Wikipedia describes Flickr (pronounced “flicker”) as an image hosting service and video hosting service. It was created by Ludicorp in 2004. It has changed ownership several times and has been owned by SmugMug since April 2018.
In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs and an online community, the service is widely used by photo researchers and by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
And it’s also an interesting source of candidates that are not widely used by sourcers. And because you are reading this article, you are among the few people who will learn how to source on this site.
Sourcing on Flickr is not as hard as you might think and in this article, you will learn a few basic ways to source on this website.
How to Source on Flickr
There are many ways to source on this site, and these two methods are the primary ways you can use for your sourcing.
First Method – Flickr search
You can try using a keywords search on Flickr. For this example, we will try to find “Designer”
When you type “Designer”, you will get all the profiles that mention “Designer” somewhere in their profile. However, if you would like to add more keywords like location into your string, you will narrow your results. In this case, your string “Designer” AND “London” will only show you, 10 people.
Boolean logic works on Flickr.com for simple strings, but if you would like to try longer strings with more keywords, or more advanced strings with a few more operators, you will need to use some other option.
Second Method – X-Ray Search
For this X-Ray search, you will need operators like site:, inurl: and intext:. You can use more operators; however, these three will be the ones that you are going to be using for most of your searches.
Before you start creating your strings there are few folders that you are going to be targeting with your search.
https://www.flickr.com/groups/ – Flickr groups – To see members in a group you need to have an account on Flickr and you need to be a member of the group.
https://www.flickr.com/people/ – Profiles of registered users and this page you will be targeting the most.
Using a string for targeting people is a combination of site: flickr.com and inurl: people with a few keywords.
For example site:flickr.com inurl:people Designer
Or you can simplify this search with this string site:flickr.com/people Designer
If you would like to find people who have Designer on their profile and are living in London just add the location into the string:
site:flickr.com/people Designer London
X-Ray search will show you 16,900 results. Your string “Designer” AND “London” (first method) will only show you ten people on flickr.com, that’s why X-Ray search is more effective.
Targeting profile with a website
Targeting a profile with a website URL on their Flickr profiles could be done with this simple trick. Just add “website” into your string.
site:flickr.com/people Designer Website London
However, this string will get all sites with the keyword “website”. So you can create a more advanced string.
site:flickr.com/people Designer Website London (intext:www OR intext:http OR intext:https)
Or you can use more complex strings like this one:
site:flickr.com/people (“graphic design” OR “Designer”) (country*uk OR country*”united kingdom” OR city*london) website
You can also target the emails of these people by searching
site:flickr.com/people Designer London (“e-mail” OR email”)
Or you can use more complex strings where you can use intext: operator
site:flickr.com/people (“graphic design” OR “Designer”) (country*uk OR country*”united kingdom” OR city*london) (intext:www OR intext:http OR intext:https OR “website”)
Targeting profiles based on when they joined
You can also target accounts that were just created by simply adding “Joined * 2018”. The asterisks operator will replace any month before the year so you will target whole year, not only a specific month. You can do that if you replace * with the name of the month.
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site:flickr.com/people “Joined * 2018” Designer London
Or you can use a more complex string: site:flickr.com/people “Joined * 2018″ Designer (country*uk OR country*”united kingdom” OR city*london)
You can also create your string and add it into your Image search and select Face as one of the options. This will help you to filter all the images that have a face on them, and this could help you to find people (users) who could be tagged on these photos or mentioned in the comments.
site:flickr.com Designer London “User Experience”
You can get things that are quite old like this one, but this could also be a great starting point for your discussion with your candidates.
Don’t worry; I didn’t forget the intitle: operator. (The query intitle:term restricts results to documents containing the term in the title.)
You can use it when you are targeting specific keywords as in the following case of a finance conference in London. Just add inurl:albums to your string so you can target their photo albums.
site:flickr.com inurl:albums intitle:conference intitle:finance London
You can also target more events by adding more keywords to your string.
site:flickr.com inurl:albums (intitle:conference OR intitle:Event) intitle:finance
This string will help you find albums on Flickr that are from conferences or events that are connected with finance.
Even if you don’t see the list of names, people in these images are usually wearing badges and very often you can look at their names and job titles on these badges.
Sourcing on Flickr
These are a few simple tricks for targeting potential candidates; there are a few more tricks to improve your search strings and find more people faster.
Flickr is a place where you can find not only talented photographs but also other talented people.