Quick Squarespace Portfolio Q&A

qapost
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.

beforefocal1

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.

focalpoint

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!

afterfocal

Anyway, hope that helps answer some questions you had. Have a good one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fjthurman Fred Thurman

    This is all great up but I signed up for Squarespace and attempted to move photos from smugmug to squarespace and it didn’t work. I got all the messages saying that the photos were being moved but nothing appeared in squarespace. I contacted their help people and was told that it was a know issue that their programers were working on. How come it worked for you Matt but now the programers say it won’t work yet? So far a big waste of my time and the 14 day free trial clock is running.

  • Peter Nord

    Noticed the ‘Personal Work’ link goes to the ‘Landscape’ view.

  • Bill Young

    Hi Matt. Thanks for the Q&A. I agree with your choice; that full screen display is really nice even if it does kind of mess with the “watch your edges” rule of composition. Your landscape portfolio is really impressive. I think I was standing about 10 feet from you when you got that String Lake shot. But I was probably pointed the other way, or at my shoes, or chimping… ;-)

  • Jacques Babin

    Thanks a lot Matt. Your portfolio looks impressive and is well served by Squarespace. Two more questions for you: Can you disable right-click button (I hate when people “steal” my pictures, even in low resolution) and does Squarespace let you display other languages than English?

  • Jeff Dannay

    Matt, quick question… I just signed up for squarespace (on your recommendation!). I was wondering what size images you uploaded to the site? For me, it seems that the site is a bit slow loading my images. Secondly, I noticed that you do not use any watermarking. What are your thoughts in that regard? Thanks!

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      Hi Jeff. I upload images that are as wide as some of the widest monitor resolutions today (2560 pixels). It’s a great question though and I’ll have to do some research with Squarespace on which resolution they recommend.
      As for watermarking, I don’t do it. Ruins the photo. If some one is gonna steal it, they’re gonna steal it. Watermarking won’t help much unless you put it in such a place that it totally ruins or covers the photo.
      Thanks.

      • Jeff Dannay

        Thanks, Matt. I called them and they told me 1500 px wide. And 1MB or less would be best. The interesting thing is your site loads images fast while mine does not. So, still trying to figure that out.

        On another note, see you in AZ. My wife and I will be at your LR seminar. Looking forward to it!

        • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

          Hmmm. That’s odd. Not sure why. Let me know if you find anything else out though. And see you in AZ!!! :)