I was 13 when I spent my summer vacations working with my father, to finance my first SLR. That’s about at that time that my brother Cedric and I got involved with computers, too (he quickly became a programming buff). After graduating, I pursued a dual career, in the Photography and the Internet industries.
I created my first photo website year 1997, at the University. A simple portfolio, to satisfy a curiosity towards this new thing called “the Internet”, and, like many photographers still today, because having my best shots showcased on a website felt cool. Updating was a pain, and I created my first blog a year later. Actually the word “blog” didn’t exist yet – but it was an improvement over the plain portfolio, and the website generated more interest.
A few years later, “the Internet” had become mainstream and a platform for new, disrupting businesses. So I experimented with the idea of selling stock photography directly from my website – relying on search engines rather than traditional stock agencies.
I put together www.maion.com in my spare time (my day job was helping grow new businesses at a Fortune Global 100 company). I used a photo-gallery script written by Cedric, and hacked some SEO, e-commerce and search features into it. Two years on, after much learning “the hard way”, the experiment was getting over 6000 visitors on any normal day . Others have done much better still.
I learned quite a few things in the process. First of all, SEO or not, getting this amount of traffic doesn’t happen overnight – it is hard work.
But even more interesting than the traffic itself was the clients’ reaction.
Clients found it great to be able to buy online, from a professional-looking website, and many became repeat clients, both for stock and commissions.
I learned that repeat clients are the holy grail of a photography business. Offering a full-featured archive website makes clients’ life easier, it helps look more professional, and it helps close deals. Not only that: it is a great way to turn clients into repeat clients.
Today, backed by world-class Software Engineering talent and new technologies, I am fully dedicated to bringing the same opportunity to other independent photographers. This is what PhotoDeck was created for: making your and your clients’ life easier via a fully featured website, for the benefit of everybody involved.
PhotoDeck® is a platform to build and host Professional Websites for Photographers. It includes advanced photography e-commerce to sell photos online, or build an own stock photography website. Each website includes client proofing features and secure photo galleries allow to deliver photos online in high resolution. Website hosting and photo hosting are included in all plans. Video hosting is also available.