By zuccini ・14 comments

Hi folks! I want to create an online portfolio + store for my pictures. There are several platforms I am considering, for example SmugMug, Zenfolio.
I'd love to hear any feedback or advice from the community.

Thank you!

Your comment

Thank you everyone for you input! I ended up using Format as a platform. It has nice templates, easy page management, and type of store that I was looking for. Here's my portfolio ^^

www.sashashturma.com

reply

Hi Sasha!
I do love your photos. And after reading that they are untouched I'm more than impressed.

With the platform, I personally like Webflow. But for the hobby online store it can be pricy. Squarespace or Wix can work too and they are pretty simple to use.

If you want to sell online - I would pay attention to the UI of the platform and how easy for a user is to buy from you.
Personally, I was confused with SmugMug's UI and literally intentionally spent some time to figure out what I can buy and how to do it.

I agree with Tamara on "Insta + link in bio"
No matter what platform you are using, you still need to get people's attention and to inspire them to go visit your website and maybe buy from you.

Instagram already has people, browsing the platform. So it's a bit easier for them to bump in you and discover your artworks.

With the activity - I see it as a representation of yourself. So at the first place it should feel good and be interesting for you to post on regular basics. Same as with working out. To get in shape you need to run (for example) on a regular schedule for a pretty long period. If you don't like running - it's better to find an activity you like.

Based on your values and believes + your approach to photography + what other people in niche area are not talking about you can find your voice and eventually build your community.

reply

Hi Tasha! Thank you for sharing your insights. So far, my biggest problem with SmugMug is that with their shopping cart I have to use one of the partner labs to print pictures, I can't fulfill orders and sell what I print myself. Their support suggested PayPal integration, but it doesn't look like a good UX to me.
I absolutely agree with you that less friction to buy - the better.
I might try their labs, but it's so much fun to print yourself :)) Also looking to try https://www.format.com/

What do you think about hiring assistant that helps drive engagement and followers on Insta? I do like to post content and manage two accounts (@s_shturma, @film_by_mr_zuccini), but I don't have time to like and comment in volumes enough to drive steady followers flow. I am very much against bots.

reply

Hey gal! Haven't tried this, but I'd look into Envato Elements as well!

reply

Hi Shahrzad! I love Envato Elements as a buyer of stock photos and I think a few website templates ^^
Unfortunately, wouldn't work for me as a platform to sell - my pics don't pass as stock, and in general, different type of art.

reply

Hiya!

It depends on your photo style. What are you shooting exactly? Do you have links for us to see your photo work?

If it's artistic photo -> Insta + link in bio to buy prints is common practice. That could be an Etsy or your website. I personnally used to have Squaredspace. Everything was integrated, it was great.

If it's stock -> iStock, Shutterstock, Adobe are good. There's even a platform now that I'm helping building to sync all these submissions from one dashboard instead of having to do it on each separate account.

Let me know if you want to talk about this more xx

reply

Thank you for your reply! I've added some of my photos to SmugMug yesterday: https://sashashturma.smugmug.com/
It's 35mm film, wouldn't even pass for stock due to low res.
I put a lot of emphasis on frames, but haven't added framed stuff yet.

Honestly, I haven't had luck with Instagram. It takes too much effort to get discovered and I decided it's not worth my time. I periodically schedule posts, just to keep it somewhat alive (will need to re-brand as well). https://www.instagram.com/film_by_mr_zuccini/

Do you have any tips on gaining insta following?

reply