Get Ready for a Brand New PhotoShelter: March 2012

Get Ready for a Brand New PhotoShelter: March 2012

Get ready for a brand new PhotoShelter. We’re kicking off a year-long radical upgrade of our service that will take a big leap forward in photo hosting and photography websites. These upgrades will take place across a series of phases throughout 2012 that will bring you a brand new PhotoShelter, including:

  • Time-saving workflow improvements
  • A simpler user interface
  • New tools to make your clients really happy
  • Beautiful websites & new ways to show off your photography
  • Power and speed

Along the way, we’ll enable you to do so much more with our websites and tools, and so much more with your photography. Each phase will upgrade the way you build your website, display your photos, market yourself, collaborate with clients, sell your work, and manage your photography online. So what’s the deal with all this change?

We did our homework with your help

The first phase combines hardcore technical and workflow innovation with highly requested product features. Months of user testing, innovative problem-solving, major leaps in product philosophy, and attention to best practices in user interface design will enable us to deliver on a goal of simplifying PhotoShelter, making the service more elegant and faster, while at the same time introducing even more powerful new features to help you grow your photography business.

It’s gonna be really big

Inside-out innovation. The first phase kicks off March 24, 2012 with the inside of PhotoShelter, and major improvements to the ways you manage your images, assign client access and visibility, and handle online image delivery. The way you interact with PhotoShelter will change – but the change will be a massive improvement that will save you time and help you delight your clients even more. Plus, you’ll quickly see how the upgrades in these key areas will set the foundation for even bigger improvements as we move forward. We’ll start sharing more details immediately to help you prepare for the shift.

Later this year we’ll bring you a major update of the PhotoShelter website management tool, introducing brand new customization capabilities and the most attractive website designs in the marketplace, plus a host of new tools to engage visitors and show off your photography.

Along the way, we’ll be creating new image sales options and fine tuning the PhotoShelter infrastructure as well, to bring you a faster, more powerful PhotoShelter. And we’re beefing up the API to invite external innovation and a host of PhotoShelter related apps that can help you do things with PhotoShelter even we haven’t dreamed of. Rest assured, we have a lot more up our sleeves.

The first phase launches March 24, 2012

Welcome to a workflow that actually works the way you do. Get ready for a big leap forward in the way you manage, publish and share your photography online.

The inside of a brand new PhotoShelter

Here’s your first look at what to expect on March 24:

  • Easier, faster image management. An efficient, streamlined and more elegant user interface will expedite the process of uploading images and publishing them online. Virtually everything you want to do with an image inside of PhotoShelter will now be possible in one single place- the new Image Browser.
  • Better image organization. A brand new, more intuitive structure for arranging public and private image galleries, including infinite gallery “nesting.”
  • Happy clients. A new set of online delivery tools that help you make your clients’ lives easier and get batches of images to them faster. Plus, a more intelligent address book that tracks client activity, makes relationships easier to manage, and expedites the distribution of your content to groups and individuals.
  • More flexible viewing & access permissions. We’ve created a revolutionary new way to manage visitor permissions. This will empower you to easily manage access to sensitive content, allow restricted downloads without hiding content entirely from fans and search engines, and dramatically simplify how your busy clients interact with your images.
  • And much more. We’ve added a host of powerful new workflow tools, including improved search with image filtering, sorting, viewing and uploading. These upgrades will save you time, make it easier to edit images and collaborate with clients, and keep them coming back for more. 

Let’s get into the details…

Big upgrade #1:

A brand new image management area. This is more than just a new paint job – to save you time and make PhotoShelter easier to use, we’ve significantly streamlined the way you organize public images for display and private images for backup. This means the archive and gallery areas will be combined into one single, easy-to-manage view. Of course, you’ll still be able to easily segregate public vs. private content, and doing so will be more intuitive than ever before.

This new management area is called the Image Browser, and its many upgrades include:

*A single, central area to manage your photos
  • The functionality of the Archive Browser and the Gallery List will be combined into a single toolkit – no more frequent hopping between the archive and the gallery sections to manage photos.
  • Your archive folders will become private galleries (i.e. galleries that only you can see). Fear not, you may still keep your internal content privately organized as you always have!
  • Images will be uploaded directly to your selected galleries for faster publishing.
  • Individual images may be “hidden” within a gallery — so they’re visible to you alone, even if the gallery’s already been shared.

The new Image Browser

*Redesigned for speed and elegance
  • Much faster performance – images will be preloaded so your browser doesn’t have to continuously refresh. This will make a huge difference, especially when viewing one image at a time.
  • An “infinite scroll” feature will make it easy to browse through large galleries – no more wondering what page a certain image was on.
  • A familiar user interface design that uses concepts from common editing tools such as Photo Mechanic and Lightroom.
*Infinite gallery nesting
  • The option to nest galleries as many levels deep as you’d like will bring improved organization to both your account and your website (yes, infinite nesting for the galleries on your website).

Infinite gallery "nesting"

*New and greatly improved image uploader
  • You’ll be able to drag and drop images from your desktop right into your browser window, allowing you to publish content more quickly than ever.
  • We’ve replaced our Flash uploader with a much sleeker HTML5 uploader with pipelined uploading that makes use of the latest technology.

The new HTML 5 image uploader

*Stronger image search
  • With search now integrated into the Image Browser, you can perform a quick search and instantly act on the selection of images (i.e. directly send to a client or publish on your website) — even selecting all images from a search result at once.

You’ll instantly feel the benefits of the Image Browser’s elegant design as you quickly get your images uploaded, organized, published (publicly or privately), and shared with your clients.

Big upgrade #2:

The most advanced image sharing and delivery tools. Image delivery is part of PhotoShelter’s “secret sauce” – the features that make our service essential to so many photographers. This upgrade will make the process of sharing your images with clients as smooth as possible. We’ve introduced a whole new set of options and improved functionality for client image delivery, permission levels and access to high-res downloads, batch downloads, and more.

*Intelligent download and visibility options
  • More flexibility and control over how you customize the way clients and groups interact with your content.
  • Create multiple passwords for a single gallery/collection, each corresponding to a different level of visibility and download access.
  • Who can see your content is decoupled from who can download it, opening you up for many more options: Create galleries that are visible to all but allow downloads for only those with a password; combine password and login permissions for a single gallery; even open your galleries to all visitors to download — really any combination of access and download permission is in your control!

More flexible viewing and access permissions for clients

*New batch download tools
  • Easier, more reliable batch downloads for clients with streaming .zip file delivery. This alone will make your clients quite happy.
*Quick Send
  • This brand new feature lets you send a selection of images to clients for immediate downloading via a single email link. Choose images from a gallery or a search of your archive and group them together for a simple .zip file download. This provides yet another streamlined way to get your clients the images they need in a hurry.
*A brand new address book
  • Our completely overhauled address book will let you easily import existing contacts from other email services like Gmail, group clients for faster distribution, monitor their image viewing and access activity, and edit their contact info with ease.

The new and improved address book

When you try these new and improved sharing and delivery tools, options, you’ll find we’ve reached an entirely new level of ease, convenience, and intelligence in providing pro-strength options for photo delivery. You’ll really have no need for third-party file sharing tools or costly CDs/DVDs and hard drives to deliver your work to clients.

Big upgrade #3:

*Improved performance
  • We’ve moved over to a new database server with solid state disks and massive RAM, combined with state-of-the-art core programming libraries. This shift not only means enhanced performance for your day-to-day tasks, but creates the foundations for new PhotoShelter features for the future.

And much more. We took the opportunity to include a variety of highly requested additional workflow improvements that will drive speed and efficiency into using PhotoShelter, which include:

  • An easier and more flexible interface for pricing images
  • Public filename as a search option

What’s do I need to know now?

The first official launch of the first phase, the initial step toward a brand new PhotoShelter, will take place March 24, 2012, which is a Saturday. We’re working hard to minimize the downtime associated with this major set of upgrades, and we’ve chosen the time frame for when PhotoShelter member sites across the globe are least trafficked.

We’ll be communicating with you very often between now and then to help you prepare for the changes. You can expect multiple emails regarding the new PhotoShelter in the coming weeks, and we’ll hold a series of advance preview webinars as well.

>> Have you seen the intro video?
>> Sign up for a preview webinar of the first phase.

The preview webinar for the first phase of a brand new PhotoShelter will be on Tuesday, March 20 at three separate times. As with all PhotoShelter webinars, scheduled times are in Eastern Standard Time. Register for one (or all three!) by clicking on the links below:

Preview Webinar: Tuesday 3/20 @ 11am ET

Preview Webinar: Tuesday 3/20 @ 2pm ET

Preview Webinar: Tuesday 3/20 @ 4pm ET

>> PhotoShelter Members: Read FAQs about the first phase upgrades.
>> Not a PhotoShelter member?

Register here and we’ll keep you posted too!

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There are 51 comments for this article
  1. Norman Rembarz at 4:27 pm

    I hope that you also mean “multi-language” according to “maximum of customization”… because my clients in Germany get easier in touch with a German labeled button or a whole site that they can understand directly.

  2. Gary He at 4:47 pm

    Here’s hoping that extremely basic options like letting anyone download a high resolution image without signing up (or being able to call an image with a resolution high than 1000 pixels using the API) are available, instead of oddly missing as even an option and attainable only through a lengthy workaround (which may now get broken by the new interface.) Sometimes photos are just a handout.

  3. Alan at 5:24 pm

    I really pray there is something deep inside of all of this that will boost our SEO so we can compete with Flickr, picasa, and all the news organizations so our images appear in the mix of the more general searches that people use.

  4. Brett at 5:53 pm

    Lots of exciting updates Allen, I can’t wait to see it. I am worried to not see any mention of the slideshows in the coming update. It’s been a long time and the slideshow captions are still almost unreadable, and it makes the slideshows almost unusable IMO. This is such a fundamental, basic problem I really hoped to see it addressed in the March update. It’s very simple, just add a font size parameter to the slideshow creation tool. This is a basic and very important usability issue, and I can’t think of anything more important that having solid usability for the end-user.

  5. Alan at 6:35 pm

    @Allen – I’ve spent every spare waking moment of the last 12 months doing everything suggested to boost SEO including renaming, rekeywording, and even manufacturing a link or two (I’m not real sure how else to get them) on almost 30,000 images. I think I even redid the site map to my main non-photoshelter page. I know of others that have done the same.

    It was all good and going well until Google resurrected that extinct bird in November. It’s not been even close since. I have no more ideas, no more resources to expend – including energy.

    I can have the best looking, best working, easiest to use site in the universe but if people can’t find it on the navigational charts, I just as well be in a black hole.

    I’m not blaming anyone at PhotoShelter, but I do think PS is going to have to take the lead. So many of the nuts and bolts that are needed are unaccessible to we users. The only things we can manage are our photos and galleries.

    I don’t often beg, but please redouble the efforts and take 2 more looks to see what you all can do. We are really suffering.

  6. gene at 7:37 pm

    Sounds very cool.. I’m super psyched to not have to jump form page to page for everything.

    I am concerned however, that there was no mention of either breaking away from the Graph Paper Press templates,, OR at least adding a better template builder (like Yootheme or Rockettheme) into the mix.

    I build WP sites ever week for a living.. and GPP are some the worst WP themes I’ve ever had to use. Very low end in comparison. Very limiting in our layouts.

  7. gene at 8:17 pm

    I noticed there was no mention of integration with major catelog tools like Lightroom and Aperture.

    Yes, I’m aware of your 3rd party plugin, but it’s somewhat lacking in features and to be honest.. It’s pretty weak that you don’t have an “In house” plugin for us to use which can be supported by a support team which we pay a very steep annual fee to have.

  8. Raj at 11:43 pm

    I am excited to hear of some of the client delivery options. This will definitely improve our image with our customers.
    I am waiting eagerly for better portfolio display with music. I hope this is forthcoming. I would also like to be able to add slideshows with music to my client’s galleries.

    More website customization options would be highly desirable so that we can present our portfolio in the most impressive manner.

    Thanks for listening and providing an excellent service.

    Raj

  9. Brian Skyum at 1:52 am

    When this year can we expect the most important of all – client batch download?
    Do we get the much missed basic online editing tools to adjust exposure, contrast and color saturation? Half of my 38.000 online images needs brightening and less color saturation.
    This is time wise undoable by download-adjust-reupload, because I will manually have to reload them into all my 230 galleries again. I want do the adjustment in the browser.

    Thank you

    I look forward to actually be able to sell my images on PS.

  10. Stephen Hyde at 3:49 am

    Hi

    Great news on all the changes

    Here is a request I would LOVE to see implemented in the upcoming upgrade

    I like to show my website as a slideshow. This works fine on computers but
    has a REAL problem with iPads etc which do not use flash.

    With theses, the galleries default to to top image of each
    gallery but NO FURTHER NAVIGATION IS POSSIBLE. This must put off 99.9% of all
    iOS devices.

    Can you get a work around, such as double clicking each image moves on to
    the next in that gallery or else use a non-flash slide show. This would be a life saver & make both platforms viable.

    I would even be happy to produce duplicate galleries behind the scenes which
    would spring into action once iOS was detected, though I am sure you clever
    guys would be able to do this much better than me.

    Hope you can make it happen !

    Stephen

  11. Erika Szostak at 4:58 am

    Hey guys – all sounds very promising and am looking forward to seeing all the upgrades. I didn’t see any mention of this but are you going to include a selective watermarking functionality, i.e. on a per-gallery basis? I, for one, would find that really useful. Cheers :)

  12. Djuna Ivereigh at 5:17 am

    Exciting and I wish you all the best with the big upgrades. I’m sure you’re working hard :)

    I second, third and fourth the votes for cleaner integration with offline management tools like Lightroom and Aperture. I hope this saves some re-invention of wheels, and fits well into the mainstream workflow, so lowering entry barriers.

    Big on my wish list is bulk keywording, captioning, and “metadata-ing”, preferably done offline, then synced with online collections. The Pact Software plugin gets us part way there…

    As far as competing with search at Flickr and Google, this seems a tough battle. The collections are offshoots of search enterprises, and the vibrant community, sharing and discussion (keyword generation) humming along at Flickr gives them a clear advantage. How about–again–better integration? Users find pix at Flickr, license them at PhotoShelter.

    I’m looking forward to client-end improvements!! Overall, I’d be really pleased if PS comms focus further energies on the client end. You do great things with your photographer workbooks — Kudos! How about applying some of those same talents toward the photo-buyer audience? Great starts would be screencasts introducing photo buyers to the resources and community, and some how-to screencasts on finding, storing, licensing and downloading images.

    Again, I’m sure you have your hands full! Thanks for all you do, and for thinking of us :)

  13. Djuna Ivereigh at 5:20 am

    P.S. Some upgrade webinars at more different times of day would also be welcome. Those of us at the “morning of the world” (Aus and Asia) have a hard time keeping lively at midday NY time…

  14. Djuna Ivereigh at 5:41 am

    P.P.S. Extra special thanks for the hardware upgrades. I’ve been suffering stalls (request timeouts?) on the backend for a long while now. I look forward to putting those behind me!!

  15. robin at 5:50 am

    Big congrats on all of the work – huge improvements to look forward to.

    I agree with Gene re: lightroom/aperture integration among other things, so hoping that improvements come in that area soon. Any chance that you will share a roadmap for 2012 or beyond, or the upgrade phase 2, 3, etc?

  16. Edeson Souza at 6:22 am

    Parabens pela modernização e facilidades.

    Como sugestão para nós da lingua portuguesa que fosse pensado termos a opção de termos nossos sites na nossa lingua, ajudaria muito e acho que somos muitos que se utilizam do Photoshelter.

    Grato

    Edeson Souza

  17. Marie-Louise Avery at 6:41 am

    Am I missing any mention of iPad/ iPhone compatibility. Really bothered by the lack of proper image galleries for the iPad – has made Photoshelter so much less useful than it might be. And would love to be able to make galleries easily from my my iphone. I currently have client images uploading which won’t be complete before I have to go out and I would dearly love to be able to move them across into a gallery for collection from my iphone. This happens often.
    Also hoping – like other of your users – that there will be a real improvement in SEO – my images aren’t being found and I have done everything from my end that I can. It really isn’t worth me spending hours on my photoshelter site if nothing improves in this area.

  18. Ken at 7:23 am

    These are the kind of reasons I chose to go with photoshelter all those years ago. If you were to deliver only half of what you promise, it’d still be a vast improvement on the competition! can’t wait to see what else is coming!

  19. John Stankewitz at 10:52 am

    Hello PS, was wondering if in the new upgrade there will be a way while in Archives to view under the thumbnail which galleries that you have a particular image already in? This would be Extremely helpful as sometimes I bulk upload say 200 files and I might need some files to go in up to 3 different galleries. So when I go back to Archives I will know if I have sorted and assigned files to galleries correctly. Thanks, John

  20. Kristin B at 1:10 pm

    The changes all look great. I like that you guys are trying to improve in big ways and not just small ways. Technology is difficult to keep up with, we know.

    If you’re not aware, according to Thad at Graph Paper Press, moving Visual Society to a new server has been a much larger undertaking than expected and is currently on hold, it seems indefinitely. This means no free blog option? You guys are consistently posting how helpful blogs can be to drive traffic to a site, so no Visual Society option is a big problem.

    Someone else also commented that Graph Paper Press blog sites are some of the worst. Now with no Visual Society option on top of that, will you make integration with other blog sites possible??

  21. Chuck Cecil at 4:18 pm

    Sounds great, and I’ll hope this transition can take place without causing me too much extra work, since I already have a hard time just processing my own images and making them available for viewing.

    I did not notice any mention of FotoQuote. I do not feel FotoQuote has kept up with current image prices in the marketplace. This would be a good time to prod them to bring their data up to date. I know I can discount their prices, but that’s a random, uninformed approach to the problem. They’re supposed to be the experts who study all the market data. Let’s hope you’ve used all the leverage PhotoShelter can bring to bear to get FotoQuote to update its data. Or have you found a better, more accurate source of market pricing data?

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  23. Erika Szostak at 4:26 am

    Hiya – just want to say I have already made use of the new option to bulk change filenames and it’s brilliant. Really happy to have that facility now – thank you. And I really enjoy (and find useful) the workbooks and webinars you guys produce. Thanks for those as well.

    I do have another request/suggestion for improved functionality. As someone who works internationally, with clients based in the US and the UK, it would be extremely useful if I could set sales currency on a per-gallery basis. At the moment I have to manually change currency per job, but of course this then makes the prices across other galleries completely inaccurate, and I either have to go and manually change the pricing profile on every single gallery after having had to create pricing profiles which list prices in their converted currency equivalent, or (if I don’t manually change the prices on each gallery) then I end up with prices that are completely inaccurate across the board, which is obviously a problem.
    Any chance something can be done about this?

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  25. Leonardo Camacho at 8:52 am

    Very nice features. And have to say that I am looking foward to see the new stuff. Dear people from Photoshelter, I had said before in some e-mails that I do love the service, the crew that make contact and support us, the brand and everything you do. Although, I’m still really concerned with the flexibility to show my PS website in the language of my costumers (Portuguese). I’m afraid that I will not be able to keep using the system without this improvment.

    A suggestion i have is: you don´t have to make massive changes in the system. You could just let the fields open for me to write whatever I want – so the translations work will be all on my own. For instance: I could be able to write “Download em massa” and show this in my site, instead of show “Batch dowload”. To have a website in english is the only reason I paid and I am not getting no benefit of using Photoshelter in my marketing field.

    I sent some e-mail asking support for that but no good answer came so far.

    I´m open to be a volunteer with translation stuff and help you testing anything in the system. I love you guys!

    BR,

    Leo

  26. superfancy at 2:51 pm

    SUGGESTION

    Choose to either make the “PORTFOLIO” option more pro by further articulating the stock gallery area from the portfolio area on your templates — or deciding not to “take on” live books and removing the Portfolio feature.

    The way it currently stands is in between and confusing, in the opinion of art buyers who have criticized my site because of this problem (even though they like the photos once they can find them).

    I know it is possible to “write the code myself” as the nice lady on your line suggested — but if I wanted to learn code, then I probably wouldn’t really be looking for a website hosting service, would I?

    (There are so many other things about photo shelter that I love, keep up the good work! But I would definitely try and learn from your users who are unfamiliar w your service — it is easy to overlook even obvious usability problems if you are not working with unfamiliar new users all the time.)

  27. andy at 6:33 am

    All good stuff and great to see a company go out and grab the future rather than get left behind.

    My wish list would be even better SEO assistance, batch key wording and the option to start adding video for upload and sale (to stay ahead of the curve!!). Also, does my client have to sign up to download a batch of images? I would rather they didnt have to as it annoys them.

  28. Julie at 3:12 pm

    I would like to be able to name/title images at a fastest pace. At present I am having to do this one by one. Maybe this is already available but I have not worked out how to do it. Also with the new upgrade, will my images, archive and galleries be transferred automatically. What will I see on screen after the changeover and how do I ensure I do not confuse myself and or delete images by playing with the new features.

  29. Robert Falcetti at 11:55 am

    I have been a PS user since early on and love the options it gives me for client delivery. That said, I would love to be able to offer clients the ability to edit their own caption information in their selected galleries/collections on their own without having to become a virtual agency.

    Much of my work is for clients who would rather keep using the galleries I deliver them for the on demand images they need than to have to download the entire take. This would allow photographers to develop an additional revenue stream by being able to bill clients for a variety of different access levels. Currently I have two billing options for clients that I’ll share 1) for the clients I am creating image libraries for they pay a per shoot delivery rate to be able to access/download images on top of the Creative & Usage fees. 2) I also have a monthly fee I charge for clients who want to maintain access to their images past our agreed delivery access terms which varies by client.

    By allowing clients access to be able to edit captions in selected galleries/collections this could open another level of billable service for clients who want to keep their galleries/collections active. Many of my clients love having one stop shopping so to speak for their images without the hassle of having to download and catalog them on their own. This option would give more control and revenue to the photographers while offering a better customer service for our client base.

    Please think of this in future updates.

    Bob

  30. Michael at 1:04 pm

    I just don’t seem to be able to make my theme homepage look attractive with the options provided. Did I miss this in all the wonderful verbiage about the new features. That is my most frustrating issue…thanks

  31. Dan Donovan at 11:57 pm

    Wow – infinite nesting. That is what forced me to leave PhotoShelter years ago. PS does so much for the pro photo industry, I hope I can come back to support them!

  32. Andrea Wells at 4:18 pm

    We’re looking forward to the upgrades.

    Quick request: we are using the Maui website theme. Can you add an option to NOT show the number of images which appear in each gallery? We would prefer to not have those show on our gallery page. Thanks!

  33. Steve Krumenaker at 8:04 pm

    The IOS issue with Flash is a real problem and needs to be fixed…why can’t you make the slide shows aware of the OS and move to HTML5 if the device is IOS? Others are doing this to handle the issue.

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