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I'm doing the groundwork for setting up my own website to sell prints (primarily to the UK market), licence RM images and, at a later stage, licence my video library.

 

I've read quite a bit about Photoshelter on this forum and elsewhere and can see it has many promising features. However, I'm also interested in Photodeck which offers similar facilities. Anyone here with comments on or any experience of them, and has anyone any experience of their UK print fulfilment facility through One Vision Imaging Ltd.?

 

Thanks

 

Joe

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Hi Joe -     Photoshelter has powered my website  Parry.Photography  for a few years

 

Some reasons I've stayed with it:

  • templates make it easy to set up site  (I use a classic template, and Beam is their more fluid platform option)
  • file types: you can upload JPG, TIFF, RAW files, which can then be downloaded by clients
  • pricing profiles (downloads, products, bundles):  can set up many different pricing profiles for licensing downloads & products; image packages
  • storage (currently pro level is 1TB (standard level 60GB), which I find very useful for off-site back-up  (I pay for Pro level annually.)
  • order fulfillment: for each order - option to fulfill own print/product or select from several companies & set your pricing for each
  • watermarks: can chose position of default watermark or one you upload, plus can choose ON/OFF watermarks for each gallery
  • image security: you can disable right-click saving, and can choose size of image display thumbnails....  For each gallery, easy to set up one or more passwords giving different permissions, so one can be just to View, another to Download a certain number of files, another to Download unlimited files up to original size/type...  In Collections, Galleries can inherit (or not) passwords.  ---   Much of my photography business involves uploading assignment work to password-protected galleries that client can then view & download from - it's fast, secure & easy.
  • wordpress integration: download photoshelter plug-in for your wordpress blog, to embed (flash or not) your photoshelter images - a BIG time saver for me

What it needs: 

  • more flexibility in watermarks:  option to upload selection of watermarks to choose from for each gallery
  • videos: you can embed videos, but you can't upload them, & therefore clients can't download videos

Referral code saves each of us a bit of money: http://www.photoshelter.com/referral/AN8PA2EF2J

 

Regardless of whether you use above code or not, if you decide to try Photoshelter (there's a free trail option, of course) and have questions, don't hesitate to contact me. 

 

- Ann

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I also use Photoshelter.  I was hesitant for a very long period of time in that I initially contributed to the stock agency they had a few years ago which abruptly got shut down...and I was a little bitter but I got over it.

 

Aside from what Ann has mentioned, I REALLY like the FTP feature.

 

After a shoot, I upload my images to my site, then I can FTP them to my agents directly from the site, simultaneously, from their servers, with no effect on my local computer or resources at all.  It's simply a matter of checking a few boxes and receiving a confirmation email when the FTP is complete.  I love that feature and it saves me a lot of time at home.  The FTP can be tricky at certain agencies and you just need to get past that - as an example, if you are uploading to Alamy Live News, you need to be sure you are uploading to the correct folder (news, entertainment, or sport).

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I also use Photoshelter.  I was hesitant for a very long period of time in that I initially contributed to the stock agency they had a few years ago which abruptly got shut down...and I was a little bitter but I got over it.

 

Aside from what Ann has mentioned, I REALLY like the FTP feature.

 

After a shoot, I upload my images to my site, then I can FTP them to my agents directly from the site, simultaneously, from their servers, with no effect on my local computer or resources at all.  It's simply a matter of checking a few boxes and receiving a confirmation email when the FTP is complete.  I love that feature and it saves me a lot of time at home.  The FTP can be tricky at certain agencies and you just need to get past that - as an example, if you are uploading to Alamy Live News, you need to be sure you are uploading to the correct folder (news, entertainment, or sport).

 

Ed

 

Thanks for that insight. I must look at that FTP feature more closely as I am looking at the practicality of creating direct feeds to potential clients' picture desks.

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Ed - It's useful to know you're happy using Photoshelter's FTP. 

I use Cyberduck, but recently set up outgoing FTP at Photoshelter for news, including Alamy Live News, so will have to give it a try.

 

I also use Photoshelter.  I was hesitant for a very long period of time in that I initially contributed to the stock agency they had a few years ago which abruptly got shut down...and I was a little bitter but I got over it.

 

Aside from what Ann has mentioned, I REALLY like the FTP feature.

 

After a shoot, I upload my images to my site, then I can FTP them to my agents directly from the site, simultaneously, from their servers, with no effect on my local computer or resources at all.  It's simply a matter of checking a few boxes and receiving a confirmation email when the FTP is complete.  I love that feature and it saves me a lot of time at home.  The FTP can be tricky at certain agencies and you just need to get past that - as an example, if you are uploading to Alamy Live News, you need to be sure you are uploading to the correct folder (news, entertainment, or sport).

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I've used PhotoShelter for a number of years and I'm fairly happy with them. The FTP feature can come in very handy. One possible advantage of Photodeck is that you can also sell your images through the Photographers Direct (PD) website. Mind you, PD sales aren't what they used to be, and that might not be a kosher forum topic.

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Thanks for the comments to date - I much appreciate you all taking the time to comment.

 

FTP is not important  for the way I work, so doesn't really come into the reckoning.

 

Photodeck sites seem to handle tablet and mobile browsing better than Photoshelter and that seems to be be increasingly important as more and more internet access is done that way; or is this not so significant with the purchase of prints and with professional stock buyers?

 

Fewer people seem to use Photodeck but I'm not sure if its because people haven't come across it as much as Photoshelter, or if they have come across it and decided against it. Any opinions?

 

Anyone used One Vision Imaging?

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I've used PhotoShelter for a number of years and I'm fairly happy with them. The FTP feature can come in very handy. One possible advantage of Photodeck is that you can also sell your images through the Photographers Direct (PD) website. Mind you, PD sales aren't what they used to be, and that might not be a kosher forum topic.

 

A couple of years back, I was contacted by Chris Barton of Photographers Direct (PD) and he asked why I had cancelled a sale (the sale did not go as the client was having problems sending funds) but I was curious why Chris was interested as the prospective sale (according to my StatCounter) came directly from my own website and not PD.   I also checked my StatCounter on Photodeck and there was no sign of anyone coming from PD.  I advised Chris that the sale did not proceed and he was fine but then I contacted Photodeck and asked why this would have happened without any evidence of the link between the image and PD.  I was somewhat surprised when I received a response from Photodeck "If a client goes to Photographers Direct and discovers a photographer website this way, if he/she makes a purchase on the photographer website a few weeks later (very few clients purchase right away), even for another image (my emphasis), it is normal that Chris is credited for the sale."    so even if an image is not on PD and is on Photodeck, and the prospective client has been on PD within a few weeks prior, then Chris collects his 20% fee.  I have no problems with Chris collecting his fee if the prospective client came directly from the image on PD to the same image on Photodeck but not otherwise!

 

Just something to remember regarding the link between PD and Photodeck.

 

Sheila

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For what it's worth, I went with Zenfolio.  It couldn't be easier to use and they offer live tech support that is fast and pleasant.  They have a lot of templates that can be fully customized, you can upload CR2 files, sell files, you can upload customized watermarks and apply different ones to different images, they are reasonably priced and offer full POD services. 

 

Referral Code: HNC-1EC-8R4

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I have had Zenfolio for at least 5 years since I left Photoshelter. I have my celebrity archives there but the whole site is password only.

 

My other site is on Smug;I use it mostly for storage or when a client has a specific request.I have 327,000 images there but 99% are only visible with a viewing password.

 

Zen is my fave of the two and I think I pay $100 a year,unlimited storage.

 

L

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I've used PhotoShelter for a number of years and I'm fairly happy with them. The FTP feature can come in very handy. One possible advantage of Photodeck is that you can also sell your images through the Photographers Direct (PD) website. Mind you, PD sales aren't what they used to be, and that might not be a kosher forum topic.

 

A couple of years back, I was contacted by Chris Barton of Photographers Direct (PD) and he asked why I had cancelled a sale (the sale did not go as the client was having problems sending funds) but I was curious why Chris was interested as the prospective sale (according to my StatCounter) came directly from my own website and not PD.   I also checked my StatCounter on Photodeck and there was no sign of anyone coming from PD.  I advised Chris that the sale did not proceed and he was fine but then I contacted Photodeck and asked why this would have happened without any evidence of the link between the image and PD.  I was somewhat surprised when I received a response from Photodeck "If a client goes to Photographers Direct and discovers a photographer website this way, if he/she makes a purchase on the photographer website a few weeks later (very few clients purchase right away), even for another image (my emphasis), it is normal that Chris is credited for the sale."    so even if an image is not on PD and is on Photodeck, and the prospective client has been on PD within a few weeks prior, then Chris collects his 20% fee.  I have no problems with Chris collecting his fee if the prospective client came directly from the image on PD to the same image on Photodeck but not otherwise!

 

Just something to remember regarding the link between PD and Photodeck.

 

Sheila

 

Thanks. Interesting to know. However, I'm not with Photodeck, and my sales through PD tanked a couple of years ago. I used to do quite well on PD when they first started up. But there has been a sea change in the industry since then.

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I'm doing the groundwork for setting up my own website to sell prints (primarily to the UK market), licence RM images and, at a later stage, licence my video library.

 

I've read quite a bit about Photoshelter on this forum and elsewhere and can see it has many promising features. However, I'm also interested in Photodeck which offers similar facilities. Anyone here with comments on or any experience of them, and has anyone any experience of their UK print fulfilment facility through One Vision Imaging Ltd.?

 

Thanks

 

Joe

 

TBH, it makes little difference. Photodeck is a good site but it will no more drive traffic to your site than PS. I used Photodeck for a year in early days, it a good site which Jeff(?) was improving every week but still doesn't overcome the basic problem of stock sites....getting clients.

 

Client fulfilment varies between both ...stock is not about the sites but about marketing. SEO and web 2.0 - they won't make you any decent money.

 

I would look at Zenfolio, I was impressed with their site back-end at the Focus show a few years ago. Still, nothing would get me wasting my time on a stock site again unless the market changed radically.  My own site is now a Wordpress one which serves me solely for local clients and private galleries for ADs/editors.

 

 

Absolutely right Geoff. Marketing and sales is the difficult bit and you have that wherever and however you host your site. Unfortunately most photographers are not good at that side of things (fortunately for those that are ) - me too, alas!

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Thank you for the pointers to Zenfolio. It looks promising and I'll assess in more detail it along with the other options.

 

I was interested to see that Zenfolio have addressed the issue of complying with EU law in respect of obtaining the consent of site visitors for cookies to be used on their computer. As far as I've been able to ascertain, it isn't possible to comply with this EU legal requirement on sites based on either Photoshelter or Photodeck. If I am wrong I'd be grateful if someone could correct me as I am reluctant to create a website which is not legally compliant. At the moment I may have to rule out Photodeck and Photoshelter for that reason.

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I was last year in Photoshelter, but I moved to Photodeck in January. I do have my site in both Finnish and English, which is not possible in Photoshelter.  Take a look at my site pictorium.com.

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Thank you for the pointers to Zenfolio. It looks promising and I'll assess in more detail it along with the other options.

 

I was interested to see that Zenfolio have addressed the issue of complying with EU law in respect of obtaining the consent of site visitors for cookies to be used on their computer. As far as I've been able to ascertain, it isn't possible to comply with this EU legal requirement on sites based on either Photoshelter or Photodeck. If I am wrong I'd be grateful if someone could correct me as I am reluctant to create a website which is not legally compliant. At the moment I may have to rule out Photodeck and Photoshelter for that reason.

PD and PS are American, are they not?

How could  an EU directive apply to sites hosted outside the EU? They set the cookies, not you.

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Thank you for the pointers to Zenfolio. It looks promising and I'll assess in more detail it along with the other options.

 

I was interested to see that Zenfolio have addressed the issue of complying with EU law in respect of obtaining the consent of site visitors for cookies to be used on their computer. As far as I've been able to ascertain, it isn't possible to comply with this EU legal requirement on sites based on either Photoshelter or Photodeck. If I am wrong I'd be grateful if someone could correct me as I am reluctant to create a website which is not legally compliant. At the moment I may have to rule out Photodeck and Photoshelter for that reason.

PD and PS are American, are they not?

How could  an EU directive apply to sites hosted outside the EU? They set the cookies, not you.

 

 

My understanding is that the law applies to the website owner. I am based in the UK and if I set up a website in my name then it will be my responsibility to comply, even if the suppliers of the services which power my website are based outside the EU. 

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Thank you for the pointers to Zenfolio. It looks promising and I'll assess in more detail it along with the other options.

 

I was interested to see that Zenfolio have addressed the issue of complying with EU law in respect of obtaining the consent of site visitors for cookies to be used on their computer. As far as I've been able to ascertain, it isn't possible to comply with this EU legal requirement on sites based on either Photoshelter or Photodeck. If I am wrong I'd be grateful if someone could correct me as I am reluctant to create a website which is not legally compliant. At the moment I may have to rule out Photodeck and Photoshelter for that reason.

PD and PS are American, are they not?

How could  an EU directive apply to sites hosted outside the EU? They set the cookies, not you.

 

 

My understanding is that the law applies to the website owner. I am based in the UK and if I set up a website in my name then it will be my responsibility to comply, even if the suppliers of the services which power my website are based outside the EU. 

 

That's not how I read it and I shan't be losing any sleep over it. Those consent banners are a flipping nuisance anyway.

Same with the DPA- there's still no case  law on digital images of people and until there is I shall continue to assume that they are not personal data.

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My understanding is that the law applies to the website owner. I am based in the UK and if I set up a website in my name then it will be my responsibility to comply, even if the suppliers of the services which power my website are based outside the EU.

There's no reason why you have to have a pop-up. A notice informing that continued browsing equals consent should be enough and also a link to a cookie policy. I have a footer pop-up on my site but I also have a page with a cookie policy and a 'disable in browser' line. You don't need to preclude any website based on cookies - it's up to the user to disable in their browser after you've informed them. A pop-up is an easy way but not the only way.

 

BTW, like most things wordpress..it was a freebie :)

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I have been with PS a number of years (since year 1 in fact).

 

If you want to use it as a STOCK site rather than a vehicle for other efforts in your business then I would consider my own experiences............ what very few sales I have gotten from them come from publishers. The publishers, in my own experience, never use the automated sales feature - they email and negotiate. After a few years I have realised I don't need the automated sales side just a nice web gallery with good google visibility to attract the publishers. I say this because PS are going to charge you 10% of every every sale on top of your subscription - and you won't get "anything else" other than a gallery with a very nice automated sales system. If you remove the automated sales then theres even more competition in this market segment. 

 

My success to date has been chicken feed compared to sales through stock agencies. It does not cover its costs for me! 

 

I am very interested in others success/failure/opinion on other platforms. 

 

Take a look at the PS forums though - they are sadly not as active as they once were. And the general positivity seems to becoming quite negative, esp. in relation to PS's lack of attention to STOCK. 

 

If I had not invested so much time and effort in setting up my library with PS I would be looking at the alternatives.

 

Ideally what needed is a site/company that also has someone working on general marketing of their combined image holdings. I still have not found one that is backed up by strong user opinion.

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I have been with PS a number of years (since year 1 in fact).

 

If you want to use it as a STOCK site rather than a vehicle for other efforts in your business then I would consider my own experiences............ what very few sales I have gotten from them come from publishers. The publishers, in my own experience, never use the automated sales feature - they email and negotiate. After a few years I have realised I don't need the automated sales side just a nice web gallery with good google visibility to attract the publishers. I say this because PS are going to charge you 10% of every every sale on top of your subscription - and you won't get "anything else" other than a gallery with a very nice automated sales system. If you remove the automated sales then theres even more competition in this market segment. 

 

My success to date has been chicken feed compared to sales through stock agencies. It does not cover its costs for me! 

 

I am very interested in others success/failure/opinion on other platforms. 

 

Take a look at the PS forums though - they are sadly not as active as they once were. And the general positivity seems to becoming quite negative, esp. in relation to PS's lack of attention to STOCK. 

 

If I had not invested so much time and effort in setting up my library with PS I would be looking at the alternatives.

 

Ideally what needed is a site/company that also has someone working on general marketing of their combined image holdings. I still have not found one that is backed up by strong user opinion.

My experiences with PS are similar to yours, except that I have had a few clients use the automated sales feature. Most publishers do contact me to negotiate, though. I've found that sales through my PS website have fallen dramatically during the past couple of years. All I've had so far in 2014 are two print sales. I like PS and will probably stick with them for the time being. At some point, though, I'm going to have to decide whether or not it is worth paying the monthly subscription fee. I'm "pants" (as our British friends would say) at marketing, so Alamy is working much better for me. 

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Thanks for the input from everybody. I'm fast coming to the conclusion that no one solution ticks all the boxes for my needs and whatever solution I choose will involve compromise one way or the other.

 

I checked out some Zenfolio sites on a tablet and found it was desperately slow, especially going to a zoom of an individual image. Photodeck sites seem very quick and elegant at the same task. However, I still don't know how important a good tablet/mobile version of a website is or is going to be for stock and print sales. Anybody got a crystal ball?

 

Zenfolio is also attractive to me for the EU cookie issue being addressed 'out of the box'. I don't really want to have to fiddle with workaround solutions. On the other hand Zenfolio and Photoshelter charge commission on each sale, which makes them less attractive (even if, as responses above indicate, direct sales are few and far between).

 

I'm all too well aware of the need to market a website in order to make it worthwhile, having owned and managed websites in other retail realms, but what I have read suggests Photodeck has the edge in aiding web visibility.

 

Thanks again for all your input. FWIW I hold in esteem the views of people on the Alamy forum far more than I do the internet in general and your contributions to this discussion are most helpful. Please feel free to chip in with any other experiences or comments as I will refer myself back to this thread in the coming weeks.

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The Photodeck site is quite good for example: takes no commissions of sales, keywords adjust automatically in alphabetical row, fast server, no bugs (!), friendly and very fast support, 8 templates to be modified in several and easy ways, sites modified also for tablets and phones.

But as there are over 80 000 sites in just Photoshelter, so there is no easy way to get sales. 

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