As photographers move to blogs, many seek a way to maintain client proofing areas without having to maintain a completely different proofing website. WordPress gallery plugins allow photographers to create password-protected client galleries within a blog. This post highlights a specific plugin called NextGEN and various ideas for integrating proofing galleries into your WordPress photography blog.
Portfolio creation and management is extremely simple with NextGEN. With it, you can organize your images by category and then display them as thumbnails, single images and slideshows.
NextGEN Gallery is organized by Albums and Galleries. A gallery is each category in your portfolio; Wedding, Engagement, Trash the Dress, etc. An album is a compilation of galleries. There are two ways you can display your portfolio using NextGEN Gallery:
- Create individual pages in WordPress and insert the appropriate gallery on each.
- Create one page in WordPress and insert the album for your portfolio
You can also choose Album Insertion to dynamically update a page with a gallery.
NextGEN Gallery eCommerce
The Photocrati development team have developed a built-in eCommerce system for NextGEN Gallery Pro. This neat programme really makes it easy for you.
Alternatively here is a list of plugins that you can get which will help you:
- Buy Now Buttons for WP eCommerce
- Simple Paypal Shopping Cart
- Zarinpal Shopping Cart
- Simple Parspal Shopping Cart
eCommerce is one of the most requested features from users. Our WordPress gallery theme already has eCommerce built-in, and designed to be extremely simple. The eCommerce system has 20 choices for products (you pick) and payment is through PayPal. Customers are asking for more. The plan for NextGEN Gallery is to create a complex, but still simple to use, eCommerce system that has an ability to unlimited product options, digital sales and more.
NextGEN Gallery Proofing
Also in development is a proofing option for NextGEN Gallery Pro. Until then, here are two articles that can help you create proofing galleries for clients.
- WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin for Client Proofing which uses an additional free plugin. At the article, you will see a video demo and a link to a live proofing gallery.
- WordPress Gallery Proofing Solution with Flaunt & NextGen which uses a third-party service, called Flaunt
Many photographers paid services that can get pricey. Not only do they charge a monthly or annual fee, but they also take commission on top of it. Furthermore, the services are in control of your photographs. While they most likely will not damage your or misuse your photographs, they are still in control over them. That means if a server crashes and your photographs are destroyed, it’s out of your hands.
By using NextGEN Gallery to create your proofing gallery, you are in complete control over the look, branding and usage of your photographs. In one of the above articles you will read how Flaunt (a 3rd party service) is used in conjunction with NextGEN in order to create a self-hosted proofing gallery. In the other article, you will see how using a password protected page in WordPress (and how to create one), NextGEN and one NextGEN add-on plugin can also create a fantastic proofing gallery for your customers. You can see a video and live demo of this option in the article.
The future built-in proofing option for NextGEN Gallery Pro will be included with the eCommerce feature mentioned previously.
NextGEN Gallery Album Proofing
Take advantage of the slideshow feature in the plugin by uploading a gallery of of a client’s album. Create a page specific for the slideshow and make it password protected.
There are far fewer album proofing services on the market, but they do exist. Like proofing galleries, these services do charge a monthly or annual fee. However, by creating a slideshow using the dimensions of your album, photographers have the ability to self-host and completely control the slideshow.
If your album is 10×10 then your slideshow dimensions should also be square: 1000px X 1000px (would be 10×10), but if your website is not that wide, I’d recommend 800px X 800px.
If your album is 13×10 then your slideshow dimensions should also be rectangular: 1300px X 1000px (would be 13×10), but if your website is not that wide, I’d recommend 800px X 500px.
In addition to a simple slideshow, you can create cover images using Photoshop and reuse them for each proofing slideshow you need. Here’s a sample with a leather texture.
As a side note: There are plans for fullscreen. So the capability is also coming in a future NextGEN Gallery update. That means you won’t be limited to page width dimensions.
NextGEN Gallery for iPhoneography
There are currently two iPhone apps that works extremely well with NextGEN Gallery. Using the apps, you can upload your Instagram, Hipstamatic or any other iPhoneography shot straight to a mobile specific gallery.
By using an iPhone app it also gives you the ability to manage already published galleries so you can make changes to your portfolio (mentioned above) at any time, from anywhere.
We have compiled, and will do our best to continually update, a list of all NextGEN Gallery extension plugins available. Now I want to hear from you. How do you, or how would you like to use the free WordPress gallery plugin, NextGEN Gallery for your photography website? Comment below to share.
Thanks for reading,
PS. Before I go, I want to mention that the features I have mentioned in this article will also be available for Photocrati theme users (affiliate). Future plans are to integrate the upcoming NextGEN Gallery Pro plugin into the Photocrati theme so all theme users have access (no additional cost) to the premium plugin.