What type of website to begin with

Vladyxa

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Sorry if this is the wrong forum, but since turning hobby into a business one day is intended final destination I thought this could be the right forum. :blushing:

I started getting serious about photography about 6 months ago; I'm reading different books on exposure, how to take good pictures, and so on. In the near future, I plan to start learning Photoshop CS5. It seems like I am making progress, and my pictures are getting better and better (at least that's what I think :D).

May be it is time to create a website?

Then the next question would be: what type of website should I start with?

This is where I need help from pros on this forum, to make as few mistakes as possible.
In the past I've I started some things a wrong way, only to find out a year or two later that I should have done things differently.

What I think I need website for (please, please make corrections and / or add things as you feel necessary):
- to show pictures. I know there is Flickr, and other free websites, but if I want to be serious about it, professionally looking website might be better way to go.
- keep blog. I would like to write about different things; pictures from latest trip, what I think about latest lens I bought, or great training I took, and as I get better may be even post some tips and advices.
- add some ads (little extra income from ads can't hurt, right?)
- ??? let people buy prints from my website ???

Thank you in advance for all your help!
 

o hey tyler

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What type of photography are you going to be doing? You don't really have the proper gear to go for portraiture. If you're selling landscape prints, that's one thing. Portraits/weddings/events are pretty different.
 

pixmedic

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smugmug and zenfolio are popular and used by many professional photographers.
 
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Vladyxa

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What type of photography are you going to be doing? You don't really have the proper gear to go for portraiture. If you're selling landscape prints, that's one thing. Portraits/weddings/events are pretty different.

I am still learning different techniques and trying out different types.

Which lenses would you recommend for portraits? I was thinking to go for 85mm prime for portraits, but I might be wrong.

Thank you!

A professionally designed web site is a plus.

Are you in the USA?
If you want to make sure you get a business started the right way:
Starting & Managing a Business | SBA.gov
Free Small Business Advice | How-to Resources | Tools | Templates | SCORE

Yes, I'm in the USA. I should probably add that to my profile.
At this time I am hoping to go with a website that is low cost, easy to start and maintain.
In the future, if things go well, I might reach out to professional designers.

Thank you for the links! I've used SBA before, but have not seen score.org before.

smugmug and zenfolio are popular and used by many professional photographers.

I will check them out! Thank you!
 

pixmedic

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portrait lenses will depend on how much room you have to work with, how much of the subject you wish to be in the frame, and how many people will be in the frame. I have used everything from 24mm to 180mm for portraits. 50mm and 85mm being my favorites on a DX camera.
 
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Vladyxa

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If not 50mm or 85mm, how much worse the quality will be on 18-200mm zoomed at 85mm?
 

imagemaker46

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How long have you been using a camera? Are you planning on jumping right to the pro ranks full time? Understanding photography and photoshop before starting any photographic business is more important than having a web site first and learning after. The option to build your own web site is there. Lots of great software for this and cheap, also gives you a chance to practice with photoshop.
 
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Vladyxa

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If not 50mm or 85mm, how much worse the quality will be on 18-200mm zoomed at 85mm?

With the max aperture probably being f/5.6 at that focal length, a lot worse.

You're right, that is a big difference. Will have to hold off on getting new lenses now, will play with what I have now and just get closer with 35mm.

How long have you been using a camera? Are you planning on jumping right to the pro ranks full time? Understanding photography and photoshop before starting any photographic business is more important than having a web site first and learning after. The option to build your own web site is there. Lots of great software for this and cheap, also gives you a chance to practice with photoshop.

Not long, about 6 month. I am not dreaming about becoming pro overnight. But I am taking little steps and learning, little by little.

What I mean about getting website is probably something like a blog, for now at least, where I can post pictures and stories.
I would be nice, however, if someone likes one of my pictures they would be able to purchase it.

Speaking of Photoshop... I came across NAPP website (Scott Kelby), and was thinking if it worth joining. Any experience?
 

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What I think I need website for (please, please make corrections and / or add things as you feel necessary):
- to show pictures. I know there is Flickr, and other free websites, but if I want to be serious about it, professionally looking website might be better way to go.
- keep blog. I would like to write about different things; pictures from latest trip, what I think about latest lens I bought, or great training I took, and as I get better may be even post some tips and advices.
- add some ads (little extra income from ads can't hurt, right?)
- ??? let people buy prints from my website ???

Depends what your business goals are. If your goals are to do weddings/portraits/events, you want your website setup to show off your work and generate new leads for your business. In this case, you would do a portfolio website, with some information pages, and maybe online proofing/shopping cart.

If you want to sell stock photos and generate money without doing client work, it's a bit tougher and you should think of yourself more as a publisher. Then you would do the blogging and the ads for your website.

So my advice would be, firstly figure out your goals. Secondly, build a website that will help you achieve those goals.
 
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Vladyxa

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Depends what your business goals are. If your goals are to do weddings/portraits/events, you want your website setup to show off your work and generate new leads for your business. In this case, you would do a portfolio website, with some information pages, and maybe online proofing/shopping cart.

If you want to sell stock photos and generate money without doing client work, it's a bit tougher and you should think of yourself more as a publisher. Then you would do the blogging and the ads for your website.

So my advice would be, firstly figure out your goals. Secondly, build a website that will help you achieve those goals.

Great advise! Thank you!

I think I learned a bit about portfolio website like Snugmug and Zenfolio, thanks to responses above.

Can you please give some insight on second type, selling stock, blogging, and ads to website?
 

jowensphoto

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I think, if you're just starting out - as in still figuring out which lenses are best for what - a free site might be the way to go. If you want something to simply archive online, Flickr is good. If you want something that has the "professional" feel, try a host like Wix.
 

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