New York, NY, October 20, 2008 - PhotoShelter, an online community where thousands of independent photographers find success through image sales and archiving technologies, today unveiled Version 2.0 for its flagship product, the PhotoShelter Personal Archive. Today’s release establishes PhotoShelter as the industry’s most affordable solution to easily create and publish robust e-commerce photo-friendly websites, by providing a menu of pre-set templates designed to instantly “skin” a public Personal Archive account. The result is a standalone website with a unique, professional and clean aesthetic, powered by PhotoShelter, complete with galleries, search, and shopping carts, plus lightboxes, slideshows, and client login/password protection.
The new website templates complement PhotoShelter’s existing Seamless Customization feature, which puts all of the powerful PhotoShelter features into photographers’ own websites, while maintaining their unique look and feel. These new templates allow users to leapfrog any complex design or integration activity by instantly laying themes and styles atop the user’s existing Personal Archive. PhotoShelter users can create a new website in no more than six clicks.
“Every serious photographer’s website should serve as their digital storefront, yet too many photographers have avoided adding e-commerce, search, and security features because integration has been both complex and expensive,” said Allen Murabayashi, CEO of PhotoShelter. “PhotoShelter now makes it simple and affordable to instantly convert a photographer’s archive into a comprehensive, robust website for offering stock photography, prints, and other photo products. And, the templates can be applied in literally 30 seconds. We’re constantly looking for new ways to create success for our community and this is a huge step forward.”
“There are many web template companies, but none offer the same features as PhotoShelter,” said wedding photographer Eric Hegwer (www.erichegwer.com). “PhotoShelter lets me to make sales to clients, including prints and direct digital downloads of images, and provides a rock solid archiving system for all my weddings. Now, with their easy-to-configure websites, I simply choose the photos I want to be on my website, and a few clicks later they are there.
PhotoShelter also today unveiled new features that enable photographers to market their images beyond their personal websites. New Flash-based widgets enable users to embed slideshows and individual images into any website or blog - with functionality that helps every image retain critical metadata and direct links back to the photographer’s Personal Archive account, where images can be sold as prints or stock photography.
“Photographers must take advantage of all possible opportunities to expose potential clients to their work,” said Allen Murabayashi, CEO of PhotoShelter. “These new features enhance a photographer’s self marketing toolkit, enabling their images to spread virally across the web all while maintaining control of the image. At the same time, Orphan Works legislation makes it critical for content owners to track and establish ownership of imagery via metadata. We’re taking the lead by helping photographers ensure images disseminated across the web can always link back to their Personal Archive account.”
Also announced was an upgrade to PhotoShelter’s innovative “Virtual Agency,” which allows independent photographers to join together in groups with similar interests to market their work collectively as a niche stock agency. Monthly fees for use of the Virtual Agency have been removed, so users can group together without hesitation.
PhotoShelter also enhanced its community features available to Personal Archive subscribers. Starting today, a user forum is available to help subscribers interact for networking, technical discussion, and friendly banter. Included is an Image Critique Forum where subscribers can share images and obtain feedback from their peers.
The feature updates were also accompanied by a complete overhaul to the Personal Archive site navigation, including homepage and tour. While no functionality was removed, the design changes provide a streamlined, more logical user interface in response to customer feedback.
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