Since I last wrote a tutorial about creating your own custom web galleries for Light Blue software, a new version 4 has been released. This changes things slightly and so a new tutorial is called for!
Light Blue software for photographers is business management software that makes running a commercial photography business incredibly simple and efficient. It has been around for a while, and the current version (4.3 at time of writing) has a newly-designed layout that you can customise, and it offers the ability to sync your workflow across several computers, iPhones and iPads. It is easy to add eCommerce facilities to your photography website using this software, and the videos below will show you how it can be done.
As a web designer, I am not going to be able to provide an in-depth review as I use it only in the process of making and testing custom web gallery templates for clients. What I can say is that my clients rave about it and anything that makes the business of Photography easier has got to be a good thing! You can download a fully-functional 30 day trial from the Light Blue software website, where they have plenty of tutorials and support available. Oh, and the support team are really good and clearly keen to help, which is a huge bonus!
What I do know is that Light Blue ties in with your Calendar and Contacts and it is very simple managing the types of pictures you take and setting up a range of price lists that you can use with your shoots. As you can see from a glance at the screen shot, a lot of work has gone in to making light work of managing your business.
What you can’t see on this screen are the options for producing your own invoices and email templates – another feature that may require some input from a designer (I can also help with this so please contact me if you are interested.)
Custom Web Gallery Templates
Light Blue ships with a bunch of very clean templates to get you started with both showing and selling off your pictures. These include versions with lightboxes and eCommerce, provided in the form of PayPal to handle your customer’s payments securely. If you don’t want to use one of these pre-designed templates and would prefer something that matches the look and style of your own website, the templates can be customised or you can add your own.
If you know your way around HTML and CSS, you can do pretty much whatever you want with the templates, adding graphics and your own content along with the styling. I won’t go in to that here because this is a service I provide, so let me know if you need help with building your own bespoke gallery pages. Here is a recent example – the images used are from stock photography sites including iStock Photo, Shutterstock and Dreamstime:
I have uploaded a couple of tutorials that cover getting started and setting up Light Blue, and how to create the web galleries and upload them to your website. Any FTP software can be used for uploading your galleries, but you will need the ftp details to your site and I do not cover the settings for that in the video.
The first video is about setting up Light Blue, Preferences and importing your pictures.
In the second video, I cover adding your custom templates, creating the web galleries and uploading your galleries to your website. I using the free FireFTP extension for the Firefox web browser as it does the job perfectly well and is available for both Mac and PC.
Once again, these tutorials do not cover making your own custom web gallery templates for Light Blue. If you need a template that matches your site, contact me and I’ll be happy to help.Light Blue custom templates, eCommerce for Photographers, Light Blue, web galleries