Folk Photography

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Hello world and happy birthday to me.

I can hardly believe that I have owned this domain for over twenty years now. It has at times served to find me business when I was doing portraiture of dogs and children, corporate headshots, and even the occasional weddings.

Other times it was a repository for me to upload and type out some stream of consciousness to be archived in an organized manner. Much of the time it sat neglected as life shifted my focus away but I still diligently payed my annual domain fees, knowing that some day I would return.

Thanks to the Wayback Machine I am able to revisit and remind myself of the early versions of the site. . Initially I was really in to Flash, unfortunately even time travel does not support it. Despite broken links and a lot I was unable to view, it was enough to remind me of that feeling of the early days of the internet. A time before the giant websites had monopolized content. It was the days of patchwork HTML and webrings providing a web of links to quickly rise the relatively small community up in the primitive search engines. It was a kind of freedom the feeling that everyone was figuring it out and helping one another.

I thought it would be fun at this 20 year anniversary to take a look at some of the original site from the early 00s. A time where I was just starting to learn the potential of web development and experimenting with numerous platforms to make the site. It was a time before Etsy and very early PayPal allowed me to be able to sell prints from the website.

My favorite layouts to see again are some of the first ones from the early 2000s. My whippet Devo was my mascot and there were various iterations of him staring at a TV or picture frames. The Flash I remember you could switch channels and watch different slide shows of my photos. Once I made a short interactive film about the dreams that Devo was having when he fell asleep in the garden.

I eventually learned more tricks and how to change the image when hovering over a navigation element. Funny to remember how excited I was about this simple thing but it is these little successes that still delight me with web development today. I was noticing looking at the old pages how the website is not “mobile friendly”, then I had to remind myself cell phones did not exist when I made this!!

I have been on a long hiatus from my passion of photography, a lot of life coming at me, but I feel I am back in the place to again make my vocation my vacation. Stay focused on my vision and be motivated by the joy and love I have for it.

One of my favorite things to find in the archives was my old blog which I called “The Attic” It was a great reminder to me about who I was, who I am, and what photography is to me. The digital world that social media has created gives me anxiety and has changed how I want to share and create. I am excited to return to creating content again in my own space.

Screenshot of my old blog The Attic

It was a trip to see some posts about trips I had totally forgotten about and it will be a good reference and motivation for me while I try to rebuild from the ashes.

This WordPress build is something very different for me. My detour into professional web development for a decade came in handy here and I am making this site exactly now how I want it to be. If you are reading this close to the posting date then the site is very much still in the works and will be having a lot of updates so forgive any construction mess. This theme which I am calling Simple Folk is designed primarily for photographers or artists that want a very quick way to organize and publish their content.

It is unique in that you could build an entire website just from the Media Library portion of WordPress. The Post and Page parts of WordPress are still supported but the focus is really on enhancing the photo library. If there is EXIF data attached to your image when it is added, the information is automatically parsed and can be included for the pages metadata.

Example of admin area and meta data attached in the media library

It is still very much in development but if you are interested you can find it on GitHub, the Simple Folk repository. Soon I plan to submit it to the WordPress Theme so it is available from their site as well.

Thanks for reading all that! If you are interested in trying this out but don’t know where to start, feel free to reach out. I will see what I can do to help! I am really excited about this project and it would be very inspiring to find out it is useful for others. You can sign up for my mailing list and I will drop updates there when there is a public release of this theme.