Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Photographers' sites suck.

So I've recently had a whole flurry of people asking me about photography websites, which is cool – I've done them before, but a bunch of recent developments on the scene (Flickr, SlideShowPro, etc.) have led me to believe that it is now possible to bulid some truly exciting things for this particular industry. This afternoon I started throwing my brain at the question, "What would make the ultimate photography site?" I grabbed my clipboard and started making notes.

After a while, when I had compiled a decent list of blue-sky thinking, I decided to go check out what other photographers were doing. Communication Arts publishes a Photography Annual every year, and at the back of that edition is an index of contact information for each featured artist. I proceeded to spend the next four hours visiting photography sites. This was extremely informative.

Photographers' sites suck.

Now, to be fair, the vast majority of these people spend their time and energy worrying about photography, not web design. That's fine – that's how it should be. But a huge number of the sites I visited tonight were absolute case studies in Flash gone horribly, horribly wrong. There were maybe 15 really excellent sites that I found, and of those only a handful made me really stop and say, "Yes, that's a good idea." The vast majority, however, were dull, slow-loading, broken, extremely outdated, and just plain ugly. Further, none of them ha any of the key features that I'd included in my brainstorming session. This makes me suspect that there is some serious bank to be made creating a professional photographer's system that can be customized for each individual photographer. Work on this begins now.

If any of you (David, Carrie) are interested in helping me develop this baby, let me know!


I'd love to help, but right now I am SO overloaded. If you are still working on this thing in the fall (after I get through the do-everything-myself wedding), then I'd be glad to pitch in. In the meantime, you may want to go through my list of photoblog sites via my photoblog. May give you some ideas...

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