For our eighth anniversary series "8 Years, 8 Members, 8 Stories" we contacted Flickr members who joined Flickr in February 2004. We asked them what the best thing that’s happened to them since they became a Flickr member, what it is that they love about Flickr, and what their eight favorite photos from other Flickr members are. We will publish the eight installments throughout the day.
Meet our first story contributor, Matt Haughey (a.k.a. mathowie), from Portland, who tells us that Flickr has greatly enriched his life in all sorts of ways since he signed up on the day the site launched. Matt says that Flickr has definitely made him a better photographer by letting him easily find and follow photographers whose work he admires. What he especially likes is that they’ll often answer technical questions and give details on how they got the shot.
When his wife became pregnant in 2004, they announced it to friends via a friends/family only Flickr photo of the ultrasound, when online photo sharing was still a relatively new concept.
Months later Matt kept his friends, family, and the entire Internet up to date on the birth by posting a photo taken with his mobile phone to Flickr every few hours, and to this day Matt loves getting comments and favorites from friends on every new photo of his family.
Matt reveals that there are two pages that he hits every day, Photos From My Contacts and then Recent Activity. His favorite Flickr feature by far is the “Recent Activity” page, as it lets him know when people comment on old uploads, favorite his photographs and gives him insights into what people like about his photos. Matt even mimicked this type of interaction for his own MetaFilter community since he liked it so much.
"Some of my photos have gotten way more views than I ever thought possible."
One of them is this photo that was taken in 2005 when Matt moved into a new house. A light fixture perplexed him, and friends helped him figure out how to change the light bulb. Obviously, many other people were puzzled as well, as seven years later, Matt still gets comments every couple of weeks from people thanking him for posting it because they have the same light fixture and were stumped in the same way he was.
"I’m a serious user of favorites on Flickr, and I use them to mark photos I love, photos I’m amazed by, photos I find funny, and things I want to save for later. I’ve racked up over 3,200 favorites over the past eight years and when I dove into them looking for my most favorite favorites, I was amazed to find most of the impressive photos came from close friends that aren’t professional photographers per se."
Matt says he typically favorites any random person’s amazing shot he likes. He has hundreds of faves that he found on Explore, but going through his favorites for this article, he was surprised to find that many of the amazing shots were done by close personal friends.
Thank you Matt for sharing your story with us! We will be back with the next story soon.