October 17, 2011

Getting your photos on the Web

These days if you’re a photographer, a clean, professional-looking website or blog is a must. This could be something to help you to promote your business or services, or maybe a place to display your work and sell your images. But for most people, the thought of having a site that displays your work like a pro seems either too expensive or too hard to create. Face it, you have to keep up with the competition or get left in the dust.

Now some people just want to show off their photos and you can do that on sites like Flick’r, Webshots, Facebook or the new Google + just to name a few and it won’t cost you a dime, but if you already have an established business or are just starting a business, you need a web presence.

In the past it used to cost you quite a bit to get started online. First, you needed to hire someone to create and design your site. Then unless you knew coding and HTML you still needed them to edit and make updates and changes to it for you. Finally, you needed a hosting service to go online. These costs could add up quickly and could get rather expensive.

Now you might know something about web design already, but most blogs these days are created in a program called Word Press. Word Press is nice because it is pretty easy to understand and it’s a totally free program, just download a copy and you’re ready to get started. Word Press was actually created in 2003 and as of February 2011 it has been download over 32 million times! The beauty of the program is you don’t have to know how to write any PHP or HTML code or have a formal education in web design skills. It is by far the most popular CMS (content management system) in use on the Internet and has helped bridge the gap for many people to create and edit their own sites without having to go back to school. Don’t get me wrong, it can be helpful to have some basic editing skills, but there are a ton of free sites online to help you with that once you get up and running.

If you have ever read any of my blog posts, you’ll know I’m a big fan of NAPP, (the National Association of Photoshop Professionals). NAPP is part of the Kelby Media Group, who also owns and operates Kelby Training and sponsors the Photoshop World Conferences. If you’re into photography and editing your photos in Photoshop, then these are the places to learn. Check out my May 2011 post for more info on NAPP.

Recently, Raphael ‘RC’ Concepcion, one of the curriculum developers over at NAPP, has written a book called “Get Your Photography on the Web”. The book has been a huge success with photographers everywhere. If you are ready to make the next move and get yourself a truly professional looking site up and running quickly without breaking the bank, then this book is for you.

In the book RC walks you through the whole process from start to finish. Like all books put out by the Kelby Media Group, they are filled with tons of photos and easy to follow diagrams. This book was designed to help people create a website and get it on the Internet as painlessly and as cost effectively as possible.

Not only do you get a step by step method for getting yourself online, you also get access to free templates for use on your own website. He has also added resources so that you will be able to sell your images immediately without having to learn how to program a shopping cart onto your site. Included are some real examples of other photographer’s blogs and websites along with their own personal stories. He’s dedicated another whole chapter on using plug-ins and for using and installing Google analytics (to keep track of your traffic) These days more and more people are getting into DSLR video and he even shows you how to add flash based gallery on your site with FTP, plus a ton of other great information.

This book takes you through an easy step-by-step process so you can build your own site from the ground up and have it look like you paid someone a lot of money to do it for you. “Get Your Photography on the Web” can be found in all fine bookstores or online at Amazon or at Kelby Training. I hope you find this article helpful and remember, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography