I finally decided to start a Mindy Arnholt Photography website. You know… because I am so good at keeping up with this blog ;) I thought why not try to keep up with two?
Walking Through Wonderland started as a travel blog with occasional DIY posts. When we moved to Japan, I noticed I was doing a lot more project posting. Cakes, designs, portraits, house stuff, etc. I like that it’s transitioned into a lifestyle blog, but at one point it felt like it was turning into a photography blog- and I wanted to avoid that. It didn’t seem like the right venue to showcase photoshoots of other people’s children, but I didn’t have anywhere else to do it- and I knew I wanted to put some of my work out there. As business started to pick up and people were consistently asking to view a portfolio, I realized it was also a really bad way to do that! I would have to send them to WTW and tell them how to filter through all of the stuff that didn’t apply to them just to find a few posts that reflected my photography style.
So a few months ago… I decided it was time to divide the two. From now on Walking Through Wonderland will cover mostly travel and lifestyle blogging, and MindyArnholt.com will be a portfolio of photography, a photo blog, (and possibly) a design portfolio as well.
Because I’d decided to start looking at Mindy Arnholt Photography as a business, I thought about hiring a branding company to help me define the brand, design a site and launch the company. I talked to a couple of designers, but I have some serious issues with giving up creative control. You know how I always joke about my “I could make that” mentality getting me started in new hobbies? Well… this was the same. The more that I looked at people’s portfolios, the more I’d find myself thinking, “I like how they did this, but I’d want to change that.” I knew if I hired someone, I wouldn’t be free to tweak and adjust as I saw fit whenever I saw fit. I kept shopping around, wanting to do it the “professional” and “traditional” way, but I just kept coming back to the Mindy-way of thinking. “I could do that…” Maybe not as well, and certainly not as fast… but I wanted to be the one playing with fonts and palettes. So in the end, even though I know that someday I am going to have to accept that there is a reason that the most successful people in the world stick to their own niches and accept that they can’t “do it all”, I decided that <just this one more time> I was going to do it all.
So I went to the internet. First, I decided to visit sites and scroll through pinterest and even flip through virtual catalogs of brands that I love and save every image that spoke to me without thought or judgment. If the photos felt like “Mindy Arnholt Photography”: I’d save them. It wasn’t until I finally had a giant folder full of images, that I started to be selective and identify themes.
I want to like ethereal, light, dreamy images. I wanted to have a palette that was full of greys and creams and maybe a little navy. That’s what I thought I’d find that I gravitated to. Imagine my surprise when I started scrolling through the folder and it was all, and I mean ALL bright, bold colors. Then I started scrolling through the images that I had picked from my last year of photo shooting. Sure enough… they were crisp & clean but undeniably bright & bold. So that was my starting point. I put together a (pretty) quick moodboard, eyedropped a few of my favorite colors, and started designing the site!
The design process itself took me a bit longer than anticipated (doesn’t it always??). And that is (one of) the factors that contributed to WTW getting completely neglected from the time I left for India to now. ;) But it’s finally done and business is booming, and I am really just loving that I didn’t go in the traditional route. The Mindy Arnholt Photography website doesn’t remind me of a single other photography site that I’ve seen. It might not be as professional or polished… but it’s beautiful! (or at least I sure think so!!!) It’s bright and colorful, the portfolio images reflect who I am as a photographer, and since launching it, have had regular feedback from people that it “feels” like Mindy. And who else could have done that?! I know that it will probably only be a matter of time until I feel like rebranding it all… but I’m going to fight that for a good long while.
I’d love your thoughts and feedback on the MAP site, so go check it out and leave me some love! If you’re interested in creating a photography website of your own, check out this article by Pixpa on creating a portfolio website that shines!
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.
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