Do you typically update your photography website on looks alone?…
Dean Oros is one of those photographers who epitomizes the idea of a multifaceted business. After 18 years in the film and television industry, he turned his full attention and efforts to photography. His work now spans corporate and consumer clients – from industrial to travel to kids and families.
Dean and his team need a website that works as hard as they do. They’ve actually been a PhotoShelter member since 2009, and manually customized his site to get their own desired look and feel. Four years later, and the team at Dean Oros Photo was looking for a fresh new look. The new site needed to be flexible and house a variety of initiatives in one central destination. In addition to commissioned work, Dean also offers workshops (cheekily named Foto Skool), video slideshows for clients, commercial licensing, and limited edition prints. He’s also active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and puts out a quarterly newsletter.
PhotoShelter’s Beam private beta came out right around the time that Dean and his team were exploring new site options. “We had actually been looking to develop a new website in-house,” says Dean. “However, as improvements came to light [during Beam’s private beta period], we changed our mind. This goes to show that PhotoShelter listens and does its best to act and respond. In my humble opinion, it’s everything that happens behind the scenes in addition to the other services incorporated in the PhotoShelter mantra that makes PhotoShelter the leader in a crowded market.”
We spoke further with Dean to learn why he decided to switch his site to Beam, PhotoShelter’s new platform for online portfolio sites.
Why did you ultimately chose the “Element” template for your new site?
I’ve always felt, for my work, that the images ought to be front and center in any presentation, including the web, as opposed to the studio’s brand. The work ought to be the “brand”. Because we started as a fine art wedding photography studio, we went through phases early on where our sites reflected some creative flair to match my images. But at the end of the day simplicity has always spoken to me, and so I was drawn to the elegant lines of Element, which is a design very similar to what we were designing in-house.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, was we did our homework. We felt that a left-aligned menu was the way to go to best meet the growing use of mobile devices, including tablets and phones – all with smaller screen than desktop computers. Web browsing via mobile devices by end users is increasing exponentially, and to ignore it is to provide less of a browsing experience for these users, thus making it difficult for parties interested my work to actually view it and contact the studio. It allows the end user to visit our web presence without having to scroll too much throughout the site to view images and to navigate.
What do you think your clients will think about the new design?
Speedy, functional, and elegant. Image quality on Beam is first-rate, especially when viewing on a professionally calibrated monitor.
What new Beam integrations do you find most exciting?
Though we don’t feature a lot of video in our site, we actually produce a fair bit for our clients. The seamless integration of video [through Vimeo] works very well, and provides visitors with an idea of how their video might look – without having to leave the main site.
Also the ease of adding unlimited custom pages. This allows us to build nested pages to allow for an easier mobile visit. It also allows us to spread out important information, making it easier to read while allowing for easier navigation. And of course, the client area is important for our clients – existing and prospective, as well as the integrated e-commerce.
How did you find the process of building and customizing your new site?
As quirks were addressed and features fleshed out during the private beta, it became quite easy. Overall it’s an intuitive experience once you get the hang of it.
Beyond the new website templates, what’s your favorite PhotoShelter feature?
PhotoShelter has much to offer, so it’s not a simple one sentence answer. Briefly: secure cloud storage and the ability to easily update featured portfolio images from our archive is very convenient. This extends to creating private galleries for photo editors and other clients. It also helps us with our blogging as we pull images in from the cloud.
Check out more from Dean Oros’s new portfolio website, powered by Beam, at archive.deanorosphoto.com.