The WordPress Photography Podcast
The WordPress Photography Podcast
Episode 11 - Content That Travels With You w/ Andrew Funderburg


Andrew-FunderburgBest known as the creator of Fundy Software, Andrew (also known as Fundy) has been a serious photographer for about 15 years. He started exploring different genres of photography while living in Japan in the late nineties and early 2000s. His first interest was cultural photography, and there were glimpses of street style photography early on. He started shooting professionally in Japan in the early 2000s. He first second shot weddings for a local studio, then was contracted directly at three Iron Chef restaurants in Japan.

WordPress/Photography Related News:

WordPress is getting close to the 4.5 release. It has some important changes including one that impacts all photographers.  Currently, WordPress compresses images from 100 quality to 80 quality. With a plugin, you can increase the quality back to 100.  The plan for 4.5 is to drop the quality even further. The impact isn't going to be completely noticeable for large images, but it will for thumbnails.  If you are using a plugin for your galleries which rely on the WordPress Media Library, then check with the developers to see if they're including the script to remove all compression.  I am glad to say NextGEN Gallery is not impacted by this change, in any way. In fact, NextGEN Galleries are retina with NextGEN Plus or Pro active, so thumbnails look great now on all devices and will continue to do so.

Referenced Links:

Where to find Fundy:

Awesome Quotes!

[bctt tweet="I believe in a platform that you can always rely on and change - @FundySoftware"]

[bctt tweet="It scares me to put your business on a platform when it is controlled by someone else. - @FundySoftware"]

[bctt tweet="Prints are a bridge between generations - @FundySoftware"]


Transcription was done by Rev.comScott: Welcome to episode 11. My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz and I'm joined by my co-host Rachel from FotoSkribe. Hey, Rachel. 

Rachel: Hey, Scott. How are you?

Scott: Doing very well now. I feel a lot better. I caught the WPPI flu and that put me a little under the weather for a few days, but now I am feeling about 95% to full capacity and I am ready for another episode. We're recording this on a ... What's today? Today's Tuesday, on Thursday our first Q&A episode goes live, episode 10.

Rachel: Yep.

Scott: That's really exciting. Again, for anybody who's listening new or has listened in the past, every 10 episodes, we're going to do a Q&A, so visit imagely.com/podcast/q and submit your questions and we'll be sure to include those in on the next one, which is going to be episode 20.

Rachel: That was great, we got some really good information. You guys have just gotten back from WPPI and I'm really excited to dive into that.

Scott: Yeah. Yeah, we'll definitely get into that. Speaking of you guys getting back, let's talk about who we have with us. A lot of people might recognize his face from the tiny screen right now, but soon you'll see him a lot larger. We have Andrew Funderburg who's best known as the creator of Fundy Software and now Fundy Designer.

Fundy: Hey, guys.

Scott: Hey. Andrew has been a serious photographer for about 15 years. He start exploring different genres of photography while living in Japan in the late '90s and early 2000s.

Fundy: That sounds like a long time ago.

Scott: Yeah, it does, doesn't it? It really does.

Fundy: It was more recent, I swear, a couple of years ago.

Scott: Yeah. His first interest was culture photography and there were glimpses of street style photography early on. He started shooting professionally in Japan in the early 2000s. That really does sound like, oh man, every time I say that it does sound like a long time ago.

Rachel: I know.

Fundy: It was just a couple of years ago guys, it was so recent.

Scott: He first second shot for weddings for a local studio, then was contracted directly at three Iron Chef restaurants in Japan. That's really, really cool.

Fundy: Realize that all of this was taking place in Japanese, there was no English going on at all. I had to learn wedding photography in Japanese first on film.

Rachel: Wow.

Scott: Yeah, that's definitely intense. It's hard enough to learn wedding photography in your native language.

Rachel: Right, right.

Scott: Andrew or Fundy, as we're going to be calling him in this episode, has taken his company to new heights and we're very happy to have him on the show. I personally have known Fundy for many years through social media and finally after ...

Fundy: Many years.

Scott: Many years.

Fundy: We're both still very young, though.

Scott: Yeah. Yes. Maybe in the 2000s or early '90s. Finally, after all these years we had a chance to meet at WPPI. It was really cool. His booth was rocking, so I didn't really have a chance to speak to him in person too much because he was all over the place. That was really cool to finally meet you after all these years.

Fundy: It was great to meet you too. Yeah, we got a couple of high fives in, I think.

Scott: Yes, I do believe so.

Rachel: Ships passing in the night, right? Yeah.

Scott: Before we get into the WordPress news, let's take a little WPPI break and break off. Let's talk a little bit about WPPI and how that was for you because you guys had a beautiful booth, again. What I've heard from past WPPIs, that the booth is always beautiful. You had a big booth. You had places for people to see demos. You had live demos going on with ... were there double sided TV screens on that?

Fundy: Yeah. What we like to do is we like to create a comfortable atmosphere. One of the things that is always really popular is we have sofas for people to sit down because they're so tired walking that floor. We had two TV screens. We had demos on one screen and then we had speakers on the other screen who might be speaking on a Fundy topic or might be speaking about storytelling or shooting for the story or image or business related on the other screen.

Scott: Great.

Rachel: WPPI was big for you because you released the latest version of Fundy Designer. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

Fundy: Yeah, actually if you want to do a screen share, I pulled it up to ... I know we didn't go over that in the notes, but did you want to do a little screen share while I talk?

Scott: Sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rachel: Yeah, that'd be great.

Scott: Share your screen, I'll make sure that you're static on the video.

Fundy: Yep, so there we go. I'll share that [one 00:04:42].

Rachel: If you're listening to this in a podcast forum, you might want to come over to imagely.com/podcast/11, so you can see the video itself.

Fundy: Yes, and this will just take just a couple of seconds. A complete UI re-skin, and then three main new features. The first is, what I believe is the most powerful image browser in any photo design application, all of your tags come in through Lightroom or Bridge or Photo Mechanic, all of your star ratings. Then, we've introduced some brand new tags that are also keywords, main image, cover photo, panorama and the ability to group images. You see like these two images are grouped together. You can tag an image to be a main image and you can tag an image to be a panorama. You can also organize your images based on key wording. It just gives you a little bit more control. Image browser, comparison view, so you can compare two separate images.

Rachel: Wow. What we're looking at, listeners, is that we're really getting a hands on view of what the software does in the image browser. This isn't even designing an album yet, this is just looking at the images, correct?

Fundy: Yeah, this basically let's you storyboard out the album if you would like too. Our big wow feature is this magic button right here. There's a whole lot going under the hood, but what we're dubbing is the very first ever, truly professional auto design feature.

Rachel: Wow.

Scott: For those who have not ever looked into Fundy's Software, and correct me if I'm wrong, but this is actually utilizing your tags and your stars and all that.

Fundy: And your timestamps. Also, before Scott started talking, we actually already designed the album.

Rachel: Yeah.

Scott: Yeah, it's all done.

Fundy: The second thing is the auto design and then the third thing is our brand new quick design picker that has over 150 designs built in. You basically can choose a style design and then you can just tab through that design and go in. What we like to do is we like to marriage speed and control and usually those are opposites. Usually, if you want more speed you have to give up control and we like to marriage those, so you actually have a ton more speed and a ton more control in version 7.

Rachel: Again, for listeners, what just happened is between Fundy speaking and Scott speaking, the album was designed through just press of a button. That is pretty impressive. Then, obviously, the modifications that you can make now, it's almost like seemingly endless options.

Scott: Yep, and you can send it out to have the album printed directly.

Fundy: Exactly, yeah. We have a ton of direct partners, one that we wanted to mention because I know you work closely with this is Tamara Lackey's Lush Albums. It's a very special fine art album, beautiful, beautiful handcrafted materials, fine art printing and 50% of all of the profits go directly to Beautiful Together that does great things like builds kitchens and bathrooms for orphanages in Africa, helps adoption processes, things like that. A lot of really cool stuff.

Scott: Yeah and Lush Albums, by the way, the albums are all made without animal products.

Rachel: Correct.

Scott: If you feel strongly about your albums not having animal products, Lush Albums is definitely a direction to look at, aside from just supporting a great charity as well. I was very impressed with Fundy Designer version 7. Even version 6 is beautiful, but you've just taken it up another level in the album design world. It's impressive. Your team did a fantastic job.

Fundy: Yeah. When we do a new version we like to really blow it out of the water. It's [inaudible 00:08:54] version 6 to version 7, but for the technology that we've put into it, we've move from a version 6 to a version 8 or 9.

Rachel: Yeah. Thank you for allowing us to geek out because I know this is a WordPress podcast, but there's ...

Scott: Yeah, sorry.

Rachel: ... stuff in that software that I, as a geek, love getting into the nitty-gritty of it.

Scott: We can bring this back to a WordPress level too. We're going to get into this in a little bit. I'll have a question for Fundy down the road, but just as an FYI, there are album designer plug-ins out there for WordPress. Now, I have tested numerous ones. I haven't found one that really could take my attention away from Fundy as far as album design goes. If you want to work with this plug-in, they are there.

Rachel: That's interesting. Yeah, knowing Fundy and knowing the software, I couldn't ... I love WordPress, but I couldn't imagine doing that within the WordPress framework.

Scott: Yeah, it would ...

Rachel: That might be the only thing, Scott, that we recommend you don't do in WordPress.

Scott: Currently that's the only thing that I personally recommend photographers not do.

Fundy: It really comes down to also design, you're dealing with full resolution images, you're dealing with a lot of processing power. It's just like Lightroom. I wouldn't want to process my raw photos online either. It doesn't make sense, it's not the right location. We do and a lot of our users do utilize WordPress, quick export for web, for creating a web gallery on WordPress, showing those images. Fundy Designer has a Blog Collage. A lot of people ...

Rachel: Yes, which I ...

Fundy: ... love that, which ends up on WordPress and all of those things. I think it's one of those things of using the right tool for the right job.

Rachel: Right.

Scott: Exactly, exactly.

Rachel: I think the reason we mention is because we talk a lot, Scott and I talk a lot about what you said before, the image gallery. You can do that in WordPress and you don't necessarily need another ... There's a lot of tools out there that you can have your client proofing done with a third party software, but there's a NextGEN Gallery and there's other plug-ins on WordPress that are pretty robust too. That will actually get us into our other news is that Imagely has launched, right?

Scott: Yes. We launched at WPPI. We actually have a big giveaway going on that. That actually might end by the time this airs. We launched with Turnkey Photography Websites and pre-installed with all of our themes, which are based on Genesis as well as all of our plug-ins including NextGEN Gallery and NextGEN Pro as well as best in class plugins like Yoast SEO, Yoast Analytics and things like that.

Fundy: I think it would be good, me as a user, I always do the same thing, but can you explain NextGEN pro to the user so that they [crosstalk 00:11:58].

Scott: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The free version NextGEN Gallery is our Gallery of management, Gallery display, basically a portfolio system. It works with the galleries and albums, which is basically Lightroom's collections and collection sets. Then, NextGEN Pro adds on top of that, additional display styles as well as e-commerce for print sales and digital downloads and proofing and image protection and many things like that. We are working on print lab integration as well, it'll be the first for WordPress to have a true print lab integration and a bunch of other fun stuff. Yeah, that's the big differences. NextGEN pro adds on top of what the free plug-in has to offer, adding the most important things being e-commerce and proofing to that. It's e-commerce that's designed for images, not e-commerce that's designed for just any products.

Fundy: Yeah.

Scott: The big thing with Imagely, the launch, is the Turnkey solution. You can literally go to Imagely, sign up for an account to host with us and the website is actually designed for you. If you already have one, we will migrate you to our system as is, if you want and you still get all of our themes and plug-ins. We can launch a site for you with the design done, with all the dummy content in place for you to just go in and edit. That's pretty cool.

Rachel: What I really like about Imagely too, is you can use any theme. Although they have themes available based on the Genesis platform, which is a really strong platform, but you could use any theme that you already have. You could use pro photo. You could use whatever you currently have, but it's the back end stuff, it's the Yoast SEO plug-in already installed. Scott and I were talking and Akismet is now making it harder ... It was free before and you can still get it for free, but technically you're not supposed to use it for free unless you have a personal blog. All of us with photography business blogs are supposed to pay for that. It's a spam protection, Akismet, if you're not sure. If you're on the Imagely, they've purchased an enterprise license, so that you're still getting it for free, but you're using the correct license for your business. Little things like that are really important.

Scott: Yeah, we're including the enterprise class spam protection for free, basically, to our hosting customers. It does a great job and you don't have to worry about potential legal issues of not using the paid version because you are. Yeah, that's one bit of news. The other news I want to talk about was, which we had just talked about was Fundy Designer 7. We're not going to back into that just yet, but that was the second bit of news I want to talk about. The last thing is WordPress is getting close to version 4.5 and it's important changes. There's important changes that impact photographers big time, so please, listen closely. Currently, WordPress compresses images from a 100 "quality" to 80 quality. With a plug-in or a little script, you can actually increase the quality back to 100. This is for any images that are uploaded through the Media Library. The plan for 4.5 is to drop that quality even further, to I believe, around 60 quality.

The impact isn't going to be completely noticeable for large images, but it will big time for thumbnails. If you're using a plug-in for your galleries which rely on the WordPress Media Library, check with the developers to make sure that they're including a script to remove the compression completely or to raise it back up to 80 or whatever you want them to do or have an option for it. With that said, I am glad to say NextGEN Gallery is not impacted by this in any way because NextGEN Galleries are not using the Media Library at the moment, we have our own system. NextGEN Gallery is also Retina, so we actually code to make sure that your photos look good on every device, very crisp and clear. As long as you have NextGEN Plus or Pro active, you have Retina available. That's another thing that Pro does that NextGEN Gallery does not.

Rachel: Wow. This is really interesting because I'm assuming they're doing the compression for speed.

Scott: Yes, without a doubt.

Rachel: Didn't they just in 4.1.2 or something bring out the Retina, meaning you could have the different sized images already, right?

Scott: Responsive, so they ...

Rachel: Correct.

Scott: ... get a responsive capability. That's depending on what screen size a different image shows, which means each of those images that WordPress creates by default in the Media Library are going to be compressed to whatever the new number is.

Rachel: Wow, that's really interesting. If you're a photographer and this is something that you care about, which you should look into how your galleries are displayed in your themes and be proactive about it because this potentially could be important.

Scott: Yes. I will say I've heard from the developer behind Sunshine Photo Cart. If you're using Sunshine Photo Cart, he includes a script to remove the compression already, so you're safe there. I can't speak about the other ones, I haven't heard from them.

Rachel: That's interesting.

Scott: Yeah.

Rachel: We will continue to update this breaking WordPress news.

Scott: Yes.

Fundy: Nice.

Scott: Okay. News is done. Fundy, what's going on in your world?

Fundy: Okay. Obviously, from a software standpoint, our version 7 was a big release for us. It's the first major update since January 2014. We talked about that. We're super excited about that. The feedback has been insane. [inaudible 00:17:53] pushed it out. We got interviewed on USA Today Tech.

Rachel: I saw that, that was awesome!

Scott: Yeah, that's awesome.

Fundy: Rangefinder's pushing it out, so everybody's really excited about that. I think this is going to be a quantum leap for photographers who have albums as a core part of their business. One of the things that we're really big on is albums aren't just a little niche of your business, if you're a wedding photographer or a portrait photographer, they're a main part of your business. As part of your business it can be a main contributor to your bottom line. A lot of photographers that I work with personally that are invested in albums, they'll have between $2 and $4,000 on top of whatever they book for their wedding. That's an extra $30,000 to $50,000 a year in revenue for a single photographer. For a studio that has multiple photographers, you're moving up to a quarter of million dollars swing in what you bring in, which is huge.

Rachel: Wow, yeah.

Fundy: We're really excited about that. We launched Gallery Designer for in persons wall art Sales. Portrait photographers are loving that. In the fall we'll have a big 7.5 update that will bring frames and mats and client invoices and complete that full end-to-end suite. Being able to sit down and do everything in one platform with one project. Our projects are just like a Lightroom catalog, where you have your catalog of the Jones' wedding, you got your library, your development, your web, all of that. Fundy Designer's the same, you bring in one project, you can do your album, you can do your wall art, your blog collages, everything within one project. We're just going to keep building out this platform.

Scott: Great.

Rachel: Can I ask you a personal question of how did you get ... because we're all geeks here ... How did you get into creating this software? Are you a developer? What's your background in the tech side of it?

Fundy: I have a degree in English literature, so that's how I got started, that's what my BA is. I just got started out of being frustrated with what was available. I'm a big hater of templates. I just hate the Word template, it really boxes you in. I cannot count how many times before I got started in the business where I had this design I really liked except I had a vertical where a horizontal box needed to go. If I put that vertical in there it would crop it, which I didn't want. We actually got a patented on template free design, is that you can swap a vertical and a horizontal and the box will morph and [crosstalk 00:20:34] morph to make everything fit. That's how I got started, is just that I was really frustrated with what was out there in terms of speed and flexibility. If I would have known now what I had known then, I would have been too scared to start.

Rachel: Yeah. We hear a lot of that, Scott. I feel like we hear that.

Fundy: I just jumped in. I always hear business gurus giving business advice, like, "The first thing you want to do is sit down and lay out your business plan and all of that stuff." If I would have done that first I would never would have started the business. My advice is the opposite, is just to jump in. If you really want to do something just jump in or ...

Scott: You were lucky enough to find a team that could take your vision and really bring it to fruition.

Fundy: Yeah. Part of that, we have a great team now, but it's a completely different team that I had three years ago.

Rachel: Oh, that's interesting.

Fundy: There's nobody working for me now that worked for me three years ago. Also, being open to having your team evolve to meet the needs is definitely important.

Rachel: Yeah. What is your background with WordPress? I know the Fundy site is on WordPress. Is your personal site on it? Have you always had a site on it? What is that exploration for you?

Fundy: Our site has always been on WordPress.

Scott: You used to use the Karma theme.

Fundy: I did use the Karma theme, I forgot about that. That was a sweet theme, dude.

Scott: Do you want to know how I knew that?

Fundy: How?

Scott: It's not because I just happened to go to the site and say, "Hey, what theme does he use?" Before working at Imagely, I was working for an IT security company and I converted them from HubSpot to WordPress and I gave them all the Genesis designs to choose from because I own them all and he said, "No, I'll go look at theme [farce 00:22:19] and I'll just puck one. He picked Karma, so I recognized it immediately.

Fundy: Right away, yeah.

Scott: Yeah.

Fundy: Yeah, but we've always been WordPress. Our site has always evolved and our branding has always evolved. What I love about WordPress is that you can completely change your branding and look and keep your content. I have no idea how many blog posts we have. We have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of blog posts and so being able to have that travel with us is really important. Then the flexibility. Our current Fundy Designer site was custom hand built by FloSites and FloAgency did the branding. We did a full branding and new site with them over this last year. I believe we launched that in October, the new site. September, October, I forget. Loved that and then for my personal photography and I haven't updated the images on it for probably four or five months. I'm really into street photography, personally. It's a very high profitable portion of photography, I'm sure you're aware. A big, huge market out there for street photography.

Rachel: Yeah.

Scott: Oh, yeah.

Rachel: [crosstalk 00:23:39] I was like, "Wait, is he serious?"

Fundy: No, I'm not serious at all. All I have done is thrown money away on Leica gear and Leica lenses for street photography.

Scott: It's profitable when you throw your photos into a book and sell it.

Fundy: Yeah, I don't even think you can do that.

Rachel: You love it, right? You're very passionate about it.

Fundy: That's my love. One of the things that I love is going out on the street and hearing people's stories. I talk to a lot of people who are on the street, maybe begging for money and just hearing their stories about where they came from, where they're at, where they're going, doing portraits. I always give people a print right on the spot. I carry a little Polaroid printer with me and give them a print right on spot.

Rachel: Oh, I love that.

Scott: Going into a little photo geekiness, why did you choose the Polaroid and not the Fuji?

Fundy: It's actually a Fuji Instax printer.

Scott: Oh, okay. It's just Polaroid made the printer, but it's Instax.

Fundy: No, Polaroid didn't have anything to do with that, but nobody knows what a Fuji Instax print is. Everybody [crosstalk 00:24:39].

Scott: Oh, okay. Got it.

Fundy: I'm flying loose with the brand and [crosstalk 00:24:43].

Scott: Nice. Yes.

Rachel: Way to [crosstalk 00:24:45] him up, Scott.

Scott: I dig it, I dig it.

Fundy: It's a little Fuji printer that prints little half sides Polaroid looking prints, little instant prints. I carry that with me, give people prints on the spot. That's just what I love and that's how I relate my love of story with my personal work through to my professional life.

Rachel: Yeah.

Scott: Nice.

Rachel: You said you did wedding photography in Japan, do you ever do that when you came back to the States and have a web presence for that?

Fundy: I did. I do not have a web presence for that. I shot weddings and portraits for about a year and a half after I got back, about two years, and then the software company just took over all of my time. I love doing photography. I shoot about one wedding every two years when someone asks me.

Rachel: Oh, good.

Fundy: My last wedding I shot all Leica, so it was all manual focus, manual flash and it was really hard.

Rachel: But rewarding, I'm sure, in terms of an artist's point of view.

Fundy: Yeah, it was super fun and mostly just two lenses 35 and 50. Those are my favorites. My personal website is project 35, 50, so I shoot everything 35 and 50 millimeters.

Rachel: Awesome. We'll definitely link to that. I had a follow up question for you with the branding stuff because you went through the process, do you have any tips or tricks that you think photographers would appreciate or relate to if they're going through their own branding process?

Fundy: Yes.

Rachel: Because what we talked about in WordPress is exactly what you said, that it's like a theme is like address, you can take that and all your content comes over. How was that experience for you?

Fundy: Very interesting because one of the things ... I really, really love working with local companies and we hired a local branding company and they did a horrible job. We ended up having to fire them. We ended up just burning through $15,000 and getting nothing. My recommendation is first find someone that you really get along with, that you have a real connection with, and second that has a lot of expertise in your field. That's really what bit us, is that the person didn't have a lot of expertise in our field. That's why we ended up going with FloAgency. I've known Ross at FloAgency for a couple of years now probably, but I've known Sasha, who is their marketing director, for probably ... Let's see, when did I meet Sasha? Let's see I moved back here in '08, probably about five or six years.

Rachel: You've had a relationship and that helps you to move over.

Fundy: Yeah and I think it really helped that they, more so me knowing them, is they knew who I was on an internal level and that really helped. One of the things that you'll see that you can see ... Let me just tilt this back up ... you can see our Fundy Designer mark there and then you can see our sub-marks for our sub-products like Album Builder and Gallery Designer. One of the things that people have noted is that it kind of looks like origami, that origami F on the Fundy Designer and that gives a little bit of a nod to the 13 years I spent living in Japan.

Rachel: Yeah, that's awesome.

Fundy: Those little touches are meaningful in your brand, I think.

Rachel: Yeah.

Scott: Oh, yeah. That's for sure.

Rachel: How ... Go ahead.

Scott: They did a great job with it.

Fundy: Thank you.

Rachel: Oh, yeah. I love the new branding. How was the process? We talked about the branding and moving. How was it pulling it into WordPress? Did they do the work for you? Did you do work?

Fundy: They did all the work because it was a custom theme.

Rachel: Oh, okay.

Fundy: That was one thing that really helped, especially with photographers, any business that's online, finding a company that can do your branding and your site together at the same time, I think is a big help. Even if it's a purchased theme. Maybe they're using Imagely and the themes you guys provide, but having the brand person aware of that at the beginning, so they can be stylizing your brand and choosing your theme and that integration all at the same time, so that there's not a disconnect at the end.

Rachel: Yeah. That's actually great advice. I'll go on to say, the people that you work with for your content too should be able to manipulate the theme enough if they need to.

Fundy: Exactly.

Rachel: I think that's another extension of that, but that's a really good point. How would ...

Scott: Also, I just wanted to say and also, the fact that you were already on WordPress definitely made the process easier, because as you said earlier, because of WordPress the content travels with you.

Fundy: Yeah. They sucked up our entire content library in an hour or two and created a demo site to start working on right away.

Rachel: Oh, wow. That's awesome.

Fundy: It was super, super fast.

Scott: Yeah.

Rachel: Yeah. What is your knowledge of WordPress personally? How much experience have you had going in? Do you think it is the right platform for photographers? Where do you stand on that personally?

Fundy: I know everything.

Rachel: Okay.

Fundy: No, I'm a big fan of WordPress. It relates to my philosophy of everything. You can even see it in the software we create. Fundy Designer, you pop open the quick designer picker and you have over 150 designs to choose from. You choose it, but then you can move anything you want, wherever you want in a couple of seconds. I'm a big believer in choosing a platform that you can always build on and change. I think that's what WordPress is. One of the things I see a lot of, of photographers moving to companies like Squarespace or something. What concerns me about moving to a company like Squarespace is that the backend and the themes are both controlled by one company. I think there's a lot of danger in that. If Squarespace all of a sudden gets a ton of funding and goes a very corporate route, they could leave all this creative's behind with a bunch of themes they don't like and then your content is stuck on a platform that you're no longer interested in. There's no way to suck all of that content out.

Whereas WordPress, being an open source platform, if you have your theme and you're hosting with somebody and you're experiencing problems, you just suck your content off, pop up open on a completely different server and throw a new theme on it and you're good to go. It's a couple of weeks of work versus months and months of work of having to completely rebuild everything. It really scares me to put your business on a platform when that platform is in complete control of someone else.

Rachel: That's a beautifully articulated way to say it because we have this conversation about Squarespace versus WordPress a lot and I do think there's a market for photographers who just need a site to go up and are concerned about the technical. Getting it out on Squarespace can get you a web presence. There is a way to move from Squarespace to WordPress, but like you said, it's not as seamless as WordPress to WordPress or host to host. You're always going to be up against moving your content, but the biggest thing about not owning your content ... That's a conversation that I have with a lot of photographers. It's hard to think about it on that macro level, but you don't own it. Just like Facebook, you don't own Facebook. You don't own how they use your images, but on WordPress you do.

Scott: I just wanted to say, in one minute you gave us two really juicy quotes.

Rachel: Yeah.

Fundy: There you go. Feel free to use them. Yep, just send the check this way.

Rachel: And we're done.

Scott: I also wanted to say regarding Squarespace to WordPress, in the next week or so I'm going to be going through the process of migrating someone from Squarespace to the Imagely hosting platform, which is WordPress. In the next podcast episode, I might be able to talk about how that went and struggles I faced. I might be able to offer some tips for everybody who wants them. In the future, we plan on writing an automated script for it because there's so many photographers that are moving back from Squarespace to WordPress that we have to have one.

Fundy: Let me throw a little nugget out there too. The reason that you can migrate from Squarespace to WordPress is that Squarespace is letting you. They can shut that down at any time. They could decide tomorrow that we're just going to shut that down and your content is trapped.

Scott: Right. They actually have an export to WordPress script or export to WordPress file that you can then import using the WordPress Importer. I don't know for sure, because I haven't actually used it yet, if it can import pages as well or just blog posts. I don't even know if it imports images yet, so I'm going to be finding out all of this, hopefully, in the next week or so.

Rachel: I think that's the biggest point. We can argue about SEO back and forth, about which one's better, which one displays your images better and those are, in some way, just semantics of the fact that you own your content on one platform and you don't own it on another.

Scott: Exactly.

Rachel: I don't want to ... Because we talked to Tamara about this, about Squarespace versus WordPress, there are uses, there is, obviously, a need for Squarespace, a very quick place to get your images up and have a professional looking site. For a long term strategy having a web presence, obviously, that's why we live on the WordPress world.

Scott: Yeah. Let's move into any themes and plug-ins that you recommend. It could be anything, whatever you use at Fundy, whatever you use personally. What do you recommend on either side of the coin?

Fundy: Exactly. I'd have to pull up my plug-ins browser. One thing that is really helpful for us when we're pushing out version 7. In the past we've had our video tutorial section and we've had our manuals, but going back to our user base, we found that our users really ended up using our blog posts most because we'll have a tip on something like, "How to design a signing book?" one single story within a blog post. We're going to move our entire help structure over to our blog section.

Rachel: Oh, great.

Fundy: One of the plug-ins we're using is that there's a plug-in, it's hide your category in your blog feed. We have our blog feed when we post our new stories, but we don't really want our manual showing up in our blog feed. A plug-in that hides that blog feed is great. Just those little, tiny plug-ins that help you accomplish what you need on that micro level is really good.

Rachel: When you say hiding, so you're creating a category called manuals, so ways for people to use the Fundy Software better. You don't want them to show up on your main blog page, so everything tagged with that category will then be taken off of that.

Fundy: Correct. Yeah.

Rachel: Wow, that's great.

Scott: [crosstalk 00:35:48]. But still searchable.

Rachel: Right, it's still there.

Fundy: Still searchable, yep, yep. Then I'm going to segue into a topic that we forgot to mention earlier on [crosstalk 00:35:55].

Rachel: I know, I was just thinking about that.

Fundy: We also use that to hide our post that go on our storytellers page because we'll have blog posts on storytells that we push out, but every single one of our testimonials on our storytellers page is actually a singular blog post that we can add and remove content to. One of the things that we launched at WPPI was our storytellers campaign. I've been a big believer in print and albums for years and years. We do a family album every single year, a ton of family prints on the wall and I think there's this big resurgence in print. One of the things that we're trying to do in a company is really make photographers realize what a print means, first full circle for themselves and how that relates to their clients. We're doing a series of videos and blog posts on this. I know that Rachel's watched a few of them.

Rachel: Didn't cry, totally not much. Okay, I cried. [inaudible 00:37:02].

Fundy: It'll just make you bawl. It's a very simple concept. Photographers bring a print that's very special to them, they talk about that print and what it means to them and then have them talk about what print means for their clients. Why do they make albums? Why do they sell wall art? Not from a financial standpoint, but from a more obligation standpoint because when we really get down to it, what we provide is ... The quote that seemed to resonate with people is that prints are a bridge between generations. It's a bridge across generations, so when we give a wedding album, there's a very good chance that album's going to end up in a box or a trunk somewhere and it's going to be rediscovered 50, 60, 80, 100 years from now. In our family, we just discovered within the last couple of years, a print that was of my great, great uncle from World War I. I actually have it right here. This print is 100 years old.

Rachel: That's crazy.

Fundy: This is the original and whoever did this could teach me a thing about lighting. Look at that lighting.

Rachel: Right.

Scott: That's perfect.

Fundy: Right? It's a great, great uncle, he was killed in World War I, this was taken in World War I in the south of France. If this print didn't exist we would have forgotten about it. It's somebody that I never met. It's somebody that my parents never met, but it's reassuring to know that as we print things and stick them in the box, stories are going to be rediscovered down the road. That's what it's really about, is keeping those stories alive across generations.

Scott: That's true.

Rachel: Now, and you're going to France to recreate that picture, correct?

Fundy: I am.

Rachel: So, you're creating your own story around a story?

Fundy: Exactly. That's a thing too, it's like somewhere on these prints or albums or something, stick your information on there because I saw this and I just got Google Maps and I said, "I wonder ..." This studio was still in business in the south of France.

Scott: That's amazing.

I'm going to go over there this summer. We're going to do a documentary with my buddy Ben from Style and Story Creative and I'm going to have the portrait recreated.

Rachel: That's awesome.

Scott: That's amazing.

Rachel: For our listeners, Fundy just showed the print and then showed at the bottom the studio name, so that he was able. You and I can get into a whole discussion on watermarks and on your web presence having, not for people to steal it, but really so that people in the Pinterest world can find you when the meta data is stripped of an image you still have some tangible way on the web for people to come back to you. There's a lot of discussions there, but what I think we're at ... Oh, go ahead.

Fundy: Yeah. An image brander and Fundy Designer's just 19 bucks, so it's a pretty good deal.

Scott: Yeah.

Rachel: I have to put a shout out for the Blog Collage because the Fundy program is amazing. [crosstalk 00:40:07]. If you go to the FotoSkribe blog, I did a tutorial on how to use it and it does everything that all the other software does and more. The image quality upon export is pretty crazy awesome, so I have to shout that out.

Scott: Rachel, make sure you add that to the show notes so I can input that.

Rachel: I will.

Scott: Two thoughts on my end along that same topic before we move on. One is, for me, my biological father died before I was two, so when I see photos, offline photos of him, I don't know much about him, I only know what is told to me. When I see photos, it brings me joy to see stuff about him that I may not have realized in the past, like the fact that, this box, right there, that box inside are all of his records including original Beatles records.

Fundy: Oh, nice.

Scott: It reminds me of that. It's nostalgic. That's his handwriting in crayon on the box. Seeing his handwriting is like finding an old photo, it gives you chills, it makes you think about things and think about your own life and now your own kids and things like that.

Rachel: Print your photos!

Scott: Yes, print your photos.

Fundy: Join me, I'm doing a print 365 project. I'm about to print 250 for a whole year. I'm doing a print for every day of the year.

Rachel: Wow.

Scott: That was my next question if you guys are still doing that?

Fundy: Yep.

Scott: Do you want to go into a little bit about that before we close up?

Rachel: How do you do that logistically? Do you do that with the [crosstalk 00:41:47] printer that you have or do you just print them or do you print them onto a map? How do you do that?

Fundy: However the hell you want to print, just print. I, a father of two, wife, I travel a lot for business, I'm running my own business, so I don't have time to go out and take a picture of a flower and print it every day. Street photography, I don't have time to go downtown Portland and do photography every day, so I do it in chunks. I'll go, I'll do a bunch of photos on the weekend and then I'll do a bunch of prints. The goal is to have a print for every day of the year. Right now, I'm behind by about 10 days, but I'm going to be in Boston on Sunday and I have four hours blocked out, so I'm hoping to get 15 to 20 keepers in Boston, so that then I can catch up. Just ebb and flow, do whatever you need to do to make a print every day. It's amazing how much I've learned by printing so often. I've learned that sometimes a photo on the screen looks awesome and it looks like crap in print and sometime it's the opposite. Sometimes it looks crap on screen and you print that out and you're like, "Holy crap, there's some magic there that I didn't see."

Scott: Paper can really bring a photo to life.

Fundy: Yep. For me, we have all of these family albums and family prints, but this hopefully is a legacy for my kids, so they can see what I was interested in from a professional level of photography. One of things I love about street photography is it documents. As people view them today, they're really cool, but when people view them 50 years, they get to see a glimpse into what Portland, Oregon looked like in 2015 when it's 2065.

Scott: Yep.

Rachel: Yeah. That's wonderful.

Scott: One thing that I do, it's not really an ongoing project, it's just something I just force myself to do is, Facebook now has these ... what'd they call it? ... craft books or whatever they call it. You can, basically, make a photo album of your child that can't be on Facebook yet.

Rachel: I actually have one from my social book where it pulls up ... because again, it was easy, so it's all of the things that I posted on social media and it prints it all out. There's actually a lot of options like that because, again, use what you're already using and get it printed.

Scott: What I do is, because Facebook directly won't print it, I just have this album that I can share with friends and family around the world. Every photo I put in that one album, I make a note to print that, so next time I do a batch of prints, I include my daughter's photos whatever I just uploaded to print as well. I have it on Facebook and on paper.

Rachel: I love it.

Scott: Anything ...

Rachel: Yeah. I was going to segment out. That's a great way. We talked about Fundy, we talked about WordPress, we talked about online and we talked about printing and storytelling. These are all facets of running a photography business that's important.

Scott: Yeah.

Rachel: Is there anything else that you want to talk about in WordPress space or ...?

Rachel: I think WordPress is just definitely the platform to be on. I'm excited to see what Imagely's doing, that's great. Check out the FloThemes, if you're looking for a new theme. Also, Ross is great to work with. One thing I would like to do is just challenge photographers out there to go back and look at your old prints and discover those old stories from your family and relate that to yourself and your business going forward. I just challenge everybody to really look back at how stories influence our families because of these old prints and then what that means and our obligation as professionals for our clients going forward.

Scott: Yes.

Rachel: I love that.

Scott: Well said. Thank you, Fundy, for joining us today.

Fundy: Thank you.

Rachel: Thank you, Rachel, for being an awesome co-host.

Rachel: You as well, Scott.

Scott: You can find the show notes from today's episode at imagely.com/podcast/11.

Rachel: 11. I can't believe we're at 11.

Scott: I know.

Rachel: Exciting.

Scott: That's crazy. Until next time.

Rachel: Thank you.

Fundy: We can't make a joke to 'take it to 11.'

Rachel: Okay, bye.

Scott: Okay, bye.

Fundy: Bye.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I really enjoy listening to all your podcasts but this one particularly caught my attention for several reasons. It was very interesting how Fundy got involved with photography as well as creating in WordPress. I also liked his passion for street photography and after hearing the podcast, I visited his website to see what he has done and was quite impressed. I especially loved that he carried a printer around to give his subjects a copy of their portrait. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll make sure Fundy sees your comment too.

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