Web design has always been something of a passion for me. Ever since starting my first GeoCities page, I have used every resource at my disposal, from O’Reilly Head First books to Lynda.com tutorials to get that under construction image to blink and featured images in a WordPress child theme to automatically pull from the latest Instagram post.
I began blogging in 2005 on Blogger. It wasn’t until I moved to WordPress a few years later that I became interested in customizing my page. In 2009, I designed and coded my first webpage, seen below.
Three years later, I set out to learn WordPress by creating a photoblog for the photographers at The News Journal. The theme set to take a different approach from many of the news photo blogs that were popular at the time. Instead of a one-column layout featuring the latest posts curated by photo editors, this blog featured the four latest photos and videos created by each photographer on staff which were automatically pulled in through a combination of the IFTTT service and Flickr.
Eventually, the blog took on a more traditional look, and the First State Focus name. In its final iteration before being swallowed up with the launch of a new content management system, the First State Focus blog focused more on tying together the photography community from around the state than featuring staff work. This approach has continued with the weekly First State Focus photo page in print and the First State Focus photography workshops.