Monday, March 29, 2010

Choosing the right photography website for you.

Recently a friend request my advice about what company to choose for her first  photo website. Companies like livebooks, creative motion design, bludomain, aphotofolio, etc are good examples of the diversity of options in design and prices a photographer have today. My favourite in matter of  design is and, each one with their own benefits and disadvantages.

Personally I would recommend the guys from photoshelter. They offer primary an online archive, which is good because you can always access to your original files wherever you are plus some e-commerce options (it means you can sell you photographs as prints or rights managed, straight from your website), unlimited galleries and templates to show your work. So instead of have to prepare you images, re-size them, upload them and then add captions and keywords, simply upload your final file, and photoshelter does the rest (they don't add meta data for you) but the system take it from the iptc info in your file.  If your photo is a .tiff of 200 mb, no problem, and .psd with multiple layers, easy.  They support around 400 formats. As well you can deliver your photos to your clients, friends via private galleries or password protected. Plus some other features like sharing to social media (facebook, twitter, etc), discount coupons for clients and you can customize the templates or integrate them into your existing website  if you know some html or css language.

So why pay, $ 20 or a higher fee just for a website design. If as a photographer all is about the image, keep it simple, Show your images, have the option sell them online and the most important thing  have a back up!!! your hard drives can die, your dvds scratch.

Here some samples, right now my website looks like this:

But I can change it to:

If you have some galleries that would like to group together, so you can create a collection:

The images can shown in thumbnails:

or in a flash slide show like this:

If you like it you can grab it and paste it on your own blog.

You can buy some photos too:

All from one place.
And of course the password protected galleries: Pictures of a pretty girl. Want to see it? guess the password ;-) is not hard (sorry nothing in life comes easy). I use this option mainly for family photos, as my parents live in Peru and me in Czech Republic, they want to see photos of their grandson,  for me is easy, upload, copy to a gallery which updates in the moment and that's all. They already have the link so they only have to look at it to see how their beautiful grandson is growing.

I think it is the best option out there. I use it to back up my priceless family photos, project files and  of course to show my professional work.
In the other hand if you cannot afford a monthly fee or simply  do not need all of that I would recommend you Creative motion design which I use too for other commercial work but honestly give a try to photoshelter, you will love it.
Ready for it? using this link will give you a discount when you join or share this code with your friends: CA2LX24B6 to use when joining, don't be selfish, everybody likes to save. :)

Ah, by the way, my friend is still thinking about it, some people is so hard to convince.