For the last year or so, I've been wanting to redo my website completely. The previous platform that I was using didn't have a few features that I wanted and I felt that I needed a fresh start.
So, armed with oodles of patience and time, I finally decided to take the plunge and spent the last couple of months building it from the ground up. Here's what I've learnt:
1. A Website Requires Regular Attention
It's only when I started backing up items from my old website that I realized how quickly things can get out of hand. Between albums that weren't looking so great in hindsight and a few inconsequential blog posts, my old website looked like an untended garden full of weeds. Redoing it felt like a spring cleanup.
2. You Need a Clear Vision
It's important that you ask yourself what your website is about.
Is it only a place to showcase your work?
If so, how is it different from your social handles?
How many pictures? What size?
How do you want to present them?
Do you want to use it to sell your pictures? Or workshops?
Do you want to write blog posts? If so what about?
The answers to these questions gave me my starting point.
For me, it was all of the above: I wanted a place where I had full creative control on how to display my pictures, not feeling constrained by the limits that social media forces upon us.
I also realized that I wanted to write about photography and share the knowledge that I have accumulated but needed my own place to do it.
And if I can sell a few pictures down the line, then that's a bonus!
3. A Website Builder Platform is not a Panacea
No matter how easy these platforms are to use, you still need to put in the work: between the SEO, the hyperlinks, the way the website looks on different platforms, there are a lot of small details that can make or break the user experience. The attention to details is really important!
4. It's a great way to connect with your work.
Not only is it a much better way to show your vision to your viewers but a website is also a great way for you to take stock of your work. I, for instance, work a lot in small sets. I find it more rewarding than standalone images. A website is a nice way to put these series together and see how the images and the flow feel. It can also help take your work forward by giving you insights on what's missing.
5. A Website is a Living Entity
I am reemphasizing the first point made above. A website is not a one-off endeavor. Once it is up, you need to keep it active. For me, I will do that by putting my new albums in this platform first and especially by writing blog posts. I did a poll recently and there seems to be quite a lot of interest in various topics!
So here we are now. My new website is up and running. I have published a few of my albums. I have a store with a few pictures for sale and now I am writing my first blog post. Go explore, there is a lot of good stuff here!
My aim is to write every fortnight on the various topics mentioned above and to create a conversation around street photography. There is so much amazing work out there and through this platform, I aim to spread my knowledge and love of the genre. I also look forward to learning all kinds of new stuff from readers and fellow photographers along the way!
I hope that you will enjoy the ride with me! To avoid missing any future blog posts, just subscribe to my mailing list and receive them on your email as soon as they are published.
Finally, since this is a photography blog, let me share a sneak peak of the latest album I am working on: "Strange Encounters in 2021", an album of some of the weird things I have seen during my walk.
Stay tuned & safe!