It’s been two weeks since we announced the release of significant new PhotoShelter features that included many user-suggested improvements in usability. One such feature is the addition of 2 new (empty) website pages to use however you want.
Having the flexibility to customize 2 more pages is a really powerful addition to a PhotoShelter website. As expected, our users wasted no time in taking advantage of this. Here are a few of the best examples I’ve seen so far…
1) Show Off Your Tearsheets
One of the most obvious uses for this is to show how clients are using your work with “tearsheets.” This is a really nice way to display your published work, and let people know that you’re no stranger to the business. Showing strong examples of your work in use provides a great testimonial to prospective clients.
- Carl Pendle has done a really beautiful job with a series of magazine layouts that feature his images.
- Richard Baker created a PhotoShelter slideshow of images used on the covers of books and magazines, and embedded that slideshow into one of his blank pages.
- Fredrik Naumann has also included slideshows on one of his blank pages. The headline of the page says “Hire photographer Fredrik Naumann, and includes a slideshow full of tearsheets, and a slideshow of some of his best portraits.
2) Insert a Newsletter Signup Form
Many photographers keep their clients updated and engaged with their business through a newsletter. Adding a newsletter signup feature is possible simply by embedding easy form code from a service called “Wufoo.” They have a long list of pre-made forms of all types that you can use – from forms, to surveys, registrations, lead generations, online orders and tracking. You can use their service for free (use up to 3 forms), or you can upgrade to their paid service if you need more. Google Docs also has a free embeddable forms feature.
Adding a newsletter signup form gives you another way to capture contact information from your website visitors who are simply window-shopping, and you may re-engage them in the future. Embedding these forms is easy because these free services give you all of the HTML code you need, which you then paste right into your blank pages on PhotoShelter.
3) Insert Google Maps / Calendar
There many useful services from Google that can be embedded into the blank pages on PhotoShelter. A Google map that shows where you are currently, where you’ve been, or where your studio is located can be included in the page, as well as your complete Google calendar.
- Gavin Ellis, founder of TGS Photo, has included his assignment shooting calendar into his website using Google calendar and a PhotoShelter website blank page.
4) Insert Your Resume
Some people want to include a resume on their website, and you can use one of the blank pages for this we well. Since the blank pages will accept any HTML, you can even include custom style sheets to make the fonts and spacing and colors look exactly how you want.
- I used a blank page on my PhotoShelter website to hold my resume. It’s using a custom CSS style sheet that makes the format easy to read.
5) Embed Videos
Video can be added to your PhotoShelter website through services like Vimeo and YouTube. Adding them is easy – just copy the embed code from Vimeo or YouTube and paste it into your template page, and its done.
- Photographer Quinn Ryan Mattingly created a page titled “Multimedia & Video,” which includes 3 different videos that stream in high quality directly from Vimeo.
- Photographer Carl Pendle created a page titled “My Videos,” which includes 3 different videos from Vimeo.
- Fredrik Naumann of Felix Features put together a page that shows off their ability to shoot and edit moving images using Vimeo as well.
- Clayton Lancaster filled up one of his blank pages with YouTube videos showing him in action during photo shoots, and even included some promo videos he made of a rock band.
6) Showcase Your Portfolio
One cool way to create a “portfolio-style” area of your PhotoShelter website is to create a PhotoShelter slideshow of your best work, then customize the look of the slideshow with our advanced embeddable features, and have a standalone page that shows a slideshow of your best work. Then just embed that slideshow into one of your blank pages. This would even allow your viewers to see the images in full screen mode, creating a nice, simple, clean way to show off your portfolio.
Many photographers have asked for us to give them the ability to add a portfolio page, so we’d love to see what you guys do with this option.
7) List Your Pricing & Services
Many PhotoShelter users said they had a need for a page on their website where they could describe their pricing policies and the types of services they offered. So there should be no surprise that the new blank pages are being used for this as well.
- Photographer Norm Yip lists the type of photographic and other services that he makes available to his customers.
- Delane Rouse created a really nice rates and packages page, as well as a page that explains his Washington DC corporate headshots business.
- Photographer John Mitchell is also a writer. He created a page that promotes his photography along with his writing, with stories that are also available with his images. You can click on a link and download a PDF file that contains the story and the images already presented in an attractive magazine-style layout, and created another page that lists his upcoming travel plans.
8) Promote Special Offers/Coupons
If you’re running a special offer, or if you’re making a discount coupon available to customers (a href=”http://www.photoshelter.com/mem/home/help/tut/sell/coupon”>which you can do through PhotoShelter), or any other creative ways designed to inspire people to buy – you can promote those efforts on one of the blank pages.
Since these pages are easy to change at any time, you can always modify the specials as you wish.
9) Insert Blog RSS Feeds
- There are 2 different blogs that I work on. One is about photography (you’re reading it right now), and the other is about tequila. I set up a page on my PhotoShelter website that includes RSS feeds for both of these blogs. So, when either of those blogs are updated, my PhotoShelter website is automatically updated too.
10) Insert Social Media Widgets
Photographers who are active on Twitter and Facebook can add their social media status updates to their PhotoShelter websites through the use of the blank pages and Social Media “widgets.” This is a really great way to keep people updated on your happenings, and keeps your website always fresh and up-to-date without having to do any additional work.
Since these “widgets” are simply HTML code, you can paste them into your blank page with ease.
- Gavin Ellis has added 3 different social media widgets to a single page on his PhotoShelter website. One for his Twitter feed, and one for each of his two Facebook “fan pages.”
We’d really like to see what more photographers are doing with these additional pages…so please post links to your sites so we can take a peek!