New Website goes up today. Still messing around with some duplicate images.

    Self adornment is all the rage at kid's swim meets.  This one is sweeter than the more common, "Eat my bubbles....."

Relaunching a website is always a work in progress.  Or it should be.  I don't think I've ever seen one go up perfect.  That might just be the fluid nature of the web.  That being said, I want to announce that I've redone my little website and changed a few things.

It's located right here:  http://www.kirktuck.com

As with most things I life I like to keep things simple.  I have many, many photographer friends who are doing LiveBooks sites and other templated sites and I guess that's good.  Everyone I talked to (except Don) kept telling me to use just a handful of images.  Like ten.  Other people told me to use ten but use them really, really big.  Others like the new "magazine" format.  I figure if everyone is running in one direction with their sites then it just follows protocol that I'll want to go in the opposite direction.

It's an html (mostly) site with very few bells and whistles.  I put images that I like on the site and I put in a lot.  I figure people can always stop looking if they want to.  I understand my markets pretty well so there's a lot of straightforward nuts and bolts in there.  Very few (none) big national advertising/branding pieces....(it's just not my market).

People tell me never to include family so I made sure that Ben and Belinda were included.  The dog is very unhappy because she is not represented.  Can't have everything, and besides, I didn't want to alienate the cat people.  No nudes because I didn't want to rile up the un-nude.

I've checked the site in all the major browsers and it looks pretty good.  That's Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome.  (If you are still using Explorer you've got bigger problems then how my site looks....).

I made the images pretty big because those damn people with iPads keep doing that annoying "finger and thumb" thing and looking at everything super big.  I wanted the stuff to hold up almost to full screen.... But I'm sure I've done something that will enrage people who only look at sites on iPhones.  I just don't know what it is yet.

But all this brings up the question:  Are websites even relevant anymore?  They are no longer entertainment.  I see them just as an online portfolio.  Am I wrong?  As a photographer am I missing something?

I'm sure you guys will let me know what you think.  Here's the beautiful thing about having dedicated readers of a photography blog:  All of you will let me know about every single glitch and I'll have it fixed up and ready to go before one of my clients even fires up a laptop and gives it a cursory look.  Pays to have friends.

Reminder:  Sept 4, 2010.  All day long.

We're doing the anti-workshop in San Antonio on Saturday the 4th.  We're starting in front of the Alamo at 8:30 am, wandering around downtown in the general direction of the Mercado.  We'll coalesce at Mi Tierra Restaurant to get revitalized with breakfast and then continue an unplanned and luck intensive search for interesting and inspiring stuff.  I'll have suggestions and,  if I get motivated, maps.  Understand that this is not an invitation to stay by my side for a day.  I have a camera for that.  This is an opportunity to cruise by, ask a few questions and head off again.  Meeting up by circumstance and destiny, from time to time.

I find the city of San Antonio (downtown) endlessly captivating and inspiring.  It has a street life and enough cool artifacts to keep one visually interested.

In the late afternoon I'm heading over to one of the best private museums in Texas,  The McNay, to look at a bunch of art and recalibrate my brain.  I hope everyone else will want to come along too.  If you get captivated by something else you can always meet back up with us at La Fonda Restaurant ( the one on Sunset Ridge: 6402 North New Braunfels Road.  In '09)  We'll get there pretty early, before 6 pm for sure.  Good Tex Mex and good drinks.

Bring your own money.  I'm not sharing my Special #1 with anybody.....

In all probability it's going to be stinking hot that day.  Dress smart.  Shorts,  shirts with good vents, bring a hat.  Suck down a lot of water.  Find shade as you walk through the city.  If you can handle it emotionally this might be a good day to practice radical formalism and bring only one camera, one lenses and as many memory cards and extra batteries as you can cram into a pocket.  Wouldn't it be emancipating to leave the camera bag, tripod and 28-600mm zoom lens at home?  Flash?  As Hank Bresson once said,  "It's like bringing a handgun to the opera."  Of course he probably never went to an opera in Texas.

For all  y'all in far away places you'll probably have just as nice a day as the rest of us.  And maybe cooler.  Hope we have lots of cool photos to show you.  Maybe we'll be silly and put up a temporary Flickr gallery.......

I'm doing an actual workshop in October.  Lighting.  (Who would have guessed....)  Stay tuned for details.

Now, back to the first part of the post.....Who wants to be the first to critique the new site?

Big smile.  Kirk


Robert said...

I like it, its my style, when I was building mine, I said I wanted it as simple as Forest Gump. In my opinion to much info, and bells and whistles, are just to distracting. Its awesome.

JBrew said...

Hey Kirk, I like the look of the new site. The only thing that really bothers me is that the title (the part that shows in the tab and top of the browser) of each page shows just the page title. So why is this annoying? When I have 10 tabs open in Firefox and I am trying to find your site, I don't intuitively know that "User's Guide" is your website. Perhaps "Kirk Tuck - User's Guide" instead.

Just my opinion of course. Take it for what its worth. Looking forward to the details about the lighting workshop.

Bold Photography said...

Hi Kirk - some thoughts on the site:

- the site 'name' in the tab on Chrome comes up as "start" - why not "Kirk Tuck" or even "Enter Industrial Strength Imaging" ... or something... but realize when you bookmark this page, that title is what the bookmark gets saved as...

- I'd put the text about "you've reached..." above the photo instead of below. Is your site going to be called "Kirk Tuck Photography" or "Industrial Strength Imaging"?

- I'd let the text below the photo take the width of the photo.

- I'd put another time logo thing, flipped, on the left of the navigation links, just to optically bracket them

- I'd put a "How to do business with me" link in there, probably instead of "Users Guide", and make it the second link. If I like you and want to hire you, I want to be guided to that part - not have to dig for it. The bio would go last on the page, as I'd care more about the work than your past (though some will care about that, too... so I'd give it lower priority).

- on the User's guide page, the image of Ben is right on top of the "Product..." part, blocking out ~ 5 lines of text. I'd also make the links at the bottom much bigger, instead of smaller. I may even make a link at the bottom of each paragraph that says "Ready to go? Contact me to get started" ... (all about making it easy to get started)

- text on the medical imaging page is all way too small. With the large number of photos, I almost get the impression that you're trying to sell me stock photos.

- text on the studio headshot page reads like a run-on... I'd almost make a second page with the 'what to wear' section separate, and the images organized a bit like the medical page.

- you have some duplicate photos in the studio portrait link. Perhaps a link to 'hire me to shoot you' should be here, too?

... just some nits...

ginsbu said...

I see the site keeps changing as I'm looking at it. Two things I noticed, maybe already fixed:
1) I'm still getting the "Start" page title following the link from the blog. I agree with the comment above that you should change it.
2) On the bio page (which seems to have disappeared) the photo of you was pixelated on Safari/Mac (latest everything).

I think the big selection of images does a nice job of showing how you can bring a consistent style to a versatile range of subjects.

Good luck with the new site!

Bold Photography said...

Kirk - on the headshot page, Henri's name is backwards: Henri Richard, not Richard Henri -- that's actually another person (well, several share that name, including a famous hockey star..)

kirk tuck said...

Bold Photography, where are you seeing a caption on the headshot page? I'm sure it's in the code but is it on the page?

Kyle @ Photo-Ventura said...

Hi Kirk, I love it that you have a new website. Thanks for sharing. You asked for feedback on percieved niggles, here's mine: when I hit 'slideshow', hoping to see a run of all your work in all its larger-than-life glory, I was dissapointed to only see the images open in a small un-resizeable window in a series of tiny-weenie pics not much bigger than thumbnails... is this because I still (gawd bless me) use Explorer as my web browser? I'd love to see a full-screen slideshow, cos your images are fabulous!

Bold Photography said...

Kirk - each of the photos on the headshot and other pages have captions. Some are names, some are file names.

John Krumm said...

What I like best about the new site are your interesting sample categories that show off the depth of your experience. It's quite refreshing compared to so many flash controlled, over-polished portfolios that start to all look the same.

udi tirosh said...

congrats Kirk.
clean design to go along with power wording.
love the new design.
Donno if this is intentional, however, the "Art-o-graphy" title splits between the first and second lines on my browser. (FF3, Win 7, 1280x1024)

Peter Frailey said...

Kirk, Might you want to include "blog" within the set of tabs/links you have at the top of your Web site home page? Or, perhaps you are thinking of the blog as something "outside" of the Web site, so that referring to it as you did at the bottom of the Web site's home page is enough...?

Just thoughts...

Peter F.

Greg said...

Kirk, some pfoorreading wouldn't hurt.


efix said...

"No budget too big, no project too fun." Love that :-)

Robert said...


I took a look. Very nice. I like that it's not black or dark gray!

One small thing I noticed. When I click on a thumbnail, I go to the top of the page. My eyes aren't great, so I use a firefox plug-in to automatically make the site 200% zoom.
At 200%, I only see the header and the top photo and not the slide show, I have to scroll down for the slide-show.

Until I scrolled down, I thought it was broken :).

Anyways, an easy way to see it is to zoom in with firefox.

I think an easy fix would be to put a named anchor right before the slide-show.


Dave Elfering Photography said...

I like it. Clean design, simple and pleasant. I hate going to a photographer's site and it becomes an experience in multimedia extravaganza (Narcissus would be proud of some of them). The IT guy in me wonders a bit about navigation. I might suggest a structure of having three or four major headings by condensing the different kind of photography under one major heading like "Portfolio" which would lead to sub-categories like "Head Shots", "Studio Portraits", "Location Portraits" etc. I find myself having to discern which direction I want to go. Do I want to learn about Kirk Tuck the photographer, learn about his work, how to contract him, etc. That's a nitnoid though as it is functional as is. I'm guessing this is via mac.com and your web editor may not be able to create that structured hierarchy. In general I think any site should have three essential ideas for the average Joe to see and then suck them in from there. Not that you'd know from my web sites :)

Nice work!

blog said...

Kirk, love the new website with its simple layout. I also like that fact that there are many photographs.


Brad C said...

Refreshingly straightforward - I like that you aren't blasting away the photos with distracting watermarks (more anti-advice?). No comments on layout from me, I'm someone who 'has bigger problems' :)

Kurt Shoens said...

Some quick comments. I can give more detailed copy-editing notes more efficiently by email.

The front page image is almost 800 KB which is too heavy for that size. It's in PNG and I'm sure would compress and display better in jpeg.

The site redirects to a sort of complicated URL (http://kirktuck.com/www.kirktuck.com/Kirk_Tuck.html) rather than just kirktuck.com. It looks a little odd in the address bar.

I like the selection and quantity of images. There's one I'd leave out because it looks outside your style: Chad-20Final.jpg.

The gallery viewer has some quirks. As Robert above notes, if you click on a thumbnail, it resets the window to the top so you're looking at the lead image of the gallery. Even at full screen on a 1600x1200 display, I only see a bit of the desired image.

The slide show version of the images looks better than pointing at the thumbnails and clicking through one by one. It could be the black background or perhaps the images are larger. It would be cool to get the same impact on the static gallery viewer.

One click on the back button in the gallery viewer usually does nothing and the second click leaves the screen entirely blank. It would be nice if the back button went to the previous image or back to the whole gallery.

The voice in the User's Guide section (and I agree with Bold Photography's point about the title) is a little odd. You're writing it mostly in first person plural and referring to yourself in the third person. It's consistent enough, but I think it sells short the notion that people will be doing business directly with you rather than office staff, assistants, etc.

You mention categories of work that you do but don't include image examples of some (specifically events). Usage rights on events might be tricky. Maybe use some of the wedding pictures you shot recently?

I really like the head shot section because you have the description of the service combined with good examples of the results.

Anonymous said...

It may be time to deep 6 Michael Dell next to the gas powered computer.

Ranger 9 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Krumm said...

Kirk, looking at it again, I'm wondering if it has the right flow to drive potential customers to look at your work. I see the main image, looks good, I read the text, sounds good, and then I see the link to your blog. I might not see the links up top before getting lost at the blog. That's how it reads to me, anyway. Perhaps you should have a set of links you want to show off right after the text (or something).

kirk tuck said...

Anonymous, I still get an executive portrait job about once a week, on average, on the strength of that image. I get what you're saying from an aesthetic point of view, but from a business point of view it's a rain maker.
At least around Austin.

kirk tuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kirk tuck said...

Ranger 9, Good catch. Thanks. Now corrected.

J. R. said...

Just read your San Antonio invitation, but didn't see your new site yet... just a comment:

Wouldn't 7:45 am be a little cooler to first meet up? By 8:30 it could be 85 degrees already! I live in San Angelo and don't think I can make it.

I was downtown in San Antonio one morning earlier this month taking river area shots with Kodachrome. They turned out great, but by 11 am it was sweltering hot.

kirk tuck said...

J.R. I plan on spending most of the day outdoors. the extra 45 minutes won't make any difference. This is a high informal event. If someone gets hot they can head into the air conditioning.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Awesome, Kirk, especially your portrait and art galleries. These photos speak for themselves, they tell stories or show real characters. I absolutely love your work, and would hire you on the spot, if I wouldn't be a bit too far off for that...

Ulfric said...

Makey the pictures bigger. Or clickable to bigger instead of clickable to ... next? Opera 9 & 10.