So, if you’ve been visiting my blog for a while (bless you if this is you) you have seen me go through a number of designs & looks. Creating a consistent brand, when the brand is yourself & you love ‘all the things’ is no cake walk. In fact, it proved to be too overwhelming for me. In 2013 I worked with the fabulous Julie Story to identify what it is that makes me, well me. She then employed her creative wizardry & created my main website.
Since then a few things have changed here & there as I’ve grown a bit more & become more comfortable with tweaking my own brand but it has remained largely the same. This year I knew I wanted to soften the brand a bit, make it a bit cleaner & I wanted this blog to follow suit. I also knew I wanted to make these changes myself as MFI is now on an operating budget via YNAB, to help me achieve my goal of quitting my full time job, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Because I am in no way a designer, these changes take time & often come in bursts. I will sit on a vague unhappiness with a certain aspect of my blog or website, for days, weeks, even months trying to identify exactly what it is that I don’t like & exactly what it is that I’d like instead. I find myself to be easily overwhelmed in this area because the options seem so endless that I get caught up in the fear of choosing wrong which is funny when you think about it. How can it be wrong? Its my brand, not a test. There aren’t wrong & right options, but alas, that’s how my perfectionist/Type A/creative brain works. So, I’ll work with a vague unhappiness, sketching out possible options, scouring the internet for inspiration & options until I find or think ‘That’s IT’ then its just a matter of time.
I did that just this month with my blog – I was vaguely unhappy with my header & bio areas (the slideshow/menu & section just below it). They had served me well & I liked them but I was ready for additional function & a different look. So, what did I want these areas to provide that they weren’t currently? Well, I wanted them to be visually engaging. I wanted larger images (because isn’t that the whole point of a photographer’s blog). I wanted the slideshow to be softer somehow & if possible I really wanted to incorporate Instagram into my bio area since its my primary social media outlet. So I set to work. I made 4 major changes.
1. Larger Slideshow Images – because the images & the stories they tell should be the focus of this whole site.
2. Featured Content Area – another way to incorporate images & feature fun or engaging content, in case you don’t check this site everyday.
3. Bio Area Moved to Sidebar – because I loved the clean look of the Featured Content but still needed to have a bit of information about myself – I moved the Bio information to the sidebar.
4. Instagram Plug-In Integration – its no secret that I loooove Instagram. It also shouldn’t be a surprise – I mean, come on, I’m a photographer, what could be better than seeing images of other people’s lives in a never-ending scroll? Its by far my most used social media outlet & since MFI is a brand based on me, I thought it pertinent to include my IG feed here.
So, there you have it – MFI’s Spring Cleaning – a bit early this year (maybe because I’m avoiding tax spreadsheets – sssh!) I have one or two more potential changes I’m contemplating so don’t be shocked if a couple more changes make their appearance soon.