My good friend, and D-Town TV co-host Matt Kloskowski has been working on a portfolio site for his photography, and when he came in and showed it to me last week, I was just like, “Dude—that’s the portfolio site everybody wants!”
He had been keeping his eye out for a while for an easily up-datable, flexible, inexpensive solution, but this is actually more than that , and I think he just totally nailed it!. I think it really compliments his photography, and at the same time, it makes you want to look around and see what else is there (and there’s lot of stuff there). Take a moment and check out Matt’s fantastic photography, and his very cool new site.
NOTE: Matt is in Dubai right now, teaching at the Gulf Photo conference, but I’m doing to send him a text to let me know that I ran this post, and hopefully if he gets a chance he can answer some of your questions about his site.
All I can say is, “Awesome Site” and “Awesome Photography.”
Now that is nice!!!
Everything a site should be; eye catching, easy to navigate, great colour scheme and if I may say, a rather snazzy logo…lol
A really great site that really shows off Matt’s Photography to it’s best.
Great job and I’m thinking…worth the wait.
I had spied this very nice wordpress based site (ePhoto) at elegantthemes. It is a unique approach to portfolio presentation and allows one to incorporate a blog as well.
What a wonderful collection of images, nicely done site Matt!
I was wondering where I saw that theme. Been looking at it myself. Amazing Photos Matt. Scott thanks for all your post and great books. I have learned so much since I started reading your books.
That is a great site layout! Easy to navigate and also arranges important information in a good way. Ive been looking for something like this for some time now. Can you point me in the right direction? Wonderful photography too!
-Paul M. Howard
I commented on this a few days ago but for some reason I thought I was late in finding it. It’s the quintessential web site! I actually found out about it on an Adobe blog site.
Scott, have you guys tried out the Animoto Iphone app? It’s easy to use and I can log in with my account and view my video library. You may have already blogged about it but I would be surprised if I missed that!
Thanks guys (and thanks Scott!). I’ll try to do a quick FAQ as I’m off to teach in a little while.
Q. Where did this site come from?
A. http://www.elegantthemes.com – great WordPress themes for about $20 (or 73.50 Dirhams if you’re in Dubai) :)
Q. Are you going to blog at MattKloskowski.com too?
A. Nope. It’s just a portfolio website and an “about matt” kinda thing. I do all of my blogging at lightroomkillertips.com instead.
Q. So why did you use a blog theme instead of designing a portfolio website?
A. I was lazy. I saw lots of cool flash templates but they looked like they were really difficult to work with. I wanted something that was easy to update, flexible and that looked cool. Since everything seems to be going WordPress these days, I figured I’d start there. Once I found this one I knew it was what I was looking for.
Q. Was the theme easy to work with?
A. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being difficult), I’d say it was a 5 or so. It was probably harder for me, as I’d never worked with WordPress before. Many thanks to RC Concepcion for pointing me in the right direction and for his “WordPress for Photographers” courses on KelbyTraining.com. But once I got the hang of it, it was pretty smooth to work with. The Elegant Themes folks have an awesome interface that takes a lot of the nitty gritty stuff away and makes working with the theme a lot easier.
Q. Did you run into any snags?
A. The one snag I ran into was the display of the photos and the auto resizing. The theme has a plug-in that resizes images to fit in that landscape format at the top of each page. For most landscapes it worked fine but when I uploaded a portrait sized image, things got a little funky and it would show a weird part of the image (like someone’s feet instead of face). After poking around on their forums (which are awesome by the way and very helpful), I found some code that let me create my own thumbnails for display at the top. So I put the portrait images into a certain landscape size image and saved it as a JPEG. So when you look at it, you’ll see what I want you to see but when you click on it, you’ll see the full portrait image.
Q. Any other updates or changes?
A. Yep, I had Leslie Montenegro (one of our web geniuses at work) create a nice layout for the Podcasts and Books pages. Design By Firgs had an interview with her if you want to see it: http://designbyfirgs.com/blog/2010/02/interview-leslie-montenegro/
Q. Anything else?
A. The only other thing I’d like to fix is the small thumbnails that you see on the home page. I get no control over those and I think the resize plug-in does kinda a crummy job on them. That’s not elegant themes fault though and I’ve posted on the forum to see if there’ a way I can override it and create my own thumbnails instead. Keep your fingers crossed.
Thanks again for the kind words :)
– Matt K
Matt, can you share that code you used to fix the landscape vs portfolio for the top images?
I used this theme for a short period of time and didnt care for the exact reason of thumbnail and autoresizing, glad to see you nailed it down.
What you did with it looks awesome.
Site looks great.
Fixing the portrait sizing issue would be a plus.
Maybe it’s just me but I would also like to be able to disable “right click” save as option in the larger view of an image.
Thanks Matt! :)
Nice site. Loads real quick. That’s a great part about it.
Very pro look as well.
It is an awesome Word Press theme! I found Elegant Themes through RC’s online Kelby Training video. Seeing Matt’s photography on the ePhoto theme has inspired me to further develop and evolve mine.
If you are interested here is a link http://www.designtail.com.au
Thanks for sharing your site!
Bravo Matt! I’ve been looking for site ideas. Your teaching me LR now on Kelby Training and now you and RC can teach me how to show off my learning!!
I loved your site, Matt, but your photography is absolutely awesome.
Thanks for sharing Matt. I’ve been looking for a new website idea so I’ll check out these wordpress themes. Love your Kelby training video’s and DTown TV.
Scott: It is certainly a nice website, and the photography speaks for itself… but what makes it THE portfolio website in your opinion? I’m not seeing what separates it from others from a design or functionality department. (with all due respect to Matt)
Just one thing I have to say to this site: well done.
It’s great to look at his Pictures in such a great ambience :)
I love it! I am somewhat partial though…I have been using it as a blog site for about a week now.
Hi Matt and the Rest of the Team.
Its a very simple and nice site. I love it.
I came back yesterday from Dubai:-)
Have a great time there
I started working with this theme last year, but gave up due to frustration with the portrait oriented images. Matt I’d love to know what fix you found, the only things I found on the ElegantThemes site actually break wordpress for me.
I totally agree with Matt about Elegant Themes. I use a modified version of Quadro on my site and the help i got in the forums was fantastic.
I think its way to busy. My eye doesn’t know where to look. The top animation is annoying.
Doesn’t really look like a photographers site.
Just my thoughts . Nice photos though.
bb, busy or breathtaking?
nice!!! i like his site! it focuses on the photography and imagery!
Yay! No Flash! I can actually see it on my iPhone and, soon, my iPad. Great work, Matt. The pictures look awesome. I look forward to seeing you and RC again in a few weeks.
Very cool Matt… elegant indeed! Congrats!
I have been looking at the themes at elegantthemes for a while now.
Nice to see what is possible.
Nice!! The site and theme! I’ve been using this theme (http://www.clearlyscene.com) for several months now and love it, though my photography has not reached the level of Matt’s as of yet. I also started a small blog there, but haven’t updated it in sometime. It has it’s little quirks that you have to work out, but overall functions great! Elegantthemes has a few really nice templates there including another one for a photo gallery, but I liked this one best. The main reasons are it’s a nice clean look a little different than everything else out there and I like the focus it puts on the photography up front. For $20/yr and some knowledge of setting up WordPress it’s a minimal investment.
Fantastic work Matt. A bit intimidating so will probably wait to get started. Your photography is outstanding – in short, the site is a joy to behold.
Beautiful photos and website. I took a look at the Elegant Themes website and $20 looks like a great deal on a nice selection of really great professional looking themes. I’ve been using Slideshowpro for my website, which is also a really elegant and highly customizable solution, but as iPhones and (soon) iPads become more common, the reliance on Flash is no longer viable. As the number of these devices increases, it’s too large of a slice of the market to alienate. I’d imagine I’m not the only photographer in this quandary right now. I’m looking for an alternative and if I can customize the ePhoto theme easily enough, it might be the solution. Thanks for Scott and Mat for posting this!
while the website look and feel is very sleek and navigation is great, it is unfortunate that it is manipulating pixels before rendering such great images. may be im an OCD’ed pixel-peeper but i can see that the theme/software is not rendering the original image as-is and performing its resize algorithms on the image data. for a photographer’s website where i would imagine every created pixel to stay as-is, any website/theme that manipulates a single pixel is a definite deal-breaker. i’d be happier with flickr embeds on blog/CMS websites because flickr guarantees as-is image delivery.
Yes.. you are OCD about it…
If you want the image to stay as is, you should put a button next to each image, that automatically opens a time portal and hands the viewer an image that was printed on Exhibition fiber off color corrected monitors.
Fact is.. you have a balancing act that you need to do when presenting images. Quality versus file size. As it is, we’ve seen a lot of … how shall I say… ‘recommendations’… that Scott’s portfolio is taking too long to load.
You compress more.. it gets more pixelated and ruins ‘the vision’. You compress less.. and you increase wait times.
Dont worry.. there are pills for that my friend.. just enjoy the gallery.. :)
Somewhat unrelated, but is that Matt in the center of this image watching sunset from the Burj on Monday? I sort of wonder if that’s McNally’s head leaning inward on the left side. Then again, maybe I’m just seeing things.
WAY Too busy, reminds me of a glorified flickr page, nice photos though.
I agree! I was curious to see what “THE” portfolio/photograph layout looked like but it’s nothing to write home about. Nice way to drive traffic to a friends site though.
I noticed that Scott is one away from the bottom on the ‘Friends’ list.
I think the site layout is excellent, however I gotta say it, the photos look awful! This is not a knock on Matt’s photography at all, that in itself is excellent. The problem is the compression on the images, for one reason or another, I’m seeing colour blocking up and pixellation. When I look at the site as a whole, it looks rather… “Fuzzy” I go to a photographer’s website not to see how well they can lay out a website, but to see their images, and these images are an injustice to Matt’s talent.
No I’m not looking at this in some weird format or weird screen or anything like that. I’m using Firefox and 2 different 22inch LCD monitors, and the same problem is occurring on both screens. I even checked it on IE8 to see if it was Firefox, Nope.
Why so much compression? Great layout though Matt.
EDIT: I forgot to clarify that the images on the Home Page and the thumbnails in the galleries are what look awful, once you click through and load a full sized image it looks fine.
you right on the thumbnails they look bad but the images going through the animation don’t look to bad. The sight layout is so busy though I think i’m in disneyland.
tell Matt I say hi, he knows me well :)
Wanted to drop Matt a personal email to congratulate him to his own new portfolio website, but could not find a contact button on there. Def. something to be added.
Love reading your blog, keep it up mate!
Greez from Sydney/Australia
Fantastic web site! And, spectacular photography Matt.
Thanks for sharing.
South Florida Photographer
This is a really nice layout and easy to navigate!
Man, talk about whinners….well, all you “I can do better”, put up or shut up.
You gave tremendous positive points there. I did a search on the topic and found most peoples will agree with your blog.