This is a new case study episode. This week it’s another case that will benefit the community at large in one way or another. I received this email a few weeks ago from a podcast listener:
First, I have been wanting to set up my own website. I don’t expect to make money from my photography, but I would at least like to be able to sell prints or at least have my own online platform for displaying my photos. A website seems like a good idea, but I have several questions as follows:
It seems like a good idea, but is it really? Or should I focus my time on other things - like getting out with my camera more often?
What website vendor should I use? What are the differences and pros and cons between the major ones like Smug Mug, Wix, WordPress, etc? Maybe there others that may be more well suited for me.
How many photos do I need to launch a website? I worry that I don’t have enough good content to make a website viable. ( I also worry in general that my work isn’t good enough to justify a website. That's a whole psychology angle that a lot of photographers probably struggle with.)
Should I set up a website so that it can take online orders?
I also wonder what to name my website and/or Instagram page. How do I brand myself? As you know I have two Instagrams: a private one for family snapshots and a more “serious” one where I post some of my better photos and avoid the family pics. I don’t need you to give me a name, but I wonder how to separate my photo “brand” from my day job where I work as a financial planner. When people Google my name, I don’t want them to be confused between two Mike Branch websites - one for financial planning and one for photography. I worry that my financial planning clients may wonder if I am serious about my real job or that it could create conflict with my professional brand. Long-story short I want to keep my photography and professional life separate.
Should my website focus on one genre or specialty or have more variety. I enjoy street photography but I don’t limit myself to any one type of photography.
- Mike Branch
Because we are talking about balancing a full-time career with an emerging photography career, I invited special co-host and friend of the show, Steve Brokaw, to help me with this case.
Mike Branch is an aspiring Minneapolis-based photographer with a busy day job and an active family life. His photographic interests include an eclectic mix of street photography, cityscapes, animals and other subjects that catch his eye. He dreams of one day traveling the world with his camera. Currently, you can find his work on Instagram @Leo.Logee
Mike Branch @Leo.Logee on Instagram
Steve Brokaw's website, Instagram
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