It’s all about imagery…
Over two years in the making, this new website is almost fully an in-house effort. It has been a huge amount of work and despite having sections that are still empty, like some of the individual staff gallery pages, or areas having minimal content, like the blog and the articles section, we’ve decided to set a hard launch date (today!) to get this site up and running sooner rather than later!
Rather than updating our website to make it look like just any other camera store’s e-commerce site, seemingly a trend these days, we’ve endeavored to make something a little different, something with a bit more style and pizzazz! What is photography all about? Well images of course! So, how better to create a relevant website for photographers than to fill it with imagery! Not just photos of products mind you, although there are plenty of those too (some provided by manufacturers and some shot in-house), but imagery that demonstrates those products in real world use, imagery that was created by Beau Photo’s talented staff, or in the future, possibly even by some of our many very talented customers, should they decide that they’d like to share some work on our site. On occasion, we may resort to a manufacturer’s own sample images, or even photos provided by a company’s sales rep. In all those cases, shots will be clearly labeled and credited to the original photographer or source, but in the meantime, we are striving to fill the galleries with as much of our own work as possible.
Showcasing Staff Images
Our new site has a section in the Gallery area for showcasing staff work. We have Jason, our rental manager, who loves shooting wildlife. He’ll spend hours on end, patiently waiting by a humming bird or osprey nest for the perfect shot, or tracking bears in the wild and getting some surprisingly intimate photos that makes one wonder how dangerous the situation actually was!
We’ve got Nicole in our film department, and Meghan who has now taken over our album sales, and they both enjoy shooting with instant film and the huge array of wild and crazy film emulsions that are available today. Indeed, film is far, far from dead!
There’s Kathy, who loves shooting with old large-format gear or handmade pinhole cameras. She has a vast knowledge of historical processes, and much experience with alternative process printing as well, such as cyanotypes or tintypes for example.
Then there is your’s truly, Mike Mander, and not only do I love landscape photography, with a special fondness for dry, rugged desert terrain, but I’ve also grown to enjoy shooting in the city, especially nighttime cityscapes of late. I also spend way too much time testing gear and lenses, and at least initially, the bulk of all the lens test galleries contain shots that I took myself.
With respect to equipment test images, you’ll find sections in the Gallery area for those. In addition, when you’re browsing products, you might come across a lens where, for example, you’ll see links to a review I’ve published previously, as well as a set of sample images. Generally speaking, any equipment test galleries, whether stand-alone or embedded on a product page, will provide camera EXIF data in light-box view, and there will often be download links to higher resolution versions too, either as a download button in the light-box view, or sometime on each thumbnail in grid view.
Since I’ve been shooting with Fujifilm gear for a number of years now, the equipment test galleries are hugely skewed towards Fujifilm products currently (with apologies to other manufacturers!), however this is something we intend on rectifying as we move forward with the new site. We are also planning on creating video tutorials, possibly even video product reviews, studio lighting test galleries and much more. So check back often to see how we are doing with new imagery, whether still or moving!
Putting it mildly, our old website was, ahem, somewhat sparse when it came to detailed product listings. On this new site, we now have detailed listings for many of the thousands of products that we sell. Definitely not all (yet), but that is a goal we are striving towards. However this is not an e-commerce site at the moment, so you cannot “add to cart” and buy a product that way. You’ll still need to call, email or better yet, drop by our store in person to make a purchase. Note that we do ship Canada-wide, so don’t hesitate to contact us even if you’re not local.
What might turn out to be a controversial omission, we have decided not to put product pricing online, save a few exceptions. Firstly as mentioned, we are not selling online anyway, but secondly, we decided it was better to have no pricing, than to have wrong pricing! Keeping pricing up-to-date in our store is hard enough at times, what with all the changing manufacturers’ rebates, but also doing so on our website, would double our workload. Although integrating our website and our point-of-sales inventory system is also a goal for the future, for now just call or email us and we’ll be happy to provide an accurate quote!
As a little popup reminder strip at the top of our page will note, when you first visit our website, “… we have many more products available to buy than are shown on this website!” and this is certainly true at the moment. We’re working on rectifying that.
There is a clearance page that lists new old stock, items that are discontinued perhaps, or ones that maybe just never sold very well. Keep an eye out for some good deals there. We have a used equipment page too, and it will be an enormous task to keep that properly up-to-date since we have so much used and consignment gear in our store to list at the moment.
Other areas of our new website list our rental gear, there is an events page that will detail upcoming events or trade-shows that we are hosting or are involved with, and the newsletter page contains not only our current newsletter, but an archive of virtually all of our newsletters going all the way back to late 2001! There is an articles section, also a work-in-progress, where we will be posting tutorials, tips, how-to’s and other articles that might be of interest to our customers. Not only new work, but we may also transfer a few specific articles of note from some of our archived newsletters, or from our previous blog, just to make them easier for people to find.
And of course there is a new blog section where staff members will write about new products and announcements, discuss upcoming events, showcase some recent product tests of interest and more. Our old Google-hosted blog will remain, and there is a link to it on the new site, but apart from posting this to both the old and new blogs, the old one will no longer see any updates. There is much to explore on our new website, so feel free to poke around and see what products, articles or imagery might interest you!
So… if you’ve made it this far, congratulations and thank you for your attention… but perhaps read on just a little more…
It’s not Friday!
Launching an all-new website is serious business, but for those of you who know us, well… we aren’t always all that serious, right?! So how about a little contest! We have a huge number of products listed on our website already and by and large, they are grouped logically to help you better find what you might be searching for. Well, we have a bunch of “FRI” products as well (no, that doesn’t mean “Friday”) and, well, that grouping might seem a little… less than logical, perhaps even downright strange once you see what’s all in there. So, here’s the deal: the first three (3) people who contact us after figuring out what a FRI product is, and also what FRI actually stands for, will each get their choice of either one free sensor cleaning (worth $60) or a rental coupon for $100 that can be used towards anything from our extensive rental dept! Please don’t call us asking for hints or clues though. One reason for this contest is to encourage people to browse our new website, so get to it!
Lastly, feel free to really poke and prod our new website, explore all of its nooks and crannies, and please let us know what you think… and maybe even win a little prize in the process! Also, if you see something out of place, a broken link, a glitchy image, or something doesn’t make sense or work as expected (there’s bound to be something, but hopefully not too many somethings!), please do let us know as well, either by calling or sending us an email on our contact page. Since this site still needs work -for example the tablet and smartphone presentation is less than ideal- we certainly expect to be fixing things. We are looking forward to any and all feedback… enjoy!
Update (March 2022): Well even after all these years (about four and a half) since our new website launch, nobody has ever claimed a prize for this little contest, nor even attempted to contact us (at least that I’m aware) with a guess on what an “FRI” product is. I suppose the reference was too obscure to figure out and that is on me, so apologies for the head-scratcher! An FRI product is one that has a Fun Rollover Image (Google “rollover image” here). When you go to this link to display products tagged as FRI on our site (opens in new browser window or tab)…
… and then hover your mouse over each product thumbnail image (move it back and forth, on and off the product image), you’ll see the image change. The lenses in particular are fun, the happy bouncy 85mm and the flexy tilt-shifts, the Profoto reflector seems to stretch when poked, and the film box squishes down from 35mm to 120… well sheesh, at least I am amused by all that! But then I guess my sense of humour can be a touch simplistic at times, haha. There are far fewer FRI products listed now than there were originally since many items have been discontinued or updated in the meantime. So there… the mystery is solved. I’m sure many people were eagerly watching this page for an update! Okay, probably more like zero people, LOL. Oh well. I have been updating our website and fixing many broken image links due to a huge update we did on our site recently, and came across this page again and though I should finally cast some light on this mystery. Cheers!
Manager, Digital Imaging Dept.