Paul Vu

Paul Vu

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Website Concept Statement

Welcomed to the website, you should feel that you are on exploration to find something, but still unaware of what that is or what it may be. Perhaps it may come first instinct, but after navigating the composition of the layout, it should start to click in that you are at a photographers website. Opening with a topographical map, this will hopefully hint at the outdoor state of a lifestyle. Unlike the food, architecture, or portrait website layouts that have a simpler clean look, I want to prepare the clients with a more rugged feel before they perceive the images. Perhaps the home page will capture their time more than it should, but hopefully not any longer than the time it would take to see all the images/time spent needed to explore the rest of the website.

The biggest asset of the website being photos, the simple text should layout links to images viewers would like to see. Navigation being easy, scrolling through images (left or right), images will portray a nostalgic feel. Although having all components necessary for answering easy questions such as Contacts, Email, etc., I don't want clienteles to feel lost or have to navigate to the same place more than twice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good/ Bad Website

Design features:
Text: text is easy to read. there isn't much at all, so text is very simple and straight forward. lots of free space where text can be placed

Navigation: only 3 other links to navigate on website. very easy use, but i feel it is not enough (besides clients).

Links: Link for direct email as well as agency to stock images. portfolio link does not work. about link feels like a stack of busy work that is overwhelming for someone who doesn't have a portfolio on their website.

Graphics: logo is horrific, small, and doesn't not correlate to anything on the website besides that its a logo of a camera not rasterized. images are not quite appealing, and there is lots of negative space that can be used to share her profession.

General Design: There is not much of this site that i would recommend to someone else. This site actually makes me upset about this persons profession and their priorities.

Notes: Purpose is to propose this individual as a photographer. a Professional site that will help you navigate you to their images and style, which seems to have failed.

Design features:
Text: Type is simple and readable. white font which stands out and will catch the eye

Navigation: appealing and forward. you have a pop-out menu to the left that will help you navigate to other link of what your are possibly looking for (portfolios, contacts, etc). when not out the image that is currently displays is shown nice and large. you can also click on the image to move on to the next image, but you also have arrows down below the image to help you navigate to the next image.

Links: links run vertical which make it easier to read and navigate considering they run down in the pop-out. when finding the link you want, the menu drops down to more specific links for more descriptive work if thats what you're looking for, or would pleasure of enticing yourself. there is an easy email link down below that will open a email browser which helps for contacts.

Graphics: there is a initial abbreviation logo at the top left that stands a little stiff but is only available when the pop-out is popped out. images are large and display a great identity of what the photographer likes to photograph.

General Design: the website is easy to navigate and appeals more that the first website. the pop out menu helps, as well as the drop down menu, and also saves space. the time it takes for something to load is also very nice considering some have a dial that shows you how long it takes and sometimes you just can't wait forever.

Notes: considering the first website, this website takes things to a whole different level. website is appealing, informative, and makes you want to spend some time navigating the site.

Design features:
Text: type is slim and appealing, easy on the eye, very spacious making the readers eye flow easier. there is not much text, but it is enough to sell the website, and not the text concern.

Navigation: appealing and forward. text adds to this attribute because of the words used (based on seasons) which can help viewers navigate and find what they are looking for. as your mouse scrolls over the images, arrows pop up to scroll from the next image or go back to the other images which is helpful.

Links: link run vertical which make it easier to read and navigate considering they run down, you don't have to scroll your mouse left to right which can take longer than running up and down. the link below that run left to right aren't as important but are helpful to have.

Graphics: no logos or graphics. site title has a shade of black which adds to the site, but doesn't stand out. there are other graphics that stand out that will link you to other sites such as twitter and facebook which are a nice attribute to have. if considered a graphic to the site, his images are nice and big, and for a photography website, that is what you want to see and expect.

General Design: this is very successful site that is simple and can be very light for viewers to handle. images are handled well and keep you intrigued and make you want to see more with the help of seasonal links for easier choice of preferred photos.

Notes: the purpose of the site is to describe the photographer and the field they are in. in this case a outdoor lifestyle photographer helps you navigate through outdoor activities by the depicted seasons they would be practiced in. this helps very much for clients who want to depict a certain image and are looking for a photographer to hire.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Skills Inventory

Name: Paul Vu
Department: Bachelors of Photography
Are you Graduating this Quarter? Nope
If not, current graduation date by Quarter/Year: Winter 2011
Online Social and Professional networks: Facebook, Myspace, Wordpress, YouTube
Website URL (if already developed):
What software experience do you have? (explain all that apply)
Photoshop: CS4 with principle functions
Fireworks: None
Illustrator: Used in the past, not one of my primary softwares I use
Flash: None
Dreamweaver: None
HTML: None
InDesign: Used in the past, not one of my primary softwares I use
Other: iMovie, iPhoto, Garageband
Tell what your objective for the class to the best of your knowledge: to learn whatever i can that will help me build a professional site so i don't have to depend on a web designer.
Learn iWeb? I have no experience with this.
Publish web site? looking to be able to handle a website on my own and not have to rely on someone else when updating portfolio and information
Revise and update current site? the only thing I am currently updating is my other blog. I have been thinking about a website for a long time, but haven't come around to making one.
Begin the process of a professional web presence? I have only built a web presence with networking and blogging little info, but more with photos.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

To kick off my new blog (which I really will try to keep updated as best I can) I thought it appropriate to use this article as an anchor. I first wrote it several years ago, and it’s been floating around the internet (albeit with “photographer” changed to such things as “hairdresser” and “scrapbooker” quite often) ever since.


What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know

These are my thoughts, nothing more and nothing less.

I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here’s my answer.

- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don’t look outward for your style; look inward.

- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It’s like money; you only have it when you don’t need it.

- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.

- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don’t fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you’re stressed and anxious.

- Learn to say “I’m a photographer” out loud with a straight face. If you can’t say it and believe it, you can’t expect anyone else to, either.

- You cannot specialize in everything.

- You don’t have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don’t have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.

- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don’t, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that’s tough.

- Accept critique, but don’t apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn’t not make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.

- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business “Precious Chubby Tootsies”….but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?

- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else’s, there’s no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you’re cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as “the cheaper photographer”.

- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

- It’s easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you’ve got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don’t spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you’ve outgrown your current equipment and you’re being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

- Never compare your journey with someone else’s. It’s a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never “arrive”. No one ever does.

- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.

- CJ