Photoshelter: Simplifying my Cloud


Langhorne Slim Q1 2010 Favorites – Images by Will Godfrey

Being a self-described technologist, I pride myself on efficient utilization of technology and Photoshelter just plain makes my life easier! Photoshelter is the hub of my image archive and it has simplified my workflow in every respect. I shoot primarily music and Photoshelter allows me to easily send images to bands or managers or clients. They host them all. In fact, all of the images in this post are hosted in my Photoshelter Archive.

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The Avett Brothers play at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on New Year’s Day 2010. Both Sallie Ford and Langhorne Slim opened the show.

About 9 months ago, I got fed up with my website’s inability to talk to other sections (i.e. portfolios to blog to e-commerce) and started looking into new solutions to streamline my image management across my entire web presence. I have been using Photoshelter since 2008, but did not quite realize its full potential until after I nearly started a new business to remedy this pain point in my workflow. After going so far as beginning to recruit developers to help in writing the code, Photoshelter announced their Graph Paper Press WordPress theme integration and stopped my new venture in its tracks (thankfully!).

My frustrations 9 months ago stemmed from the fact that I wanted to upload an image *once* but my portfolio required one size, my blog another, and e-commerce yet another size. So to disseminate one new image across my website required 4 different images to be uploaded to the web (the 4th being a hi-res upload to Photoshelter). In terms of speeding up my workflow, this just didn’t work.

Enter Photoshelter + Graph Paper Press. I was already using WordPress for my blogging software, so moving it over to a Graph Paper Press template was simple and the integration with Photoshelter made my dream of one image upload a reality!

I now have a website built on an easy to modify backend (WordPress) and all of my images reside in my Photoshelter Archive. This means that every image on my new website is hosted on Photoshelter which has the ability to send over any size image my site requires. Also, anytime you click on an image (even from within a flash slideshow) you will be taken directly to that image in my Archive where you can purchase a print or a rights managed download. Ease of use? Check!

While I recreated my website, I also took this opportunity to learn everything Photoshelter teaches about Search Engine Optimization and implemented massive changes with the relaunch of my new site. I reworked my workflow to include SEO from the very beginning and the results have paid off. I highly recommend reading Photoshelter’s SEO Cookbook. But, don’t just read it, take the time to implement it! I tripled my organic web traffic in three months by following their advice.

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Live And Breathing reocrding a few new Sam Quinn songs at his home in Concord, North Carolina on Feb. 20, 2010.

Photoshelter also allows me the piece of mind to manage my business and clients from anywhere. This past January I was sitting in my seat just before kickoff at the FedEx Orange Bowl when I get a call from a client who was less than thrilled about one specific image that was posted on my site via a flash slideshow gallery from Photoshelter. Instead of saying “Sorry, I’ll get to it after the game.” I was able to say “Give me 5 minutes.” I quickly decided to test out Photoshelter’s iPhone compatibility and was pleasantly surprised. I was able to remove the image from public view right from my iPhone and make my client happy within minutes all without leaving my seat.

Photoshelter’s bulletproof image archive, streamlined photo website capabilities, search engine optimization education, and e-commerce features have given me a great deal of comfort in my website. Photoshelter is easily one of the most important companies I use in my business. The only other company that comes close is ShootQ, but that is an entirely different topic for another day.

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