Earlier this year, I wrote about the probable demise of Flickr. While it’s still with us, I was recently introduced to a new, unique gallery solution that will be another great alternative to the aging service. And better yet, it helps to bridge the gap between other photography professionals and potential clients.
Patron Gallery, currently in an invite-only testing phase, is a new, free online gallery platform. Several of its features you’ve seen elsewhere — the ability to upload and showcase your work, interact and follow other members, “favorite” the photos you really like from other users. But what sets it apart are two things — its customizability, and its emphasis on your service offerings as a professional.
Customize Patron to Your Liking
Once you create your profile, you’re provided with an area to upload your work — photos or videos. Like Flickr, right? Wrong. Instead of ordering by date in just a photostream, you can customize the order of your images through a drag-and-drop interface. It’s really slick, and makes me wonder, “why wasn’t this thought of sooner?”
In addition to customizing the order, you can use the drag-and-drop interface to size your images as appropriate. This is super useful, as it allows you to put an emphasis on some photos over others.
You also have the choice of having viewers see all your photos, or having them drill down into your albums.
It’s the small touches that seem to make a difference. In addition to the unlimited layout options, you can also have a cover video at the top of your profile (or a photo, if you’d rather).
Get in Front of Potential Clients
What really impressed me above all else, though, was Patron’s ability to highlight your services. Right from its homepage, visitors are able to find all different types of creatives — photographers, videographers, dancers, musicians, etc. And from there, you can select your location and be given some of the top creatives in that area, with options to view their portfolio or book them on the spot.
For me, this is the one big thing missing from today’s online gallery solutions. I’ve seen other services out there offer this as a paid service, but Patron provides this at no charge.
Patron prides itself on getting your work in front of potential clients as quickly as possible and allows them to easily book appointments and jobs with you. Once you accept a job, you can accept payments instantly through credit and debit cards (PayPal is coming soon), and keep track of all your jobs with your account calendar.
And after your job is done, your client can also leave you a review on the site — furthering your reach to other potential clients.
The added benefit of having services ready at your fingertips? In addition to clients hiring you, you can make connections with other artists who you may want to hire for other services. Need music for a video? Get in touch with some musicians. Need some artwork? Hire an artist. Patron has really taken the idea of a dynamic photography portfolio and has spread it throughout other creative mediums, making for a really intuitive “creative hub.”
Get Started Now!
Patron Gallery is still a work in process, but it’s a great free option to create a portfolio. They’ve offered Photofocus readers an early look at the site. To get started, head over to patron.gallery, enter the password “photofocus” and check out all you can do!
For more on Photography Marketing, see our weekly column.