geoff s

personal websites

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Having made a few print sales recently with some of my arty-farty-fotos  ( ie physically selling them from a physical location), I

am wondering whether I should have a website, and if I should how best to go about getting one ie does one go to your local IT man

or do you get one 'off the shelf' from the web ? 

Do you start out with a basic display of your stuff and maybe progress to a retail type if you get any interest ?

 

Strikes me that it's one thing to have a lovely website, but it's directing people to it that is the hardest part and, given that fact, is it ever likely to 

justify itself from a financial perspective ? Does the volume of other such websites mean it's sunk without trace even before it's launched ?

Have any of you reaped major or unexpected rewards from your website I wonder ?

Recommendations, opinions all welcome. I realise that it's a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' subject.

 

Note to Auntie Alamy, I'm not talking about any of my stock photos here, just my personal collection of the ones with pretensions of artyness.

 

Thanks

Geoff

 

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, geoff s said:

Having made a few print sales recently with some of my arty-farty-fotos  ( ie physically selling them from a physical location), I

am wondering whether I should have a website, and if I should how best to go about getting one ie does one go to your local IT man

or do you get one 'off the shelf' from the web ? 

Do you start out with a basic display of your stuff and maybe progress to a retail type if you get any interest ?

 

Strikes me that it's one thing to have a lovely website, but it's directing people to it that is the hardest part and, given that fact, is it ever likely to 

justify itself from a financial perspective ? Does the volume of other such websites mean it's sunk without trace even before it's launched ?

Have any of you reaped major or unexpected rewards from your website I wonder ?

Recommendations, opinions all welcome. I realise that it's a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' subject.

 

Note to Auntie Alamy, I'm not talking about any of my stock photos here, just my personal collection of the ones with pretensions of artyness.

 

Thanks

Geoff

 

 

 

Facebook Pages is the free way to start, post up images on a relatively regular basis, cross post to groups, gain a following then point people to a website where you sell images, there are quite a few photographer centred ones. They may cost you around £100 a year to run if you provide a sales option through them but a few sales will cover it. Not sure I can name sites so I will leave it for you to search for.

 

Edit: I would add that having a website is both nothing and everything as anyone can have one and for a relatively low cost, but it shows that you take it more seriously than just places like Facebook which are free. You could of course just self fulfil on Facebook but usually dealing with people and pricing can be a pain, a website with set prices for sizes and fulfilment through a 3rd party means its hands off for you, you'll get less people moaning "it's too expensive" etc.

Edited by JamesH

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Thanks James.

I feel that you are talking about POD sites as well as personal websites

Just to be clear I'm not talking about POD sites or any other sort of 3rd party fulfillment idea. That would upset Alamy and it's 

not what I'm focusing on right now.

 

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51 minutes ago, geoff s said:

Thanks James.

I feel that you are talking about POD sites as well as personal websites

Just to be clear I'm not talking about POD sites or any other sort of 3rd party fulfillment idea. That would upset Alamy and it's 

not what I'm focusing on right now.

 

 

Well, if you aren't wanting to make print sales then I guess you want something to promote you as a photographer, which could easily be a simple website, you just need to showcase your work. If you dont want to spend money then Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc are where you may want to put some effort in to.

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I use www.zenfolio.com for my personal site. www.tannachyphotography.co.uk .   It is pretty easy to use with templates with plenty customization.  There are plenty others available like squarespace, smugmug etc.

 

I think the Facebook is pretty pointless for a personal portfolio, the quality of images is poor.  You're better off with a proper website, if you can be bothered maintaining a social media presence,  you can direct traffic to your site.

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Geoff,  I relocated to the South West a couple of years back, leaving bulk of my clients in the Midlands. Though now semi retired, I didn't want to completely give up, and my website  ( www.tonycharnock.co.uk )was one of the ways I kick started that process down here in Devon. I've now established a decent customer base, but the site still pulls in a couple of extra jobs a month for me - it's an invaluable tool, so the answer is YES, get yourself a website, you never know what'll come out of it.

I'd suggest wix, easy to use, loads of templates to choose from, and whilst the free version runs a few adverts on the side, they're not terribly intrusive.

It's free - what have you got to lose, other than a couple of hours peering into a screen!

:)

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Thanks folks, will investigate Wix and others mentioned.

So what about SEO as I believe it's called ? Is there anything an individual can do to direct Google searches towards your own website without spending money) ? I would be wanting to sell prints if possible, though not via a POD site. 

Geoff

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5 minutes ago, geoff s said:

Thanks folks, will investigate Wix and others mentioned.

So what about SEO as I believe it's called ? Is there anything an individual can do to direct Google searches towards your own website without spending money) ? I would be wanting to sell prints if possible, though not via a POD site. 

Geoff

Just as you do on Alamy, you keyword. They go in the webpage HTML code. If you look into these things you'll find out where- something to do with metatags but if you use website building software it's automated.

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I'll happily recommend SmugMug. They're not cheap but they are hassle free.

 

I've had my website with them for 5 or 6 years now. I'm on a pro account which is pricier than it should be, but they have a lot of different options available, and a simple portfolio site without e-commerce enabled is very reasonably priced, templates and custom options are pretty easy to use, you can further costomize by inserting your own coding if you want (I know zilch about coding so haven't). The advantage from my perspective was that I was able to give clients password protected folders and private galleries where they can browse their galleries and download their images, and order print products, without having to deal with fulfilment of that myself (SmugMug deal with the printers). I don't really do any stock photo type direct print sales from the website only those that are paid clients' work (mostly portraiture, sports events and corporate events), but you can of course enable that and then either sell files or sell prints. Because it's mostly just clients visiting my site, I've so far woefully neglected the SEO side of things completely  - need to get round to that some time!

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Photoshelter is my choice and has been since 2005.

 

Mainly a shop window. Am clueless with code so still use the old fashioned template design.

 

Very useful for storage, adding metadata, ftp distribution, 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Photoshelter is my choice and has been since 2005.

 

Me too. I pay like $10/month, nice templates. No stress. 

 

www.arotenberg.photoshelter.com 

 

Edited by Brasilnut

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I pay something like $500 a year for unlimited storage. getting more expensive as the £ falls :(

 

www.geographyphotos.com

  • Upvote 1

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

Photoshelter is my choice and has been since 2005.

Me too, US$300 a year + GoDaddy. Lots of templates to choose from, easy to use. You can sell from there if you want to, although I don't. I redirect anyone interested inbuying prints to FAA.

 

https://www.rpphoto.bz

Edited by rickp

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4 hours ago, imageplotter said:

I'll happily recommend SmugMug. They're not cheap but they are hassle free....

 

Yes, another happy SmugMug user here - well worth a look.

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Posted (edited)

The sites seem pretty much of a muchness. I use Photodeck. One thing I do have is a redirect function from an easy to remember website (my surname .nl) to the photodeck site.

As you alluded to the challenge is getting it found. Or rather getting it found by the right people.

Edited by funkyworm

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Posted (edited)

I've been on Photoshelter for about ten years now. I currently have their standard plan at $30 a month and each year they increase storage. I've made a fair number of digital sales to magazines, textbooks and catalogs, and a few personal use print sales over the years. All in all the site has paid for itself but probably not a lot beyond that.Whether or not a website is financially worthwhile depends on how much you spend on it in term of both time and money. They have tutorials on how to increase your SEO and the photos are indexed by Google.

 

PhotoShelter allows you to set up automatic print fulfillment with online printers like AdoramaPix, or you can just fulfill print orders yourself.

 

I agree that Facebook is pretty useless for a portfolio. I have a photographer's page but I seem to get more views via my personal FB page. People will share your photos and too many people assume they can use your images anyway they please.

 

fD

Edited by fotoDogue

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7 hours ago, geoff s said:

Thanks folks, will investigate Wix and others mentioned.

So what about SEO as I believe it's called ? Is there anything an individual can do to direct Google searches towards your own website without spending money) ? I would be wanting to sell prints if possible, though not via a POD site. 

Geoff

As I understand it, WIX will generate SEO for, you just add in words on which you'd like it to generate the terms.

 

My own site isn't through any of these, it's running within a large chunk of web space I bought, within which I can generate individual galleries as I wish.

 

For selling prints direct, you can get an account with Colorworld Imaging, they're based in Tyne & Wear.  They have a setup called Imagepartner - used by events photographers/wedding photographers. It produce galleries of images, you define the sales options and prices within your account.

Tony

 

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I have the most basic Photoshelter website option. It used to make a decent profit every year. Now it doesn't even pay for itself (at least not for the past couple of years). CEO is very good, though, especially for galleries. Mine tend to come up regularly near the top of Google searches. I keep wondering if I should shut my website down, but hope springs eternal...

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On 08/10/2017 at 15:10, geoff s said:

....how best to go about getting one ie does one go to your local IT man or do you get one 'off the shelf' from the web ? 

 

Strikes me that it's one thing to have a lovely website, but it's directing people to it that is the hardest part........

 

Further to my earlier reply. I would say at this stage I wouldn't bother with getting a website specifically developed for you - that could come later if needed. For the time being I would stick with the 'freebie' approach that some have mentioned or a chargeable hosted site. You mention getting people directed to it - I would encourage the use of social media to 'point back' to your website e.g. Twitter, Facebook and especially Instagram - they can be significant drivers of traffic back to a website.

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Thanks everybody.

Another question....domain names  (is that the right term ? ) I have a relatively rare surname so I guess I could use my name as my website title. Do you register your website name as

the first step with Godaddy and then go to one of these hosting sites like WIx, Photoshelter etc where you can use that same address ?  And which is better .co.uk or .com ?

Apologies if it's a stupid question, I have tried to find the answers on the internet but finding simple advice that isn't trying to sell you a service is impossible.

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Yes, you can 'play about' on Go Daddy (and similar providers) trying out different domain names - it will advise whether or not they are available.

 

.co.uk or .com is largely a personal choice - .com flows off the tongue easier and some will argue that one is better than the other but personally I doubt it. There are a lot of alternatives now as well as those two. Personal choice would be a simple domain name - not too long (mine which is my full name followed by photography.com is a bit long I think, should have gone short & snappy maybe) - ending with .com. But you can't go far wrong really.

Edited by Gary Clarke
typo

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Forgot to add if you have Adobe Lightroom on subscription it give you access to a free portfolio without needing to commit to a full blown website (but I'd still recommend that for sales etc). The portfolio gives you another mechanism to attract business to your website.

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Ok, progress !  I am now the proud owner of geoffshoults.com ! 

Quite like the idea of this option for print sales, seems to me a pretty good solution and appeals more to me than the big POD sites ( FAA etc)......

18 hours ago, TeeCee said:

As I understand it, WIX will generate SEO for, you just add in words on which you'd like it to generate the terms.

 

My own site isn't through any of these, it's running within a large chunk of web space I bought, within which I can generate individual galleries as I wish.

 

For selling prints direct, you can get an account with Colorworld Imaging, they're based in Tyne & Wear.  They have a setup called Imagepartner - used by events photographers/wedding photographers. It produce galleries of images, you define the sales options and prices within your account.

Tony

 

 

Now just need to create the website to go with the name

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions.

Geoff

 

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You should probably get  .uk as well. Domain names are cheap and  you might find that somebody else buys up the .uk version and tries to sell it back to you at an extortionate price.

Edited by MDM
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