Being self-employed has some definite perks.
One of them is meeting and working with super fabulous people. I mean you get to choose who you want to work with. That freedom to choose really makes having to work for a living tolerable and heck even fun! (It's all about relationships!)
For someone who sits in front of a screen all day and interacts with people more through 1's and 0's, communication is important and can be very challenging (for both parties).
So when communication rocks with people who are complete strangers and they turn out to be amazing, I feel lucky, blessed.
Photographer Zun Lee is one of those wonderful peeps.
Flickr Fame and Creating a Mother Ship
The photography world feels so small and so huge.
Zun has a huge following on Flickr. I mean, the man has voracious fans of his work. It's very cool.
[ Read this interview with Zun at Ledesma Street Photography ]
Flickr is a great place to showcase and share images, build community but the question remained: What if something happened to Flickr? It happens all the time, bigger company buys little company. Mergers happen; EULA or TOAs change...
So, one of the big reasons for creating this new website for Zun was to create a space he could claim as his own; his very own mother ship.
To infinity and beyond! — Buzz Lightyear
Now with his new website hosting his images, Flickr becomes a hub rather than the primary space for his images.
His brand has a place on Flickr and at zunlee.com. He can keep his Flickr community engaged and create new fans at his own domain.
That is sweet.
Building the Zun Lee Mother Ship
- Zun's website is integrated with one of my favorite CMSes: ExpressionEngine. I know there are rabid fans of Wordpress (and I love Wordpress, too) but ExpressionEngine is the bomb in my eyes when it comes to websites that demand complex relationships and display of content. Managing content seems to be much easier, too.
- Each image on his website has its own URL. This means each image can be shared with anyone without having to dig through navigation or top tier portfolio categories. Plus, there are some great SEO benefits to this approach: Zun's site is larger allowing more content to be linked and indexed.
- Typography using @font-face. I had initially designed using Trade Gothic Condensed but it wasn't available through TypeKit and the fees of using another delivery service seemed costly so we went to one of my favorite place to get cool web fonts: Fontspring. We opted for Alternate Gothic FS.
Pop the Champagne!
Alex Kendrick for his patience and extreme attention to detail. If you are a designer or design agency looking for an ExpressionEngine development partner, Alex is your man. The man has his shit together.
Zun Lee for the incredible trust you placed in both of us. Working remotely is never easy and we're thrilled the experience was smooth and professional. It's a great experience to work with incredibly powerful, raw images. You are an inspiration and congratulations on the launch.
What a great way to end the week :)