A pandemic might have been what I needed to get a new website done.
I’m not one of those who said, ‘perhaps this pandemic is our chance to slow down’ or ‘with all this free time, we can start new hobbies.’ I haven’t had any free time. COVID meant more work for me, not less. Building a new website is was NOT on my to-do list.
I started a landslide in January when I suggested Andy consult with international photography consultant Selina Maitreya. They continued to meet throughout February and March, and I joined their conversation just as COVID stay-at-home orders were issued. Things got weird.
But we marched on and continued our work with Selina. We also applied for PPP and EIDL; I received OHSA training and learned about PPP, practices, procedures, and protocols. There were a lot of P’s, and I didn’t even apply for PUA. The only other P I was ready for was PUNCH.
Selina and Andy during their first meeting in January 2020
When Selina said we needed a new website, and I quaked in my slippers (who wears shoes anymore)?
Let me explain. In the Spring of 2019, I was asked to teach a class at Mount Hood Community College for four weeks while the teacher was on paternity leave. It was a web design class for photography students. I said, yes! I like teaching, but I had no idea about web design. I had plenty of opinions, but little experience other than minor maintenance work on our current website.
Then Selina commented, “you need a new website,” and I was surprised to find I immediately had grand plans! I had reviewed so many sites teaching the class, and I had a ton of clarity about what I liked and didn’t like. But putting it into action and starting from scratch is something I had never done. What was I thinking???
When you scroll down on the new site, you’ll discover Andy’s new reel!
If you have vision and the content to match that vision, the rest is relatively easy.
The images and imagination are all Andy. He’s a powerhouse. But he’s not his own best editor, nor am I. This is Selina’s specialty. She spent months listening and guiding Andy’s thoughts, and then she created the edit.
We had the absolute fortune to work with an incredible writer, Mark Radcliffe. He took on our project and spent a hell of a lot of time listening to Andy and Selina, creating three rounds of positioning statements and taglines. It was a moving experience to see Andy’s vision in words. Speaking and writing about ourselves is impossible! Mark is a wordsmith, and I can’t thank him enough for saying yes to our project.
What am I getting at here? I FUCKING MADE A WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH! Never in my life did I think I would ever be capable of such a thing. This new website is my vision. I didn’t do it alone, but I’m going to take the credit for creating it. Shari Holmes helped me with copy design, and the team at PhotoFolio helped with numerous questions and support tickets. But I did this, and I can’t even believe it. It took me five months, but I did it, and I launched it on schedule.
I’ll always remember that I did this during a pandemic, but in the end, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. So, fuck you, COVID. I did this DESPITE you, not because of you. IN YOUR FACE!
Therese is now the Account Director at Andy Batt Studio, and she is the founder and lead producer at Ask A Producer, a production company for photographers and directors. She also provides consultation, estimation, and negotiation services, and teaches workshops and seminars. When she’s not on set or at her desk, you’ll often find her surrounded by friends, laughing with a glass of champagne in her hand.