Websites for Photographers

When I’m teaching photography, either on an individual or group basis, I am often asked not only about gear but also the business side of photography. I share my experiences with client proofing software, bookkeeping, client scheduling, etc.

One of the first things every photographer has to decide on is how to promote and share their work online. There are a huge number of choices, including 500px, flicker, Squarespace, and wordpress with custom photography themes such as Photocrati.

This website is currently running the Photocrati theme with WordPress as the back end. While I am very happy with it, I use a different program for online galleries and proofing. I’ve been using Sytist (and its previous sibling, PhotoCart). You can see my Sytist installation here: Whitesell Photography Galleries

I recommend either of these; both are designed to be installed in your own web hosting account which means you have the ability to move to a new hot if you aren’t pleased with your current host. This is an advantage over hosted platforms which would require to to abandon everything and start over from scratch if you decide to move your website.

I like Photocrati’s WordPress engine which allows for much customization, and Sytist has come a very long way and now includes such advanced features as invoicing, a booking calendar, wall designer, eGift cards, project proofing, and much more. Both companies offer great support and have been very helpful whenever I have a design question.

If you’d like to check out either of these programs, you can find them here:


Vision For Life clinics added to Google Street View

We recently photographed the three Optometry clinics that are part of Vision for Life and added them via Street View to Google maps:



NAIT Women’s Hockey 2015

We shot the Nait OOKS women’s hockey team yeasterday and got a bunch of great memories of the athletes.

Ladies, we’ll have everything for you to to see soon – but until then, here is a great shot of the team:

NAIT womens hockey team 2015Click picture to see larger version

Here’s the same image as a 360 degree panorama

Drag your mouse in the picture to turn it:

Edmonton Winter Portraits

Love the winter? We’re totally up for winter portrait sessions!!

Edmonton photographersWhile most families and couples want to get their portraits during the summer months, There are still a few brave souls who embrace our winters. Shooting a winter portrait in Edmonton can be challenging. Here are some of the things we want on the day we shoot the session:

  • Warm (relatively) weather. Even minus 10 can be challenging for everyone. Red noses and cheeks aren’t the most attractive (unless that’s the look you’re going for!). Batteries in the equipment don’t last as long. It can just get uncomfortable if it’s too cold!
  • Clear, sunny skies. We want one of those gorgeous clear sky winter days for your session. If it grey and gloomy, or even foggy, we’ll probably want to reschedule for a nicer day.
  • Fresh snow. We love to shoot right after a snowfall, when everything is white. It isn’t very pretty if the snow is two weeks old, dirty and half ice. We want beautiful snow!

edmonton-winter-portraits-2We also bring out lighting in the winter, just like we do in the summer. Controlling the light is critical for the bright, well balanced portraits we’re known for. As we’ve always said, “It’s all about the light!”

Sometimes we end up rescheduling a time or two waiting for all the conditions to come together for the best portraits possible. But believe me, the results are worth it!!

winter engagement pictures



2014 St. Albert Farmers Market Opening

Check out this 360-degree panorama we made of the opening ceremonies of the 2014 St. Albert Farmers’ Market.

Click the picture to go to the panorama…

St Albert Farmer's Market - opening ceremonies

World’s longest softball game

There is a group of 39 hard core softball players currently playing what they hope will be recognized as the world’s longest slo pitch game. They’ve been playing since last weekend at a park in Leduc, just south of Edmonton – through rain, thunderstorms, hail, darkness and cold.

They have less than 24 hours left to break the current record. That will occur about 8 a.m. Saturday – and the teams plan to continue playing until Sunday morning.

We’ll be there Saturday morning to photograph the moment when the record is broken – and we’ll be posting pictures of the historic event!

Come join us at Wm. F. Lede park in Leduc (map – early Saturday morning for a bit of sports photography and to cheer on the players! We’ll probably show up about 7:30, hope to see you there!

The record was unofficially broken Saturday morning at 7:04 pending verification from Guinness officials! The two teams playing at the time took a very short time out to share a toast and celebrate.


The teams will continue to play until noon tomorrow to cement their place in history.


Park Veterinary Centre Staff Group Photo

We recently did a Google virtual tour for Park Veterinary Centre in Sherwood Park, and also produced staff portraits for their website.

Here is a group shot of most of the staff – unfortunately a few were not able to be there the day we shot, but this gives you an idea of the staff commitment this great vet office provides to their clients.

NAIT Women’s Hockey Video

Decided to have some fun with the pictures of these amazing athletes!


NAIT Women’s Hockey Team 2012-13

Here is our team photo of the NAIT Women’s Hockey Team:

NAIT women's hock team photo by Jim Whitesell

NAIT Women’s Hockey Team 2012-2013

Some interesting facts:

  • Created from eight images
  • Approximately 100 megapixels
  • Full size image is over four feet long
  • The women were positioned in a semi-circle, yet appear to be in a straight line in the final photo

Would you like to see the full size photograph? Post a comment below so we can gauge interest.

NAIT Women’s Hockey Team Preview!

We did a great team portrait of the NAIT OOKS Women’s Hockey Team last week. These are some amazing athletes and we feel very fortunate to have been able to spend some time on the ice photographing them.

Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look of the team picture being set up:
NAIT women's hockey team photo


If you look closely, you’ll see coach Iwanicka (back to camera) holding a string that is tied to the tripod. She’s making sure the players are all exactly the same distance from the camera. The final team photo is made from eight separate images shot left-to-right. It’s important that the players’ distance from the camera doesn’t vary so they appear correctly in the final composite photo.

The final result will be posted tomorrow, so check back to see the result!