Eyeballs are what makes the world go around.  Specifically, the more eyeballs you can get onto your work, the better chance you have of selling that work, especially when it comes to stock content, like the kind I have in my iStockphoto.com portfolio.  So, for the last several months I’ve been working on a new style portfolio display site.  It’s meant to give you, the buyer, an alternate method of looking through my work, and then purchasing said work.  For more, keep reading…

The name is AccordStock and can be found at AccordStock.com .  What does the name mean?  “Accord” as in: “To cause to conform or agree; bring into harmony.” .  As in, at some point in the future, the plan is to possibly expand the site and allow other select creators to showcase their work.  People coming together under an accord, to create a group that can work together with certain interests in mind.  The logo represents a group of contributors joined around a central plan.  That’s the long-range thought.

Currently, however, it contains a subset of my stock imagery for you to search through and view ( I’m working on getting more online ).  And it operates more like a regular stock photo site, which you, the buyer, are likely used to.  So no shock there.  Going for ease of use here.

Let’s start with where you’ll start at.  A simple search box at the top begs for you to get going, searching.  Start typing.

Wallah! ( 😉 ) An auto-complete gives you suggestions on terms that exist on images in the catalog.  Nothing groundbreaking here, just useful and fun to program in there.

There are three search sort options at this point.  “Date added”, “Views” and my favorite – “Random”.  “Random” changes hourly, so as you’re working, you’ll get the same results for a while, but on the hour, you’ll get a whole different sort.  Kind of fun to see what pops up.

Once you’ve entered one term and gotten some results, use the “Narrow” search entry to drill down.  Entering one term at a time allows the auto-complete to add double quotes around where needed, and is really easy to do.  Use the “Exact Match” if you want to find a “car” but not “carpenters”.

The search return looks nice and clean, showcasing the thumbnails, and highlighting images with a mouseover loupe.  However, if you want a few more details, or if you want to lightbox your favorites ( and that’s the main point of browsing, right? ), use the “File Details” option bar to turn on the extra information.

Again, nothing groundbreaking here, but you’ve got the option for differing numbers of results per page return.  10, 20 or 50 at this time.  These choices, and the sort options, hold across the search pages and the lightbox view pages.

Once you get to the image details page, you’ll find a link to license the work at iStockphoto.  You’ll find this useful if you’re using AccordStock as an alternate searching site, or if you’ve been using it to take advantage of the image zoom.  “The what???” you say?

Yes, mouse over an image on the image details page, and you’ll get a closer view at the work in question.  This is one of the reasons I’m promoting AccordStock today.  At iStockphoto, our image zoom functionality has been out of order for several months, and I feel this might be having a detrimental effect on sales.  I can understand it being hard to judge quality based on a tiny thumbnail.  So, even though I don’t have a majority of my catalog online, there is a lot of my newer content there to search through and check detail on.  I encourage that.

That’s enough for today, I think.  Go ahead and check it out.  Do a search.  Use the file details to show the bulb button and create a lightbox with some contentStart an account – your lightbox will be transferred in and be permanent.  Send the lightbox URL to a co-worker to check out.  Utilize the image zoom.  It’s still a work in progress, but have fun!

Let me know what you think and thanks for buying!

7 Responses to Welcome to AccordStock

  1. John Neff says:

    Amazing work sean! whatever direction this takes you may it be wildly successful! Would love to add some video to that 🙂 probably more headache for that then its worth.

  2. Fellow iStocker says:

    Excellent effort! May it go from strength to strength!

  3. Luke Miller says:

    Sean, I am considering copying your concept here with my own portfolio. Would you mind divulging details on how you set up your site? Especially the link back to iStock. I would also be doing video only.

  4. Sean says:

    It’s an off the shelf software package called PhotoStore, although I have spent quite a bit of time making it function the way I want. Each media file holds an offsite URL in the database that the page will point to.

  5. Erik Dreyer says:

    Sean, great website. Do you can recommend somebody who did your “autocomplete” search and “offsite URL” link to iStock?

    • Sean says:

      Yeah, me 🙂 . The autocomplete was a hash together of some javascript I found online, and I did the php to respond to the call. The offsite URL was a custom thing I built into the installation as well.

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