By May 9, 2013 1 Comments

Organizing and Presenting Your Photos

When presented with many, many choices people are often frozen by indecision. This is a fact whether deciding between 40 different kinds of cereal, 32 flavors of ice cream, or the seemingly infinite combinations at a coffee shop. To help avoid this, and generally just ensure a more pleasant experience for your clients, it helps to place your photos in well thought out galleries with clear categorizations. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this.

Organizing Your Photo Galleries

One of biggest challenges for any photographer is setting up well-organized photo galleries. The goal is to create categories that are easy to understand and make it easy for your visitors to find the images they are looking for. You can accomplish this by providing multiple ways for navigating your library of photos.

See photo 01.

Peter Urbick - Photo 01

Peter Urbick – Photo 01

When selecting an organization strategy choose a method that works best for you. For example, a wedding photographer might choose to organize photos by events for each client. A nature photographer could present their work by location. Here are a few other ways you might organize your photos by:






Cover Photo Thumbnail

The cover photo thumbnail should visually represent the rest of the photos within a particular gallery. So be sure to select an image that will quickly, and clearly, provide a visual aid as to what the gallery contains. If you’re showing multiple galleries on a page, use a cover photo with the same aspect ratio for a cleaner design.

See photo 02.

Peter Urbick - Photo 02

Peter Urbick – Photo 02


Make it easier for viewers to search on your site by adding a description to every photo and gallery. The description should include a title, caption, category, and keywords. This also helps search engines to index your site and to provide relevant and accurate search results.


This is actually a key part of your website, but also one that is overlooked. By including a search field on every page of your website you’ll make it easy for your visitors to explore your digital image library simply by typing a keyword, a location, or a last name. By making it easy for visitors to quickly find what they’re looking for they’re more likely to return to your site, which can also lead to more sales.

See photo 03.

Peter Urbick - Photo 03

Peter Urbick – Photo 03

Client Access

Not all of your clients will want their photos easily viewable or searchable on the web. To add an extra layer of protection and privacy you can provide each client with a special client access code. That way when they come to your site they can go to a client only access page where they type in their access code. From here they’ll immediately be taken to their gallery, without the need to search by name or to browse your entire archive.

Zenfolio Can Do It

We’ve streamlined the entire uploading process so that when you upload photos to your Zenfolio account the titles, descriptions, and keywords are automatically imported. You can also edit them as a batch.

As mentioned above, your Zenfolio account comes with a secure Client Access page. You can use this page directly from your Zenfolio website, or link it from an external website. When your clients come to this page it will prompt them for a code and take them directly to the appropriate gallery.

Presenting Photo Galleries

Photographers put an enormous amount of effort into getting the perfect shot lined up and then spend endless hours retouching and perfecting their work. They also make a significant investment into researching and buying the right equipment. Unfortunately, all of these efforts can be undone with poor online presentation.

Undoubtedly you’ve visited websites and seen photos surrounded by tasteless ads, displayed on cramped pages, or resized and compressed to the point that the images are far from the beautiful originals. These images are the result of a combination of using an advanced digital camera, careful planning, and artistic vision. Don’t have all this hard work undone because of a shoddy website experience.

Preparing Your Photos

The online presentation of your photos deserves the same careful attention that was put into taking them. Your photos should be sharp, true in color, and take center stage. Customers should be able to see them displayed as large as possible, maximizing the available viewing area on their screens. Don’t forget that the loading speed and convenience of the navigation are also two very important factors in delivering a delightful viewing experience to your visitors.

Before launching your website, review the following presentation checklist:

-        Show large images that take advantage of large monitors. Double check they also fit on smaller screens, such as a tablet or mobile device.

-        Do not compress your photos too much. While strong compression reduces file sizes and allows faster uploading, it often results in serious degradation of image quality.

-        Use the JPEG format, the best for presenting your photos online. All web browsers support JPEGs, and JPEGs also support color profiles. Plus, the file size is much smaller than when using the TIFF format, which does not provide any   advantages in quality.

-        Calibrate your monitor to soft proof your photos before uploading to the web to achieve the best color reproduction across most display devices.

-        Protect your photos with watermarks to prevent unauthorized usage of your images.

Zenfolio Can Do It

Zenfolio delivers the best possible presentation of photos online. Your uploaded originals are automatically resized and prepared for optimized display presentation. When uploaded to your Zenfolio site, your photos will utilize all available screen space on clean professional layouts with rapid loading and simple keyboard navigation. You can get more details on how to upload, organize, and present your photos with Zenfolio, or start a free trial, at

About the Author:

Peter Urbick works for Zenfolio and has been a writer for over 12 years. Over that time he has worked with a wide variety of companies including Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Logitech, and PayPal to name a few. Originally from Washington state, Peter has a BA from the University of Washington and a Masters Degree from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business in Grenoble, France.

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  1. The Ions | Photography Weekly #3 | May 13, 2013

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