When I was first approached by author Greg Borzo to potentially design a website to promote his books, he asked me "Do I really need a website"?
I said something like this: "No you don't. In fact, unless you're willing to either pay someone to keep posting interesting content to it, or do the work yourself, it's not worth spending the money."
Then we started talking more. A lot more. I illustrated that a website – much like a book – is ultimately all about the content. That people will only keep coming to it if you continue to serve up new information. That it is a living, breathing thing, not just a pretty online business card. That the more content we provide, the more interesting we get for search engines. And by approaching it from a content standpoint, we may actually help increase his book sales.
Long story short, he hired me to create his website as a content management system with features that would be easy and fun for him to create interesting content for. And he loved it. He was able to post events, press about him and his books, even movie reviews.
Through the process of working together we quickly became friends. And pretty soon we came up with the idea of making a book together. He would write it, I'd take the pictures.
A coffee table book celebrating 'Chicago's Fabulous Fountains'.
After more than three years of hard work – Greg tirelessly researching the historic, unknown and curious stories behind the city's fountains, writing, editing, writing more, editing more, and me chasing sunlight (and people away from fountains), cursing winds, and driving all over town countless times to capture the essence of each one of them at the perfect time and season – the fruit of our labor is now available in book stores and online, published by Southern Illinois University Press.
This is the story of how being honest and not trying to sell something to a potential client got my photography published.
If you would like to join Greg and me for the official book launch, come to the Harold Washington Library in Chicago on June 14 at 6pm.