A new year, a new website and a new blog / by Zachary Hayes

Hello and welcome to my blog.

As I write this (blog) I feel anxious and a lot of excitement. The nerves come from the fact I have not been known to be  a verbose person. I tend to keep to myself and only speak up when I feel I have something to contribute. I was not much of a reader and early on I realized that I preferred to work with things rather than people. Communicating (written or verbal) was always more complicated than I felt it should be.

I am excited because of what this website and blog represents. A little more than a year ago in December, as 2014 dwindled, I was a college graduate, I had a job in my chosen career with a well known company and a great outlook for the future.  But as I tried to picture what my life would and could be I realized that it no longer had the structure that had helped guide me  to get to where I was. So I set goals for myself, albeit some lofty goals, with the idea that having these goals would be beacons to help guide my decisions. One of the first goals was to get a website going for my photography. As soon as that goal was on paper I started going after the low hanging fruit. I found a host for the website, signed up, and started customizing the website.

I immediately realized two things. First, the website quickly became cluttered. So many options and templates. I was having flashbacks to MySpace pages with glittery and flashing GIFs. The website wasn't quite that glittery, but it was still too cluttered. It became more about "this website I made that has some of my photographs" instead of "I have photographs up on my website." --a large and important difference. Second, I was uploading images but as I tried to organize and group them to make galleries I was unhappy. I couldn't piece together one group of cohesive and uniform images. I had many good images, but I wasn’t telling a story--there was no theme. The images were more a collection of happy accidents.

So, I narrowed the scope of my goals. I wanted a website. I wanted the website to be easily navigated, and free of clutter. The website should not distract or detract from the images I wanted to share. I would start with two good collections. The images in each collection should be cohesive and fairly uniform. The images should be on the site not because they were the best I had in a random assortment, but because they were the best I was able to create.

Throughout the course of 2015, I have worked hard to improve my photographic techniques, to make better photographs (in composition, image quality and content), and to find a way to display them.

So, as I write this first blog post on my new website I am filled with that anxious glee that comes from completing a difficult challenge. Thank you for visiting, say “Hi” and come back soon as I continue to experiment, explore and expand this site.

~Zach