Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

I design unique and cutting-edge websites for wedding photographers.

I was once a wedding photographer myself with over 1,500 weddings under my belt. I have since retired from that very active and creative business. I now design fully custom websites for wedding photographers.

I know how important it is for you to show your best work on this live portfolio store front. I have a number of tricks, strategies and idea’s that will set your website apart from other wedding websites. The website I design is not a template but something I design from the ground up with your input.

Your images are a BIG deal…

… that is what sets you apart from other photographers, but I can show them in the best way possible through the use of cutting-edge web design. I like to integrate your business social media in unique ways that links your work forward and backward, so you can get the most mileage out of all your photography.

I set up a blog inside your website and teach you the best way to use this amazing tool to drive traffic to your website on a regular basis. SEO is a big deal there also as well as tagging all your photographs with the right focus keywords.

I can also set up the best SEO (search engine optimization) strategies and integrate them into each and every page of the website as well as each image that you post to a blog or website page. After all, what is the point of having a beautiful most amazing website if it cannot be found on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

I have a degree in graphic arts…

… and I use these skills in the process of designing the website but also logo and other business-related material to help your photography business grow.

If you have an existing website that needs help or looks old and dated I can redesign it a bring in all these techniques with me. I only design websites on WordPress because I feel it’s the best platform in use today. 

The following sections or segments are from a real wedding photographers website. Everything is functional if you click on the individual parts.

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers
Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers
Website Designer Wedding Photographers

The these three images are not just photographs but also link to different parts to the website. The first two, Weddings and Engagements, will take you to a carrousel of images that this photographer is displaying of their best work.

Custom Web Design for Photographers
Custom Web Design for Photographers
Custom Web Design for Photographers

The third one, Featured Weddings takes you to a page that has photo links that will connect to different photo blog articles of whole complete weddings at different venues that the photographer has taken. This is a great way of killing two birds with one stone. You all ready use your blog to show whole individual weddings, why not advertise it right on a website page.

Like I said before, I am a graphic artist so I have used this knowledge to design these text / photo modules as links.    

The long wide image directly above…

…is called a rotating slider. We use it to not only display some very cool wedding photographs but also of testimonies that the photographer has received from the bride and groom. We also have a a separate website page with many more testimonies but we also like to sprinkle a few here and there through out the site on different pages.    

Find Us on

Instagram and Pinterest  

By clicking each image below connects to its counterpart on Instagram or Pinterest. You can read more on the background of that image there.

Custom Web Design for Photographers
Photographer Website Designer
Phoenix wedding photography
Photographer Website Designer
Wedding Photography Web Designer
Best Phoenix wedding photography
Wedding Photography Web Designer
Best Phoenix wedding photography
Phoenix wedding photography
Photographer Website Designer
Wedding Photography Web Designer
Photographer Website Designer

These square images above are linked to this photographers Instagram and Pinterest account. Each image links to its counterpart on those social media. Each one gives a much more detailed explanation about where that image was taken and the story behind it.

You need to set up these business social media accounts in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube anyway to promote your wedding photography so why not set up a great visual photo link to display your work right on a website page.

These 3 different examples will give you an idea of the creative cutting edge ideas we use to design awesome wedding photographer websites. We have many, many more. 

If you have any questions about our graphic and website design business, please give us a call or email us. We would love to hear about you website ideas. 

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Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Website Designer Wedding Photographers

Custom Web Design for Photographers

Wedding Photography Web Designer

Photographer Website Designer

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

Sometime we need to tell a stronger visual story than is available with standard color or black and white photographs.

We want something to “jump” off the page in our image and grab the attention of the viewer and hold it.

If you do, I have something for you.

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist
Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

As a graphic artist and photographer, I employed something that I feel is part of both worlds. It is a technique I learned a few years ago when I would process wedding photographs that I had taken.

I call it “Painting with Color”.

I have used this photography skill many times when I have designed newsletter and websites because it does demand attention from the viewer.

It’s like underling a word in a sentence to make sure the reader does not sail on by. Some images take on a surreal eerie effect that stumps the senses.

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist
Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist
Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

The manipulation is done in Photoshop and is not hard at all.

First you will want to pick a suitable image. Something that will have a sharp contrast going from color to black and white.

 Not all photographs work and some better than others.

As you play with the tools you will get a better feel of what to look for in the way of an image to use.

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist
Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist
Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

I have made a step-by-step video on YouTube detailing how use this technique on your own photography. Click the link below to view it.

Happy painting.

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

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  1. Open an image in Photoshop. Make sure the “Layer” pallet is open so you can keep an eye on it throughout this whole process. If it’s not open, go to the top > Window > Click layers
  2. You will also want to make sure the “History” pallet is open and can find that in the same place as the layer pallet.
  3. Now the magic begins.
  4. Make a second layer of the image by dragging the first layer into duplicate layer tool located at the bottom of layer pallet. It looks like the paper with fold on it (to the left of the trash can).
  5. You will now be working on the top color image in the layer. That is the image that will be turned into B&W while the bottom image stays color. When you paint that part of the B&W it will give way to the color image below in just that spot only.  
  6. To change the color image on top to B&W, highlight the top image in layer. Go to top > Image > Adjustments > Black & White. Now adjust the B&W using the tool pallet that will show up. Adjust the B&W to the best way that you like it. This is important to make a good B&W because that part of the image that will stay B&W will be most the image.
  7. Now you want to click “add layer mask”. That is also located at the bottom of layer pallet. It looks like an image with a BIG hole in it. This tool will then allow you to paint to the color image below. You will notice a white image will appear next to the B&W on the top layer.
  8. Remember this saying: White reveals, Black conceals. That is what you will want to remember as you move forward.
  9. Now you will want to select the eraser tool in the main tool pallet. If you do not know what that tool is just hover over each tool for a second and a pop up will show which one of the tools are.
  10. When that tool is open, you can the adjust the size of the tool by going to the top and change the brush size. On a Mac computer, the shortcut is the two bracket buttons to the right of the letter P. That is also where you change the mode, opacity and flow. I make the mode: brush and leave the Opacity 100% and Flow 100%.
  11. Remember when I said white reveals and black conceals? To switch back and forth on that tool go back to the main tool pallet and down below you will see two screens with an arrow pointing to both. You will want to make one black and one white. By clicking the double arrow it will switch which one is on top and regulating what the brush is doing.
  12. White will reveal what is on the bottom layer. In this case, it’s the color below. If you made a mistake and painted too much area you can switch to black and it will turn that part back to B&W. Very cool.
  13. Make sure you use the magnifying glass and make the image BIGGER so you can do fine detail. That will give your finished image more believability.
  14. You can leave this image in the layer form when you save it because it will make a Photoshop Document (PSD) file out of it. That way you can go back and work on it some more if you wish. You will also want to make a .JPG so you can share it with others and you can do that by making a “Save As” and clicking .jpg.

 

Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist

Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window

Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window

Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window

You really do have many photo opportunity outside your window be it a car or home or office or just about any window you can think of.

It is really a window of opportunity.

In my case its my computer room and it has a window that faces the street. I gaze out it from time to time as I work on different digital projects. It keeps me connected to the outside world.

I can watch clouds role in and out and keep visual track of the weather. I can also keep visual track of people walking by and cars going up and down the street.

That is a BIG deal for someone like me who works off their computer so many hours every day. I do not feel like I am in a cave and so isolated like many people that work from home have a tendency to feel.

There are two trees outside my window. One is fairly BIG and bent near the base. I have watched many birds make their home in the tree as well as forage on the bark for insects. I have even seen a woodpecker or two pound away. I have even seen people walking their dog stop and let the dog do its business at the base of it.

None of that prepared me for what I saw a few days ago…

Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window
Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window
Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window

Out of nowhere, a neighborhood kid ran up the side of the bent part of the tree and launched himself into the wild blue yonder. Stunned me at first.

He did it again and then again. By the time I recovered from my shock of his acrobatics, he was gone. It was a site to behold but my only regret at the time was that I did not get a photograph of him doing this stunt.

Great photo historian I am I remember thinking. I missed a great photo opportunity outside my window.

Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window
Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window
Photo Opportunity Outside Your Window

He did it again a few days later but this time I was ready and I yelled at him from my window to hold on because I wanted to get some shots and maybe a video of him doing this aerial feat. I grabbed my iPhone 6s and caught up with him outside my window.

I have been a professional photographer for over 40+ years but I do not shoot much with DSLR anymore since I concentrate on being a graphic artist and web designer now in my new creative life. Plus that darn cell phone takes some amazing images and video’s at the drop of a hat if you know how to use it correctly.

It can be an amazing tool in a pro’s hands. That and the fact that it is so portable and convenient. I am ALL about portable and convenient these days.

The kid was all about showing off for me and the fact that someone was paying attention to him and wanted to take images of him. I had him repeat his stunt a number of times for me as I shot individual frames in high speed like in motor drive from a DSLR but I also shot slow motion video. I figured it would give me chance to try a couple of different techniques with my iPhone 6s

I guess the whole point of this article is that we have opportunities all around us to capture many great images if you just keep your eyes open and your cell phone close. We really do have photo opportunity outside your window.

Pull Your Hair Out Issue With Adobe Illustrator

Pull Your Hair Out Issue With Adobe Illustrator

Pull your hair out issue with Adobe Illustrator

Pull your hair out issue with Adobe Illustrator

I had a BIG issue with the new Adobe Illustrator 2017 up-date that made me want to pull what little hair I have, OUT.

I build beautiful websites for people and small business.

I like to use my graphic art skills to make them beautiful so when I started to upload images for a new website for a landscape photographer that I was designing for, I ran into a problem I had not in counted before.

Even though I have also been a photographer for many years and have used Photoshop since forever, I use Illustrator to make sliders, backgrounds with text and many graphics for websites.

When you are trying to combine Photographs with text, Illustrator is just the best way to go. This is what it was built to do.

Photoshop can do it also but it is much harder. It was never really designed to use and add text in a easy efficient way.

SOOOOOoooooo…..

When I designed a slider (narrow photograph) for the top of the website that would rotate with other sliders, something strange happened.

I designed the new slider in the usual way. I then turned it into a .jpg. The image looked fine and just like what the photographer took but when I uploaded it onto the WordPress website it was super saturated like the image below.

Not at all like the original image from the photographer as you can see from the image below…

What!!

I remade it thinking I did something wrong. It came out the same way again.

Thinking it was a issue with that particular new WordPress site, I took the image and loaded it on another website. Same thing happened again.

This is crazy I though as I tried to seek out help from the WordPress community. No answers were forthcoming. I took a deep breath and began to think what was different this time around from all the hundreds of images I had designed and put onto WordPress websites before.

I decided instead of making a .jpg I would make and up-load a .png because that format works just as well on websites and the internet.

That one worked and looked great.

Then it hit me!

I had updated my Adobe CC account just a few days before. The updates were from 2015 to the new 2017. Illustrator was one of those programs that was updated.  

I then reloaded 2015 Illustrator back onto my computer and went through the whole process again. The image was created and up-loaded just as it was intended.

No super saturation.

I then contacted a Adobe tech and they had me look at the saturated image in Photoshop and see what mode it was in.

I told them it was in CYMK even though I had asked for RGB in Illustrator.

They then told me it was a known issue with Illustrator 2017 that they are fixing.

I felt good that I had figured out the issue but it took me 3 hours of frustration across a couple of different platforms.

That is why I called this blog “Pull your hair out issue with Adobe Illustrator”

Who knew!

The first river photograph to be used as a slider and saved in CYMK mode. This image is NOT what the photographer wanted. Much to saturated but the colors are also off.

The second river photograph to be used as a slider and saved in RGB mode. This image is just as the photographer wanted.

A river photograph to be used as a slider and saved in RGB mode. This image is just as the photographer wanted.

Remember:

When you are putting images on WordPress or the internet for that matter that the image needs to be in RGB. That was something I knew from my graphic arts classes but I had no idea the new Illustrator 2017 was not making it when I asked it for.

CYMK mode is for when photographs are to be printed on a printer but RGB mode is for photographs to be used on the internet.

I love building websites but you do run into issues that need to be figured out. I am also thankful that there are communities of professionals that I can use to figure out problems and see what is new in my field.

Here are four:

WordPress.org codex: https://codex.wordpress.org/

Wpbeginner: http://www.wpbeginner.com/blog/

Divi nation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiviThemeUsers/

Website Magazine: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/

I also belong to a local WordPress community in my area that I connect through my local meetup group once a month. I also go to a WordPress boot camp in the Phoenix once a year.

Pull your hair out issue with Adobe Illustrator

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

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Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG? Yes, yes and a BIG yes and here is why.

The world of digital photography changes FAST.

It’s a fun and exciting time, with new gadgets coming out all the time.

But as a digital shooter you need to think ahead to the future, and figure out how you can protect your images from the changing times!

If you’re not planning right, you might end up with an archive of images that you can’t even open.

Uh oh. Read on to learn more about this subject, and how you can prevent that from happening to you! 

Now, if you shoot in the RAW file format you may or may not have heard of the Digital Negative (DNG) format. The DNG is an open source RAW file format that was developed by Adobe and released in 2004.

You might want to consider converting your RAW files to the DNG format as it offers some serious benefits!

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

This is where you tell Bridge to convert your RAW file into a .DNG. It will also embed all the information into the .DNG so there is no need for a side car to follow tour RAW file around.

The Benefits Of DNG

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FUTURE COMPATIBILITY

One of the problems in photography right now is that the vast majority of camera manufacturers have their own proprietary RAW formats.

If you shoot Canon you might have noticed your RAW files end with .cr2, or with Nikon it’s .nef.

These proprietary formats might be difficult to read in the distant future since the format hasn’t been openly documented and support from the manufacturer may not always be there.

It’s hard to imagine not being able to open Canon or Nikon files today, but ten or twenty years from now who knows where those companies could be!

Since the DNG format (.dng) is open source anyone can write software to read or write the format.

It’s not limited to Adobe software like Lightroom and Photoshop.

Many different software developers support the DNG format (Apple Aperture for example).

There are also no license restrictions so camera manufacturers could use DNG as their default RAW format instead of their proprietary format.

Some camera manufacturers like Leica and Hasselblad already capture in the DNG format.

If (when) other camera manufacturers adopt a universal format in the future it’s highly likely it will be the DNG.

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Lightroom will also convert your RAW file into a .DNG when you process your image so if you do not do the conversion when you down load images from your camera you can do it here instead.

SMALLER FILE SIZE

DNG files are around 15-20% smaller in file size than proprietary RAWfiles without any loss of quality!

You also have the option to include the original proprietary RAW file in the DNG which effectively doubles the file size – though it’s not really necessary.

If you would like to read the rest of this article go here: Convert RAW to .DNG

 

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

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