I may have broken RSS syndication and many other things on a mad whim. My old portfolio site has gotten me in contact with so many amazing clients, and the work that Koesmanto Bong put into it made it stand out from the crowd in the far-off days of 2007, when people would ask “No auto-loading music? NO FLASH? My God man, are you sure that’s a wedding photography Web site?”
But time has passed, and I would be too busy to update it for entire seasons at a time, all the while obsessing over getting new and better content to the blog as often as possible. I am not who I was in high school, in college, as a newspaper man, as a photographer for Columbia University, and I am not who I was in 2007. My hair has more grey but I have better clothes (even if I don’t always wear the nice stuff.) And along the way the standards of how wedding photography interacts with the Web has changed. Big photos good. Obtrusive watermarks bad. It’s freer and looser and better-looking, and I like it. If some student in Estonia steals your photo for their web site desktop … oh well. There are 3.5 trillion photos out there, it’ll happen. If some big corporation does it, that’s what copyrights and lawyers are for.
Of course, the downside of having a blog as your home base is it’s a bit terrifying having the front-and-center of my commercial existence be whatever I got up to most recently, even if that is a picture of a really good hamburger I ate. But my philosophy has always been to do everything that I can to make each new wedding the best I’ve ever done, whatever the weather, the timing, or the situation. Each client who books with me gets to see slideshows from every wedding I’ve photographed in the previous year, because wedding photography isn’t the sort of job where you can be brilliant sometimes and then phone it in other days. That’s what office jobs are for. (I’ve worked in an office; you can admit it.)
And there’s something more honest about it. I admit; whenever I look at another photographer’s site I usually skip the portfolio and go straight for the blog. Yes, even a monkey can take a great photo occasionally, but what have you done lately? So perhaps ironically, this is also a move to get me back to thinking about portfolios more than ever, about the sort of work I want to leave behind, about doing what I can to raise the bar. Big photos, no watermarks, and a content-management system that will keep me updating it in my spare scraps of free time. We’ll work on something new and personal and innovative later — perhaps the dead of winter when people are too worried about blizzards to get married — but for now I have a surprisingly handy stop-gap.
So, the new layout is ryanbrenizer.com for my recent work and updates about workshops and my life in general, and ryanbrenizer.com/portfolio for what will eventually be a finely carved display of personal vision … or at least some pretty photos.
Along the way I’ve probably broken all of my sydicated feeds. Sorry.