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Photography Websites – Behind the Scenes

Updated for 2013

I decided to change it up a little today and share my knowledge with you on a vitally important piece of the photography puzzle (or any online business presence for that matter).

I’m talking about photography websites and I’m going to share with you why you need to be smart and choose the best solution for your online photography portfolio.

Photography websites are important for a few reasons:

  • A well designed site will define your brand.
  • It’ll showcase your best work.
  • Customers can find you.
  • It’s your 24/7 marketing machine

That means more customers knocking on your door looking for your services.

You Need To Avoid Flash

With so many different and emerging web technologies, finding the correct solution could be like searching for a needle in a haystack. You want photography websites to look professional, beautiful, and they have to be able to showcase your work well. I’ll say this up front – don’t use Flash!

Use WordPress Instead!

Search engines have a hard time indexing Adobe Flash sites because they’re bundled inside a container that cannot be crawled by the major search engines; yes, the engines are getting better and they can handle Flash to a certain degree, but not like pure HTML.

My advice here is to feed the search engines the language they understand and that’s HTML & CSS. The W3C is moving in the right direction by providing a lot of the pretty Flash functionality into HTML 5 and CSS 3 so it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream. Technologies like jQuery can assist with pretty presentation features such as photograph fades and shadowboxes. I won’t get into too much detail here because this topic is way out of scope for this article, but you have options and most of the heavy lifting is already done for you.

There are technologies out there that will help you build beautiful photography websites. Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal are all extensible and easy to understand content management frameworks that will run circles around any Flash based site. Stick to the basics and don’t reinvent the wheel. Beautiful photography websites are attainable; you just have to be in the know, or at least in the know with the tech savvy. 🙂

Behind the Scenes

Diving into a 365 project has been exciting! It’s been more than just a project, but a way of life. I eat, breathe, and sleep photography and I love every minute of it! I may miss a day or two here and there and that’s okay; the instant this becomes a job is the same time it’s no longer fun. There’s more to this photo-a-day project than meets the eye – at least for me. Let me elaborate and give you a behind the scenes look…

See, I know there are books, tutorials, DVD’s, photography websites, even similar blogs that publish photography tips. The difference is, these publications don’t have my mark on them. It hasn’t been taught with my own unique spin. Maybe you relate to me better than someone else teaching the same subject. If you don’t, that’s okay too – I just hope that in the end, I help a few people along the way.

That’s why I am working on a formal photography tutorial section for this website. My illustrations, my storyboards, my tutorial skeletons, and all the little sticky notes with pointers, insights, and raw material will become your foundation for comprehensive photography lessons. Time consuming, yes, but think of it as my way of giving back.

This is long enough for tonight… I leave you with a photo of some raindrops on a windshield; I tend to do my best work alone in silence while the rain pelts my office window.

Raindrops collect on a car windshield with the rest of the scene out of focus.  You can also see out-of-focus tail lights adding some beautiful colored bokeh to the image.

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