A Guided Tour of the New Image Browser

A Guided Tour of the New Image Browser

Have you checked out PhotoShelter’s new Image Browser? Because it’s fundamentally changing how photographers organize images on their websites and deliver them to clients. The Image Browser is at the core of the first phase in a brand new PhotoShelter, and its power lies in your newfound ability to take care of everything related to your images on one single screen.

Below is a comprehensive overview of the new Image Browser, which outlines where you can find all your images and pro tools that you’ve used for years. Plus, some new goodies and workflow ideas that will help get your images uploaded, online, and off to clients faster.

The first thing to know about the Image Browser is that it is divided into three panes. From here on out, we’ll be referring to Pane 1 (left), Pane 2 (center), and Pane 3 (right). Each has a core function and holds the resources to carry out specific functions within your PhotoShelter account.

An overview of the new Image Browser.

Pane 1

Pane 1 is where you will find the most organized and complete display of your collections and galleries. It’s important to note that your full Archive as it stood before the updates on March 24, 2012 is located in the Unlisted on Website section in a collection named “Archive (2012-03-24)”.

Your original Archive can be found in the Unlisted on Website section.

In addition to your original Archive, the Unlisted on Website section contains all collections and galleries that are not listed on your website. These might be private, unlisted galleries that you share with clients but don’t want to be publicly displayed on your website. The Listed on Website section is literally just that – a direct reflection of what is displayed on the gallery list page of your website.

For organizational purposes, a collection can hold other collections and galleries; a gallery can only contain images. To add a new collection, first decide if you want it to be on the Listed on Website section or the Unlisted on Website section. Highlight the desired section, and then click the red folder icon at the top of Pane 1. You can name the collection and set the visibility to “Everyone”, “Those with permission”, or “No one but me”. You can follow the same process for creating a new gallery.

Creating a new collection or gallery.

Depending on how you set the visibility for your collections or galleries, there will be either a small lock or “no” symbol on the icon.

Collections and galleries have different icons depending on their visibility.

You can also do a search in the Image Browser for any collection or gallery, and all instances will appear in the dropdown.

Searching for collections and galleries in the Image Browser.

Infinite gallery nesting is also available by simply creating a parent collection that sits at the root level, and adding additional collections underneath. Remember that galleries cannot live inside of other galleries – they must live inside collections. So when you want to create a deeper level of nesting, you must create a new collection.

Infinite gallery nesting is easy, just create new collections at the next level and add your galleries.

Creating nested galleries is the best way to get organized and allow your Image Browser to run at its optimal speed. You can always create new collections and then drag-and-drop existing galleries into those collections.

Wedding photographers, for example, might want to create one collection per client, and then create sub-galleries for the engagement shoot, ceremony, reception, etc. Or if you’re a travel photographer, try creating collections based on location and then organizing them by city. If you choose to do so, you will also make it easier for people to navigate your website and easily find the images that they’re interested in.

Pane 2

This is by far the meat of the Image Browser and where things look super sexy. You will likely spend the most time looking in Pane 2, so let’s get started.

First, you have to know how to sort your collections/galleries and images. This is particularly important for the Listed on Website section, because how you have them sorted in the Image Browser is how they will appear on your website. Simply locate the second dropdown in Pane 2 and choose from the sorting options:

  • Name
  • Last modified
  • Date created
  • Custom

You also have the option to always display your galleries first or your collections first. Once you choose a sorting option, you can use the arrows to the right of the dropdown to sort in the opposite direction (for example, A-Z vs. Z-A).

Sort your collections and galleries in Pane 2.

If you prefer to custom sort your collections/galleries or images, choose “Custom” and then click the small pencil icon next to the dropdown. Then you can drag-and-drop your collections/galleries into the desired order. Don’t forget to save!

To custom sort, choose "Custom" and then click the pencil icon.

If you’re finding thumbnails too bulky to work with, you can always switch between larger and smaller thumbnails at the bottom of Pane 2. Or toggle to list view for an even more streamlined perspective.

Switch to list view for another perspective.

So where’s the time-saving component in all this? The Actions dropdown, which has a ton of tools and features that you can apply to the entire gallery or specific images. The best part is that you don’t have to navigate to another page or load up each individual image to get things done. That in itself should save a few unnecessary steps, and it allows you to see it happen instantly on one screen. Actions available here are:

  • Make searchable
  • Batch download
  • FTP
  • Price
  • Batch edit IPTC
  • Add/move to another gallery
  • Copy to lightbox
  • Remove/delete images

Pane 2 is where the action is.

When you want to get things done, come to Pane 2 – it’s the place to see all your images beautifully displayed before you. To get more specific gallery and image detail, just look over to Pane 3.

Pane 3

We know that even the most minute details can make or break a business, so that’s why we’re hosting all your collection, gallery, and image details in one place. Pane 3 is where you can edit your gallery names and descriptions; add image captions; and perhaps most importantly, set visibility and download permissions.

When you select a collection or gallery in Pane 1 or 2, you will automatically see the details appear in Pane 3. The first thing at the top is the collection or gallery name, and below is its direct link. You can share this link with clients even if the collection/gallery isn’t 100% ready for view, as the link always stay the same.

Edit collection/gallery names in Pane 3.

You can also set a cover image for your collection or gallery by dragging one of the images to the graphic under the Descriptions area. To learn how, check out this 50-second video on Setting a Cover Image.

Directly below the name and link is where you can set visibility and download permissions – arguably the most important component of making your clients happy. Click the links next to “Who can see this?” and “Who can download this?” to edit permissions. You’ll have the option to make the collection/gallery visible to:

  • Everyone: publicly visible
  • Those with permission: visible to specific people by making it password protected or grant access to specific people
  • No one but me: not publicly visible

Once you indicate visibility permissions, you can add download access and send out email notifications. For more on visibility and access, check out this help document.

Setting visibility and download access in Pane 3.

Once you have your collection or gallery set up, you can look into image specifics. Selecting an image and Pane 3 will instantly display all its information, and you can expand any given section to see the details.

Select an image to view and edit its details.

For example, expand Stats to see how many times the image has been viewed on your website, or Located In for a sanity check on the collections/galleries where this image actually lives. You can also click the pencil icon next to IPTC Meta Data to edit and more specifically, to add captions to your images.

You’ll also notice some new icons under the image’s file name to help you stay organized. You can hover over the icons for their description, and when “turned on” (i.e. highlighted in green) they indicate something specific about the image:

Pane 3 is all about getting your collections, galleries, and images where you want them to be. When you start thinking about download access, captions, cover images, and other details, head over to Pane 3 – just be sure that you have the right collection/gallery or image selected in Pane 2 before you start working.


The new Image Browser is a powerful workflow tool that’s optimized to make both batch and image-specific actions faster and easier. After some initial exploring, you’ll find a way to navigate around that works best for you. For visual learners, we have 4-minute video on Image Browser Basics. Also check out our comprehensive help tutorials, particularly on finding your way in the new PhotoShelter.

If you’re not a PhotoShelter member, sign up for our 14-day free trial.

Next Post:
Previous Post:
This article was written by
There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Harrogate Wedding Photographer at 10:58 am

    I think what I’m struggling with the most is when I want to blog images. I still haven’t found a workaround for this. For instance a wedding that I have shot, I create a password protected gallery for my clients to view their images which works fine.

    But then if I want to blog the images from this session I need to create another gallery called (blog) [name of couple] and make that one viewable by anyone. I have it setup so people can only find galleries that are put in either wedding/engagement/portrait/commercial collections on my website so no-one would actually find these “Blog Galleries” as I call them.

    But it means I have a whole host of duplicate galleries in my organisational area in Photoshelter. If you don’t make the “Blog Gallery” whilst the WordPress plugin still finds the password protected gallery when you actually insert an image and go to a blog post it justs says image cannot be displayed.

    Is there any other workaround for this? Or am I just missing something? I can only imagine if there isn’t, then there must be more Photoshelter users out there that have the same problem?


    • Chris Owyoung at 11:47 am

      Hi Chris,

      I would suggest creating a password protected Collection for the event and then place Galleries for each part of the couple’s day (Getting Ready, Ceremony, Reception) into that collection with the visibility set to “Everyone”. This will allow you to send the link to the Collection to the clients with the password and allow you to blog about specific images since the contents of the individual galleries is visible to everyone (even though they cannot get to it via you pubic site). Just be very sure to remove the link from the images you blog about so that when someone clicks on the photo they aren’t taken into the couple’s gallery. An added benefit of this workflow is that your client can view their event in sections rather than hundreds of images in a single gallery. Let me know if this makes any sense.



  2. Per-BKWine at 4:03 am

    I generally like the new image browser. It is much easier to organise things.

    It does have quite a few bugs and glitches (some that have been/are being sorted).

    What I like very little about it is the sometimes very long time (in relative terms) that it takes to display the pages properly. It sometimes seems to build the page in stages and change what is displayed along the way. This becomes very irritating if one is used to fast browsing.

  3. Harrogate Wedding Photographer at 10:05 am

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for responding. Sounds like a good idea, however the one sticking point is that I have 4 collections set up in order to ringfence Weddings/Engagement/Portrait/Commercial on my website. Can I have a collection of collections?

    At the moment clients can click on “Client Area” and then see the four collections that I add to as and when I do a shoot. All those galleries are obviously password protected, with the collections viewable publicly.

    It does seem a little bit of a workaround though to resolve what is a fairly simple problem. Also when it’s not a wedding (ie. without set parts of the day) if I do the same a client would first have to click onto their collection, then into their gallery which isn’t exactly user friendly and I’d end up again having duplicate collection/gallery names in my image browser.

    I don’t understand why every image I have uploaded to photoshelter can’t appear in the wordpress blog plugin? They have to be publicly available to do that as I understand it? In fact having a look now, all galleries do appear in the Photoshelter WordPress plugin, but if I choose the ones from a password protected gallery, I get the “This image cannot be found” image in the actual live blog post.

    Surely as the user I should be able to post my own images without having to create a separate gallery each time?

    Thanks for your help though!

  4. Pingback: Russ Bishop Photography | Nature Photo Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *