Hey everyone. Yesterday, I posted about my favorite online photography portfolio (Squarespace.com). After reading through the comments here (and through social media), I thought I’d answer a some questions I got.
Q. Is there a way to add a blurb about each photo?
A. Yep. You can add a title and description with each photo. But it depends on which template you use and a lot of that info is meant for blogging as well. But they have a crazy amount of choices for customization so you could definitely set something up that showed photo info/description if you wanted.
Q. Hi Matt. I like how the images fill the screen, but what are your thoughts on the cropping it does as you change browser window sizes? My first thought on a couple of them was that you had made an odd cropping choice, then I realized it was just the way I had the window sized. Does it give you a “fit to screen” option for the images?
A. I actually like that it fits the image to the screen no matter what size your browser window is. I realize that it may show some odd crops of photos, but (to me at least), it won’t crop anything that poorly. You’d have to have a really odd sized browser window to make it look weird. Plus, it’s a very “photographer” like thing to look at the photos that way. I think most people will notice, color, content, light and subject first and not be bothered as much by the cropping (especially with landscapes). I did however, find a site that uses the same template and it constrains the photo so that they don’t get cropped. Not sure how they did it but I’m going to do some research to see what it takes. Also, keep in mind that the template I chose isn’t the only one. They have other templates that simply show your photo without resizing it.
Q. Matt, what are your thoughts on Zenfolio?
A. I actually like Zenfolio a lot. Especially since they integrate with MPIX. That said, I think Zenfolio works best if you’re selling your work. If you just want a simple, easy-to-use gallery, I prefer Squarespace personally.
Q. Can you fill the screen with the gallery?
A. Not with the template I chose, but there are other templates (“Frontrow” is the name of one of them) that show an almost-full-screen photo.
Q. Is there anyway to dump the “squarespace” in the url? I know both smugmug and 500px let you do that?
A. Yep. They have a Domains section in their settings panel, that let you link domains to your account. That way, you can have people go to www.yoursiteurl.com instead of the squarespace URL you get by default.
Totally Random Cool Thing I Discovered Yesterday
Okay, this isn’t a question but it’s a totally random extremely cool tip I discovered yesterday. So… I uploaded some photos that I wanted to display in a gallery. Well, one of the options for your galleries is that you can force your thumbnails to all be square. I think it looks much sharper that way because everything is uniform and symmetical, rather than different thumbnail sizes for different cropped photos. But one of the problems I noticed was that it was cropping photos in a weird way (center crop which is actually normal) and cutting people’s arms, faces, heads, etc.. off.
But then I realized that there’s this little dot over each photo. It’s the Image Focal Point and you can drag it around your photo to “help” the gallery make a better cropping choice.
Maybe this is normal in all online galleries, but I sure haven’t seen it before. What a cool option though. Now you can drag the focal point around what you consider to be the main area of the photo and it’ll make sure it’s not cropped out. Seriously, that’s freakin’ cool!
Anyway, hope that helps answer some questions you had. Have a good one!