Displaying your photos, beautifully

One of the reasons that I decided to post my photos on .zenfolio way back in 2009 was the dedication at that time to show your photos in a beautiful, simple, and elegant format compared to other photo sharing sites that are out there. I believed that was the operating philosophy for many years, but lately, I am not so sure. It seems like the motivation is to "keep up with the other photo sites that are out there" and make money. I am hoping that this isn't the core of the business model for I would love to see a return to the beauty and elegance that was my first experience when I signed up in 2009.


  • christopherstevenbchristopherstevenb OttawaMember Posts: 255
    I don't understand this critique of zenfolio. You can set up your site now to look just as it did in 2009 (not sure why you would want to do that). You're free to ignore new features and customization options (not sure why you'd do this either). I for one WANT zenfolio to make money so they're around for a long long time.

    Ottawa Wedding Photographer
    Christopher Steven B. Photography | Wedding blog

  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,462
    edited October 2014
    MEV ... I think I understand where you are coming from. There is something to be said for keeping it simple and letting the images do all the talking.

    Zenfolio is one of the best when it comes to hosting well thought out web sites for photographers. I think their real motivation is to meet the needs of a wider audience with greater flexibility and options. Doing this does take human resources and increased costs so building increased revenue has to be a business objective for Zenfolio. One nice thing is that they don't force this change on you. If you are happy with what you have then you can just stick with it (as Christopher pointed out).

    As far as "keeping up with other photo sites" .... there is something to be said for that on a very selected basis. There are really only a handful of other "photo sites" worth keeping up with these days. I do appreciate that Zenfolio pays close attention to the BIG MISTAKES that many other hosting sites have made that have sent customers running for the hills. SmugMug Pro, for example, forced a boat load of changes on their customers a little over a year ago and gave them very short notice. Not a good business decision if you ask me.

    Zenfolio has a lot to learn about E-commerce (making money) particularly as it relates to full time professional photographers that use their service. Running useless discount campaigns that we can't convert to meaningful campaigns for our clients is not E-commerce and it upsets all of us to some degree. I think if the decision makers at Zen would step back and reformat their game plan for E-commerce based on what's important to their professional community of clients we would all be much happier and MUCH MORE successful financially .... Including you. Many great thoughts and ideas have been made in these forums but they seem to fall on deaf ears. The "Feature Voting System" is flat out stupid and is only used to pacify us (like a thermostat on the wall that isn't connected to the furnace).

    One final thought MEV. You and I are cut from the same cloth when it comes to our web sites. Clean, simple, easy to use are important to the branding process (what our clients think about us). However, a lot has changed in the photography world since 2009 and we have to force ourselves to keep our hearts and minds open to change and keep a pulse on how our own clients are viewing images on the internet. It's kind of like when VCR's first came out. Beta tape cartridges life only lasted for 3 years. When VHS tapes came out, the manufactures thought both could co-exist. That didn't happen and Beta tapes (and players) bit the dust after less expensive VHS VCR's came to market. Then, of course, CD's ,DVD's and Blue Ray players came along believing they were the "Game Changer". That was, of course, until the On-line web based services like Netflix and On-Demand came to market. That 6 generation evolution occurred over a period of 35 years ... an average of 6 years per generation. Bottom line, we have embrace the changes that keep our clients coming back. If we don't, they may loose interest (regardless of how good our work is).
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,462
    edited October 2014
    @Christopher - "I for one WANT zenfolio to make money so they're around for a long long time."

    I agree! But the only way Zenfolio can make money is to help us make money. That's the ONLY path for longevity.

    Again ..... Calling on Zenfolio to start focusing on E-commerce and make the changes that will benefit everyone long term! I'm sure that many Zen clients, including myself, would be more than happy to help them identify what things are most important to various types of photographers (wedding, portrait, sports, event, school, and so on).
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