Last month I had you out hunting for hidden treasures to photograph. Now it's time for something different. I ran a similar challenge when I first started doing them and it was super popular. So once again, I challenge you to build yourself an online gallery.
But first, the winner from the last challenge.
And the winner is . . .
Janice Jones! Congratulations, your name was randomly selected from all the entries on the last challenge.
Why build an online gallery?
The benefits of making yourself an online gallery are many.
First, it may be outside your comfort zone to share your images, put them out there for the entire world to see. So by building an online gallery, it forces you to do so.
Be vulnerable, be brave. It will help you improve your confidence in your photography.
Secondly, it will force you to be selective and only choose your very best images to display.
You want to put your best foot forward and in the case of a portfolio or gallery, fewer images are better.
Don't put 500+ images into one gallery because your best ones will not only be lost in a sea of photos, but it will make people's eyes glaze over because it's too overwhelming.
Lastly, it also forces you to go through the culling or selection process, and then to actually edit your images.
If you haven't done much in this area, it presents you with an opportunity to learn how to do it now. There's no better time to start than today.
How do you make an online gallery?
There are many ways you can go about making your gallery. Here are a few options.
#1 – Build an actual website
This is obviously the most work but if you use something like Wix or Squarespace it can be fairly simple. But if all you want is a nice place to display your images it's like overkill, and there is a cost for those options.
#2 – Use a social media site
If you want to keep it really simple you can use one of your profiles on a social media site to make your photo gallery.
Facebook allows you to make albums so you could set it up that way. Or you can even make a Facebook Page for yourself. You don't need a business name or anything just use “Your Name Photography” at the page title. Just go to this page and select Community of Public Figure and fill in the blanks like so.
#3 – Use Adobe Portfolio
If you pay the monthly subscription plan for Lightroom and Photoshop, the good news is that you can also use Adobe Portfolio at no extra cost. As indicated on their page it allows you to create unlimited pages and includes hosting for your little gallery.
#4 – Get a Membership with a Photo Sharing Site
There are several options here ranging in price from free to about $100 a year. Look at the benefits of each and see which works best for you.
I used to use Flickr but have not used it much in years. You can opt for the free Flickr membership, but that is limited to 1000 images uploaded total. If you just want an online gallery that may be all you need.
If you go for the upgrade to Pro you can unlimited storage and discounts at some popular vendors including Smugmug who own Flickr now. Pro will cost you $7.99/month (or $5.49/month paid annually) though. If you need more space and want to save all your images online as an extra backup I'd actually recommend getting a SmugMug Power Account instead.
This one I would NOT recommend!
500px used to be a great site, and I knew the editor.
However, 500px was sold in early 2018 to a Chinese photo agency and there have been rumors of them selling photographers images that were posted on the site without their permission or compensation. Avoid it, there are other options.
SmugMug is one you have to pay for but the prices are very reasonable for the lowest tier, and you get a lot for your money.
For their Basic plan, it will run you just $47.88 per year which gives you unlimited photo uploads, a way for family and friends to order prints of your photos directly from your gallery, and more.
This is the option I recommend if you can swing it.
You get a really nice gallery, a way to store and share all your photos and the best thing is that it's super easy! I was able to sign up and create several image galleries in less than an hour.
This is the online gallery I made, have a look.
SmugMug has given me not only one Pro Plan to give away as the prize for this challenge, but you can also get 15% off if you aren't selected as the winner. That works out to only (all prices are in USD and apply if paid annually, slightly higher rates applied if paid monthly):
- $40.70/year for the Basic plan (a simple safe place to share and save your photos)
- $61.10/year for the Pro plan (gives you more customization and control of how your photo site looks)
- $152.90/year for the Portfolio plan (if you want to sell your photos)
Make your gallery for this month's challenge
To participate in this month's challenge you just need to make a small gallery containing about 20 images. You can use any of the platforms or sites mentioned. Select your favorite images and make a gallery to showcase them.
Enter to win
BUT if you want to be eligible for the prize which has been donated by SmugMug, you will need to do the Free 14-day trial for one of the SmugMug plans. You can cancel it at the end of the 14 days if you wish, or use this link to get 15% off automatically.
In order to participate in this challenge and be eligible for this prize you need to:
- Create your online gallery using SmugMug – if you cancel after the 14 days it will cost you nothing!
- Share the URL (link) to your SmugMug gallery in the comment area below.
- If you can – upload a screenshot of your gallery as well in your comment.
- Enter by April 30th, 2019. NOTE: please do NOT save your images as TIF (they will be too big to add in the comments, it must be under 2mb) and please do NOT email your images to me for critique. I cannot give personal critiques by email, leave your images below and I will comment there.
On May 1st one winner from all the eligible entries will be randomly selected and the prize awarded. Keep reading to learn more about what you could win.
The winner will receive a one-year subscription to SmugMug's Power Plan worth $71.88 USD. It includes:
- 21+ premade site designs, or create your own (no coding needed)
- Optional HTML and CSS customization
- Enable right-click protection on images
- Use your own domain name
- Your own customizable website
- Gorgeous, full-screen galleries
- Unlimited photo uploads
- Easy drag-and-drop photo organization
- Preserve and access every image with best-in-class cloud storage
- Password protect folders, galleries, pages, or your whole site
- Easily share via email, social media, or in private share groups
- Order prints and products with a high-quality print lab
- Allow family and friends to order prints and gifts directly from your site
You may not need all of that, if so then the Basic Plan may do you just fine. But if you win this one, bonus right?!
So get busy, let's see those galleries!
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate partner of SmugMug and as such get a referral or affiliate commission on any sales using my link. You, in turn, get to save 15% off the regular price and a lovely new gallery. As you can see I've made my own new travel photography gallery using SmugMug and I only ever recommend things I have tried and use myself!