Earlier this year I realized that I did not have a proper portfolio on-line. I really wanted it to stand alone and be easily edited and updated. It seemed to me the best solution was to use a specific product for this that was separate from my WordPress run blog. About the same time, I started to see people talk about the newly redesigned SmugMug site. I signed up for a free trial and had a pretty good-looking portfolio set up in a few minutes. Seemed like a perfect solution. It did take a while to get the site looking exactly as I wanted it to. I actually met with the SmugMug team at Photoshop World in Las Vegas earlier this year and they helped me by pointing to some great resources. The real challenge was to get a page on my WordPress site to quickly redirect to the portfolio. Once that was done by creating a custom page template, everything started to come together very nicely.
One of the things that I customized was that the main background image when you go to the home page changes. Right now it picks randomly between 4 different images but that will increase now that I know how to do it. Right now there are six galleries on the site. The portfolio gallery are the top 23 images. Then there is the music portfolio which gives you a larger look at the general music images. currently there are 35 images here but that is likely to expand while the portfolio gallery will not. There are also two tour specific galleries, one from my years covering the Mayhem festival and one from the last couple of Warped tours. These galleries will only grow if and when I shoot these tours in the future. Lastly there is a gallery of images captured backstage or onstage. This is a small sampling of images taken where I had more access than normal. This gallery will continue to grow as I go through old images and continue to shoot.
The final piece of the puzzle for me, as I mention earlier was to connect my website / blog and the new portfolio together. On the SmugMug side, this was easy, just added a BLOG link to the portfolio sidebar.
On the WordPress side, it was a little more difficult. I had to create a custom WordPress page temple that redirected that page to a new url. This allowed me to have a Portfolio tab on the website / blog.
So now what I have is a portfolio site and my regular website. They are linked but I can control the look and feel of the two separately. That allows me to tweak the design each as I need.
Want to see the portfolio. just click the link on the top of the page.
Great write up Alan! Thanks for being a part of the SmugMug family 🙂