So this is a little embarrassing…

July 21, 2017

You know that old saying about the cobbler whose own family doesn’t have any shoes? Yeah… that’s me.

I have been building and managing web sites for the “day job” since college — which is enough years ago to have been before “blogging” was even a thing — but this is actually my first web site and blog for my own photography business. Yikes! Okay, okay… technically, that’s not entirely true… I have had a Smugmug gallery site for more than 10 years now and it currently houses more than 53,000 personal and client photos totaling in excess of 330GB! (Guess I’ll be hanging on to that account for the foreseeable future!) Smugmug has been good to me and the company is an awesome family-run business and I have routinely recommended them to others, but I had been ready for a more full-featured web site for a while now and it was just a matter of waiting for all the right pieces to come together. And finally, here we are!

Embarrassing part #2 is just how long it took me to complete this process. Some of it I think was just timing in the world of rapidly-changing technology. At first, I couldn’t find a platform for building and hosting that I was 100% happy with. I knew a few years ago when I started this process (yes… a few YEARS, people!) that I wanted something that would give me a good mobile-friendly web site. I knew how frustrated I would get when visiting other photographers’ sites on my iPhone or iPad and they just didn’t work right, so I wanted to avoid that frustration with my own site. I liked what a lot of photographers were building with ShowIt back then, but at the time, ShowIt was still using Adobe Flash and Flash-based sites were not mobile-friendly. Plus, in order to have a blog with a ShowIt web site, you had to purchase additional separate hosting and install WordPress and get a template and plugins and all that jazz. Essentially, you were running two separate sites… No thanks! The alternative then seemed to be a blogsite template built for WordPress, but so many sites using this setup looked like each other and I just didn’t like anything well enough to get started. So I remained stymied…

As I continued to research and try out different web site platforms, I started hearing that ShowIt was completely rebuilding their platform so it would create adaptive, mobile-friendly sites without Flash and come with blog hosting, too. So rather than getting started with something else, I waited for ShowIt 5 to be released… and waited.

ShowIt 5 was finally released in May 2016 and it was everything I had hoped it would be. Problem was, I wasn’t ready myself to actually build the site! I played around with the platform and the free templates it came with trying to learn it and to figure out what I wanted my site to look like and do and then I started shopping templates until I found one that I felt fit my style and my budget. It took a while for the right template to come along because ShowIt 5 was so new and designers were playing catch-up to generate templates for it. I eventually found what I was looking for in The Palm Shop by Davey & Krista Jones and then it was simply a matter of creating all my content and putting it into the site! (Oh, just that!)

So yeah, the content portion ended up taking a bit longer than it probably should have. Between the day job and the photography client jobs I had booked and life in general, the site became a back burner project. But finally, after several binge-working sessions separated by long hiatuses in between, I managed to put something together that I was ready to hit PUBLISH on.

At this point, I don’t know how often I’ll be blogging.  I’ve got some old work I can share and some other topics on my mind, but right now I’m just going to see where this new venture takes me. To those of you who decide to join me on this journey, I humbly thank you for your support. To the past clients who booked me even without a professional marketing web site, I wouldn’t be launching this site without the trust you gave me. And to all the photographers who I’ve followed and learned from these past few years, I’m indebted to you for blazing the trail.

-Erin

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