Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Brand New Logo, Website & Blog ~ OH MY! :-)

First Up… Our New Co-Bear Photography Logo!

While we liked our old logo it just didn't fit who we are, what we do or the clients we were serving. It was Dark, Black & Seemed To Lean More Visually Towards Children Photography.

Coming up with a new logo was H-A-R-D! We wanted the new logo to feature a teddy bear couple in love, enjoying life, earth tones, fun, friendly, professional, love hugs & laughter photography… The designers said jokingly, "Cindy, You sure don't ask for much do you?" Hmmm… nope :-) But then again if it would have been super easy, I'd have done it myself. I'm great at photography but logo design… not so much. Instead I hired a company called 99 Designs where designers all over the world could review our request and submit their ideas. It was a crazy amazing learning experience. In the end a designer by the nickname of TwinkleBee won our hearts. She was an absolute gem to work with, had a keen insight into what we were looking for, never seemed to grow weary with our revision requests and truly seemed to want to create exactly what we wanted. I could go on and on but suffice it to say that while I'm not 100% certain we've gotten 'exactly' what we want and need… (does one ever?) We're close enough that we're happy for now & hope you'll like the new look as well.

Co-Bear Photography ~ Love, Hugs & Laughter ~ Wedding & Portrait ~ Travel & Destination Photography Co-Bear, Photography, Logo, love hugs and laughter, wedding, portrait, brand, branding

Next Up… The New Website & Blog!

Once we received the final logo design it was time to get busy overhauling the new website and blog. But, one very huge problem stood in the way. For years we've used Smugmug Pro Exclusively for our main website host. Smugmug provided us with a fully 100% customizable website and allowed us to display an unlimited number of photos and videos but… It was hard to customize (I knew just enough html and css code to be extremely dangerous haha) and we knew that they were soon going to be completely overhauling the backend… which could potentially ruin everything I was about to do. So, I voiced my concerns on DGRIN - The Smugmug Forums back in April of 2013. Sure enough, it was confirmed that if I should decide to go ahead with my plans to hire a professional website builder and/or do it myself that everything would be 'Totally Borked' when the new Smugmug changed over. But… no one knew when this would happen.

Sensing my frustration Baldy (aka Chris MacAskill) who is Smugmug's Co-Founder phoned me to discuss the changes and to personally encourage me to hang in there with them. We talked at great lengths about the soon to be released smugmug, what I could expect before and after and… he even confidentially shared the dates he was hoping for but not guaranteeing that everything would go live. WOW!!! I don't know about you'll, but when the Co-Founder of Smugmug called me… little ol' me… I was shocked, floored, impressed, very thankful and VERY proud to be a part of the Smugmug team. With smiles… the wait began… :-)

Finally… On July 30th, 2013 The New Smugmug Went Live!!! and I can't even begin to tell you how much I am truly In Love With New Smugmug! Right out of the box you can create your own website in literally just minutes. The ease of organizing your site and photos is now amazing easy! And… while you can still opt to pay someone $1000's of dollars for a one of a kind site… It truly is 'No Longer Necessary'. Smugmug has an amazing community of people over in the dgrin forums that love helping one another snazzy up their sites. As time allowed I worked on & off the new site for a couple weeks and then another few weeks matching up a seamless blogger blog. I must confess… It's so easy to work on new Smugmug now that I suspect I'll be making changes much more often. :-)

Please have a look around the new site and seamless blog. I'd love to hear your suggestions and how to improve it's ease of navigation, visual appeal or anything that you think would improve our websites look, feel and most important it's ease of use for you. If you find anything that's not linked up correctly or doesn't seem to be working… please let me know. Someday when I have those thousand(s) of dollars to spare I may still hire a professional website designer but until then… I think we've got a pretty good start, don't you?

So… Now that we've got all this, What's Next?

In the days to come we hope to cross link lots of our Portfolio Images right here on the blog (we hear it's great for SEO and helping search engines like google to 'find and see' our images online + We'll also be sharing some super awesome information about how we want to build the portfolio and why that's going to be super important to you. I guarantee… You won't want to miss it! Until next time…

Wishing You Love, Hugs & Laughter In Abundance,
Cindy Colbert ~ Co-Bear Photography
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