why would any one want to share their photos online. The more I use it the greater my appreciation of how user friendly the site is for social networking.

    1. Interesting Doug – Facebook definitely is good in terms of sharing with family and friends since they often feel comfortable using FB and not other web sites.

      However in terms of building your personal learning network Flickr offers considerably greater ability to form connections.

      I’m probably considered a disgrace to passionate FB users – so apologies for what might be stupid question but there use to be a way to bring Flickr into FB. Please rescue me here dedicated FBers with the options.

      1. I’ve never really thought that anyone other than my family and friends would be interested in my photos and so haven’t delved much into the realm or widespread publishing. For my Twitter folks, I’ll use Twitpic when I have something mildly interesting to share. Anything that I’ve typically done in the past with folks that I learn with tends to be text based.

        Having said that, I’ve just got a much better camera than I have ever owned and am experimenting more and more. It may well be that my attitudes change over time as I start to develop a photographic eye. I don’t understand the large collection of people who take pictures of themselves screaming.

        Not to make a judgment, just find it interesting. I also notice that I work with a couple of people who like to take pictures of other people. I’d prefer to take pictures on things.

        Just think – I now have a good camera and am now developing a philosophy!

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