One night, it took two cups of coffee to find a title that matched my job description – Multimedia Consultant. Since I was an adolescent I have had an inclination to art and electronics. As I became an adult, I taught myself how to use technology to accomplish artistic tasks. One could say that I am a photographer, web designer, graphic designer, and video guy all in one, but it is hard to fit that on a business card. Besides, the majority of my daily duties involve communication, not design. There are quite a few marketing avenues from which to choose from, and I focus on finding the ones that will be most effective.
Realism, detail, and harsh lines were central to my drawings as a child, but when I start an image now, I think about purpose. What was the purpose for taking the time to make this piece? How is the artist using the tools at his disposal to connect to the viewer? Once I started incorporating a purpose-driven approach to my work, the quality of work became more consistent. This content-driven approach is now present in everything I do, and is absolutely essential to website development and design.
This content-driven approach is now present in everything I do, and is absolutely essential to website development and design.
A Purpose-Driven Style
Professional web developers often write that the most difficult dynamic in completing a website is filling a page with content. I incorporate a content-first approach to developing websites. Rather than first designing the layout, graphics, and color scheme and impressing the client with a beautiful site, only to delay the project and try to fill each page with content, I start by figuring out what the client wants to say to their audience. The time it takes to code a website is usually the quickest part of the project. However, that process slows to a snail’s pace when the developer has to re-program the same sections of code repeatedly, simply because the client changed their mind about what to say or how to say it. When that happens, the customer’s bill goes up and the return on his investment goes down. Aesthetically, it results in a web page having too much whitespace or too many superfluous eye-grabbers. Nothing beats good content.
The same is true for photography. I always say that photography is one half equipment, one half skill, and one half creativity. Yes, it is true that better equipment will allow the photographer to have more freedom in capturing the right moment, but what distinguishes a professional photographer from an amateur is his ability to use what is readily available to produce the image he has in his mind. photography is one half equipment, one half skill, and one half creativityOften times, great photographers are well known for displaying the essence of a person in a single photograph. What is important to me now is that I never lose sight of the purpose of a photograph. Too often I see wedding photos that are crystal clear but convey little or no emotion. I ask myself, “how is this couple’s future children going to look at this photo of the younger version of their parents?” I want it to convey attitude, emotion, and truth. Otherwise, the couple might as well have rented an expensive camera, set it to “auto”, given it to a family member for the day and saved themselves thousands of dollars.