Bigger is Better: a new look for Lorenz Photography...
And a few other fun announcements both personal and professional....
After a couple months of obsessive tinkering, my good friend Li Ward finally told me to just get my damn site up already! Yes, I may not have all that tech-y SEO stuff juuuuuusssttt right but, as Li said, not launching the site at all isn't any better! So, without further adieu, I'm pleased to finally present the new look of Lorenz Photography! Same URL, but you'll find a nice, new, fresh, BIG site waiting for you. If you don't have time to take a look for yourself right now, here's a little screen shot:
So what's the big dif? First and foremost: it's a full bleed site, which I L-O-V-E. The images run edge to edge which creates such a dramatic impact. Well, actually, it's supposed to be a full bleed site, but when the full bleed option is turned on, it crops the top and bottom of the image in a way that I can't control, so I opted to "letter box" the site, which retains the correct crop, but leaves a bit of white space on the edges. It doesn't look quite as elegant this way, but I'm super particular about the way my images are cropped and need them to look right, so this is the best compromise I could come up with. Either way, the important thing is that the images come up as large as possible. See that top menu bar int he screen shot? That only appears when you mouse over the top edge of the browser, otherwise it disappears, leaving nothing but one big beautiful image staring you right in the face. I've always wanted a full bleed site--I don't know what took me so long to finally just go for it. I've always liked the look of full bleed, but it's not necessarily right for everyone. As my work is bright, loud and a little over the top at times, I just feel like full bleed is the best way to really drive the message home. Bigger, louder, fun-er, happier, brighter, awesome-r.
Other things I lurve about it: from a user/visitor perspective it's minimal and streamlined, allowing the images to totally speak for themselves and making navigation easy and intuitive (at least, according to the handful of people I asked to test drive it for me...) On the back end--while the dash is a little more confusing than my old BluDomain template, everything about it is so much better. The uploading and sorting of images is super easy and intuitive (there's a drag and drop function for sorting images, which in a gallery of 50 pictures is super helpful). But what I enjoy the MOST:
It's slick and fast with LARGE image files. With my old Blu Domain site, my images couldn't be any larger than about 200kb and even at that, the slideshows ran super slowly and each image took forever to load. I got constructive feedback from clients all the time about it. I hated that my options were: tiny, crappy low res images/somewhat fast slide show, or properly sized high-res images/slow slideshow. Unacceptable. With this site, many of my images are bordering on 1mb each and are 1600px across and the slideshows just whip right through (again, according to those who test drove it for me--if you are having a different experience please let me know). The file size and dimensions are huge, which means the images are all crispy and sharp, adding to the dramatic impact of the full-bleed site.
Oh, one other thing: Have I mentioned that this is an Into The Darkroom site? Well. It is. And if all of the above hasn't been enough awesomeness, I should also mention the other super great thing about them, from a web-noob perspective: At Into The Darkroom--they have actual people that help you. It's amazing. Yeah, check this out--Into the Darkroom actually has a PHONE NUMBER that you can CALL! And when you CALL they --wait for it-- ANSWER. WHAT? NO way. Yes, seriously. Actual, real life customer service. What a NOVEL IDEA! In fact, before I pulled the trigger on ITDR, I submitted a general inquiry support ticket with their customer service, and instead of waiting for two days to get an automated email response, I got a real life PHONE CALL--20 minutes later. WAT. Yes. It's true. Someone actually called me and spoke to me. I knew that getting everything switched from Blu Domain (with which I was also hosting) was going to be super complicated, but the few people I spoke to were super patient with me (I'm pretty tech savvy but a total noob about webby stuff like hosting and servers etc etc) and walked me through all the steps I had to do to get going with a the new host. Between the friendly folks at Into the Darkroom and the also helpful customer service at Host Gator, getting switched over wound up being a total breeze. If any of you out there are not satisfied with your current website and/or host, definitely check out Into the Darkroom and Host Gator, and feel free to email me with any questions.
Win win win all around. Don't know what I was doing screwing around with that "other" site for so long. Into the Darkroom--I love you. Hard. Your website is easy to use, beautiful, and your customer service rocks my face off.
So what else? Well in addition to the new site, there's one big change/development that is happening to both Lorenz Photography and the Christensens: My wonderful husband Caleb, who many of you know as my lens shagger and bag schlepper at weddings, is finishing his PhD at MIT! In fact--he defends his thesis THIS MONDAY! That's right, our little boy is all grown up and will offically be a PhD in Atomic Physics in 5 short days. It's been a long, hard 6 years and we are all so incredibly proud of all of his hard work and sacrifice. He has accepted a position as a senior scientist (seriously) at a research and technology company in Somerville, which he actually already started on a part time basis a couple months ago. After he defends his thesis on Monday, he will be taking a week off to go on a bender relax and then he will be joining the ranks of the 9-5ers from there on out.
So why should you care? Well, considering everything that Caleb has been doing for myself and Lorenz Photography, all while working on his own career, we've decided that it's time for Caleb to retire from being my day-of wedding helper. This means Caleb will no longer be accompanying me to weddings. It will be very strange to not have him at my side anymore, but lately I've photographed a few weddings with second shooters in lieu of Caleb, and I'm definitely ready for the transition. What "transition" exactly? Well...that brings us to my final announcement:
With the launching of my new site, I decided this would also be the perfect opportunity to announce the new commission rates for Lorenz Photography. Until recently, rates started at $3,200 and included one photographer (myself, obvs) for 7 hours and a few other little products. Effective immediately, commissions now start at $3,500 and include a second photographer standard as well as unlimited wedding day coverage (with some limitations). Rates no longer include the hardcover art book. All material products are now add-ons. Basically, I'm switching to a fully a la carte pricing system. I had always preferred a la carte, but offered packages anyway. In my experience, I found that even with the variety of packages I offered, no one particular package was quite right, and most of my clients wanted to strip something out or add something on--which is great! I totally get that no one package is right for everyone. So I finally decided to just strip everything down and keep it simple: $3,500 for myself and an associate photographer, with unlimited wedding day coverage. Add ons include Finao albums (drool), wedding day sign in books, image boxes and all my other super fun little goodies. While rates did go up a little bit, I think that the addition of a second photographer as a standard inclusion is an incredible value both creatively and practically.
So I guess that's it! As usual I'm always a bit wordy but I just get so excited about things and want to tell you all about them! Oh gosh, I still haven't told you about my new albums, have I? Well--that's a whole other story for another day. For now--enjoy the new site! I would love to hear what you think!