Well, as inevitable as it is, change has come to Ben Register Photography yet again. I have completely restructured my site and my blog. Along with the new cosmetics comes some functionality changes that were the main driving force behind this refit. I carried a blog on WordPress.com, and loved its user friendliness. It was easy to update and easy to add new pages and galleries. No coding required. I saw this as an ability to update my site and keep it growing easier than having to code each new page and set up new Flash galleries each time I shot something new. So, with that in mind, I headed over to my hosting company, and installed WordPress for use with my main site. What you see here is the result of that switch.
My previous site was HTML, which I coded myself, and Flash based portfolios. Sadly, these portfolios didn’t always work on Tablets and Mobile devices. They also caused issues with some browsers that didn’t like the coding and saw them as potential malware threats. So, they had to go. Tablet and Mobile users should find this new site much easier to navigate and full of galleries that actually work on their device.
I also wanted my viewers to be able to navigate to any of my sites pages without having to click several levels in. WordPress offers the ability to create custom menus several layers deep. Now, all you have to do is hover over the galleries tab and the sub-menu tabs automatically pop up. This allows you to find any page in the site right from the home page.
I also wanted to offer my viewers the ability to buy prints directly from my website. Using the WordPress template and FotoMoto, that is now an option. All you have to do is click on the image and when it comes up in Shadowbox (another cool upgrade), there should be a link at the bottom allowing you to buy prints or cards. You can purchase regular prints, fine art prints (on various art papers), or canvas prints.
Another change is the addition of the search function, which allows you to search my site for key words or phrases. These are commonplace in most websites and the exclusion of one on my previous site was a bit bothersome. Also, viewers wishing to subscribe to my blog can now do so with the RSS button which should be present in your browser’s address bar right now. It’s quick and easy and it keeps you up to date on everything I do here.
Wow, that’s a lot. With all that changing going on, I thought it might be a good idea to let you good folks in on some of the various incarnations Ben Register Photography has gone through.
It started out as CHB Photo Video back in 2006. I had just gotten back into photography, and brand new to digital photography, and I was getting hit up left and right to take photos here and there. I was getting small jobs doing team photos for the kids cheerleading squad, the little tikes soccer teams, and so on. This of course lead to doing several sessions with people for their family portraits. Anyway, it became apparent very soon that I needed some way for folks to keep in contact with me. A business card was in order here, but what do I call myself? After several days of brain-storming and consulting with my most trusted advisor (my lovely wife), I came up with CHB Photo Video. CHB standing for Chloe (my daughter), Holly (my wife), and Ben (myself). So now I have a name, all I need is a spiffy logo for my card. This was my final design:
I liked it and so did most of the folks I asked. I wanted something classy and timeless. Something that said you were going to get quality when you worked with me.
At that point I had intended to include videography in my line of products and services. I’ve had a lot of experience in that field as well, and thought it would be nice to have a “one-stop-shop”. However, as time went on and I did my research (and the math) I quickly realized that video was going to be an expensive proposition. One that was causing me to try and cut corners in some of the photographic areas. I love photography. That’s where my true passion is and I didn’t want to compromise that in any way. Video had to go. It was a hard decision, but it opens up more of my monetary assets and more of my personal focus for bringing my customers better photographic products. At that point, it changed to CHB Visuals and the logo took on a new look:
I also played around at that point with the idea of going with a bit more modern & contemporary motif, and the following logo was born:
This never took off and most folks I talked to said that they liked the classic look better. It relayed more of a sense of the traditional style photography, which is what I like and wanted to offer.
As I continued to plan for and learn the business aspect of things, I soon realized that having a fictions name like “CHB Visuals” required several levels of registration within the local government, and even a trademark registration at the national level if I wanted to safeguard my design. I’m fine with this and with doing the work, however, as most of you know, I’m still in the Army at this point. Having a stable place to register all that wasn’t something that was going to happen for several years to come. So, I took another look at CHB Visuals, and compared it to some of my role-models out there. Photographers that are well known and impact this industry daily. People like Bill Fortney, Scott Kelby, David Ziser, and Joe McNally. One thing these photography gurus had in common, even across their various styles and niches, was that they all carried their products, services, and their reputations under their own names. Scott Kelby Photography, Bill Fortney Photography, etc. Having your name in your business name requires no special registration or licenses, and it looks professional as well. I decided it was time to change the whole concept to Ben Register Photography. From there, everything continued to evolve into the look you are all familiar with today.
It gets shortened in some cases to BRPhoto, and I’m fine with that. I’m happy with the way things turned out, and I hope that you are as well. I have enjoyed the process over the last 5 years and being able to watch an off-hand idea grow into something that’s so full of possibility. I look forward to my military retirement soon, and to the time that I can focus in on what is, and what may yet become, Ben Register Photography.
Thank You and as always…Enjoy!