(The following is adapted from 99 Ways to Make Money from Your Photos, by the editors of Photopreneur.)
With the iPhone, you can promote your photography anytime, anywhere. Meet someone at a party and tell them you’re a photographer, and when they ask you what you shoot, you’ll be able to whip out your phone and show them, explaining at the same time how you achieved the shot and why the images are important.
The easiest way to create an iPhone-based picture portfolio is to create a folder called “portfolio” on your computer, stuff it with your best photos and upload it to your iPhone. But that’s not going to be too impressive, and anyone you show it to will wonder why you’re walking around with your best images on your mobile phone.
That approach also only works if you have your iPhone in hand to show off your pictures — rather than simply directing your prospect to a Web site accessible from their own phone.
Optimizing for iPhone
You’re much better off optimizing your photography Web site for the iPhone’s small screen. That means using big buttons instead of small text links, aligning everything horizontally so that browsers can scroll through your images by simply moving their finger, and ditching any flash-y or complex programming that might frighten the iPhone Safari’s inner workings.
A decent Web programmer should be able to do this for you — for a fee. Here’s an example of an artist who did it herself.
As Dani Jones describes her experience:
When speaking about artists’ websites, an art director recently made a comment that caught my attention – he is annoyed when he can’t view them on his iPhone … You never know what potential clients are out there, and what they are using to view your work.
The use of iPhones and other mobile phones is on the rise, and artists should always be thinking of ways to make it easier for clients to access their work … It was a fun experiment and it didn’t take long to create at all. I know it will make at least one art director happy, so that alone is worth it.
If you don’t want to go the custom route, you can also buy an off-the-shelf solution like Small Folio. For $49, as Small Folio puts it:
Setting up Small Folio is a snap. Just edit a simple config file, edit your text, and drop in some images. Small Folio does the rest. You can even add detection to your home page–visitors to your site will then be redirected to your Small Folio site automatically.
An even lower-cost solution is The Turning Gate’s iPhone Portfolio. It’s only five bucks.
The Easy Part
Ultimately, to show off your photos while you’re downing the canapes at someone else’s exhibition opening, you need three things: a great portfolio; someone worth showing it to; and a Web site that’s been designed specifically for the iPhone.
If you’ve got the first two, the iPhone-optimized site should be the easy part. Don’t let it be what’s holding you back.