It's relatively simple to create a website for yourself; even if you haven't got the hosting business down, head over to Tumblr and you can post photos, share your thoughts, and inflict cat videos on the rest of the world with mind-bending simplicity. The only barrier to entry is an internet connection and in the circumstances, that's not really a barrier at all.
An app on the other hand, is a far more complicated beast to create that usually has a pricetag to match, reflective of the hours of work required to put into one. New York-based Kleverbeast doesn't think it should be exclusive, either in terms of cost or ability to create one. It has, therefore, devised a series of app templates that you can customise for your needs. It aims to cater to a variety of different creatives, but when it comes to photographers, it's suggesting showcasing your portfolio and even building in monetisation options, for example print sales.
As the Kleverbeast team puts it: 'You can make apps that look like Flipboard but with prices that you'll find at H&M.'
The basic package costs $29 a month; the pro package is $199 per month and allows for multiple editions and in-app commerce. There's also an option for something entirely customised, with an accordingly entirely customised price.
Creating a Kleverbeast app is a relatively simple drag-and-drop process that can be customised with a few clicks. You might be creating an app to a template, but it's fairly easy to pull together something that looks different from anyone else.
You can check out Kleverbeast's introductory video:
The question that I keep coming back to, though, is 'Is an app the best way for a photographer to display her or his portfolio?' If I were, for example, to be perusing the market for a wedding photographer (I'm absolutely not, by the way), I wouldn't want to have to download an app for every photographer who caught my eye. I'd just want to be able to get a flavour for their work: if I liked it, I could get in touch; if I didn't, I could close a browser tab and move on. Apps are wonderful for return visitors, and therefore ideal for news sites and completing your weekly grocery shop, but are somewhat redundant for single or infrequent visits.
I'm not sure then, that $29 per month for the basic package, with an additional $250 fee if you want help to navigate the App Store approval process, is worth the expenditure. If I'm missing something obvious, though, do pipe up because I love the idea of someone being able to simply and quickly build their own app.