It has been a long time coming but the newly redesigned Fstoppers.com has finally become a reality! The biggest change coming to the website is an active community run by YOU - our readers. Today marks the first public release of the new site design and hopefully you are as excited to become a part of this community as we are!
So what exactly is the Fstoppers Community? Back when Lee and I first came up with the idea of Fstoppers, we wanted to create a community of photographers, videographers, and creative professionals that both inspired and educated our readers. Little did we know that 4 years later, Fstoppers wouldn't just be a tiny little blip on the internet but instead, it would become one of the largest photography based websites in the world! Even though we have made it a priority to feature as many artists on here as possible, one thing was still missing: the active voice of our readers. Below are a few of the highlights being implemented in the new website launching in the next week.
Fstoppers Home Page
No one likes it when their favorite website completely changes the layout and makes it impossible to navigate. With the new Fstoppers home page, we wanted to keep the articles front and center just as they always have. You can still follow your favorite Fstoppers Writers, scroll through the week's news stories, and find the latest inspiring posts just as you always have. We even kept the rotating Top Stories banner so you can easily find the top trending posts on Fstoppers.com. With our new cloud servers, Fstoppers should load faster than ever and handle even more traffic at peak hours. Sorry Jean Claude Van Damm, no more kicks to the face!
The Fstopppers Store
Over the last 3 years, Lee and I have personally produced 4 full length digital tutorials that are for sale in the Fstoppers Store. These acclaimed tutorials from the likes of Peter Hurley and Mike Kelley have played a big part in allowing us to hire on our staff of FS writers as well as continue to push Fstoppers.com into the community it has become. It has been extremely rewarding hearing the success stories of photographers young and old as they venture into new fields such as wedding photography or headshot photography. With the new Fstoppers Store, we have vowed to continue tracking down the top photographers in their field and produce extended tutorials that everyone can benefit from.
The Fstoppers Community
The most exciting new feature of the Fstoppers redesign is by far the Fstoppers Community. For the first time, Fstoppers readers can register for an account and create their own portfolio directly on the site! Once a member of the community, you will be able to leave comments on articles, write messages on other photographers' portfolios, ask questions about specific images, and even network through our private messaging system.
If you are needing a dose of inspiration, you can browse the community photos by Most Popular, Newest, or Top Rated. If you love the work of a particular photographer, click their profile and follow them for updates to their portfolio. You can also build custom lists to group photos you find interesting and want to revisit.
Rate the Community Photos
When I first started posting my photographs online, I often found it tough to get a real gauge on how others perceived my work. With the new community rating system, you can browse images and give them a rating based on their aesthetic value. All voting is anonymous unless you vote a photograph 4 stars or higher. Voting trolls beware; if you rate an image completely opposite of the general community average, your karma score will be impacted negatively.
Speaking of Karma, everything you do on Fstoppers will result in your overall Karma Score. Some of the actions that affect Karma are commenting on articles, up and down voting other user's comments, rating community photos, building a portfolio, building lists, and just being overall active in the community.
Karma points will play a large role in future features of the site, and ranking high in Karma will place your portfolio in front of 100,000s of photographers both on the Community Page as well as directly on the Fstoppers.com home page! Karma points are extremely fluid so if you constantly troll users and images, remain inactive on the community, or do other negative actions, your overall score will diminish. Our hope is that the most active readers of Fstoppers will not only be recognized for their involvement in the community but will also get a boost in self promotion for their own personal work.
We have been working on the new Fstoppers website and Community for the last 12 months, and we are so excited to finally see this latest addition come to live. Our hope is you our readers will not simply be passive spectators but rather you will become active participants in this amazing photography community. The images and portfolios already on the community are simply amazing and I'm glad to finally be able to put a face and name with the unbelievable talent we have met over the last 4 years! Cheers and thanks for making this website and community the greatest personal achievement of my life!