A new site - a struggle and reward. ( For me and now I hope you the viewer)

The Journey Starts:

(Read this Journey and Win a FREE 12 * 18 print OF YOUR CHOICE- see details at the end) 

I am a Landscape Photographer based in Banff , the small town which is the gateway for Banff National Park. The landscape in this area is a stunning mix of Craggy Peaks, some glaciated, some towering, but all are awe inspiring. I am blessed to be able to get out into this country and take shots of this marvellous landscape known as the Canadian Rockies. I have a backyard for a studio, the sun and moon for lighting and a sturdy pair of boots to get me to the spots I want to capture. I've spent many hours and days and nights hiking to locations and watching the weather. Setting up after scouting and waiting for that special moment the Rockies can provide. Then, after selecting a scene, and setting the composition - you wait for the light and that special Rockies moment. Then, with a click of the shutter that moment in time, never to be repeated, is captured. The capture over and the editing finished, I know I have an image I am satisfied with. Then what? As an Artist I want to show my work. More than that, I want my work to be seen and for it to engage the viewer, see the beauty I saw and yes - to buy a print.

I am told there are upwards of 58 Million, yup that is million, images uploaded to the internet everyday! That is a lot of images! So if I want my images of the Rockies to be "out" there, then the choices are - Exhibitions, Galleries, Fairs and Markets and yes the internet. The online world has such a huge following and impact so, while doing Exhibitions and Shows -  I headed for an on line presence. First stop - a website with a Portfolio. This sounded good to me so I worked away and built a portfolio and got it up on the web. But then , as reality set in, doing so ( the Portfolio) was no more than a glorified upload of images to the web and it was in there with the other 58 million or so! That being done, and Gallery options as well being pursued, the reality of the online world set in. As an Artist I wish to show my work and sell it as well. Online there is still that huge number of images that mine were mixed in with as a portfolio. So how to change that was next in line for issues.

The next step in the journey was to set up a website with eCommerce capability and so that was undertaken. I searched and found "canned" options and using one of them (and I must say it was well serviced and what I thought was a good "look") a new site was built and my images were out there again. But, they were out there with the 58 million other uploads. Some, perhaps most, were simple holiday or function snap shots. But,people in huge numbers taking snap shots and posting them on line still overwhelmed my site. The pundits direct you to SEO optimization, to keywords and to online strategies to get your website noticed. Along with that, of course, is the need for content, good content, and a shopping function if you wish to sell your Art. Then the reality hit again, this is no different than opening a Brick and Mortar store. You need to display your merchandise, show the shopper (in the Online World the Browser) your work and do it in a way that helps them find the Art they want for their home or office to purchase. 

So my journey took to me to Art Storefronts. A fellow Artist posted on Facebook about them. I became intrigued and did some checking. Guess what I found? A dedicated design, set up for Artists to show and sell their work. They did their homework, had an interface that was based on researched and proven and strategies. They put this together so that the Artist will have in place a Gallery/Store to help the Artist get their images "out there" and selling. As the research shows, more and more people are using online options to purchase their Art. The interface they provide so one can have a Gallery/Store On line is done in a way that makes it both easy and engaging for the shopper to view, select a piece, with options like size, format etc., and a simple dedicated online Gallery/Store for selling your Art. 

Hand me a camera and I am happy to go to work. Give me an "interface " on my computer and tell me to build my Gallery/Store is not a task I welcomed. I wanted to do it, and I wanted it done for Art, Art presentation and Art sales -  not for widgets. This is where the fun of it came.(Learning new stuff is fun, working with the support staff was Fun and Learning).  Artstorefronts provides super competent people to walk you through the setup. Then more super competent people and support staff (did I say freindly and charming) to hold your hand as you get into the technical aspects and SEO , keywording etc. Then they work with you on learning the online World of Art Presentation and Sales. The research shows more people now (it is more of those BIG numbers) go online to find their Art. Why? Because the interface gives you the same (arguably better)  experience and engagement to decide on your Art.

This new site is the result of the support staff and me building the Gita Photos Art Store! 

Please have a browse through. I'd welcome your feedback on the site, on the Art, on the experience. E mail me your thoughts. I'll draw two names - both will receive a 12 * 18 Print OF YOUR CHOICE as my Thanks!