Archive for the ‘Business’ category


Building the right photo website. Dilemmas and truths.

Finally my new website is LIVE!   By far creating the right website is one of the most important steps for a photographer and to me one of the most difficult and stressful tasks.  The website is your whole image and the best chance you have to catch the attention of a potential client.  I used to have 6 printed portfolios that traveled from agency to agency but rarely I get calls for a book anymore.  Clients will decide on a photographer based on their site, a bad website will get you no work.

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What is a good website?

There are many opinions but my idea of a good website is EASY NAVIGATION, SPEED, CLEAN PRESENTATION, GOOD VIEWING/IMAGE SIZE, GOOD ORGANIZATION and of course GOOD CHOICE OF IMAGES.  The GOOD ORGANIZATION and GOOD CHOICE OF IMAGES is by far the most difficult part and I wish I could say I had it down.  I spent sleepless nights thinking about what galleries I should include in my site and in these galleries what images I should showcase?  With the new website I tried a different approach, with most galleries being photo essays that tell a story (is very possible that by the time you read this blog this could have changed).   I find it much more interesting to look at photo sites that tell stories rather than a sites that have Portfolio 1, Portfolio 2, Portfolio 3, with a bunch of unrelated images.  However, many art directors, art buyers, photo editors or possible clients don’t have time to look at photo essays and they won’t like my approach.  If they have a project and need a good people shooter, they want to look at a site and see a PEOPLE gallery with just people.  Websites organized by specialities, like PEOPLE, LIFESTYLE, BEAUTY, SPORTS, to give a few examples, are the most popular.  Probably a more effective approach than mine but I find it boring and impersonal.  I rather be hired because I told a good story than because I saved somebody a few minutes so  they can spend more time on facebook.
The other important part of GOOD CHOICE OF IMAGES and GOOD ORGANIZATION is to create somewhat of a theme that works together.  If you are a tabletop, studio photographer, you probably don’t want to put a gallery of your latest trip down the Grand Canyon.  If you shot a wedding and got some cool shots don’t put them on your site unless you want to be a wedding photographer.  If you want to shoot some weddings on the side you are better off creating a separate website.  The photographers who specialize are the ones who will have an easier time selling their work. They can focus on selling what they specialize on and it sure makes it easier.  I started my career as a fly fishing photographer.  I could list my potential clients on my fingertips and was easy to go after them.  It was so easy to just put fly fishing images on my site and not worry about anything else.  Now things have changed in my world and a list of obsessions have been added to fly fishing and focusing on very specific subjects is something I struggle with.  There are so many things I do and love to shoot, with different styles, and I find it really hard to pigeonhole myself to one thing.  To me style is nothing but repetition and repetition is a bummer.  Who wants to eat the same thing over and over?  Even if it’s your favorite dessert? So the key is to showcase images, subject matters and styles that work together but always remember why you decided to be a photographer.  You should be passionate about what you photograph and don’t just shoot something because it sells.


Blogging. Why use WordPress.org for dummies.

 Trying to save you from making my mistakes.

This is my FIRST post on WordPress.org and I am pretty excited.  At the end of last year I started my blog using WordPress.com (very important to see the .com detail).  After pressing a bunch of buttons, trying to figure how it all worked, I gave up after the first post “Hello world”.  I let it sit for a while unused, feeling a little overwhelmed by the complicated process.  A few months went by and I had another burst of energy after seeing my photographer friend Jeff Hawe’s blog.  Simple, clean, I liked it immediately. Shortly after seeing the blog I emailed Jeff asking him.

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Blogger

“What do you use for your blog?”.  He replied “Blogger, it’s easy to use and free”  “Easy to use” is all I wanted to hear at that moment.
Now that I learned more about Blogger, easy to use and free would be the only reasons I would use it.  I signed up with Blogger and within hours I was up and running with my new beautiful blog that looked just like Jeff’s but I guess that’s what you get with a free service.  Everything seemed perfect and I started happily blogging away.  Months went by and I quickly realized the limitation of my new dreamy blog.  The slick dynamic template that I was using didn’t allow basic functions like sharing the posts with facebook or adding specific widgets.  They gave you the option of sharing with Google+ but not Facebook. Does anyone use Google + anyway?  Blogger is owned by Google, they prefer shooting themselves on the foot and loosing users t

han giving the share with facebook option on Blogger. I spent days going over the net trying to figure out ways to crack the code to get what I needed and started learning more and more about the limitations you have with blogger. I realized that to have the share options I wanted, I had to change template and crack some more code AND, AND, AND.  Weeks went by, my brain was smoking, my success was limited and I started reading about Worldpress.org.  Finally a Blogger Guru from India named YOGA and a super nice guy who specializes on Blogger Dynamic template emailed me through his blog to let me know that what I wanted to do was not possible with Blogger.  Thanks to YOGA I realized it was time to make the move to Worlpress.org.