OTG - Define the photographer needs - Part 3 - Publication
Until now I've tried to help you choose your camera and find a good computer to satisfy your needs as a new On The Go photographer.
So now we have worked on those two points, the camera, and your portable digital lab, let' talk about your web visibility !
Yes, you can create really beautiful photo (i already believe in you ;) ), and i think it's time for you to show them to the world (or maybe to your friends and family at first )!
We all know the easy way to publish your photographs provided by the use of a lot of social network available on the web, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr, etc...
We also know the classic web media like having your own web site, or an online gallery !
But how to use them ? How to integrate them in your OTG creation lifecycle ? Is it really easy to manage all those web plateform when you're travelling ?
As i told you before, social medias are the easy way to show your work to the world. But easy don't mean you don't have to take some precautions.
At first you have to distinguish two type of social medias, those for day to day updates or fast updates, and those for regular or classic updates
1 - Fast update social medias
In this category we can find Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat for example.
On those ones, your publications have to be short, and not as well finished than usual.
The goal of those social medias is to provide fast updates about your work, backstage, early results, travel etc , but not your final or best photographs for example.
See it like a daily agenda where you put some short information to keep people updated about what you're doing. By the way that's a good place to do some teasing about a project, or to show people how original you can be !
More than your contents, you can use other people publications to illustrate your likes or your vision, by following them and liking their publications.
On twitter, you can easily share news or articles you like ( maybe one of mine ?) to express yourself on a different way, by sharing your inspirations or your interests.
Here an example of one of my publication on Instagram :
If your want to be efficient on those medias you'll have to be a master of hashtags and keywords !
Classic update social medias
In this category we can find Facebook for example.
On those ones, you can take your time to prepare your publication, and show people the best of your work !
If you're not just publishing pictures but also content (like my articles for example) it is the right place.
Personaly, I'm using Facebook as the main hub for all my contents, except my best pictures (reserved to my website). Because of the functionalities of a Facebook page, you can do a lot of things by this way (it's almost a secondary personal website).
Here my publication for my last Iceland album :
Social Media interactions
One big advantage of those social medias (fast/classic update) is their capacity of interaction.
By publishing on one of them you can automatically publish on the others.
For example, from Instagram, you can publish on your Facebook Page and on your Twitter after, so you're reaching any type of public from your three social media accounts in one shot.
From your Facebook page you can also publish on Twitter at the same time.
There is multiple combinations you can use depending of the publication you'll do and the public you want to reach, but the main goal of this configuration is to improve your capacity of communication by using only one entry point.
When you are "On The Go", time and data, i mean data consumed by your phone/computer when you're travelling for your publication, are important. Using that way you'll be more efficient on those points.
Remember my Instagram publication?
Every time you're publishing something you have to think about the value of your content, and in the case of a classic update, to prepare your images by integrating some copyrights and watermarks on it.
Most of those social media, for example, let visitors download your pictures if you don't configure correctly your publications/pages settings, so be careful.
To help your publications reaching a large audience, you should integrate in your publications some keywords, mostly known as hashtags. Those hashtags are used by social medias artificial intelligence to reference content and show them to different people. More accurate/popular are your hashtags, more chance you have to grab people interest and make them follow you and share your content.
More than hashtags, you can link friends account or other pages to your publication to attract new people with interest for those subjects.
Now the way i prefer to communicate, a website.
A website is the most complete way to express yourself and to share your pictures on a personalized media.
You can control everything, the design, the way you're publishing, the quality of your pictures, links used to share your contents, etc...
A lot of solutions allow you to easily create and publish a website depending of the level of control/personlization you want.
You have to define what you want on two parts, hosting and website
For the hosting (you should understand by hosting, the place where your website will be installed/stored), you have free services, like with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) where, most of the time, a website hosting is included in your contract, or a paid hosting like OVH and Gandi.
If you're familiar with web hosting, and if you have at home a web server, you can choose to host your website on it (that's what I'm doing).
You have to know that on free hosting, there is no warranty of availability, no support if you have a problem, less control on who access your data, etc... On paid hosting, you have all of this thing, proportionaly of the price you'll pay. On home hosting, you can control everything, but it can cost you a lot (in time and money) if you're starting with nothing (No server, No router, etc..).
For your website, you have a lot of solutions like Joomla, and the famous Wordpress you can use to create and design your new publication tool. They are easy to install, and you have a lot of templates available (free or not) to personalize your website.
Most of the hosting providers can deploy those solutions for you automatically when you order your hosting. If they can't, both solution have really good documentations and community to help you in your installation.
Those solutions are called CMS (Content Management System) and are designed to give you a website, and an administration interface where you can manage all your website contents.
As an IT engineer, the choice for me was easy. Because i know how to proceed, configure, and because i already own some equipement, I've choose to host my website at home (Maybe it is also an excuse to play with all those gadgets i'm buying ! ).
We will see later that it is important to backup all your data, and for that a NAS could be a good solution (Network Attached Storage, see it like a classic hard drive, connected to network, and with advanced features). But why talking about backup now ? Because depending of the solution you want to buy (if you want to buy one), you can choose a NAS with integrated solutions for web hosting ! And I'll give you an easy advice, buy a Synology ! I'll go more in depth later about why Synology's NAS are a perfect solution for all your photographer needs, but now, just keep in mind that it offer the possibility to easily create a web hosting solution at home.
So i got my hosting solution, what about the website ?
Before i was talking about two CMS, Joomla and Wordpress. Because they are leader of CMS solutions I've tried both. For me it's too difficult to reach a good level of personalization easily with those solutons, and even after, my website was not as good and simple as i was expecting it to be.
After discussions with some web designer colleagues, they show me another solution... Koken !
This CMS is really different, created and designed focusing on photographer's needs, simple to install and manage, high quality template available for free (or for an accessible price), responsive design, compatible with all mobile devices by default, it was the solution i was looking for !
This CMS is really good on every points, but there is some bonuses ! You're a lightroom fan ? Guess how is the design of the management interface ? ;)
You'll not feel desoriented here, everything is designed to make you operational really fast. Manage your albums, configure your website, pages, tags, etc is really easy to do.
But this CMS is not good only for those points.
Koken is one of the rare CMS to be innovative ! If the "basic package" is not enough for you, you can add some extensions/plugins. For example, you can add image protection (block the possibility for people to download your images), watermark integration (without degrade picture quality, applied at html level), etc...
And as for the design, if you are a Lightroom addict, Koken provide a really cool fonctionnality ! Lightroom/Koken website album synchronisation. By this way, you'll be able to easily push some new pictures/albums directly to your website from Lightroom from anywhere you are ! Easy trick for image publication process optimization.
With all those information, you'll now be able to start your publication process. As usual, if you have any questions, or you need more details about how to configure / use those solutions, feel free to send me an email using the form available on my website, or by contacting me on my Facebook page.
The next article, one of the most interesting, will be about how to correctly secure your data (backup, encryption, copy, etc..), so see you at next episode ;)