Photographers and other visual artists take great pains to create work but when it comes to presenting them, things seem to rapidly fall apart. I am certainly guilty of it. Given how quickly an editor or a client makes up her or his mind about assigning a photographer, sloppy presentation could mean the end of one’s career. I am learning, however slowly, that presentation is an art in itself. And it is important to get it right.
These days most photographers depend on web sites to show off their work. You don’t have a web site? It’s not brain surgery to put one together. I’ll go over the steps that I am taking to organize my work online, but what is making it very easy for me these days to exhibit my work online is a program called Shutterbug.
Shutterbug, made by XtraLean Software also brought us the magnificent and free photo editing tool, ImageWell. I was ga-ga about Imagewell and now I am going bonkers over Shutterbug. Read on to see why.
Both ImageWell and Shutterbug operate only on the Apple Macintosh OS X platform. That alone says something. At under 2 megabytes, the program is lean; so your computer won’t get bogged down. The drag-n-drop feature saves you from hunting for your images through an archaic (yeah, you windows users!) mapping system. It is possible to have an online slide show in a matter of minutes. As a test, I created a slide show of my cousin’s recent engagement. I chose a built-in template to first format the gallery display, then tweaked the background color, positioned the elements on the page by dragging boxes on the fly, made sure that the thumbnail images were cropped just so and set the timing to give the slideshow the right pace. I then uploaded the slideshow to my .Mac account, but one has the option of also saving it to a desktop folder and uploading the entire package to a different server. It’s simple, intuitive and it works extremely well.
While the program itself is a hit in my opinion, as a beta-tester, I have been extremely happy with the kind of service I have received directly from the company. Features that I request miraculously appear in the next build, and I am assured in every email exchange that the small New Hampshire based company is batting for me, the end user. There are online forums to post questions and request new features, too. Check it out. You will be pleasantly surprised.
I am in the process of writing a more detailed review of Shutterbug for the local Macintosh Users Group. I’ll share that with you by the end of February. Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and download the demo and give it a whirl. For $29, this feature rich slide show program is a boon. I know I couldn’t do without it in my arsenal of imaging tools.