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Nowadays, due to the rapid development of digital technologies which made taking pictures an easy task, a lot of people have chosen photography as their hobby. But if you consider photography to be more than a simple hobby, it is time to try yourself as a professional and to start your own photography online business.
If you really feel like doing it, one of the first things you must begin with is to set up a photography website that shows off your work and gives your future clients the information they need to hire you. It means that choosing the right platform for your website and managing it in an efficient way is of vital importance for you.
But if you are just a newcomer in the world of web design and the latest Internet technologies, a number of alternatives you will be faced with can easily frustrate you. So, it is good to have some tips you can rely on not to get lost in this fantastic but a little bit frightening world. Let’s try to figure out what you should do in order to create a great site which will help your business prosper.
Of course, the easiest way is to contact a web designing company. This is a good decision, but be ready to invest a considerable sum of money in this project because such services are not cheap. Moreover, there is always a risk to be misunderstood and, as a result, you will get not what you really want.
The good news is that nowadays it is easy to cope with the creation of your own website without any additional help due to a zillion of website building platforms. Using one of them you can create your own site really quickly taking into consideration all your needs and desires. So, choosing a website template you:
- Save your money
- Save your time
- Get what you really want because you can edit your website yourself
- Customize the site with no programming skills
- If you make up your mind to try this option the very first thing you need to do is to choose the template for your site.
3 Photography Solutions to Begin Online Business
In 2017 the choice of such templates is huge because a lot of different companies create this product. In order not to get lost in the abundance of offers let’s have an attentive look at the next three solutions to learn what features you ought to pay attention to while choosing an appropriate template for you.
Defrozo from MotoCMS is a great template with a user-friendly website builder that combined many features to help you get started. The most important fact to know about Defrozo is that you do not need any professional skills to set up your new photography site because it is really easy to work with the built-in admin panel.
One more good news is that your Defrozo site can be launched the very first day you bought it. Moreover, the website builder you get with Defrozo enables you to manage this photography site in the same simple and effective way without any additional assistance in future. Defrozo also provides you with the following extremely useful features:
- This template has a very handy built-in Block Editor. The only thing you need to do in order to create your original online portfolio design is to arrange the pre-made blocks in the way you prefer. This great feature is accompanied by convenient drag-and-drop functionality.
- The Defrozo template contains a number ready-to-use pages the owner can apply according to his/her desire. Each page has 4 original templates to choose from.
- You are welcome to create a professional blog to promote yourself as a photographer and to share some interesting content with your clients as well. Defrozo has all necessary tools to make it fully functional.
- There are 3 types of photo galleries for the pictures you can use at your portfolio site.
- One more important detail – Aviary Photo Editor. This useful drag-and-drop editing resource and file manager are integrated into the Media library of Defrozo for your convenience. You will find it helpful for sure.
- Pay attention to the fact that you don’t need to buy the template just to start from scratch. You can start a demo-version of Defrozo which allows you to try the full version of the site before buying it. If you make up your mind to purchase it after the trial period is over, all the changes you’ve made to the site during this period will be saved for you!
Zenfolio is a popular platform with various customization templates that you can choose from when building your site. The important fact about Zenfolio is that from the very beginning you will be provided with unlimited storage, whether you are subscribed to their lowest or highest plan. Moreover, Zenfolio allows you to upload full high definition videos, which can really help in spicing up your new photography website.
- Zenfolio has all the necessary tools to help you customize your page layouts and individual elements and create your own theme (with the Theme Designer), though you may find the process a bit frustrating at first because a lot of stuff is thrown at you at once.
- To make your slideshows unique you are welcome to customize them with music according to our choice.
- One of the greatest features of Zenfolio is Photographer Central where people who need photography services look through. Its design helps to generate more traffic to your website to increase your presence as a professional photographer. So, Zenfolio helps you in your photography business. To add to this, with Zenfolio, you can also start your own online photography shop.
- Zenfolio provides its users with such important features as blogging, social media sharing, and client galleries.
- You have the opportunity to upload your own custom logos and watermarks.
- Free Trial for 14 Days is available with Zenfolio. Due to it, you can check whether Zenfolio’s service is a good fit for you or not. During this period you will have enough time to try out and evaluate the product and to make the decision. Additionally, a credit card is not required so you don’t have to worry about being charged if you forget to cancel.
PhotoShelter is a well-known platform which is on the market for a long period. It is a great decision for those who want to create a high-quality website on their own. You can also store your photos here and set up a shop for selling your photos. Moreover, PhotoShelter has recently introduced their new product called ‘Beam’. Beam is an API-based platform that provides “hooks” into your PhotoShelter hosted images and affords flexibility in respond to the customers’ needs adding new features and workflow tools.
- The PhotoShelter template has the drag-and-drop reordering of pages function. It means you can easily change it.
- You can add your images with Photoshelter straightforwardly; moreover, the ‘Upload’ button gives you three different options for uploading, including FTP.
- Pay attention that PhotoShelter offers a clean and easy way to add a Page Title and Meta Data on every page. It is very important.
- With PhotoShelter you can structure your site in such a way that you can decide who will view only low-quality versions of an image and who can download the high-resolution images.
- One more thing worth mentioning is that PhotoShelter offers a good e-commerce solution to the users. A simple clickable icon next to each uploaded photo puts the image on the market.
- PhotoShelter offers a 14-day trial period, so you can check the quality of this product yourself and make sure that a new PhotoShelter photography site is what you really need. But take into consideration one tiny detail – to start your trial you need to decide about the plan. For choosing it you will need to hand over your credit card details. The trial period is free but if you decide not to continue your work with PhotoShelter, do not forget to cancel your subscription otherwise, you’ll be billed automatically.
Now when you know how to set up your own photography site take into consideration the next 10 tips which may help you at the beginning of your career as a professional photographer.
10 Must-Know Photography Trends 2017
- Always back up your pictures! You may have heard about the necessity of this action many times but believe – it is of the greatest importance. Otherwise, you will feel awfully sorry for not doing it if you lose some valuable pictures which cost you a lot of time and effort. By the way – the best way to back up your pictures is to upload them to your website.
- Do not buy a lot of photography gear. Without any doubt, it is great to have 20 types of lenses but you are not likely to use all of them every day. Probably, you will even use some of them only a few times during your whole career. Think twice before buying stuff and choose only absolute necessities.
- Choose high-quality equipment. Saving money is wise but when you buy cheap equipment you waste money thinking that you save it because many things you will have to buy twice or even more. That is why go not with the price but with the quality.
- Be scrupulous with naming your folders and photos. You’d better have a certain clear system for it. It is very convenient when the name of the folder consists of the name of the place followed by a month/year. But the file name is even more important. Sometimes it makes sense not only to have the place and the date of shooting in it but also to mention the sequence of this particular picture. If you pay enough attention to the names of your shoots from the very beginning you will never have problems with quick finding the picture you need.
- Take only essentials when you go shooting. When you go somewhere to take pictures do not try to take all the equipment you have with you. It is most likely that you won’t use most of the devices. It is better to keep your bag as light as possible. Moreover, less equipment may even make you more creative.
- Do not wait for the right weather. Make the weather work for you! If you make up your mind to go shooting, do not postpone your decision if you think that the weather is wrong for your plans at the moment. In fact, very often the best pictures are made spontaneously.
- Find the aspect of photography which appeals to you most of all. You cannot be equally good at all forms of photography. Of course, in order to choose the right one it may be a good idea to try different types but then you have to focus on something. This is the only way to excel and make your business flourish.
- Be creative. Break the rules and try to look at usual things from an unusual point of view. Have an attentive look around and you will be surprised to see how many gorgeous shots can be made right where you are.
- Be open for the constructive criticism. It is great when your pictures are appreciated but it is even better when they are being criticized by a professional who can point you at your mistakes and drawbacks and help you improve your professional level. You may use social networks for this purpose – post a picture and ask your colleagues to comment on it.
- You clients are IMPORTANT. Make them feel your attitude from the very first moment. The best and the easiest way to do it is to respond to their messages as quickly as possible. Also, do not forget – being a photographer means to work with people. So, you must be patient and polite even with the most difficult clients. Give them attention, let them see your commitment, and you will win.
6 Editors to Optimize Photographers’ Workflow
One more detail you should pay attention to starting your career as a professional photographer is that a lot depends on your photo editing software. You may take some awesome pictures but poor editing could ruin all the impression.
Moreover, good knowledge of photo editing programs will without any doubt help you earn money because you will be able to create different beautiful stuff like postcards, invitations, wedding albums, advertisements which are well-paid and always in demand.
By the way, you may even reveal your new talents and enjoy editing. So, as you see, there are several reasons to have a look at the list of 6 notable photo editing products you can choose from.
Some of this decent software can be downloaded for free. During the first stage of your career when you don’t know what exactly you need to go with one of them may be a good idea. Here are two worthy variants.
Pixlr is a popular free photo editor with more than 600 effects that lets you quickly change your pictures according to your desire. With it you can do all the main things you’d expect from a photo editing tool: you can create a new image, upload an image, or grab one directly from a URL location. You can also crop, resize, remove red-eye and so on. If you’re used to using Photoshop, to understand Pixlr’s user interface will be easy as it’s very similar.
GIMP is a popular open-source photo editing software which offers a wide toolset for high-quality photo manipulations. You can do photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring with it. Furthermore, you GIMP works with all the popular file formats without any trouble at all using this editor. GIMP also provides sophisticated color management features to ensure excellent color reproduction across digital and printed media. In fact, now it is a good free alternative to Photoshop.
Though the quality of these products is really high and you can enjoy them very much, most professional photographers point out that it is not wise to spend thousands of dollars buying professional photography gear and then save with free photo editing software. It is up to you whether to agree with this idea or not but there are some options you may consider as well though you must pay to use these editors.
This software is a replacement for Photoshop CS6 and it is available only via the Creative Cloud subscription service. Photoshop CC has so many excellent features that it is impossible to describe them within this small review. You should try it to understand how wonderful this software is. Without any doubt, Photoshop CC is Number One for those photographers who want to create professional award-winning pictures. The only drawback of this software is its price.
Adobe Lightroom is one more excellent Adobe product. The main difference between Lightroom and Photoshop is that it can complete the complex image management jobs Photoshop is not designed for. Moreover, Adobe Lightroom allows you to keep all your pictures in one place, organize your photography, edit and share it from anywhere. There are also many creative options to use. So, this software is a good alternative to Photoshop CC.
The best thing about DxO Optics Pro 10 is that it is a high-quality raw converter with some unique features. Buying this software you get the essential editing tools accompanied by such excellent options like DxO smart lighting, moiré reduction tool, ICC color management. You are also able to create presets, customize palettes and select multiple types of output with DxO Optics Pro 10. The list of supported cameras and lenses is impressive, and DxO issues frequent updates with the new camera and lens options. One more important detail to think about – direct import and export to Lightroom are supported. A lot of experienced photographers find this very helpful.
PaintShop Pro X9 is one of the most capable alternatives to Photoshop which promises powerful image editing abilities. All common image file formats, including raw files, are supported by this software. You’ll also find a selection of around 100 effects filters here. Moreover, PaintShop Pro X9 offers such interesting new features as 4K monitor support, Lens Corrections, a Text Wrapping tool for adding text into an image, a Magic Move tool that automatically fills the background behind a relocated object or person, as well as a Smart Carver tool to delete large objects without using cloning.
Now, when you have the basic ideas how to start your on-line photography business it is time to apply your knowledge in real life – the only way to pass a way is to put your foot on it. Good luck!