In case you hadn’t noticed, Elissa R Photography (dot com) has a new look! And I’m so excited!
I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it was to work with Dameian Lott, the genius who designed and coded all of this for me. This is essentially going to be a giant love note about Dameian, and a long advertisement for you to hire him if you’re on the lookout for an awesome web guy.
When a person starts thinking about “re-branding” or “updating the website” or whatever else, one always always always hears horrible stories. How designers don’t respond to emails for weeks, how they don’t listen to your criticism for what you want from your website, how it takes ages to get new revisions and your project goes past the deadline you’d like, and so on. I was actually very hesitant to redesign my site, even though I’d been using a template for about 2 years and was tired of looking at it, because I was scared of hiring someone and wasting a ton of money.
I’m happy to say that with Dameian, those worries were unfounded. He emailed back within minutes, listened to me carefully and encouraged constructive criticism, and while the site wasn’t launched exactly on time, I blame my two international trips for pushing back the timeline by a few weeks.
Ages before I’d even hired him — or had even considered redesigning — Dameian had shown such sweetness of character that I already wanted to be his friend. Fielding random WordPress questions I had, offering to host my site when I got frustrated by Bluehost’s excessive outages, helping my friends out when they updated something and broke their site — I already knew he was a good guy. When I saw what he had coded for Caroline Ghetes and Shari DeAngelo, I knew I had to get on his waiting list if I ever wanted to redesign.
(Oh, and this happened in Vancouver:
Caroline and Shari and me, all Dameian clients, all ended up rooming together! I think this was a pic from Caroline’s iPhone.)
At the beginning of the project, I sent Dameian my “re-branding mood board” on Pinterest and he sent an initial mock-up. It was not my cup of tea — too bright, too peppy. I explained what I didn’t like about it, and the second mock-up was dead-on perfect. It was like he was in my mind. We just tailored all the little bits that had to be fixed, he coded it, did some trouble-shooting, and voila! While the project took a bit of time, it never felt wasted. The entire time we were exchanging emails to get the pieces lined up and perfect, and if there was a long silence I knew it was because he was doing stuff in the background that didn’t require my involvement.
Anyway, it was amazing working with Dameian. I sometimes felt as though I was incredibly needy — in all, we exchanged over 200 emails, emails that discussed all of the development in plain English so that I could understand what was going on — and he never seemed put out by it. Oh, and did I mention that in those emails he included nerdy lines referencing ASOIAF, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings?
I mean, really, how could you not want to hug the person who is working his butt off on your site and sending you gems such as:
This staging site is obviously not ready for prime time and is like the 2/3 built Death Star at this point, so never mind the messy and incomplete bits.
I moved the date to the left. I was drawing a total blank on what to balance it with on the right so I put a kitty cat over there. (Elissa’s note: And there are cats! On every post! Do you see them? I’m such a cat lady that I think it’s the maraschino cherry on top of this awesome chocolate sundae.)
I’ve been going off nerd-adrenaline for the past 48 hours and if I don’t rest soon I’ll snap out of a haze tomorrow morning to myself in the garage sewing Rohirrim horse lord costumes or something.
There’s just no way.
I don’t know all the technical specs of this site — runs off WordPress, of course; Dameian set up some pretty grids for me, and it seems much more efficient than the template I was using before. I’m totally in love with it and would definitely recommend that if you want to spend your hard-earned dollars with a good person who runs a good business, take your money to Dameian!
Dude. I *love* it. And having an awesome and responsive designer is so so so important. I’ve been living in nightmare land with terrible stylesheets for months now at work… and I’m no longer qualified to fix it. Site note: Remember when we used to make web sites in olden days?
Ahh, Linz, those were the days :) I couldn’t code anything now if you asked me to… my brain is all HTML4 hahaha.