Yeah, I like Lightroom. One way I use it often is to create web galleries to post on my website for players and parents to view photos after a baseball game or musical. This is a quick method for me to get my photos out in front of others quickly and without a lot of messing around. The current plug-in I use allows me to create the gallery in a format that even accepts PayPal payments if someone wants to purchase one of my photos. Plug-ins are great!
Plug-ins abound but I still haven’t found that I am 100% satisfied with or that completely meets all my needs. Customization and tweaking are just in my blood I guess. In my defense, I strongly believe that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. I am fussy and I do have high expectations. I just want things to look a certain way. After all I am a photographer!
So today I am venturing into unknown territory–creating Lightroom plug-ins of my very own.
I do have some very basic programming skills thanks to one college class I had at Temple University in Fortan language. Over the years I also have acquired a few more programming skills and do design my own web pages. Still, this is going to be a monumental task for me. Wish me luck. And if you have any advice, please let me know. I can use all the help I can get!
Lightroom makes it very easy to create web galleries. It is pretty much as easy as selecting the photos you want to include, modifying the gallery to your liking in the Web module, and then exporting this information and uploading it on your server. It actually sounds more complicated than it is to do. In the previous two blog posts I talked about how to do this in detail and even protect web galleries with a password.
Today I want to share with you how easy it is to create a PayPal gallery in Lightroom. I use these PayPal galleries all the time because they allow visitors to my website the ability to easily order prints using PayPal or any credit card. This feature alone has contributed to an increase in prints sales, particularly from parents of baseball players. You hear of many online services that do this for you. They take care of designing the code behind the galleries and then you just upload your photos to their service, of course in addition to paying their monthly fees. I wasn’t sure I would have enough sales to warrant this expense, so I decided to do it by myself. Lightroom made it possible in a huge way for me!
The key is a template called “LRG One with PayPal Shopping Cart.” The link to this awesome template can be found here. Basically all you do is download the template, read the instructions on how to install and use it, add a few bits of information in your metadata, customize the gallery, and upload it to your server. Again, this all sounds much more complicated than it actually is to implement.
I use this template for all of my sports photography shoots. I select the photos to include in the web gallery. Then I include the metadata information for the size prints I offer, which is easy to do using the Sync feature. This copies the metadata to each photo that is included in the gallery. Then I export using the LRG One with PayPal Shopping Cart template. I even add the password protection I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry.
Now when someone visits my web gallery they can view the photos and purchase prints of varying sizes using PayPal or their preferred credit card. Of course, you have to set up a PayPal account and they take a small percentage of each sale, but it is much less expensive than using one of the other online services.
Once I receive an order from PayPal via email, I simply prepare the order and send it off to my photo lab. They print the prints and send them off to my client. It is that simple and I love it! The PayPal template is definitely one I find invaluable and highly helpful!