Allen’s Portrait Arts


Technology has recently changed the buying habits and expectations of customers. For many small businesses, this has ‘sucker-punched’ their established marketing efforts. Marketing techniques that generated customers with clockwork-consistency are no longer the production-houses they once were. Companies have been forced to adopt new outreach techniques or leave the marketplace.

Allen’s Portrait Arts, a Silicon Valley-based Photography studio, is one small business that decided to adapt to changing customer behavior. In 2013, the studio’s owner, Larry Allen, took notice that their marketing efforts had become less effective over time and a brand new strategy was needed. And knowing that their website is the only online property where they have complete control over messaging, a modern website strategy was built around it.

My Internet Scout (MIS) was the chosen vendor to revamp the Allen’s Portrait Arts website. For the new website, Larry Allen envisioned an intuitive navigation menu, and a photo gallery system that was high-touch, flexible and effortless to update.

One Website Size Fits All Displays

Mobile web browsing has increased dramatically over the last few years. Almost half of all web browsing occurs with smart phones and tablets. Allen’s Portrait Arts’ new website content needed to have universal accessibility. And since Flash and Java lack compatibility with most smart phones and tablets, the use of those technologies were specifically avoided.


Content that Repurposes On-the-Fly

To eliminate the frustrating task of pinching and swiping that’s often experienced when viewing a website on small-screen devices, such as iPhones and Tablets, we employed a new website technology called, ‘Responsive Website Design’. A responsive-designed site repurposes website content on-the-fly, based on the visitor’s device display size. Not only is the new website easier to navigate with smaller devices, the ‘Responsive’ galleries have enriched the studio’s client presentations with the use of tablets.


Existing Navigation

At the project’s inception, our team took notice of the existing website’s menuing. Two previous website revisions yielded a muddled navigation system. There were three main menus on each page; and, various menu buttons sent visitors to pages hosted at two different domains. This was confusing.

The Navigation Improvements

For the new site, we pared down the number of menus to a single header menu and another modest three-product footer menu. We also consolidated the website to a unique domain and informed search engines about retired pages, using 301 redirect notices.


Presentation of Photographic Works

Appreciating how wonderfully the web can exhibit visual works, the studio wanted to showcase their photography with themed galleries dispersed throughout the brand new website.

Use of Lightbox Galleries

During our research, we found that many photography studios had websites integrating inline image galleries to present their work. The drawback of employing inline galleries is that peripheral content can distract from the photo presentation. For, we decided to use a ‘lightbox’ technique for presenting gallery photographs. Now, when a gallery of photographs is presented on the new website, the web page background is dimmed, allowing the visitor to focus on the artwork.


SmugMug to Compliment Studio Workflow

With many photographers, much of their favorite works are also their most recent. Such is the case with Larry Allen. To keep website galleries fresh, we synchronized the studio’s existing SmugMug account with the new website. Larry can now upload images to- and remove images from- the website galleries with a photography tool he already uses.

To see Allen’s Portrait Arts’ website in action, please feel free to visit

My Internet Scout provides local Internet marketing services to the greater Silicon Valley. Please contact us today if you’d like us to modernize your marketing efforts.

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