Posted by Rob & Lauren Lim on
Well, you may have heard us talking about FotoJournal for some time now, and wondered what the heck that was all about? Strap yourself in, cuz this here is an official announcement.
After over 1.5 years of insanely hard work, FotoJournal, a brand new blogging platform designed from the ground up specifically for photographers, has been released to the public.
Now, the next question I’m sure you have, is “Why are Rob & Lauren announcing this? Did they make FotoJournal?”
Short answer: We were recently asked to join the two extremely talented guys who created FotoJournal and help them from a customer service/advisory capacity. They did all the heavy lifting (read: coding!), and built this platform from the ground up, we are just lucky to get to help them spread the word!
Why are we telling you this? Well, even though it might be a bit boring, we very strongly believe in transparency in our business. For a long time we were always talking about how amazing FotoJournal is, and recommending it, since we got to use it from the beginning. We were just very happy customers, and wanted to share a great new product that we used. Now that we are officially part of the business, we of course have a vested interest in it, and want people to be aware of that.
With all that being said, the reason we’re a part of this adventure is because we honestly believe FotoJournal is an incredible product, and has made our blogging lives so much easier. If you are a blogger, but don’t want to spend $2,000+ to have a nice looking blog, you should really check it out. It has a totally custom theme editor so that you can change the look of your blog without knowing any code. If you like to post lots of photos, but are sick of how difficult that is in all the existing blogging platforms, you should check it out. And hey, there’s a free account, so everyone should just check it out!! It honestly does make blogging slick, sexy and fun! Even if you’re a hobbyist photographer, this is a fantastic way for you to show off your work, and share it with friends and family.
Head over here to sign up for free! http://myfotojournal.com
Here’s a little screenshot of me uploading some photos to blog. One of my favourite parts about FotoJournal? Once these are all done uploading, I can put them all neatly into a post with one click! Sweeeet! There are about a million other amazing things about it, but I’ll let you check it out to discover them all.
Now, it’s Monday, so you might be bored and want the whole backstory. I’ll let you know how this whole thing came about, which is a pretty neat tale!
Back in 2007 Rob and I came up with the idea of The Wedding Travelers. We wanted to travel to India and shoot a couple weddings there. And we wanted to blog about it. We’d used Blogger, and then got fed up, switched to Wordpress, and were still frustrated. All of those platforms were built for normal bloggers, not photo bloggers, so trying to get lots of photos up there was taking way too long. We also wanted a custom blog, and had received quotes well over the $2,000 mark. That was simply way too much for us, especially since those blogs were still created with the old, non-photo centric blogging platforms. “There MUST be a better way!”, we lamented.
Enter Jon Smelquist. He and his then-fiancee-now-wife came in and met with us about wedding photography. We got chatting, and learned that he actually knew how to build blogs! Truly a fortuitous coincidence! We asked if he would make one for The Wedding Travelers, and he agreed!
He built the back end (the part you log into and do all the work from) from scratch, and we loved it. We talked a lot to him about the lack of affordable and easy-to-use solutions out there for photographers. We could either pay thousands to have someone custom build one for us, we could spend weeks trying to figure out how to customize it ourself in HTML and CSS, and ending up just pulling out all our hair, or we could just put up with the bloated and confusing solutions that existed.
He, and his good friend, Kyle Fox decided to do something about it. And so, in July of 2008, they began working on FotoJournal. The first iteration (0.1) was created, and installed for this blog you are reading right now! It’s fantastic, I’ve been using it for over a year now, and it speeds up my blogging tenfold.
But it wasn’t awesome enough for them. So they kept working, because they really wanted to build something that would revolutionize the way photographers blog. The result, the one that you can now sign up for, is incredible, and I’m actually pretty jealous that I don’t get to use it with this blog, lol!
During this whole time, we would let them know what we liked about FJ, and what features would make our lives even easier. We were loving the product, and really enjoyed the fact that they would seriously listen to what we suggested. But the whole time, it was their baby.
Fast forward to a few months ago. Now that FotoJournal was getting closer and closer to launch, they decided that they would need some help, especially on the customer service side of things. So they asked us if we’d like to become an official part of FotoJournal! We were so honored, and so stoked. FotoJournal has really gotten people talking, especially in the web development world. It’s a very ambitious undertaking, and seriously the first of it’s kind. It’s also meticulously created, and beautifully designed. We’re extremely excited and lucky to get to be a part of it, and can’t wait to see where it goes!
So now, it’s launching today. We’re extremely proud of these two guys, and they deserve all the credit. FotoJournal is awesome because they care so much about making a great product. And we truly believe that they have succeeded!
Well, that’s the story! It’s been a really different experience for us, since we don’t know anything at all about web development, but it’s been incredibly fun, and exciting. We honestly think that FotoJournal will be a game changer. If you don’t believe me, just go and check it out.
Feel free to hit us up if you have any questions about FJ!