In September of 2007, I reviewed a new site meant to help photographers sell their photos in An In-Depth Look at Photrade at BlogHer. The review was pretty critical. I had a lot of usability problems with the site.
In the months since then, Photrade has been through tremendous changes in an effort to become something more usable, and more appealing. I took a second look today. I found a great many improvements. I also found that there are still some usability issues.
First, the site as a whole is much more attractive and inviting. In this, they have succeeded admirably.
The internal tools for managing your photos, setting prices, adding tags, and uploading are in general much better. Image uploading is easy now and it was a nightmare before. I did encounter some problems, however,
First, the design is an inflexible size. I had to enlarge the font to read the page. When I did that, nothing fit. Here’s what happened to the upload images page when it was bumped up to only 110% zoom.
Everything is pushed off to the right and cut off. Not what they intended at all. If I went back down to 100%, I could see the intended layout, but I couldn’t read the text.
The site relies on popups for processing things like adding tags to photos, setting price options and more. Sometimes these worked. And sometimes they just didn’t work. I don’t know if it was an issue with popups or what–some just didn’t work. Maybe it was my combination of Firefox/Mac that didn’t work, although I set it to allow popups on this site.
For example, when you are in the Manage Photos area, there is an option to add Permissions, either as a privacy setting or a watermark. When I clicked this Permissions button, my screen was covered with a grayish overlay that I presume was supposed to contain something for setting permissions. But there was nothing there and no way to remove the overlay from the page short of reloading the page afresh.
A great new feature of the site is a blog for photographers called Hyperphocal. I can imagine this becoming a valuable resource for photographers with tips, support, tutorials, and all sorts of information.
All in all, Photrade is a much better site that it was back in September. The site is close to solving most of its problems. I think photographers can use it to sell photos successfully. They offer ad revenue options that can help photographers, too. And there are lots of ways to show your photos in other places besides Photrade such as your own blog that will bring people back to Photrade to purchase. The Hyperphocal blog is a good addition.
If you are interested in selling your photos, give Photrade an evaluation of your own. You may find it suits your needs.