“Make me a website so I can sell my photos!”. You can’t get simpler than that.
Jan is a photographer and photography tutor who sells her prints at exhibitions and shows. She wanted to broaden her reach and also promote her work for publishers interested in licensing her work.
Finally, Jan wanted to promote her photography courses despite them nearly always being booked up far in advance.
What We Did
Rather than just throwing a simple shop together, we decided to look at how people would decide to buy photographic prints. Obviously, it’s going to be mostly to decorate homes or offices but how do people decide? Do they have something in mind if terms of subject, or is it a place or a colour?
So we thought the photographs should be browsable by category for people just needing inspiration but searchable for people who knew what they wanted. The basic keyword search was good but we wanted something better so the advanced search offers searches by category, location and subject tags. The we decided to go even further and add a colour search so you can take the environment the print is going to be in into account.
A lot of photo sites try to keep pictures relatively small to stop people downloading them and using them for their own use. We went the other way and decided to make a selected image take up the maximum amount of space possible on screen to show it at its best. The problem of theft is dealt with by the automatic addition of a watermarked copyright image instead.
You can save photos as favourites and purchase them with a simple basket system.
For Jan, uploading new photos is easy. She meticulously uses metadata in her photographs so just by uploading and image we automatically have information such as the time taken and the location as well as keywords about the image. The metadata is parsed and added to the site automatically to save typing as much as possible and she can edit or add new information at any time. The photo then becomes a product just like in any other ecommerce site. There are a set of fixed sizes she sells the photos at for fixed prices so these are added as defaults. However all of these can be changed on an individual basis if needed.
Finally our custom-built algorithm scans the photo and identifies the most prevalent colours in the image. These colours are given human-friendly names like “green” and “brown” rather than their numeric values which makes them easy for people to search for them on the frontend – they can either use the words or pick visually from a palette. When a picture is viewed on the frontend the colours are listed with all the other data and can be clicked to perform searches for pictures with similar colours.
Jan has now achieved her aim of opening up her customer base from a few visitors to the shows she exhibits at to an international audience.