Our New Website and the amazing Ben Markowitz

I didn’t choose this highly historic week to launch our official, new website on purpose, who could possibly compete with yesterday’s emotionally charged events?  We enthusiastically welcome the new President, we were glued to the television yesterday afternoon as he took office.

And yet, in the evening hours, I finally, FINALLY completed a project that has been underway since last June so it feels pretty monumental.  If you haven’t visited recently, there are now more images to view in each gallery, a gallery for each album option, a completed Wee Ones component as well as updated proofing and testimonial sections.

Just to give you a recap on the drama, our former website was deleted last May by our webhost during routine maintenance: a very unexpected business crisis.  Given that we are religious about backing up our professional work, we’re surprised that we never thought to backup something as crucial as our website (photographers, take heed!).  While we still had our blog online, we had no way of offering the kind of information prospective clients wanted to see about our services once our website vanished.  Those were some very dark and stressful days and we were in very desperate need of creative help.

Enter the amazing Ben Markowitz, man of the hour:

We got to know Ben and his lovely wife Carrie when they hired us to shoot their July ’07 wedding and we’ve stayed friends ever since.  Here’s a “nice” picture:

While we had been tossing around some ideas for a new website with Ben prior to the crash, the initial plan was to take our time and work over the course of a year.  But when we told him what happened to our site he stepped up to the plate and developed the backbone of a brand new site from scratch for us in the span of one short month.  In no uncertain terms, this guy saved our bacon.

The amazing thing about working with Ben is that he doesn’t start with visuals so much as concepts: he wanted to know how we felt about our business and how we wanted to be seen.  With a recent degree in design from JMU in hand he understands visual literacy, the psychology of Internet research and the most contemporary trends in functional multimedia communication.  He managed to turn a conversation about our business into a visual storefront that genuinely represents “us” in every way.  He also developed this blog to have similar visual cues and functions as our website.  We love them both.  

In addition to building a fully customized site, he also hooked us up with a backend database so that we can easily make changes and updates without bugging him.  His site has given us all the conveniences of a template based site without the restrictions of a standardized frame and best of all: the clear advantage of a unique and visually distinguished site.  If this sounds like a plug for Ben, you bet it is: this site was worth every penny.  We appreciate the many long nights Ben spent talking me through the inner workings and implementation, all his lighting fast responses and fixes despite the fact that he works another full time job, his flexibility as the site evolved, his honest opinions on design choices, his patience with my lack of availability through the fall and of course his dedication to the cause.  In no uncertain terms, Ben is the bomb.

As for some features of our site to check out, the wedding galleries are kind of fun.  Each gallery is meant to progress from one image to the next as “a day in the life of a wedding” using photos from a variety of different events.  We’re also excited about the album galleries and will continue to develop them: with so many long distance clients, we’re hoping to provide better insight on the finished product.  And the Wee Ones component is a new feature fully dedicated to my documentary portrait work with babies and families.

Speaking of albums, we have lots of album posts to share and I promise to get back to Japan pics too.  Thanks for checking out our new site! 


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