1. Batch upload tool can upload hundreds of photos at once (I’ve done 425 in one shot).
2. Switch once for Free and $100 each time thereafter.
If you get tired of your design no worries just switch. How’s this for a sweet deal: after a year you want to freshen up your look, switch for free and only keep paying the $17/month hosting fee. We will have at least 4 more to choose from a year from now, if not more.
3. Image galleries stay put when you delete the image bank.
Ok, this is really a handy feature. I loaded 425 images into Antonin’s site for him, built all the galleries and sequenced the images, then we decided the contrast needed a little punch. So, I batch adjusted the contrast on my desktop, deleted all the images in the image bank and uploaded the newly adjusted pictures. If you don’t change the image names they load back into the galleries and sequence the way you had it. Genius.
4. FTP Access.
Everyone can use ftp to build client folders and store stuff on the server. It’s not for transferring all the high res from a shoot but certainly the selects and the low res edit.
5. WordPress Blog included.
You don’t have to get one when you start either, we’ll add it whenever you ask. Having a blog on your url http://www.mysite.com/blog is an excellent way to get seen in google searches. Also, there’s so many themes and plug-ins available, you can really customize and make it your own.
6. Google Apps for Email.
Google apps simply allows you to send and receive email at your site address (email@example.com). It’s very powerful and you can use IMAP, POP, Forwarding or login to their web interface to send and receive your email (that means you can send it to your phone or a desktop client like .mac or thunderbird). You can have up to 100 different email addresses on the same URL. There’s also a ton of other features like calendars and docs to take advantage of. Finally, google has the best spam filter in the business and they’re ultra reliable for delivering the mail 24/7.
7. iPhone and html mirror site automatically created.
Anyone can check out your site on a web enabled phone and the iPhone experience is especially cool. Google and other search engines can crawl and index your images because there’s a html version sitting next to the flash one.
8. Landing page slide shows.
Right after the intro (if you choose to have one) and before a portfolio or page is selected you can have a slideshow of your top images running. It’s so easy to create and you can set the speed too.
9. Fixed and fast or Big and Beautiful, you choose.
In Design 1 the image size is fixed at 878 x 585 and when you save for web in photoshop they load wicked fast. You can do the same in Design 2 but if you feel like it, go big and see how beautiful they look on a 30″ Apple Cinema Display. We recommend an image size of 1860 x 1140 and a save for web quality setting of 40%. That still allows for quick load time and they look amazing at full screen on a 30″ monitor.
10. Free upgrades.
Whenever we come out will a cool new feature your site is automatically upgraded. We have a centrally located admin control panel (it’s not deployed individually on all the sites) so when we add a new feature it automatically appears on everyone’s at once.
Here’s what’s coming down the pipe: Video, Audio, Password protected galleries, Hidden galleries, Sample image loading when you mouse over a gallery name and much, much more.
Bonus. Captions are imported from your image description in the file on your image (XMP, IPTC).
Your captions are automatically imported but they won’t show up until you review and approve them. Simply click on the image in the image bank and either edit or approve the caption that appears. Once you do that an image info link will appear next to the navigation on all images with captions.
1. Dead simple navigation
Navigation buttons on the bottom of the page that never move, so Photo Editors can grab one and click as fast as they can.
2. Email and phone always visible
You can actually put whatever you want there but zero clicks to grab the email and phone number is awesome.
3. Email a photo option
If the Photo Editor sees the perfect shot and wants to send it to the Creative Director, they can click the email a photo link and it’s done.
4. Deep Linking
Sending links to a specific portfolio or image within a site is easy with our deep links.
Visit my demo portfolio to see it working (here). Here’s a fly fishing story I assigned to James Nachtwey:
5. A picture on the bio page
Photo Editors love to see your picture.
6. No Music
Working at a magazine it’s either really quiet or you’re listing to your own music and websites with music can be awfully annoying.
7. No Slide Shows (Except the intro)
When Photo Editors are looking at pictures and get distracted (happens all the time) they don’t miss half your portfolio.
8. Big Thumbs
I’ve always found tiny thumbs useless, so on Design 2 I made the big enough to navigate by.
9. iPhone and html ready
Ever visited a flash website on your phone. It’s like it doesn’t exist. Our websites automatically create html and iPhone mirror sites that load when they need to.
10. The pictures look amazing
There’s something about a design that supports photography. That’s always been true in magazines and now you can see how a website design can actually enhance the photography.
Will I have FTP access to my site to set up client folders?
Yes, everyone has FTP access so you can upload a folder of images and give a client (www.mysite.com/client) so they can check out images from a shoot. It’s not for transferring all the high res images from a shoot (a few is fine) because we have bandwidth limits for our servers.
Is video supported?
Not yet but it will be. It took longer than expected to get these portfolios exactly how I wanted so we didn’t have time to fully implement the video by our launch date. I expect to have it fully functioning on these two designs within several months and everyone who already has a site will get it added on.
Why can’t I host the site on my own reliable servers?
The biggest reason is our admin control panel. It’s centrally located so that when we make an update to the admin (which we will do often to make it even better) it updates for everyone. Another reason is that it’s more effort and time to set everything up on your server so we can’t offer the great prices we have now. And finally if your site is not preforming properly on your server it will make us look bad so I’ll have to get someone to go in and fix the problem?
Yeah, but I still want to host myself?
Ok, I’m talking to the developers about how we can do that so send me an email and we can discuss. firstname.lastname@example.org
We really went all out creating this brand new control panel (admin) for A Photo Folio. It’s got so many cool features (a few that no one else has), I wanted to highlight them all for you here.
First off it’s easy on the eyes. A nice clean design with tabbed categories and sub categories for easy navigation.
The color control is amazing. There’s so many different possibilities, but I tend to like shades of grey combined with a couple “POP” colors for impact (can you tell).
There’s a whole bunch of fonts for your menu and title plus a couple choices for the text. I wanted to have several styles or contemporary serif’s and san-serif’s plus a few old standards that design people love. If you want to use your own title font just upload a jpg or png as well.
Ok, this is pretty standard but I love how it looks, you can move the order of the galleries and categories by just grabbing that grid spot on the bar. Sweet.
Stats of course, where would we be in this world without visitor stats. You can load google analytics or mint to get more information about your visitors.
Now, check out these kick ass features no one else has.
Image position. You can specify where on the page the image sit. This is especially amazing for your single images. In the past you would have had to photoshop it onto a blank page to get it centered or or over on the right. Not anymore.
Big thumbs. Ever tried to do an edit with those tiny thumbs. Not fun. We made them big so you can see what you’re looking at. Yipeeeeee.
Micro template control. I really like how you can adjust your logo position on the page and specify the font size and kerning. There’s also a few other controls specific to each design that really makes the designs fully customizable.
There you have it, several reasons why I think our control panel kicks ass.
How much time will a potential client spend on your website? I’ll bet the average is around 20 seconds, but I’ve spent as little as 1 second and as long as 10 minutes on a site. The first impression is critical (that’s where the 1 second comes in) because if the design, logo and the first image I see don’t add up to a certain taste level, then I’m probably wasting my time.
If you want to make a solid first impression, we’ve got you covered. That was one of the main goals when I formed this company: to offer help in all 3 of the areas where a first impression is made. We’ve built beautiful contemporary designs to house your photography, we have an art director standing by for a logo consultation, and I’m available for a portfolio consultation.
So, what happens after you make a good first impression? I like to describe the process as pluses and minuses. The more pluses the further I’ll keep clicking, but if the minuses start adding up I’m probably going to click out of there. A plus is a photo I’d hire you to take and a minus is a photo I’d be bummed if you took. Now, you can’t please everyone all of the time, so when I’m looking to hire someone for a job, running into a few minuses doesn’t immediately turn me off. There’s a point where too many minuses tips the scales in the wrong direction.
The bottom line here is this: make a solid first impression, then keep the dogs (bad pictures, I actually love a good dog photo) out of your book.
1. Your Name
2. Your Email
3. Your Phone
4. Your Portfolio
… and you have 5 seconds to deliver it. And, now you can.
I’ve spent enough time as a Photography Director hunting for a phone number or “gadzeeks” even the link to the portfolio to know these things need to be available the second a client visits your website. That’s why we constructed these sites with all that information readily available.
Hello and welcome to A Photo Folio. If you’re thinking of signing up or already have grab the rss feed or bookmark this blog, because this is where I’ll be posting any news, tips, tricks and of course my opinion on websites, photography and working in this industry.
As always, you can still find my usual photography insights at A Photo Editor, but this blog will focus in on using a web portfolio to land jobs.
I hope you like what you see.
A Photo Folio