Before the rise of social media and the ubiquity of apps like Instagram, photographers established and flexed their brands through their personal website and blog. The photographer website supplanted the printed portfolio, for the most part, offering photographers a way to showcase their work with a remote audience of photo editors, customers, and fans.
It’s an interesting thought. Do photographers really still need a website today? Is it possible to survive on social media alone? After recently cutting out a bunch of old social media platforms from his life, photographer Ed Verosky has been thinking long and hard about this question. Should he kill or keep pursuing his website?
As Ed says in this video he recently posted, cultural shifts happen rapidly. The way people use the Internet changes all the time. We’ve seen the mass exodus from one social platform to another over and over again. But are people even going to photographer’s websites when they can see a living portfolio on services like Instagram?
With all the social networks and plenty of ways to share your images online, the question is – do you really need a website? And the short answer would be – yes, you do. There are several reasons for that.
With social media, you can’t control how your photos look (just think of Facebook compression). Also, you’re just a part of the crowd, which makes it more difficult to compete for clients’ attention. So, social media websites should be only one of your methods of advertising, but not the only one. Your website (or your online portfolio) is the best way to display your work. And in this comprehensive and very informative video, Joe Edelman will give you many useful tips for choosing a domain name and website hosting. And there are plenty of clever tips and tricks in addition to that.
Some people have all the fun…something I’ve never really ever been accused of. But, that’s not the case for photographer and Yale MFA graduate Victoria Hely-Hutchinson. In what is probably one of the most epic About pages I have ever seen, Victoria wastes no time with the usual BS about awards and accolades and exhibits. Who really cares anyhow, right? The page contains a single image that is not only uproariously hilarious but describes so much about the artist at the same time.
Popular image sharing and photo marketplace, 500px announced this morning they have made some updates to the way users are able to upload their photos to the website, which will (hopefully) allow photographers to speed up their online workflow a bit. The latest update now allows users to upload their images in bulk rather than having to painstakingly upload each individually, as Clay Cook explains in the demo video.
You can upload new images from your hard drive or import them from other websites such as Facebook, Flickr, Picassa, etc…While waiting for your image collections to upload in the background, you are free to spend that time tagging, titling, licensing options, and organizing the fresh uploads so they are ready for publication on 500px as soon as they are finished uploading.
It’s the age-old question, should a wedding photographer put his/her prices on the website, or leave them off? I’ve asked myself this, and seen many photographers ask the same thing. Lots of opinions, some of them very strong opinions, but no one seems to back it up with actual data.
An argument I’ve heard for putting prices online is that the potential client wants to know if you’re within her price range. If you make it too difficult to find that information, she won’t bother to contact you because there are plenty of other photographers to look at. Would you go look at a new car if they wouldn’t tell you the price until you got to the dealership?
The counter-argument is that wedding photography can be expensive, clients don’t always have an understanding of how much they should expect to spend, and placing too much emphasis on price means that the client misses out on less-tangible benefits that the photographer has to offer. If you make the client ask for pricing, you can then strike up a dialog with the client and build a relationship before getting icky with numbers.
Both arguments seem reasonable. And those photographers who can’t make up their minds usually wimp out and put a “starting at $xxxxx” on their site! (That’s what I do currently. :) )
But I’ve got some Actual Data!