001 — Hello World

The case for a Ghost-powered newsletter replacing the bespoke website I built.

001 — Hello World

Until today jamiedumont.com was where I published my photography, and before that the blog that I wrote as a software developer. It's been my online home — in many different guises — for eight years. However, it's time to step away.

The reason is simple — the website was distracting me from the work that mattered. Since switching careers there's always been this question mark over what my website should be and how I should use it, further complicated by my dislike of platforms like Instagram. Even with the site wrangled into shape, I spent more time (re)building it than publishing anything: a clear sign I hadn't fully made the leap from developer to photographer.

Initially the plan was to use the photo stories on my site as book-making muscle building as a lower cost method of learning, using skills I already had. But my quest for "art direction on the web" was a fruitless distraction that took time away from the meaningful work of taking, editing, grading and sharing images. Agonising over layouts, typefaces and a myriad of details can wait for print.

Perhaps most importantly, I wanted a newsletter to be central to sharing my work. The website and past attempts at a newsletter always felt at odds with one another, with endless debates over which platform an essay or given set of images should be shared on.

With long running projects like my Makers series no longer needing a dedicated digital home — print being the final output now — everything could just be an email. Having an archive of those emails online, loosely organised and searchable with all the nitty gritty details handled — that I once loved but now loathed — made the decision easy.

Ghost could host everything — past developer-minded hangups with the platform be damned — and I could focus on what matters. Photos, words & stories.