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see the MSPA site update

Since creating the original post, MSPA asked me to give their site a cosmetic refresh. I didn’t change much—just inverted the site from a black background to white, then made some typography adjustments and refined a few graphic elements to balance the color change. This let the site retain its classic 60s photography flavor but made it feel lighter and more contemporary. Best of all, since the underlying WordPress architecture is so flexible, we made all desired changes on a shoestring. Even after doing this kind of thing for years, I was surprised at how much we could revolutionize the appearance of the site without spending a lot of time and money.

Talk about dream projects: work with some fun creative people in an off-the-grid straw bale house outside of Brattleboro, Vermont on a site for the Mark Shaw Photographic Archive.

Shaw was the Kennedy family photographer, but he also worked on zillions of couture fashion shoots—and if that weren’t enough, he also shot portraits and set stills for many top movie stars in the early 1960s. Get paid to sort through hundreds of Audrey Hepburn candids to pick the very best ones. . . yep, I’ll do that!

Kidding aside (not actually kidding, but anyway) this site works hard to keep the focus on the photos (no pun intended, obviously), so we chose an especially clean theme and minimized design elements other than images and carefully chosen type.

This is the second website I’ve built for the MSPA. The first was a static HTML site in the wild west days before content management systems like WordPress were mature and affordable technologies. What a compliment to have them ask for an updated site, several years later, to make it responsive for use on devices, easy to maintain in-house, and flexible when changes need to happen!

Countless others have probably already commented on how delightful it is to work with Bill Tuman: his attentive emails, gifted writing, droll wit, professionalism, diligence and thoughtfulness are no doubt legendary by now. But the aspect of our multi year relationship that has been particularly satisfying is Bill’s curatorial eye. Bill Tuman is an artist in his own right, and when he approached our photographs and their placement on our site, the end result was so much greater than the sum of its parts.  Bill’s assemblages and collages using Mark Shaw’s images are witty, sophisticated and edgy; the unexpected pairings have injected a contemporary liveliness into photographs that are over 50 years old.

Juliet Cuming, Director, Mark Shaw Photographic Archive

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