Why you should use PhotoShelter for your professional photography website — and how to get $15 off!

 In Behind-the-scenes, Photography, Pro tips for the amateur photographer, Tools

If you are a new photographer starting out, or getting serious about your craft, you are probably wondering where to host your website. After all, it is one of the most crucial decisions you will take.

Why? First of all, your website should be the central point of your marketing strategy. Any of your marketing channels (email, social media, SEO, profiles) should lead to your website and make potential customers contact you or make an order.

In addition, your website is central to your branding, as it is the place where you show your portfolio, present the different kind of services you offer and give extra info about your work.

There are many solutions that will allow you to do that, with a range of prices and features. However, those are only the aspects of your website that are public, a storefront of sorts.

Many people forget that, no matter how professional your website looks like, the way you deliver your service or products to the client needs to look equally professional. Sending your photos via Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer is not going to cut it. You will have to manage customers’ frustration as they try to download a 4GB file or their link expires—and you will have to deal with your own frustration as you run out of space or figure out a way to track links.

Luckily, there is PhotoShelter. It excels both in creating beautiful websites and in delivering images for your customers, with a range of tools that make the process easy—and almost enjoyable!

If you are planning on signing up for a membership plan, please use this link or use code RX8XR8WU5D on checkout. You will get $15 off your order.

Let’s look at the public side of the website first. PhotoShelter offers nine responsive templates that can be customized (colors, fonts, etc.). In my website, for example, I’m using the Element template. Joe McNally uses the East template. The interface to edit the content and the layout is very intuitive.

But the genius goes behind the scenes. PhotoShelter is not only a website, but a powerful image archive where you can upload your full-resolution images, organized in collections and galleries. Then, you can select those galleries to be featured on the public website (for everyone to see) or keep them private (for clients to download, protected by a password). This private interface maintains your branding an identity at all times.

When a client or editor receives the final link, they can download individual pictures, download a few pictures at a time, or download them all. PhotoShelter also allows you to customize access, so certain people can only download small-size images with a watermark (for example, to share pics with people who attended a conference) and others (for example, conference organizers) have access to the full-size image. PhotoShelter takes care of this, so you do not have to export and upload twice.

Another great feature is Client Proofing. You can send a rough edit to a client. Then, the client or clients (it supports several reviewers) can pick their favorites in an easy an intuitive gallery. At the end, you receive a list of the final picks, for post-production and final delivery. This is particularly useful for studio and portrait photography, where the editor wants to review and have a say in the final edit.

You can use any of your images, galleries or collections uploaded to the PhotoShelter archive to be featured in the public website. In other website platforms, you would need to export the images, then upload them and then create the galleries individually. Quite a headache!

For me, something that really sets PhotoShelter apart is the plugin for Adobe Lightroom. You are able to manage your PhotoShelter images and galleries directly from Lightroom, so the upload process is a breeze. In my case, I only keep RAW files in my computer and the conversion to JPG happens during the upload process. The added benefit of the plugin is that when you update the metadata or change the toning of your images, or the order of the pictures in a gallery, the plugin detects those changes and you can sync the changes in one click. It makes it super easy to keep your portfolio and the rest of your galleries updated.

The website also allows integration with your YouTube and Vimeo accounts, so you can feature your video and multimedia production services. It can also pull your blog’s feed, which you can host elsewhere, so all the info about your business is in one place. And the other way around, you can easily pick photos from your PhotoShelter archive to include or embed in your WordPress blog.

PhotoShelter also offers advanced features like a searchable photo archive and print services. Orders are automatically fulfilled, so PhotoShelter could be making you money while you sleep!

Is PhotoShelter perfect? No, it’s not, but the company is very responsive to photographers’ needs and is always looking for ways to improve its service.

In my opinion, PhotoShelter is definitely a great value for money and worth every cent. It covers everything you need as a professional photographer and it is an investment in your career that you will get back in your very first assignment!

I hope this review was useful! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

If you are planning on signing up for a membership plan, please use this link or use code RX8XR8WU5D on checkout. You will get $15 off your order.

 

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