Starting today PhotoShelter released their new "Beam" portfolio websites templates on top of the secure cloud storage, e-commerce capabilities, SEO, image delivery and client proofing tools that are available to PhotoShelter’s existing members with Standard and Pro accounts. PhotoShelter's CEO Andrew Fingerman gave me a quick rundown of the new designs during a walkthrough last week and from everything I saw it looks like it could be great tool for account holders who need a functioning website with minimal set up.
"Our new Beam portfolio websites are exciting and innovative, both in their design and functionality," said PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman. "They're responsive, easy to build, integrate with services photographers use everyday, and place photography front and center. We've dedicated years to building top-notch online business tools to help photographers streamline their workflow and make more money, and are delighted we can offer a suite of new portfolios to match that standard. This is a huge leap forward for PhotoShelter."
Jumping right into this, I uploaded a handful of photos and broke them down into galleries in preparation of the test run. Once everything was uploaded and hosted it was easy to arrange and navigate the software and start building the website. The online editor was simple to edit and customize. I was able to quickly set up and run a clean website for showcasing work with quite a few customizations to each template.
You can see the build at http://aaronlindberg.photoshelter.com
Current PhotoShelter users who are familiar with the navigation and functions on the backend will be able to get set up and running in no time. Those new to Photoshelter will be able to move through the editing once they become familiar with the functions of the PhotoShelter account. Once image are in place it is easy to create galleries, arrange images and keyword for SEO searching.
- Responsive behavior: The sites are created using HTML5 and CSS3, which allow images to scale according to screen size so photos will render on virtually any device. Advanced techniques such as dynamic load optimization, pre-fetching, priority queuing and client device detection also optimize the responsive experience.
- Real-time editing capabilities: PhotoShelter’s new Site Builder lets photographers make quick changes to their site’s look and feel, including edits to font and color, background color, logo, and on-page text. The websites are also intuitive to build and require no extra coding or design experience.
- Website designs: Today’s launch unveils four distinct portfolio designs. Each design offers unique ways to present imagery, including full-bleed image presentation, a responsive photo wall, or a minimalist and simple display. PhotoShelter will continue to reveal additional designs throughout the upcoming months. At the moment Photoshelter has 4 different customizable templates available and plans to add to that list in the upcoming months. Marque/Element/Promenade/Shuffle are the current templates in place. Below are a couple examples of how photographers are currently customizing the templates and using the websites to showcase work and market their photographs.
- Inger Klekacz: http://www.inger.net
Standard accounts are $29.99/month or $329/year includes 60GB storage
Pro accounts are $49.99 a month or $549.99 a year 1,000GB storage
Who would this benefit?
Photographers who need a good looking website up and running with minimal work or knowledge of creating dynamic website design.
Photographers who are interested in creating a searchable database of marketable images that can be downloaded and purchased.
Photographers who need to proof and deliver photographs from assignments/weddings/sessions.
What I liked:
- Easy customization, up and running with minimal work.
- Ability to link to your archive of photographs that are searchable through keywords.
- FTP/File transfer images to clients
- Video page looks neat and simple.
- Protected images with no right clicks, ability to add watermarks across photographs.
- Desktop and mobile device ready
- On mobile devices, galleries scroll with a swipe
What could use improvement: (I am being nitpicky with this section since the review was during beta, but I wanted to cover this as neutrally as possible.)
- The motion/videos are not hosted, they pull in from Vimeo account.
- The Photoshelter logo is not removable as of now. Maybe down the road an extra fee could be added to remove it?
- Larger selection of templates - (I heard they are in progress at the posting of this review.)
If you are a photographer in need a dynamic functioning website that works across computers and devices and do not have the time to create your own website, this is a great option. If you have a slew of archived images that you are hoping to showcase and make available for download/purchase this would work well for you as well. If you deliver images via FTP/digitally deliver or transfer proofs and final images to clients, this a good option for photographers keeping everything under one roof and being able to showcase work.