I’ve been slowly updating and changing the way I handle my portfolio on my collected websites. Previously I had been relying on Photoshelter to host my portfolio, but I’m starting to move away from this for various reasons (more on this in a minute). Because I already have a separate site which is an overview of my Photography in general, I’m adding a proper portfolio to that. I’ll also be updating it with proper galleries for the various genres that I photography regularly.
The revised version is hosted using Squarespace, which makes it really easy to create nice portfolios. In fact, I really love using Squarespace, just in case that wasn’t obvious. It’s so easy to quickly create a good looking site with it. I put together my new books site last week using square space in just a few hours.
For the portfolio, I didn’t actually change the theme that the site was already running. I just created a new gallery, and then embedded that in a page to give me a bit more control over things. It also gave me the opportunity to update it with newer images, and I know that you should keep your portfolio updated regularly, but that should be a lot easier now. My old portfolio is still there, but I’ll be cancelling my Photoshelter account soon.
I had originally chosen Photoshelter because of the built in e-commerce services, but the company never seemed to understand the needs of the European market when it comes to managing VAT. When the EU changed the VAT laws a few years ago, it meant that I had to stop using Photoshelter to sell images digitally, as it would have been against the law using their tools, due to the lack of proper VAT options. I have been in touch with the company a few times over the past few years, and they assured me that they were working on fixing it, but it never happened. With that i mind, it just doesn’t make any sense for me to keep using it when a part of it is basically broken for EU customers. It’s a real shame as otherwise its a good platform, but they can’t support the legal requirements, and don’t seem to care, so it’s time to move on.
I am looking at a few alternatives, although there’s no ideal option. Photo Deck supports the necessary Tax Law, but the templates and display of images is a bit ungainly in my opinion. I am probably going to try and construct my own image sales system using either Woo Commerce or Shopify, even though that’s difficult to set up, it has the advantage of giving you complete control over it. It’s just such a shame that more companies don’t take the needs of the european market seriously. SmugMug is the same as Photoshelter. They just don’t seem to care. I contacted them several times too about the VAT requirements, and they kept directing me to unrelated tech support articles so I just gave up.
Anyway, negativity aside, please stop by and check out my new Portfolio if you have the chance. I’ll be adding more galleries soon too.
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