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03-06-2016, 04:53 PM   #1
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portfolio site recommendations

I have entered a few photos in local shows and have had a few people ask for my website as contact information for flyers and websites, so I gave them my facebook page. I had an embarrassing moment when someone told me they didn't have a facebook account and therefore, can't see my page.

I started looking at different portfolio sites and was getting overwhelmed.

I was looking at format, squarespace and zenfolio, but then I was wondering if I could just get by with wordpress? I am not sure what I want to do exactly, I don't want to start a business, I just mostly take fine art photos and if someone wants to buy a print, then I'll be ok with that. I am not one for updating or keeping a blog up to date. Can I organize photos in folders in wordpress or is that just for posting one photo at a time?

zenfolio seems like it offers a lot, but the price is seems high, and more than what I need. What did everyone else do, especially starting out?

03-06-2016, 05:11 PM   #2
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Photo hosting sites:
Zenfolio
Photoshelter
Smugmug
500px
Flicker

If you do not want to sell then any of those will work. I evaluated Zenfolio, Photoshelter and Smugmug when I launched my website and ended up with Zenfolio but honestly they were all very similar. I started with a wordpress site and after a few months decided I wanted to be a photographer not a website designer. Others will say it is easy and Wordpress is simple, maybe so but it was more than I wanted to deal with.

500px I have no direct experience with but I have heard mostly good things. Flicker would I think be the simplest thing, if all you want to is post pictures.
03-06-2016, 06:54 PM   #3
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The price for basic service, such as at Zenfolio, should be minimal. What prices are worrying you?
03-06-2016, 07:18 PM   #4
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You can use wordpress, but you'll probably need a 'gallery plugin' that allows you to display images in various more advanced ways that default wordpress. Unfortunately there are many. Most of them cost something, but of those that do, they have some demos you can try.

I actually use this free one: https://wordpress.org/plugins/tiled-gallery-carousel-without-jetpack/. Consider also paying for your own domain. It's cheap and has many more features (e.g. no ads) than one hosted on wordpress.

Another one to try that doesn't tile: https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-image-gallery/

If you have some patience to learn a little about wordpress, you can pretty much do anything with it. Since a hosted wordpress does not require paying cash to start, I suggest you try that with a few plugins to see if you like it.

03-06-2016, 07:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
The price for basic service, such as at Zenfolio, should be minimal. What prices are worrying you?
The one I was interested in was $20 a month because it had one feature I wanted that basic pricing didn't, but I can't see it now on my phone with their limited mobile site . Right now I mostly enter local shows, so I am already putting a lot out in expense, and not really bringing anything in, and I don't want to have that expense. I'd feel differently if I was actively looking for clients, but this is just kind of having something for people who ask, and if someone wants to buy a print or two, that would be nice.
03-06-2016, 08:04 PM   #6
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Another option is Fine Art America. The cost is free up to 25 images and $30 per year after that. You can customize the site a little bit and all selling is handled by the site. I don't sell much there but if all you want is a place to point people to that might be the best solution. And at $30 per year it is very affordable.

Look here for my FAA site: John Trax: Artist Website
My zenfolio site: Zigzag Mountain Art
03-06-2016, 08:22 PM   #7
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Another good option is Koken. Built with and for photographers! Worth taking a look. The administration side (back-end) is very similar to a photo organizing software - if you are familiar with any of them (Lightroom / ACDSee / Fastsone / etc) - then it takes approximately 10 minutes to get used to it (ok, maybe half an hour - with all the bells and whistles) - and all this in your browser. Drag and drop your photos in albums ... turn showing exif on or off, limit downloadable sizes... just to name a few "out of the box" features, without having to search for a "suitable" photo gallery plugin...

I'm building my own site right now with it - rather than upgrading my old Wordpress site. Don't get me wrong, I like Wordpress, it is powerful and it can be used for your needs - but Koken is simply much better for a photography site with less work.

Koken - Creative website publishing

It has to be installed mostly in a similar way than any other content management system (ie: Wordpess) just easier...
03-06-2016, 09:03 PM   #8
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I myself have very good experience with Format. Reasonable pricing, nice layouts

03-07-2016, 08:09 AM   #9
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Zenfolio are useful not only as a portfolio site (that also allows image sales/prints in a huge range of formats), but they also allow RAW file archiving. So you get off-site backup into the bargain.
03-07-2016, 08:57 AM   #10
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Clickpic Great websites for only 40pa are quite good - you need to maintain your own domain name as well as the fee , but it's quite a nice look with various design options and more professional that just having a Flickr account or whatever
03-07-2016, 09:56 AM   #11
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When you find out, what Zenfolio feature did you decide you needed that put you out of the basic plan?
03-07-2016, 10:04 AM   #12
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You may look on portfoliobox.net

Price is ~80$ year, and have galeries, e-shop, blog.

My portfolio is here : VPetrov.photography
03-07-2016, 01:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
When you find out, what Zenfolio feature did you decide you needed that put you out of the basic plan?
I think it was the shopping cart? Do I need one? Can you sell work by just having people email you with what photos they like? Not that I think this will be happening a lot, it just seemed like a nice option (My assumption could be incorrect, though) I do print and frame my own stuff, so not sure I want people to go to mpix, when I like doing the whole process.

My other question is what do they mean by "Custom logos & watermarks" does that mean they will allow you to watermark and place logos anywhere on the image, but not allow that in the basic plan?

Last edited by Murfy; 03-07-2016 at 01:40 PM.
03-07-2016, 01:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
My other question is what do they mean by "Custom logos & watermarks" does that mean they will allow you to watermark and place logos anywhere on the image, but not allow that in the basic plan?
I think in the basic plan they have a generic watermark but with the more expensive plans you can add your own.

The target market (and many design decisions) are wedding and event photography. Many of the features work very well for that. For a simple gallery display of images, it works just fine but you are not going to use a lot of the features.
QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I think it was the shopping cart? Do I need one?
Only if you want to sell through their site. MPIX and MPIX Pro are two of the labs that are in the back end of Zenfolio. Since I use MPIX Pro anyway it made sense to have a Zenfolio site. I don't sell much through the site, but when I need work printed for galleries or shows, it is easy to order as everything is already there.

If all you want is to have a non-selling gallery display there are many, many choices. Take a look at what FAA gives you for $30 per year.
03-07-2016, 01:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I think it was the shopping cart? Do I need one? Can you sell work by just having people email you with what photos they like? Not that I think this will be happening a lot, it just seemed like a nice option (My assumption could be incorrect, though) I do print and frame my own stuff, so not sure I want people to go to mpix, when I like doing the whole process.

My other question is what do they mean by "Custom logos & watermarks" does that mean they will allow you to watermark and place logos anywhere on the image, but not allow that in the basic plan?
Well, one option is to try the basic plan (it's so inexpensive) and see how much traffic you get. You can certainly add a welcome message that asks people to contact you for prints.

I create my own watermarks, which I add to each file before uploading, so I don't know that you need that feature either. Watermarking is so easy these days....

Anyway, best of luck with your choice.
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