my flickr photostream

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flickr Pro Account

Fall Creek Falls Detail
© 2011 Simon Hucko

I got an e-mail the other day saying that my "pro" account on Flickr is set to expire in two weeks. Rather than punch in my credit card and shell out another $25, I decided to take another look at the benefits of a pro account and see what I'd be missing if I didn't renew. Flickr kindly provides a summary of the differences on their FAQ page.

In short, I'd be limited to 300MB of photo uploads a month, would only be able to view my latest 200 photos, and would lose my stats tracking (plus the addition of ads and a few other limitations that aren't really relevant to me). So I made the decision not to renew, and if you're a serious photographer and use Flickr like I do, you can probably drop your pro account too. Here's why:

I use Flickr to share what I consider the "better" photos that I've taken. I generally only upload one or two photos a day (or zero, if I haven't gone shooting recently) and I resize all the photos to 1024p before uploading. A typical resized photo that I upload is 500-600KB, so I can upload 500 photos before hitting my monthly limit. No sweat.

The 200 photo limitation is a bit of a drag, but since I'm not using Flickr as a backup service I don't really care to have my entire photo library online. It is nice to be able to dip back into my older stuff from time to time, so I found a workaround thanks to some helpful folks on Flickr. If you make a group and add all your photos to it, you will be able to access them through the group even if they are no longer available to you on your photo stream. I made one for myself and added all my photos, so when my pro account expires I'll still be able to view them all. I'm not 100% certain what will happen to the photos on my blog here that are hosted on Flickr - I think they should stay active, but if they all break I'll have to find another solution for hosting.

Finally, the stats tracking was a nice feature to have, but not an essential one. It was cool to be able to see how people were finding my photos and to keep track of where they were being posted on the web. I'll have to start checking services like TinEye more often to keep an track of things.

So it seems to me that I'll be just fine without a "pro" account. If I change my mind, upgrading will give me access to everything just like if I had renewed.

Who is the pro account for, then? Seems like the only ones who really need it are the people who dump 1000 unedited vacation photos straight from their camera to Flickr, or use it to share the 300 happy snaps from their latest family gathering with Aunt Betsy. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but I generally use Facebook for that sort of thing.

My account expires June 9th. I'll let you know how things go. What about you, do you have a pro account? Why or why not?


[title of blog] on flickr


  1. LOL I have one because I'm one of the "people who dump 1000 unedited vacation photos straight from their camera to Flickr, or use it to share the 300 happy snaps from their latest family gathering with Aunt Betsy." (No really, I am.)

    I've been wondering whether I should just switch to FB for that too... Before I used to refuse b/c they downsized the pics so badly. But now that they don't (right?) maybe I should. Save myself $30/yr...

  2. @ Kristan - My understanding of facebook photos is that everything gets sized to 720p for viewing. You can enable "HD" downloads, which lets people download up to 2048p images.

    I use facebook for family and friend stuff because that's my "private" life, compared with flickr which I use more as my public photography front. Almost none of my friends/family are on flickr, so it's logistically much easier to post an album to facebook than to post something on flickr and send around links.

    I'm not condemning using Flickr to backup and share all of your photos, it's just not what I do, and so I don't think it's worth paying them for the extra services that I don't need. To each their own.

  3. I am actually starting to get annoyed at Flickr because it no longer seems like a community. Rather, it seems to be a dumping ground for everyone's work. 365 day projects, I get. But to dump 60+ images on in a given day? That's ridiculous. I tend to unfollow those people.

    I too do not have a pro account on Flickr...but I don't feel at all hindered. Statistics would be nice...but I'm less concerned about that as I am about statistics on my own web site.

    In my opinion, an ideal community would have limits. It forces people to self-edit...removing their lesser works to push their most current.

  4. @ Travis - I found you have to be pretty selective with who you make a contact, and I frequently drop people who post crap. Finding the right groups is key, too. I avoid those "post 1 comment 400" ones like the plague. Perhaps an article on getting the most out of Flickr is in order...

  5. Oh, I know you weren't condemning it. I was just laughing b/c I realized I am one of those people you described. And your post (along with the new HD downloads from FB, as well as my increasing privacy concerns) got me thinking, and now I am planning to let my Flickr Pro account lapse and just move to FB for regular photo sharing. (Well, I'm waiting on a supposedly "epic" email from a good friend and photog about her opinions on Flickr vs. FB. But I'm leaning towards FB.) Then maybe my Flickr stream will become more... elegant. :)

  6. One thing about Flickr Pro - if you want to download your original photos you need a Pro account, you can't download the originals without one.

    You should check out where you can order really nice large prints of your photos. It's my website and any readers of this blog can email me for a 10% discount.