After much research and testing www.m4photo.co.uk has finally gone live. I must extend a huge thank you to Charlie at Southcot Services who has put up with a large number of questions and for giving me access to a test domain to try things out and to see what works prior to laying out any cash.
I have gone for a minimalist approach to keep things nice and clean and easy to use. The left navigation panel provides users with access to 99% of the pages in the site. There are a couple of pages that expand on information contained in other pages and those includes links were necessary.
The site features the obligatory Home page which includes a number of images with links to some of the galleries in the website. Ease of use has been my highest priority and this approach provides users with a really quick way of finding recently added galleries. I’m not sure how deep this page will grow, but it’ll always include some of the open galleries and others will drop off over time.
I have two highlighted white menu items which provide access to a gallery browser. This will make locating your gallery much easier once the number of galleries grows over the next couple of years. The second of the two highlighted links provides information about how to order images from the website – more on that in a moment.
We then have some information about the services that M4Photo provide, some Frequently Asked Questions (which will be added to) and ways to contact M4Photo or book us for a shoot.
Opening your gallery requires a username and password if the content is sensitive or the owner wishes to keep their images to themselves. A padlock icon on the main gallery page shows which are open and which are closed galleries.
I have opted to have one gallery for each club, school, person, family, etc. As with Eclipse Gymnastics, I am hoping to built a working relationship with clients and this approach will enable me to locate all of your image galleries in one place. Take a family for example: an initial gallery might include a stag or hen party, the wedding, first born, second born, parties, key anniversaries, etc. Sporting clubs will have a growing gallery of events of all types, all in one convenient place.
Once you have accessed your main gallery page, you’ll see a number of images which can be clicked to open up that specific gallery. The images are then presented as small thumbnails for quick browsing and these can be opened to view a larger 400 x 200 pixel image. These are too small for printing but give a good idea of what the image is like.
I have also just added a Gallery and Comments page. This will no doubt be changed from time to time but it has been included so that visitors to the site can see some of my work in a slideshow style presentation. Below the slideshow, I will be including some of the comments received from time to time.