Flickr Tools You Can Use To Optimize Your Profile

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

Part of the fun of Flickr is that it appeals to the urge to impose order on the chaos of our photo collections. Who hasn’t rummaged through a shoebox full of snapshots or paged through stacks of photo albums, wishing there were a better way to find great photos.

The organizing tools in Flickr allow you to do powerful things to your collection (especially if you’re something of a digital packrat). The default interface shows you sets of photos in the main window, and a filmstrip underneath, where you can see your individual photos and then drag and drop them into new sets or collections.

To best take advantage of all these ways of finding, organizing, and sharing your photos, you will need to understand some of these tools.

  • Tags are the keywords that you typed in when you uploaded your photos. (You did take the time to carefully choose these words, didn’t you?) These help you and others find your photos when you search for them. The more keywords you have that describe a photo, the better the chance you will have to find it.

  • Sets are small collections of photos, organized under a topic, date, or other data. This can be the day you shot it (“Thanksgiving 2013”), the place you shot it, or a description (“Beautiful Sunsets”). You can choose to add photos to multiple sets when you’re uploading them, or you can add them to sets afterward.

  • Collections are basically sets made up of sets. They allow you to organize your photos by date (“Photos from 2014”) or by another topic (“Vacation Snapshots”). You can also drag individual photos into a collection from the filmstrip at the bottom of the Organizer screen.

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After you create a collection, you can create a pretty mosaic of the collection that you can then share or embed on your website or blog. You can change the order of the photos in the mosaic by clicking and dragging them around, or you can drag photos from the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen into the mosaic.

Think of a collection as a way for you to further organize your photos. By putting multiple sets into a collection, you ensure that when you go looking for just the right shot for your social media profile design, you will be able to browse efficiently, rather than having to click … and click … and click to scroll through an endless undifferentiated mass of images.

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