I'm a graphic designer and a part-time wedding photographer. I've been doing graphic design for 10 years and about three years ago I bought a digital camera and started playing around with photography. A wedding photographer friend invited me along on a shoot, and I was immediately hooked and decided to start my own business.
As a graphic designer I've taken on quite a few website projects, but I've never done any of the coding. I establish the design direction, complete the mock-ups, and then work with a programmer to code the site. I've always struggled with the sites not really matching my mock-ups — not enough white space, too large of a font size, improper spacing, and so on. There was always a lot of back and forth in order for me to achieve the attention to detail I was after.
I do a lot of print work so I'm very familiar with Adobe InDesign® software. Adobe Muse feels similar to InDesign, so I was comfortable right away. It only took me a couple of hours before I was completely absorbed in creating buttons and playing with spacing. I suggested the product to a friend who has absolutely no design experience and it was only a few days before he was showing me a totally rad site he created.
I subscribe to lynda.com so I watched some tutorials there, as well as on the Adobe Muse site. The tutorials that the Adobe Muse team put together are great for getting you started, but even if you don't use them you can get the hang of it pretty quickly.
I was like a kid in a candy store on Christmas Day…very excited. I always designed website mock-ups using Adobe Photoshop® and InDesign, and Adobe Muse lets designers build websites using similar tools and skill sets. I started thinking about all of the possibilities that it opens up for me as a graphic designer. Instead of having to hire a web programmer, I can do it all myself and make it perfect.
I tried to build websites in the past and always found it impossible to line up objects how I wanted to see them. I'm a perfectionist, and every small detail matters. I used Adobe Muse to create a website for my wedding photography business and it was very natural to just start laying things out. I was able to place text right where I wanted it and organize all of my images with precision. After just three or four hours I had a website that looked amazing. I didn't think it was possible to create my own site from scratch until I did it.
I couldn't be happier. I've always loved Adobe products, but this tops it for me. Adobe Muse is a complete game changer and I'm excited to see all of the updates Adobe will bring to the table in the weeks, months, and years to come. I also love that my new site is accessible on mobile and tablet devices so when I meet with clients I can use my iPad to show them the different galleries on my site. I've already had more inquiries for weddings since my new site launched.
Including a CMS, forms capability, and an integrated blog would be great. These are the things that I would use in all of the sites I would create with Adobe Muse. I also see the potential for people creating widgets and sharing them in the community. If Adobe Muse could save the code and spit out a widget so someone else could use it that would be really cool.
I know there are a lot of photographers out there that need websites to show their portfolios. With Adobe Muse I see the opportunity to create photography templates and sell them or build full sites for photographers just like me. There's a huge market to make money just in the photography space. I can't wait.
Learn more about the Jeret Slack Photo website in the Muse customer showcase.