I love photography.
I’m passionate about many things like coding, art (more broadly than photography), “making,” learning, and more. But I have been passionate about photography longer than most, or perhaps any of the other things I’m passionate about.
There’s something about capturing a time and a place that nobody else experienced exactly the way I did and then expressing that moment, that makes photography special to me. In a way, it’s very isolating. It makes me feel like I’m curled up in a blanket, with the world hidden away outside. Maybe that’s why my favourite shots are those I take when I venture out into the middle of nowhere at 4 in the morning to catch the sunrise.
Even when I’m at an event where plenty of people are shooting, or a place that thousands of tourists have seen or will see, I get that feeling. Even if someone gets the exact same shot in the exact same conditions, when I’m shooting it that moment feels unique to me, and that makes me happy.
For years now, I have looked to find the perfect place to keep my photography and to share it with people. I started using Deviant Art when I was in high school. It’s a fun community, and I actually [virtually] met some really cool people through the site. But it didn’t feel particularly mature. Eventually I started paying for Deviant Art, so I could use their print service (which was eventually made free, but paying members could set their profit margins).
But Deviant Art always lacked a certain… finesse, which I like, or grew to like over time. Deviant Art felt bubbly and fun to me, but maybe the years of art school made me crave the white cube. I felt like I needed a better canvas (hah), to showcase my work.
I looked into Flickr, and 500px, and others, but nothing felt quite right to me. As a developer, I decided to build my own system to manage and display my portfolio of photography amongst other pieces online, which was… functional. But it certainly didn’t live up to my imagination.
Over time I kept using Deviant Art on occasion, even going back to a paid membership. But it still wasn’t what I wanted. I wasn’t really looking for people to tell me how much they love my shot, or “favourites.” I was looking for a place where people could just appreciate the way I look at the world, and if they wanted to, buy it.
So I finally decided it would be worth it to put some money into a product like PhotoShelter or SmugMug (that’s my referral link, fyi). And as you might guess from the referral link and the title to this piece, I chose SmugMug. I did read a few reviews for each service (as well as a couple others), but what actually sold me is the trial for SmugMug. I just really enjoyed it. That, combined with the unlimited storage and the solid Lightroom plugin, made me drop some cash on the portfolio plan.
And I love it.
I had a little trouble at one point, setting up a page with a curated selection of prints, and the support staff answered my e-mail within half an hour or so, getting me up and running with prints and galleries and a design I’m happy with in less than a day.
Actually, I originally came up with the éphémère branding for that, and then decided I like it a lot and want to use it as a personal brand. Check out the new website here. If you like my writing or my photography, you can support me by buying a print.