Photoshelter is a cloud storage service that doubles as a website and e-commerce platform for photographers. The platform enables you to upload full-resolution images and organize them into galleries for visitors and clients. Plus, you can sell prints, license digital downloads, and enable clients to proof images right on your website.
Looking for the best cloud storage solution for your photos? In our Photoshelter review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this online storage and e-commerce platform.
Photoshelter review: Plans and pricing
Photoshelter offers three plans: Basic, Standard, and Pro. All three plans include a custom domain and e-commerce capabilities. For the most part, they differ in how much cloud storage you receive.
The Basic plan costs $10 per month (billed annually) and offers just 4GB of storage. It’s enough for a small portfolio website but is not a full-blown cloud storage solution.
The Standard plan costs $25 per month and includes 100GB of storage, while the Pro plan offers unlimited cloud storage for $45 per month. Whether the latter price is worthwhile depends on whether you can use up terabytes of storage. For comparison, an e-commerce plan at Squarespace costs $26 per month but doesn’t enable you to upload full-resolution images.
Value for money: B
These ratings work on an A-C basis, with A being the best.
Photoshelter is an e-commerce website builder designed specifically for photographers. What makes this platform unique is that it enables you to upload full-resolution images and use the platform as a cloud storage solution.
Photoshelter’s website builder is relatively limited, especially when compared to general-purpose site builders like Squarespace. The platform only includes nine templates, and you cannot add or remove content elements to customize your site. You do have control over your site’s fonts and color palette, but the level of customization available is underwhelming.
That said, there are nice aspects to Photoshelter’s website capabilities. The templates are well designed and responsive to mobile devices. In addition, there is no limit on the number of gallery pages you can add. This is helpful if you shoot events, for example, since you can use your Photoshelter website as a medium for delivering full-resolution photos to clients.
One of the key attractions to Photoshelter is that the platform enables you to upload full-resolution images, including RAW photos. All uploads are backed up across multiple servers to ensure that your photos are safe even if one server fails unexpectedly.
We especially liked that Photoshelter works with the tools that most photographers are already using. You can use a free plugin to sync your Lightroom catalog with Photoshelter, for example. Any keywords you add to your Lightroom catalog are automatically searchable in your cloud storage space.
Uploading files is simple, too. Photoshelter has a desktop-based uploader, or you can drag and drop files into your storage space through your browser. For large batches of images, Photoshelter offers FTP uploads.
Photoshelter also enables you to sell prints and digital downloads from your website. You can set your own pricing and create discounts, coupons, and packages as you desire. Payments are processed through Stripe or PayPal. For print sales, you have the option to enroll in automatic fulfillment through AdoramaPix, EZPrints, BWC, HCC, or Loxley Colour.
This platform also has a trick up its sleeve for commercial photographers: built-in client proofing. Clients can mark image selects inside your galleries, and you can easily sort through selects using custom filters on the back-end of your website. Photoshelter also enables you to export images from your galleries back to Lightroom so you can make any necessary touch-ups.
The back-end of the Photoshelter platform is a bit clunky but otherwise easy to navigate and use. The platform is split up into sections for your image storage, website, e-commerce, and analytics. One thing we didn’t love is that the site builder interface isn’t particularly easy to access as it’s buried inside a menu tab in the website section of your dashboard.
Photoshelter also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android that you can use to manage your business on the go. The app enables you to download images from your cloud storage to your smartphone as well as to upload photos from your device. You can also use the mobile app to make changes to your website appearance or customize your template.
Photoshelter has a few features to help keep your images secure. First, your cloud storage is accessible only to you. Your account is protected with two-factor authentication, which requires that you log in using both your password and a random security code that is texted to your phone. This high-security mechanism helps ensure that no one can break into your account and steal your high-resolution images.
The platform also prevents theft of images directly from your website. You can use Photoshelter’s Image Theft Guard feature to prevent visitors from right-clicking and saving your images as well as limit the display size of images on your website. Photoshelter also enables you to add a custom watermark to all displayed images.
Photoshelter offers customer support by phone and email from 9 am to 7 pm Eastern, Monday to Friday. Helpfully, Photoshelter also has a very in-depth documentation center. It covers everything from organizing your cloud storage space to e-commerce to using the Photoshelter mobile app.
Cloud storage and e-commerce combined
Photoshelter offers a unique platform for photographers that combines a website builder, e-commerce features, and cloud storage. The website builder isn’t the most impressive offering we’ve seen. But features like built-in client proofing, unlimited private galleries, and mobile site management help Photoshelter stand out for photographers.
This platform really excels if you want both a new e-commerce website and reliable cloud storage for your images. Photoshelter’s Pro package is a terrific deal if you have terabytes of RAW files and need a better solution for delivering those images to clients.