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How To Create Password Protected Client Galleries

My users guide to the Minimatica WordPress theme is taking longer than expected–winter reared its not so ugly head here in Colorado and I quickly changed from website designer to wood cutter.  But I wanted to address a couple of questions that have come up in the comments of a tutorial on setting up the Minimatica WordPress theme.

As you may already know, I use the Minimatica theme for my photography portfolio website, GregAitkenheadPhotography.com.  It acts as a virtual business card for the most part, but I also use it as a portal for proofing client shoots.  I wanted to have a place where clients could view a gallery of photos and give me feedback on their preferences for different styles or developing techniques before I sent them the final batch of processed digital images.  However, I only wanted that client to have access, so the link to the gallery had to be password protected.  Luckily, WordPress makes setting up a password protected link easy.

I use Lightroom 3, so this tutorial begins with the creation of a gallery using the “Web” module.  If you haven’t done this before, its a simple process.  Adobe TV has a great tutorial, and there’s more information on setting your galleries up at help.adobe.com.

I then use Cyberduck, a free Mac FTP client, to create a new folder called “client_photos” under my website’s main folder, and a folder within that for the gallery.  So, the last step in the gallery creation process involves pointing Lightroom to this new location in my website’s home folder and using the LR export function to store the gallery files there.  The http address for the gallery will mirror your folder path: “http://your_domain_name.com/client_photos/client’s_name.”

Back in Minimatica–when a client clicks on “Clients” and then their submenu entry they are taken to a page with information and a link to their web gallery.  To set this up first create a new page called “Clients.”  One of the drawbacks of this system is that you’ll have a clickable item in your menu called clients, so leave a short message here directing your clients to their individual links back at the main menu.  (Nevermind!  I just found this article on the WordPress.com support site–instead of creating a page and adding the page to the menu as a home for the client sub-menu items, just create a custom link with # for the URL and “Clients” for the label.  Then arrange your client pages as sub-menu items underneath this custom link.)

Then, create a new page with the client’s name for a title.  Add a quick note and a link to your newly created web gallery, then scroll down to “Publish,” go to “Visibility” and click “Edit.”  Now set a password for access to the page.  That’s it.

If you’re not using Lightroom, you might try creating a client gallery using an online option like jAlbum, Flash Slideshow Maker, or Flash Gallery.  I haven’t tried any of these, but you should be able to get a linkable web address for your gallery, I’m just not sure about keeping your gallery private.

You might also want to check out these articles over at Lifehacker: this one covers Fotopedia, this one covers the set-up for Gallery2, and this one provides a link to a tutorial on creating an online photo gallery with thumbnails and rollovers using one HTML page and CSS (no database or multiple files required.)

As you can see–options abound for creating web galleries, and WordPress makes it easy to create a password protected link.