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. ;)

Looking Back 2016: Slow but Steady Progress

Looking Back 2016: Slow but Steady Progress

It’s so fast that 2016 is ending soon! I know I’m saying this every year! This is my most favourite time of the year as the whole world slows down and lets me have a bit of break from my 9-to-5 work. Well, I hope it does…

As with last year, let me revisit the goals I set out at the start of the year.

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

NO. 1: Half-done. I’ve finished posting all 8 chapters online (start from Chapter 1: What Is Twilight and Dusk Photography if you’re interested), but haven’t been able to create an eBook yet. I’m still keen on this idea, but considering my perfectionist nature, it’ll probably take another year to complete.

NO. 2: Done! Back in August, I released a free 6 page eBook (PDF) titled Singapore Cityscape Photography Guide that includes top 3 spots to take stunning Singapore skyline photos and detailed info on how to get to these top photography spots. Thank you for those who opted in and downloaded! Interested? Find more details and grab your copy here.

NO. 3: Done!! This is probably the most self-satisfying achievement in 2016. I simply resaved all my images as 2x by default and resize them to the original size for both non-retina and retina devices. If you’re interested, there’s a good reading about this topic: A guide for creating a better retina web .

NO. 4: I narrowly missed on this. I’ve posted a total of 45 photos on Tumblr this year. This is much more than 35 photos posted in 2015, so I’m fairly satisfied although I missed the target. ;)

NO. 5: I’ve started but found the learning curve from HTML & CSS (which I’m comfortable with) to PHP very steep. Quite honestly, I have no clue what I’m doing…! Well, I won’t give up just yet, though.

Doing My Best with Whatever Little Free Time

Looking back, 2016 has been a year of slow but steady progress. I guess I’ve done my best with whatever little free time I was left with to go take photos and create contents for this website. I wish I could’ve spent much more time on my passion, but real life comes first (I guess this is same for everyone).

Still, hobbies are a big part of my life, something I can’t live without. I’d work around other commitments in life and continue to share my experience and knowledge with fellow aspiring photographers on this little space online where the heart of my passion lies!

Happy holidays to all and I’ll be back very soon!

Step up My Game in Photography

Step up My Game in Photography

This story goes back to several weeks ago when searching for photos of Kuala Lumpur (a.k.a. KL), Malaysia, as we were planning a short family holiday over a long weekend. Then, I came across a local photographer’s blog full of beautifully captured cityscape shots of KL. In there, he also talks about how he started taking his photography more seriously in 2012 and dedicated all his free time to improve his game.

The statement hit me quite a bit, as I can’t say that I’ve dedicated as much free time into photography as I’d have liked. I started photography in 2009, a few years earlier than him, and though I may have a few decent photos, my photos are still miles away from top-notch, to be honest. Yes, photography for me is nothing but self-satisfaction and I don’t need to compete with anyone, but I do want to improve my game.

Shifting the Focus to Improving My Photography

When I look back on the past years, I’ve probably spent way more time coding WordPress and Tumblr themes to create websites that showcase my photos, rather than going out and shooting with my camera. Well, I love web design and coding (my another hobby), but what I was doing was like building a beautifully designed restaurant that serves average food, I must admit…

So, here I am declaring that I’m going to shift the focus to improving my photography, not perfecting my coding skill! I’ll do what it takes to prove it to myself in time, cos I’m now publicly stating this to hold myself accountable. ;)

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