Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why Re-Create the Wheel: Your Photography Website Made Easy

When you think of photographers, what do you see?

Typically, it's someone with their arms held close to their chest, camera pressed against half their face as they focus and snap, followed by more focusing and snapping.

They are in studios with lights, equipment, models and backdrops.  They are outdoors behind their tripod collecting images of sunsets, landscapes, colorful birds and wildlife.

It's not a vision of the 'not-so-glamorous' hours spent finding or creating websites to showcase their work. This side of the business may appear complicated and a bit prickly.  It doesn't have to be.

Prickly Porcupine by ©Sheen's Nature Photography
Nikon 5100, 55-300mm
There are many free or low cost options you can use to create your own website and sell your artwork. They take care of the image printing, framing, shipping and collecting payment.  They pay you a commission while providing you with access to a network of fellow artists and potential customers.

Barred Owl Beauty
Nikon 600, 70-300mm
Today I have a website that you can access 2 ways:
1) www.sheensnaturephotography.com
2) http://sheen-watkins.artistwebsites.com.

The engine is www.fineartamerica.com.  It took about 10 minutes to get started.  The investment over time has been adding images and customizing my page as I acquired this option for $30.00 per year.  In short, it was easy.

Another site that I recently joined is 500px.com/swnaturephoto.  Targeted to photographers, it's a rich inspirational community.  You can sell prints here too.  I haven't enabled this option as the pricing is different from my website and that could confuse my customers. Another site made simple.

There are other powerful blogging and website tools such as Wordpress.  I haven't had the time to do a deeper dive into the higher level customization that's required. Today, photography is not my full-time day-job.

There are many beautiful sites using this engine and third party templates such as Photocrati.

In addition to a website, there are social media, marketing and official paper-proecssing steps needed to validate the business reflecting your hard, creative work.

These too can be made simple and we'll cover those in my next blog.

Busy Bee at Work by ©Sheen's Nature Photography
Nikon 600, 105mm

Until then……HAPPY SHOOTING!