PBase – a poor photographer’s website that’s awesome

pbase I’ve been working on my website for way too long. Making websites is not something that excites me very much, at least not for more than an hour or two. It’d be great to have the whole thing done for you with a magical press of a button.

Well PBase is almost, kinda like having it done with a press of a button. I’ve been using it for about three years now and have to say that it’s one of the most useful, best value-for-money products out there for photographers.

PBase is not perfect, but for $23 a year (for the basic account) it, in my opinion trumps everything else out there. For those who don’t know; what exactly is PBase? It’s something between Flickr and SmugMug. But I prefer it over the two for seriously presenting my photos. Flickr’s interface is not an ideal platform for making your images look their best, yeah there are ways to do it, but who really cares enough to go to the effort? It’s also got this air of amateurism about it. All those little badges and group invitations seem so much like a thing for teenagers. SmugMug’s interface is a little better but that crap that pops up on the images is very annoying and seriously; what’s with the name?

PBase’s interface is as simple as it gets and with some basic knowledge of CSS you can customize the look of your galleries beyond that in the preset templates. You are of course rather limited to what you can do, but there’s enough for a simple, elegant presentation of images, without adds, badges or pop-up icons.

I would not feel right sending an editor from a serious magazine/organisation to my Flickr account (which I do have). If I get annoyed navigating through it, an editor may not even bother. As far as PBase goes, I send my editor at Getty Images there all the time, to make selections from my submissions. He doesn’t have to navigate through all the nonsense to get to the photos and the whole experience is pretty convenient. Same goes for magazine editors. I create a gallery, upload a submission and email the editor.

PBase is also a community. Not anywhere nearly as large as Flickr’s but a community nevertheless. For professionals in the early stages of their career an important point of being part of a community is to get your name out there, perhaps even sell an image or two. I’ve had some success with that on PBase, none with Flickr. Sure I’ve had countless badges and hundreds of people adding certain images to their favourites list, but in the real world; who gives a shit? There are also many people sending me Flickrmail and asking for freebies, it just seems that Flickr can be as annoying as it can be useful.

I’ve sorta revamped my PBase galleries to work as an extension of my website. With the help of my IT genius father I customised the look a bit (but it’s nothing hard really). I also got rid of all the older stuff, put some of the more relevant work on there and sorted it in groups. I’m still working on the whole thing, but you’re all welcome to HAVE A LOOK.

So the verdict is – PBase is awesome. If I didn’t have a website, I may have opted for Photoshelter’s offerings, you get some great options, but the price of those is in the hundreds. If you’re looking for an easy, cheap way to get your images online, look no further. If you’re looking for a place to which you can quickly upload images from anywhere in the world to show them to clients, editors in a simple professional manner – PBase is great.

Well, they’re not paying me to advertise them and you all get the point.