Member Articles

You Only Get One Chance To Make A Good First Impression

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There are actually a number of ways to publish your best photos and articles to our web site and to your profile. The default method is a simple one. Login to our site and you will be taken to your Profile Management area. If you are already logged in, click on the link on the left nav bar to Profile Management.

You can see that from your profile management area, you can control all the functions available to produce a professional profile. Remember, unlike a photo storage web site like Picasaweb, Flickr, SmugMug and others, your professional profile on our site has one important purpose…it is to show your best published works on our web site. You don’t want to upload hundreds of images to your profile or articles that have no merit or interesting content. The reason is simple, this is supposed to be your professional portfolio, no different then having your portfolio on a presentation book that you take with you when you visit new clients. If your “Book” was filled with hundreds of images and lots of articles, no one would have the time or patience to go beyond the first few pages. So remember, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”.

Most of us, myself myself included, find it difficult to edit our own works and select what we consider our best. It is a good idea to have others you respect and know what is good from not as good, review your portfolio and tell you what they think of it. Take their opinions and not to heart. After all they are not as emotionally involved as you may be, but they need to be objective in order to help you narrow down your profile presentation.

Our site allows you a limited amount of photos and articles based on your membership level. Our Gold Members can upload 50 photos and 50 articles and our Platinum Members may upload 200 photos and 200 articles. Certainly more then you will need in any professional profile.

Pick out no more then 50 to 100 of your best photos showing the diversity of your works and your talents, similar method with your articles. If they tend to be a one or two paragraph article, delete them, they will not impress anyone viewing them and will not convince anyone that grants media access that you will write a good review or article should they grant you that access.

If the photos show a series of shots from the same subject or assignment, delete most of them and only pick a couple at most for your profile. If you feel that the assignment was so rich and you have a vast number of images you must publish to tell a story, you would be better off, uploading them to a photo web site, create an album there for the best of that assignment or subject and then grab the code for a slide show or the link to that album and insert it into your profile’s About Me section or in an article about that subject.  See how I have included some slide shows and videos in my profile:

By doing this your profile remains tight, clean and only a sampling of all the different subjects and assignments you have shot. If you look at many of the reviews I have published on our web site, you will see I produce a slide show/video that I upload to YouTube and then grab the code and insert it into my review. It is so easy to do and more information is available in our Forum on how to do this as well.

When you upload your best photos, be sure to resize them. Most of us are shooting at high resolution or even raw and the files are meant to enable us to print super sized prints. Most are saved at 300 dpi (dots per inch), unless you have preset your camera to shoot low resolution shots for the web which would be 72 dpi.

Or course no one does, but on many of the pro cameras you can shoot two files, a raw file which is uncompressed and the best file to work from and then a jpeg file as well. I shoot both, this way I can simply use the jpegs for my web applications and fast editing work and the raw files for my print works.

A typical image file a member has uploaded to his profile. As you can see it is much too large and is a 7.65 MB file.

Now remember our system tells you that you can save the image at 72 dpi, which is what a computer screen is capable of displaying and the longest dimension or side of that image should be under 600 pixels. These dimensions will assure you of a fast load in an article or in your profile.

Remember, you can upload larger files to the photo storage sites and grab the code, so if you really want to display larger images on a computer, then upload them and link to that album or grab the code and insert it on our site.

Screen shot on right now  showing a corrected image file. As you can see it is much smaller, 72 dpi, 650 pixels on its longest dimension (still acceptable)  and is now only a  1.06  MB file.  This will load 6 times faster then the larger file.

You can see that we caution you about the size of your image files.  Complete some of the details about your image, rate it and save it.  You will see that I have selected a nice panoramic photo I shot as my Main Image. I change this from time to time to keep my profile fresh and you should do the same. As you take new photos, upload just a few and pick one of them as your new Main Image.

Now you know how to upload your photos to our web site.  I will go into more detail in another article on how to publish your articles and how to resize your photos for publication on our site, so keep coming back for more information on How To do just about everything at IPA.

Tip: Smugmug offers members the ability to produce excellent slide shows for insertion in your profile or articles and a huge capacity to store all your photos online. Check them out now.

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