This site has been in the works for some time now. Since 2005 I maintained a photoblog to share my photos with friends and family. Lately I’ve felt the need to have a proper photography website with a portfolio of my best work.
Being a web designer certainly helps when it comes to developing a new portfolio site but a new site needs content, in this case photos. This required going through every photo I’ve ever made and choosing the best images. Before I could do this I had to get organized.
I spent years trying to figure out the best digital asset management (DAM) solution for my photography. I read The DAM Book several times. I purchased Lightroom, Aperture and watched video tutorials from The Luminous Landscape on how to manage my photos. Without a doubt, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is the best DAM solution for me.
Taking seven years of photos from Adobe Bridge and organizing them in Lightroom requires a lot of time. Rating your photos, adding keyword metadata, and organizing them into meaningful collections seems to be an endless process but it allows you to find specific types of images very quickly. For the portfolio section of this site it made the most sense to divide my landscape photos into various geographic regions.
Organizing my photo library for this site led to preparing my images for submission to several stock photography sites which require your photos to have titles, captions and keywords so customers can find them through searches. The more time spent keywording and writing accurate descriptions of photos can lead to more sales. Needless to say, a photographer spends maybe 20% of their time behind the lens and 80% behind a computer screen.
CMS or Handcrafted?
I debated which content management system (CMS) to use for this site. I know Movable Type really well but everything is done in WordPress these days, which I’m not familiar with. After reading a blog entry from Yaron Schoen I abandoned the idea of using a CMS altogether. Why hook up a bloated CMS for a site that isn’t going to get updated on a daily basis?
I’m always questioning my web design client’s that think they need a CMS. From experience I know that most clients never get around to updating their own site and in some cases they ask me to update the site for them!
A friend of mine once said that “content management systems are for people that don’t know how to code.” In addition to being a photographer I’m also a web designer that does front-end web development. Hand coding the blog portion of this site should free me up to try custom layouts for some of the blog entries.
Update: this blog is now using WordPress.
Have a look around and come back soon. I’m just getting started. In the coming weeks there will be more photos added to the portfolio section of the site and I have a list of things I want to write about. You can expect to see photography tips, shooting locations, gear recommendations, the business of photography and links to other great photography resources.