I’ll Stick with Flick(r)

By Larry White on August 26th, 2011   |    Posted in:  Articles   |    21 Comments

Over the past couple of weeks there has been some discussion on the possible demise (or it’s value) of Flickr with the introduction of Google+ and sites such as 500px.com. After engaging in some of the conversations and checking out the other sites, I’ve decided I’ll stick with flickr at least for now.

However, the main reason has nothing to do with it’s layout, forums for critiquing my photos or how many comments/faves I get. It has to do with the relationships that I’ve gained as a result of the flickr community.

It all started with my first photo meet-up in May 2010. Cory Disbrow and I had been communicating via flickr and he invited me to join them. My wife and daughter agreed to the trip. Little did I know it would be the start of some great friendships as well as a pool of knowledge to draw from with some very talented photographers.

Some of the "flickites" that meet at Disney's Hollywood Studios in May 2010

A sight to see is our Tripod Alley at Wishes or Illuminations.   One night there were about 8 of us lined up on the bridge between England and France in the World Showcase, when I overheard someone say “This must be a good spot, look at all of the cameras”.  Unfortunately, as we’ve been experiencing, it is possible the use of tripods may be coming to an end at Disney.  Only time will tell.

Of course, we don’t go just to take pictures…we ride the rides, attend the shows (yes even Captain EO) and eat!!!!  Frankly, I think eating maybe what we do best.  As some of you may know, I’m the 2010 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Cookie and Hot Chocolate Champion from our flickr community.  A proud moment for sure.  The last row of this car at the Tower of Terror is all flickrites.

We also like to be the last ones of out the park.  It is a very unique experience knowing when you hear the CMs say “no one else”.  One trip in Nov 2010, I meet up with Todd H and Jeff B to close out EPCOT.  As we made our way around the World Showcase, we started “collecting” Cast Members.  First time I looked behind me we had 1, then 2, then 4 and finally 8 CMs were standing behind us making sure we didn’t do an about face.  At one point, I overhead the radio with eh supervisor asking “where are they now?”  We always try to be respectful and express our appreciation for the CMs.  This Christmas shot was from about 2 hours after park closing following Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.   For another story about closing go to this picture on my flickr stream

We are also willing to do whatever it takes to get the shot. And, with so many cameras around, someone (probably me) is likely to capture that special moment. Or Tom Bricker has suggested (he has no proof) that some of us like to get it other people’s pictures.

These meet ups have also provided us with the opportunity to meet with some Disney Photography legends just as Bob Desmond (who was nice enough to take this picture). Bob has met with us several times and shared his years of professional experiences with us. One meeting was held inside of the Innovations building with several of Disney’s very best professional photographers. They told us lots of interesting stories and showed us some of their incredible shots.

So far, I’ve met up with people at Disney (either CA or FL) 5 or more trips (probably 15-20 days) since that first meeting. However, these meet-ups aren’t limited to Disney. In the past year, I’ve attended a NASCAR race, horse shows, Chihuly exhibit, ice hockey game, hot air balloon, nature hikes, Boston, NYC, sledding, etc. Flickr has been the meeting place for what I expect to be life long friendships. While, I’m sure the other sites will provide such opportunities, I tend to be a bit loyal, so for me, I’ll continue to hang out on flickr. I hope to see you there and on a meet up some day!

P.S. There are a significant number of folks meeting for the WDW 40th Anniversary on and around Oct 1, 2011. If might be a great way to get started!


  1. Tom Bricker   |   Aug 26, 2011

    You only say I don’t have the evidence because you know I’ve had to clone you out in like 284 of my shots. Readers, Larry White is a menace to society.

    In all seriousness, good article, Larry. Relationships that we all have formed should be cherished, and we should be thankful to Flickr for helping us form them. That said, I think relationships can (and have) certainly transcend Flickr, but your point is well-taken nonetheless. In the past a lot of relationships certainly have been formed because of Flickr.

    Arguably, I think websites with even more of a social component will better facilitate this (a lot of people on the various Disney sub-forums pertaining to photos are really close), so I would suspect that a lot of relationships will be formed by the new forums here.

  2. Jenn   |   Aug 26, 2011

    I definitely agree, and very well written article! I’ve been a flickr user WAY before I realized there was a huge Disney following on there. I’ve made great friendships in and out of the Disney community through flickr and I wouldn’t give those up for anything.

    I just thoroughly enjoy taking photos and posting them for people to see. Do I have a following like some other Disney photographers? Definitely not but I still love sharing my experiences.

    Hopefully one day I’ll be able to make it to a meet up in the parks! Would love to meet everyone face to face!

  3. Alan Rappa   |   Aug 26, 2011

    Great article Larry. Like Jenn said, I was on Flickr for a long time before I stumbled upon the Disney community. I’m looking forward to joining the gang on future meetups.

  4. Charles Brabec   |   Aug 26, 2011

    “Unfortunately, as we’ve been experiencing, it is possible the use of tripods may be coming to an end at Disney. Only time will tell.”

    What’s the story on this rumor?

    • Larry White   |   Aug 26, 2011

      A number of folks have been told they could not use tripods in recent months. The Disney Policy is written in such a way as to give security enough wiggle room to allow or disallow tripods. Nothing formal has been written, but there seems to be n upswing in activity discouraging tripod use. I’ve not experienced it, but if you check out some of the posts by fellow photographers, they have shared their specific experiences. It seems to be a bigger issue in Disneyland.

      • Charles Brabec   |   Aug 26, 2011

        Ugh. Thanks for the info. Haven’t had any problems up through my trip last Jan, but wanted to know if I should be careful in Nov.

  5. Katie Marino   |   Aug 26, 2011

    Great article, Larry. I must debate a few points, however. 1) Some of us watch Captain EO only when coerced. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. 2) Though technically, you might be the flickr champion of cookie eating, some of -might- have a relative that has eaten 3/4 of a cookie more than you. For anyone that is interested, there will be a cookie throw-down this Christmas. 3) Great photos, great times :)

  6. Diana Odom   |   Aug 26, 2011

    Great article and I agree! After only being really involved in Flickr for about 4 months, I’ve already had one meetup and look forward to the 40th! I’ve definitely met people with like interests and look forward to meeting more. I definitely wouldn’t enjoy Flickr as much as I do if it were not for the people involved that I’ve become contacts with and hope to meet someday!

  7. Britt Frank   |   Aug 26, 2011

    Wonderful write-up Larry! You and many other Flickr friends hold dear places in my heart. Flickr and WDW Photography have helped me back into a creative outlet I was lacking since being out of school. Thank you all and I look forward to meeting many of you soon!

  8. Joanie Eddis-Koch   |   Aug 26, 2011

    Thanks for a great article.

    I loved the shots of Flickr-ites in compromising positions. Perhaps you should consider a calender and call it “Photographer’s Palsy or are they just plain out of their minds?” ; )

    The fun thing about lolling on the ground trying to get the shot is all the people who look absolutely horrified and ask you if you ‘fell’ (while holding a $$$$$ camera). The one thing that Mama never told me was how in the summer you will totally toast your buns sitting on the scorching hot Florida pavement waiting for the tour group to migrate out of your shot.

    Viva la Flickr and Viva to all of the fun, friendships and fine photography.

  9. Hilary   |   Aug 26, 2011

    Excellent article. It really makes me sad that I always miss the flickr meet-ups. It sounds like it would be such a great experience with good people.

  10. Don Sullivan   |   Aug 26, 2011

    I have to agree with the sentiment expressed by Larry and a number of others who have responded to his post. Ranting about quitting Flickr became all the rage a month or so ago when a few well known and respected photographers decided to pronounce they were quitting and going to the ‘next new thing’. I read their reasoning and it seemed sound and balanced for their requirements. I also have no idea whether they were being sponsored by the site they were moving to in order to drive traffic to the new hot spot for photos on the web.

    I’ve looked at all of the new crop of photo sharing sites and have accounts on most of them if only out of curiosity. Each brings something different to the table but what none of them has is the community that has developed on Flickr around Disney theme park photography.

    The community of people I’ve had the pleasure to meet virtually and in real life via Flickr, is absolutely amazing. LIke Larry, I consider many of the real friends, not just Flickr friends. My biggest fear in this recent game of “squirrel” where folks jump to new hot photo site is fragmentation of this amazing community making it more difficult to find and see the work of the amazing photographers that are a part of this community.

    I, like most will continue to look at all of these new sites as they emerge and evolve and may even participate in some, but Flickr will continue to be home for me.

    After all, “it’s not the place, it’s the company” that makes life fun.

  11. Ben   |   Aug 27, 2011

    I really hope to be able to attend a WDW Photography meetup one day. With so many fantastic photographers on this site, I couldn’t help but learn and pick up tips that’ll help MY photography!

  12. Jeff Hamm   |   Aug 27, 2011

    I 100% agree with everything you’ve said in this article, Flickr has allowed me to make so many great friendships that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I tell people all the time how fortunate I am to have so many great friendships with people all over the country and even abroad! Great article Larry!

  13. Christa/The_Wendy_Bird   |   Aug 28, 2011

    I love Flickr and have met quite a few awesome contacts from it.

    I have been found my cast members rolling around on the ground and hanging over so many things like these photos in the World. I’d be nice to attend a WDW Photography meetup someday and have someone that doesn’t think I’m a nutter with me XD

  14. Greg Stevenson   |   Aug 30, 2011

    Great article Larry.

    I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone Oct 1!

    • Jenn   |   Aug 30, 2011

      OK I missed something along the way… :) When/where is the meetup Oct 1st? I’ll be in the parks! Would love to meet up with everyone!

      • Adam Hansen   |   Aug 30, 2011

        I don’t think anything has officially been scheduled, just that a lot of photographers will be there that day.

        I’ll ask if any of them want to plan a meetup and we can post it here as time gets closer.

  15. William McIntosh   |   Aug 31, 2011

    I’m hoping I can make it out there again some day in the future to meet with some of you WDW Flickr folks. In the mean time, I just wanted to chime in and say that Larry’s story is very similar to my own out here in Disneyland. Andy Castro and a couple of other people had been harping on me to join flickr, and I told them I was perfectly happy with my photobucket and Smugmug accounts. Then, one fateful day, I re-activated my account, paid the pro rate, and discovered the Disney Photo Challenge. From there I ran into several Disneyland photographers, and the rest, as they say, is history. There are several choices out there now for photographers, but you just can’t beat the community that is found on flickr. And, through flickr, I’ve already had the privilege of meeting several of you WDW types out here as well. Glad that Larry and many of you will be hanging around flickr as I look forward to seeing your photos as often as possible. :)

  16. CJ Balogh   |   Sep 3, 2011

    Awesome article Larry and I agree. I have checked out a few of the other sites and so far none of them have the population to make completely leaving Flickr a good idea. I think it’s inevitable that Flickr will eventually get phased out by some new, better thing, but that could be years.

    I was just in WDW last weekend and used my tripod several times with no hassle. Hopefully this is able to continue. I can only see it being a real issue if enough people complain that the tripods take up too much space and they can’t get a good spot to watch Wishes!

    I will be there the weekend of the 40th and am really hoping to meet up with fellow photogs. I know there are quite a few other ‘official’ meet ups for different things going on, so hopefully we can squeeze something in! Maybe friday or sunday, so it’s not on the actual day?

  17. Brett Kiger   |   Sep 5, 2011

    Thanks for the article, Larry, I agree! I don’t care where the latest trendy hang-out on the internet is, I want to be where my friends are. Sure, I’ve read tons of articles about photographers having to jump on all of the latest social media avenues (Twitter, Facebook, 500px, Google+, etc.) to stay relevant but there is a huge difference — those are pros! They need the exposure to make a living. I’m just a hobbyist that is interested in sharing my work and viewing work of others that have common interests. If everyone jumps to another site, than I suppose I will follow suit, but for now I’ll stick with Flickr too since that’s where I can count on my friends to be.

    I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting any of my Disney contacts in the parks yet, but I’m excited about the opportunity to do so someday. This first chance might be at Disneyland this December. Until then and beyond, I will continue to enjoy the great community that everyone has built on Flickr!



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