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Desert Dolphin, Version 2.0 Now AvailableNew Web site and twice the number of images (June 21, 2004)
Desert Dolphin, Inc., the Colorado stock photo agency, http://desertdolphin.com announced several new innovations today, starting with a totally new website that has twice the number of images as their previous site. The new site, which features Flash driven navigation, may be the most photo-buyer-friendly site to hit the internet. In addition to the standard things that professional buyers expect, like custom lightboxes, the new site offers an exclusive Top Pix selector as well as several new ways to browse through images.
Perhaps the most interesting of these is the "Browse by Color" page. The user sees a simple spectrum, just a thin band of rainbow. When one clicks anywhere on this color bar, images that are predominately that color show up.
"Even though we never planned this as a serious search tool," says Desert Dolphin co-founder, Paul Ambrose, "the response has been overwhelming! People love to play with it, and it usually leads them into several other areas as they enlarge images and follow keyword trails."
Users can also browse through a Photographers' Gallery and get acquainted with the work of individual shooters, then click to see all the work of any photographer.
The new site has a wonderfully fluid feel and is extremely fast.
"Flash is really efficient when properly designed into a navigation system." says Ambrose. "And, since the site is aimed at the top professionals, we wanted to reduce load times to the bare minimum."
Desert Dolphin has also dropped their Flat Fee pricing system in favor of a powerful new online calculator that can figure a precise licensing fee based on the exact usage specified.
"One-size-fits-all pricing just wasn't workable." explains Ambrose, "We were spending all our time on the phone with customerss who had other needs. With the new calculator, they'll never pay for more than they need. And, they can get a price on Sunday night at 11 pm."
Desert Dolphin also offers very generous, watermark-free comp images, just for registering on the site. When asked about the unusually clean comp images, co-founder and president, Lindamarie Ambrose said, "We had to make a choice between photographer paranoia and customer service. In our focus groups, the most common complaint photo buyers had was that they feel treated like criminals every time they visit a stock photo site. Because Paul and I have both worked in the advertising industry, we understand that frustration. We want to make their job as easy as possible."
Desert Dolphin's image collection can only be described as eclectic. Since their debut in January, 2002, the founders have insisted that their photographers submit only images that they really love, rather than what they think will sell. This has resulted in one of the most unique offerings of original photographic ideas on the internet.
Today, Desert Dolphin represents 30 photographers from around the world.
In developing the new website, the Ambroses worked closely with i-magination.net, a web development company headquartered on the big island of Hawaii, that specializes in e-commerce sites for photographers.
"These guys are great!" says Paul, "Even though we handed them some challenges they hadn't seen before, they worked through everything beautifully and contributed solid ideas throughout the process. Their command of their craft is superb and you couldn't find a more positive group of folks to work with."
When asked what the future holds for Desert Dolphin, Paul replied, "We have a lot of ideas that we want to incorporate into the website. Basically we're talking about new ways for art directors to cruise for ideas. One is based upon whether they feel left-brain or right-brain today. Others will involve unique interactions of words and pictures to stimulate the creative process. We plan to have a whole new set of innovations in place by the end of this year."
For more information visit http://desertdolphin.com.
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