I decided to do my first website partly because my studio manager at the time was getting a bit bored, and I thought doing it might engage him. So I said, “Let’s do a website.” He said, “Great! …What’s a website?” And I said, “I don’t know.”
Back then no one really knew. There was no way everyone did it, because pretty much no one had done it. So we had to think about what we wanted this thing to look like and say. We were forced to start with the simple question, What do we want this to do?
Well, I wanted it to show the kind of work I that loved doing, the kind that drew me into photography in the first place, in the hope that someone would pay me to do it.
So we took photos and laid them all around and made piles and more piles. There was a clear connection between jobs and personal work, and I want to make that point. So we combined all the little piles into two big ones, called Work and Soul. And voila! We had our structure for the site…which as it happened was a circle, not a list.
Surfing thus on our ignorance, we made a perfect site for an artistically inclined photographer who also worked for clients. Which was exactly what I was.
The idea of starting with who we were worked. Now there’s a lot more to know about making a site, but looking at who you are, not what you want to appear to be, is still the best starting point.