Photo-sharing websites such as Flickr, Fotki, and
Webshots have removed virtually all obstacles
to publishing images for worldwide viewing.
However, these are essentially a collection of picture
albums: your work is presented on pages identical
to millions of others—opportunities to individualize
page design are nonexistent or very limited. If you
feel this is a constraint, you can create your own
website instead.
There are thousands of services that will host
your site—that is, your files are physically located on
their computers, which serve out pages to visitors to
your site. And there are hundreds that offer free
hosting. Check the terms of service,
that you do not have to include advertisements,
and that you do not lose any picture rights. You will
also want secure ways in which people can
communicate to you via the site. Ensure that the
host has sufficient capacity to hold your pictures
and that the monthly data-transfer limit is sufficient
for your photographic needs.
Site design
The advantages of running your own site include:
control over the look and feel, no restraints over use
of your images (within legal limits), and the ability to
organize images however you like. The main
disadvantage compared to picture-sharing sites is
that you have to do quite a bit more work.
Nonetheless, there is a considerable amount of
help available for the design and construction of
your website. Free design applications can be
downloaded, there are hundreds of web-based
tutorials, and some services help you construct sites
directly on-line. In addition, major image-
manipulation (such as Adobe Photoshop) and
management software (such as iView, FotoStation,
Lightroom, and Apple Aperture) offer templates for
design, and publishing the site—that is, uploading
the HTML pages and resources to your hosting
servercan be virtually a one-click process.
For more sophisticated sites on which you can
present Flash or animated content with more
features, WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get,
supposedly) web-design software such as Adobe
Dreamweaver (Mac OS and Windows), CoffeeCup
(Windows), and Serif WebPlus (Windows) will help
you get started.
Once you have created a site, do not forget to
tell everyone about it: send links to all your friends
and colleages, and post announcements on blogs.
Digital Railroad
The home page of a photographer features details and links
to other pictures in the photo collection. Visitors can click on
an image to view an enlargement and search by keywords. If
they wish to purchase usage rights, they can select the
images and complete the whole transaction on-line.
Websites such as Digital Railroad, DigiProofs, and
Zenfolio provide paid-for picture hosting and
different features to suit markets as varied as
photojournalism and wedding photography. In
return for a fee, you can store large numbers of
high-resolution files and you can individualize
your own pages. In addition, these sites actively
market your work by offering your images as part
of the collective inventory of stock photography
and may also handle management of the picture
rights. However, there are no short cuts to the
work needed to add keywords, captions, and
other metadata to images, then uploading them
all to the hosting site.
Personal website
A personal site can be
simple in appearance yet
tricky to update and
maintain. This site contains
only text and images,
but the tendency is to
allow it to languish. It
depends on whether it is
more important to have
an up-to-date site that
is not individual, or a
personal site that is
a little dog-eared.
Adobe Lightroom templates
While primarily an image-enhancement and management
application, Lightroom also offers website-design features.
These include a range of templates, plus the ability to
choose a color scheme and some other design details as
well, including Flash content. Similar but much more
limited facilities are offered in Apple Aperture.

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