Communicating Art

Since Thursday last week I have had three family portrait shoots. Two of these were scheduled “practice” shoots and one was a last minute engagement (a freebee for a friend, one I do most every year at Christmas.)

During each of the first 2 sessions, between Vicky and I, we shot about 150 photographs. During the Sunday, after worship, shoot of my Pastor’s family I shot 8 images. So now what is the best was to communicate with our “clients” the result of our efforts. Well – Just last week I “got” a website! After doing some research (during the past three months, not every minute of every day of the past three months, just a little bit at a time over the past three months) I purchased a website system from www.photobiz.com.

I studied lots of offerings and looked at dozens of websites created by friends, including some very popular “PhotoBlog Sites” created with ProPhoto. I decided on a Flash Site because I like the way the images are displayed and because I use WordPress for bloging already and it worked for me to use their system to create another blog for LightPlay Media. You are reading it right now.

My PhotoBiz site has an extra feature they call the “Client Viewing” system. You add it by paying a, relatively small, one time fee. Use of the viewing system does not add anything to your monthly fee, which again is small anyway, at least for what you get. The viewing system allows you to set up categories of “client type.” For instance I created “Portrait Session,” “Commercial,” Forensic and Scientific Documentation,” and “FineArt.” These are the areas of photography we are focused on, right now.

Once you have your categories established you create a show space for each client. You can establish all kinds of tweeks to how your presentations work. For each client you may have just a viewing space, or both a viewing and a proofing space. Using proofing the client is able to select favorites and make comments on each of the photographs which you subsequently have access to. The system keeps you informed about your clients progress looking at their photos. Each space you create has an expiration date that closed the space to client viewing. You establish a unique password for each client and each client space so there is no cross client peeking. Maintenance of this whole thing is very easy.

And as if ease of use were not enough, each of the modules and functions within the system has their own separate streaming video tutorial! I mean using this thing is cake!

As of this morning I have loaded preliminary processed images for two of my shoots and will load the third this afternoon. The photographs look great in this system. I cannot wait to hear from the clients.

I will let you know what they say in a followup to this post in the coming days. We live in amazing time. There a so many tools to help as we strive to capture the perfect image and there are an equal number of great tools and methods to help us communicate, to the world, what we have created.

Go and get started. Don’t keep you passion for this or any other art in a box. Have at it and bring joy into the lives of those you touch with the wonderful thing that only you can do!

See you out there,

Robert Curtis, LightPlay Media, in Santa Rosa Beach

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