Give Your Photos a Home: Starting Your Photography Website on a Platform That Best Suits You

Give Your Photos a Home: Starting Your Photography Website on a Platform That Best Suits You

As an aspiring photographer, you may be regularly posting photos on places like Facebook, Instagram or Flickr, but those places aren’t really called “your website”, and you shouldn’t be building your photography home on “rented land”, i.e. platforms that you have no control over. Hence, if you still don’t have your website, getting it setup is your best next move. But, who should you host your website with? Well, it depends what you want.

For Photo Blogging

If your main purpose is photo blogging, with no plan of scaling up (e.g. selling prints, starting workshops, etc.), you can sign up with a platform like Tumblr or WordPress.com for free. They have quite a number of photography themes (i.e. templates) to choose from, so you should be able to find the one you love.

For Selling Photography Prints

If you want to sell photography prints on your own website, signing up with services like SmugMug or Zenfolio is your best option. It’s not free, but they let you host a website with a built-in print on demand store that handles printing and shipping for you. These platforms are made solely for photographers and let you focus on what matters most to photographers, i.e. taking photography, and you can leave all the rest for them to handle. I’d probably have signed up with one of these services if I had not started my website with self-hosted WordPress which I’ll talk about next.

Going Beyond Photo Blogging and Selling Photography Prints

If you’re aiming to scale up and do much more than photo blogging and/or selling prints (e.g. starting a photography business, running workshops and letting participants book and pay online, running online courses and creating members-only protected pages with login feature, etc.), self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org ) is your go-to platform.

Don’t get mixed up with the aforementioned WordPress.com which is a free blogging platform (I know this always confuses people!). Self-hosted WordPress is a content management system that you need to install on a web server by purchasing a web hosting plan (USD100 or less a year) with a hosting company like Bluehost and manage your theme and plugins updates by yourself.

No need to be techy to manage self-hosted WordPress website, though, as many web hosting companies offer one-click installation and there’s no coding skill required to run a self-hosted WordPress website. That said, being techy helps if you’re like me who wants to customize the look and feel and function of your website to the finest details by editing HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript, as self-hosted WordPress is the only platform mentioned here that lets you have full control from beginning to end.

So, what do you choose? Once again, it depends what you want, but I’d like to encourage you to start a photography website if you still don’t have one yet. I’m sure your fun will be doubled (photography + your own website)! As always, feel free to Contact Me for any questions. ;)

2017 Plans and Hopes

2017 Plans and Hopes

Happy New Year to you all! I’m already feeling excited about numerous local photography outings here in Singapore and a few overseas trips that are ahead of me in the next 12 months. I always have this itch to work hard on my hobby and try to get as much done as possible! As with last year, let me list my plans this year to hold myself accountable.

NO. 1: Expand my current eBooks on Long Exposure Photography and/or Singapore Cityscape Photography Guide, or release a new eBook (probably about Brunei mosque photography)
NO. 2: Sell prints and digital downloads of my photos on this website
NO. 3: Continue to share my experience and add value to those who are interested in cityscape photography at twilight and dusk
NO. 4: Post 50 satisfactory photos on my Tumblr
NO. 5: Improve PHP coding skills

As for NO. 2, every few years I get obsessed with this idea of selling prints and downloads online even though I’m utterly aware that there is no such demand! That said, it’s also true that selling prints and downloads is no harm unless it becomes too much a hassle to manage the online store. I’ll see how it goes, but want to give a shot at it this year.

NO. 3 is more like a long term goal, something I’m committed to achieving by writing good contents. I always believe in organic growth, i.e. if I write good contents, people will share them because people are intrinsically wired to share value with others. In 2017, I’m hoping to reach more people, and I’ll try to do it by adding real value to the contents of this little space online. ;)

As always, feel free to Contact Me for any feedback or questions. Wishing you all the best in 2017!

2016 Plans and Hopes

2016 Plans and Hopes

Happy New Year to you all! Another year has started!! Excited and determined, but will see how long this uplifted mood can last. There will be ups and downs in the next 12 months for sure, but what matters at the end of the day is continuity (talking to myself here!).

There are many things I want to get done this year, and as with last year, I’ll list my top 5 plans and hopes for 2016 to hold myself accountable.

NO. 1: Complete writing all chapters for twilight and dusk photography tutorials and create an eBook out of it
NO. 2: Create an eBook on Singapore cityscape photography guide (i.e. where to shoot from)
NO. 3: Make my website retina display compatible
NO. 4: Post 50 satisfactory photos on my Tumblr
NO. 5: Start learning PHP coding skills

Not sure if I’m too ambitious here, but I’ll try my best to make more progress this year!

Outside this website, I’m just an ordinary husband and relatively new dad working 9-to-5 and feeling stressed out from time to time, just like everybody else. Photography was primarily for my self-satisfaction and escape, but 2015 took a turn to develop this website to be a resource for twilight and dusk photography. I’m nobody, but hoping to be a help those of you interested in twilight and dusk photography but haven’t started yet, just like me back in 2009.

So, stay tuned for more photos and contents to come in the next 12 months. Wish you all the best in 2016!

2015 Plans and Hopes

2015 Plans and Hopes

Happy New Year to you all!

Since I started my Tumblr photo blog last July, I’ve spent tens of hours customizing its theme to perfect my very tiny space online, then suddenly wondering what I’m doing that blog for. This sickness is typical of me, and the reason my previous blogging gigs have never lasted long. I still don’t know where I’m heading, but let me list my plans and hopes for 2015 to hold myself accountable.

NO. 1: Create a free eBook for Tumblr tips or dusk photography guide
NO. 2: Make my Tumblr and main website mobile responsive
NO. 3: Create my own Tumblr custom theme and release to public
NO. 4: Design LASTLIGHTS.NET t-shirt

At first, my Tumblr blog started purely for my self-satisfaction. It largely remains same today, but these days I’m thinking a bit more about how I can help those of you taking time to consume my contents. Not sure if there is any demand of me writing eBook about dusk photography, etc. but I’ll still be happy to do if I can help even one person on this planet!

Other than that, well, I must head out to take photos a lot more often as I’m always lacking of decent photos to post. I’m aiming to post 50 photos on Tumblr in 2015, but that’s almost one a week, which I guess is too ambitious for someone who has taken less than 40 photos that can be called favourites in the past 5 years. I’ll try my best to go as close as possible, though!

Hope you’ll all have a blast in 2015. ;)

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