My new website is up. And with posting this, so also finally a new blog post. Wow, it has been a slow posting season. You can always catch me on Instagram Twitter or Facebook, where shorter, more regular updates do take place! Normally with pictures.
Anyways, it is not so much the new design of the website that is getting me excited. I use a system called Photobiz, so changing a template requires the press of a button and my site looks new, design-wise. And HTML5, nogal (and Afrikaans word that means “quite, actually, if you can believe it, and a strange mix of these, so not translatable much and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand) . So that (changing the template - in case your head is spinning from all the digressing taking place) hardly induces excitement.
The exciting part is the new content. It took almost two weeks of sifting through hard-drives of the last 5 years and choosing images that I would like to include. And about a year of psyching myself up to get started. I ended up with more than 1000 images, which is not really practical, so I had to whittle it down, and it is still in the couple of hundreds, and ad agency art directors and art buyers are probably now choking on their skinny lattes.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I am a generalist to a large extent. With other words I’m an specialist in photography, not necessarily an expert in photographing coins that date back to Roman times on black cloth. But if you need me to, I’m pretty certain of my abilities producing the required outcome through my 15 years experience in commercial photography. And a degree in photography, but that doesn’t mean much, in my honest opinion. Although because of my degree I can talk at length about the Gestaltian visual principles in play while photographing said coins. I digress, anyways, but that’s to be expected, being so generalist and all. Oh, and before you judge me, industry heavies such as Joe McNally labels himself a generalist. Being a staffer for National Geographic kinda requires that too. Let me also be clear, if you do specialise in one field, then that is awesome. I just don’t really.
The point is that it is difficult to get my portfolio down to that magical number of 30 images like most article writers on this particular topic like to point out. In my experience these writers often have to supplement their photography income by writing articles, which is not the best endorsement of their own portfolios, if you ask me.
Apart from the odd ad agency art buyer, most people I encounter, especially the corporate client who has a range of needs, from events to short videos to product photography to images of Roman coins on black backgrounds, wants to look at one portfolio, and see that they can get everything there. In fact, I have had corporates look at my wedding images, and decide if I can make a bride feel at ease, I’m the man to make their 30 stone CEO feel less body conscious. Also, most people love looking at pictures, and would rather sit and page through your portfolio and call it work than compile the latest marketing budget spend report.
What I’m also rather excited about is the “About Me” section. Normally that is the place where I fall around between self-loathing, self-justifying (much like the tone of this blog post), insecurity, indignant entitlement, modesty and ultimately a biography I can feel uncomfortable with for the next couple of months.
A brilliant quote by Alfred Eisenstaedt just totally turned me on to the idea of rather having “behind the scenes” photos from years past to tell you something about me and my clients and how I approach my work. The quote is along the lines of “You can not click the shutter if you have not clicked with people”. I believe it sums up my view on my work to a large extent. I really do appreciate every person who does business with me.