Update Back End and Uploader? anyone? anyone? Bueller?

Comments

39 comments

  • Adam Wamsley

    Late to the game here but just wanted to chime in and mirror all the previous sentiments. I’ve been a long time Photoshelter user and the lack of updates and progress on our end feels wild to me. I’ve had to adjust things manually to get any sort of updates looks or feels to the templates and even then it’s clunky. The fact we can’t save our own custom email invites to client galleries and have to copy/paste new text seems like an obnoxiously simple thing to ignore. The lack of any motion integration on the photographer side is just sad & I keep asking and getting strung along with empty promises. Such a shame. Also all the sites are currently down and just linking to the Ps homepage 🥲

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  • Jonathan Buckley

    Agree. And glad you mentioned your site is also down as I thought it was just mine. I guess there's now no chance of getting it fixed before 3pm tomorrow (UK time). And yet again their Status page claims everything is working perfectly https://photoshelter.status.io 

    Ironic that this forum is still working when they never bother looking at it!

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  • Alan Herzberg

    I see I am not alone, and take little comfort in that. The absence of any improvements year-after-year is so frustrating. There are some things about PS that are so good, it's a shame that there are no updated templates and no way to do any more customization than could be done 5 years or more ago.

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  • Joey McDermott

    Out of displaced loyalty I would stay as I'm still fairly new here but when you are using google to compare photo shelter with the competition and the links bring you here to all the negative feedback, it can't be good.  People don't like feeling ignored and unappreciated.

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  • Allison Kendall

    Longtime user, I've hung on for over a decade because I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Photoshelter exceeded my needs way back when I started here, but now I am having to piece together a functional online presence while paying a premium for stagnant tools. The intense focus on their 'brands' oriented products has been adding insult to injury, as it has been clear for a while that individual photographers like myself are expected to settle for what they get, which lately has been a lot of broken promises.

    I am currently in the process of looking for an alternative, and as many have noted, comparable options are few. I already use a third-party print sales platform (after years of complaints from customers about the Photoshelter cart and print ordering process) and I have given up on stock sales through Photoshelter because despite their claims to the contrary, the SEO performance has been severely lacking. I get alerts from Analytics frequently now, about mobile-display issues and other problems that the newer templates were supposed to fix. The most common inquiries I get through my site now are several unsolicited site-optimization offers a week. The backend is now primarily for backup of RAW files, and after struggling with the clunky portfolio vs. archives design limitations I have settled for a template I don't love and am just letting the front-end of my site exist because I'm already paying for it.

    I am a patient and understanding customer - stuff happens, it is ok to fail at some planned improvements - but the lack of honest, open communication about this, while loudly promoting and celebrating the other side of their business, has been the last straw.  I saw somewhere in this forum a few mentions of how Photoshelter felt in the early days, and I miss that sense of community and forward progress too. For now, I'd be happy just to know that my site is solid, my customers are happy using it, and I can spend more of my valuable time focused on the other aspects of running a photography business.

    I'll make one last (rather cynical) note:

    That there was a grand announcement about the logo redesign and subsequently I kept confusing it with the logo for Google Drive was not lost on me. Seems like the focus at Photoshelter for a long time now has been to build up a product (Brands, perhaps?) to make it potentially appealing to Google. If this is the case, there's certainly no need to cater to the needs of the individual photographer market represented in these disgruntled forum threads; they got what they needed from us, and instead of being honest about what their intentions are, we're ignored and given empty promises. It's fine if the business model has changed completely, just don't keep stringing people along.

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  • Sigurdur Olafur Sigurdsson

    Agree with every word Allison. The worst service and attitude I have ever gotten from an online service.

    Once again I wrote the help desk to ask for news about updates. Was expecting more than the same old answers but didn’t even get that. Just total silence. I know it might be useless but perhaps if all of us keep sending in questions about updates etc. someone will eventually have to give some answers. It’s worth the try anyway.

    If there will ever be a brake in my shooting scheduel soon it will be used for some serious Photoshelter alrernatives research.

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  • Steve Kingsman

    7 (yes SEVEN) months ago I posted this email reply I received from PS CEO Andrew Fingerman...
    I don't recall seeing a post with ANY updates as he talks about in his email.

    To be blatantly lied to by the CEO is frankly shocking IMO! I am moving away from PS and in the process of creating my own site via Wordpress - Regardless whether they come out with new updated templates, SEO functionality etc. I will not do business with a company that lies and treats its client base in the way PS have treated us. Personally I suggest all photographers boycott these crooks who are stealing our hard earned $$$ - It's the only way they will take notice (if they even remotely care!)!!

    "Thank you for your patience of late...I can see I've tested it with too slow of a reply. With full transparency, I’m sharing a long-awaited update on the site builder overhaul, where things stand now, and a glimpse into our future plans. I'll be sharing a version of this message more publicly in the coming days.

    When we announced our development plans for the PhotoShelter Photographers’ platform two years ago, our objective was simple: Build new website templates. Mistakenly, our drive and passion to build a modern platform that did everything our community has been dreaming about for years was far too ambitious. After many iterations, multiple rounds of user testing and nearly $1.5 million invested, we found ourselves in late 2021 with mere fragments of a new site builder that did not meet our standards. Releasing what the team had achieved to-date, meaningfully less than the full product we promised members, would have been a disappointment to you and an embarrassment to us.

    After assessing the state of the project, our leadership team made the call to pause development work on the site builder project. Despite that pause, our teams continue to work diligently to re-scope our objectives, re-focus the proposed roadmap, and research workable alternatives. 

    Moving forward, here’s our plan: 

    • First, we’re fixing long-standing bugs and user experience issues in the current site builder. 

    • Second, we’re building integrations that enable you to keep your archive with PhotoShelter - the part we do really well - while tapping a number of third party website design options. 

    • Finally – we’re actively scoping out plans to deliver many of the features on the PhotoShelter for Brands platform to make the next generation of the PhotoShelter Photographer platform more dynamic and robust based on what we’ve learned and built for brands. 

    Stepping back, it's important that I take responsibility for the imbalance that has occurred between our two platforms and which has been noted by members already. Admittedly, we have over-invested in the Brands product while thousands of photographers waited patiently and loyally for us to deliver improvements to the tool they rely on. 

    The photographer community remains critically important to PhotoShelter and our future plans. We realize it's time to prove it to you in earnest that we truly help creatives thrive.

    I'm happy to answer any questions you may have."

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  • Sara Essex Bradley

    Thank you Allison for your views, and to everyone for keeping this thread alive. Honestly, how does Fingerman sleep at night? I hope we all keep in touch to share info on migrating off of PS. After months of crickets from the company, It would be fairly satisfying to use this forum to instigate a massive exodus lol. For me, the main issue is storage and sharing, both on the upload end, which is nonexistent for iPad pro that I am using more and more for location shoots that are in-town- and on the image delivery interface for clients.

    So far, Dropbox is looking like the best option, but I'm open to any other suggestions or experiences. Thank you! seb

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  • Tosin Arasi

    For the first time since I became a member of PhotoShelter (back in January 2012), I am now beginning to feel very badly for every member here. I see the numerous topics that are brought up from other members, many of which are legitimate technical issues that need to be addressed or remedied.  In terms of responses to these topics, it appears to be several members trying their best to offer solutions, alternatives, and guidance with absolutely no input or feedback from the PhotoShelter staff.  Essentially, we're all constantly trying to figure out PhotoShelter with no guidance from PhotoShelter, which is a disgraceful disservice to every paying member.

    I cannot understand the silence, particularly about the website templates and possible upgrades.

    It seems certain nothing new is coming.

    That said, I appreciate Allison's comments as well.  Her observation about PhotoShelter's change of official logo escaped me as I was still trying to give PS the benefit of the doubt, but it's been years now, and nothing is changing or improving.

    Like a few of you, I have already resolved to create a new website to feature my work by hiring the gurus at WordPress.com.  It's not an inexpensive venture, but I'm not ready to give up on my career as a professional photographer just because PS cannot get its act together.  I've adopted the method Alex Morrow has used (see his post earlier in this thread), and will basically have two websites (a brand new site on the front-end and current PS site on the back-end).  WordPress.com is creating the new site (a two-month project), and I will use my PS site as storage inventory for purchases.  My new website will have a built-in search engine that will yield results in the PS site and customers can then make purchases that way, thus hanging on to PS' lone redeeming quality of e-commerce functionality that has been helpful for my business. I also have hundreds of images stored via PS, and the thought of migration is not an option after a decade.

    Basically, I'm building a new website with a fresh, updated presentation of my best work -- both photo and video. I hope to keep visitors interested and engaged with the new site. It's only when a visitor searches for a specific image on the new site that it will lead to results via my current PS site, displaying all matching images based on keywords associated with them. That will hopefully encourage the customer to make a purchase.

    I no longer want my current PS website to be the "face" of my photography.  PS' current templates are subpar in 2022 compared to 2012, as I've mentioned previously.  If they cannot, or will not, help us, then the onus is on the members to do so -- at our own expense, unfortunately.  It boils down to me paying PS for storage and e-commerce. Nothing more.

    If anyone at PS is reading this thread, this is quite shameful of your organization. I'm actually surprised this lack of service and lack of guidance hasn't developed into a bigger story across social media platforms and websites who focus on the trends in photography.

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