Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Well, the website redesign is underway and things are moving along. The first thing I decided to tackle was the HTML splash page. As my website is Flash based, I need some form of HTML presence in order for my site to be viewable by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Ask, and others. It's also a double edged sword. The HTML splash page needs to be inviting, and create a desire for viewers to actually want to enter the flash based portion of the website.

So here is the challenge: How do you create an inviting HTML splash page for a photography website? The answer, of course, is pictures. You need some sort of showcase of what you, as a photographer, are capable of creating. You use that to create the desire in the viewer to enter the website to see more images, and to find out more about you as an artist and what you provide.

After deciding on some pictures to put on the splash page, I next turned my attention to the graphics. How would the website name appear? How about a logo? Should I use text, or utilize brushes to simulate text? Oh, the pain of the creative. In the end, I decided to go with something that gives a visual representation of the style of photography in which I specialize. I wanted to convey elements of heirloom quality, aesthetic appeal, and elegance. To accomplish that, I drew from the wisdom and experience of those that have been doing this type of thing for a long time.....jewelers. I sampled hundreds of images looking for something to strike a creative spark in my brain. That is where I would find what I needed: Elegance, style, and quality all combined. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw it in a pair of monogrammed cuff links. Simple, but effective, with a base of Onyx offset by my initials in platinum and surrounded in a gold border. Perfect! Now I had to recreate it.

As a photographer, I've found so many uses for Photoshop. I know that Adobe charges an arm and a leg for this program, but it is definitely worth it. With this one program, I can design my logo and name, create the pictures to put on the splash page, but it will also format it into an HTML page for me! What more could I ask for? So after a few attempts, I found the combination of text fonts, embossing, and color to give me something that I was happy with. A couple quick clicks, and I had my HTML splash page. Groovy, baby! A few more clicks, and I had my favicon (the little logo that shows up on the address bar next the the website URL) done as well. I would have liked to have the favicon match the logo design, but no matter what I tried I could get the gold/platinum look to be legible on white. If I put it on a black background all I could see in the 16x16 pixel box was a black square. So, in the end I was left with just putting my initials in black on a white background. Oh well, it will do for now.

Next on the to do list is the website content. I think I'll save the gallery updates for last. I've got a lot of good pictures to choose from, but one thing is for certain is that over the years my photographic style has evolved. I need to make sure that what I put in the gallery is cohesive and presents a unified theme. So, for now, I'll start with the updates to the price list and about us pages.