Lighting Essentials Web Sites for Photographers and Designers

Customizing and Working With Your Wordpress Theme

This document contains instructions for installing and customizing your Wordpress Theme Please note that this document does not contain instructions for installing, maintaining, or using Wordpress. Rather, this document is aimed at only installing and using your WordPress Theme. Should you require help installing and setting up Wordpress please go to for further information.

Before You Install the Theme

1. Install Wordpress
You must install Wordpress (preferably the latest version of WordPress) onto your hosting account, or wherever your website is. You can download Wordpress and find installation instructions by going to

Once Wordpress is installed, please verify that the it is working on your website before continuing.

2. Replace Default Images
Before you install the theme, you may wish to replace the default theme images with your own, before uploading and installing the theme. This step may be skipped for now, but you will need to upload your images via FTP later on then.

After unzipping the theme, you'll find two folders - one called "hybrid" and one with the name of your theme, for example, "blackportrait". You can ignore the "hybrid" folder entirely, as you should never modify any files in this folder.

Now you can replace the default images. Go into your theme's folder and you'll find many files and folders. The "images" folder contains all images for the entire theme, except for the portfolio page images (see step 3). You may go into this folder and replace those image files with your own. You MUST make sure your images match the names of the default images EXACTLY. You must also take care to ensure your images are the same dimensions.

In the "images" folder you'll find several images which can be replaced with your own. These images appear as the main images on each page and also as the home page mini portfolio. For instance, the image named "about.jpg" will appear as the main image (the big image) on the about page. Another example, the "01.jpg" image will appear as one of the home page mini portfolio images on the home page. You may replace these images now, taking care to ensure the names and dimensions match the defaults.

There are a few other images which you will also want to replace: "default_thumbnail.jpg" and "logo.png". The "default_thumbnail" will appear on pages which have mini-posts or post excerpts, as the post thumbnail, if (and only if) no other image is available as a thumbnail for that post. The other image, "logo", is for your logo. This image may be replaced with your own logo. We suggest using a PNG-24 file type (with transparency) for your logo, if your logo has a background color which would interfere with the appearance of the theme. Otherwise, any normal image file type (.jpg, .gif, etc) will work. You can use any dimensions you wish for your logo, but please try to be reasonable. Each theme is different, but generally any logo size which is no bigger than 700px wide by 200px high is acceptable. You may wish to try several sizes of your logo, to find which looks best along with your theme.

3. Replace Default Portfolio Pictures
Before you install the theme, you may wish to also replace the default portfolio pictures. This is very similar to how you replaced the default images in step 2. The "pictures" folder is for the display of the portfolio page photo album and their thumbnails (for standard versions of the theme only, not for Slide Show Pro).

Find the "pictures" folder and open it up. Inside that folder you'll find 30 pictures labeled 1.jpg through 30.jpg. These are the full-sized versions of the pictures. Replace all these pictures with files of the same name and dimensions. Then, inside the "pictures" folder, you'll also find a "thumbs" folder. Replace the pictures in the "thumbs" folder in the same manner.

You can easily increase or decrease the amount of pictures that show up on your portfolio page by modifying the file "pictures.xml". Open this file in a plain-text editor to make adjustments. In this file you'll find 30 lines which look like "<pic thumb="path-to-thumb" src="path-to-picture">". You may duplicate one of these lines, taking care to rename the image (so if you duplicate the last line, the image name by default is 30.jpg, rename this to a new, un-used name, like 31.jpg), on both the thumb="" and the src="" paths. Or you may simply removed those lines which you are not going to use. So, if you only use 20 photos, named 1.jpg through 20.jpg, then delete the lines with picture names 21.jpg through 30.jpg.

Install the Theme

1. Upload the Theme
You have two folders to upload: "hybrid" and the folder named the same as the name of the theme, for example "blackportrait". Take these two folders and upload them to Wordpress's theme folder. You'll need an FTP program to accomplish this or your hosting provider may provide you with alternatives for uploading files to your website.

You need to upload both folders to Wordpress theme folder. When you are in the root of your Wordpress installation (this varies depending on how you installed it), the path to the theme folder is this: This is the folder where your two theme folders need to be uploaded to. If you're having trouble locating you Wordpress theme folder, please refer to Wordpress's documentation which can be found at

2. Activate the Theme
You need to log in to your Wordpress admin. Normally, you can access Wordpress's admin section by going to Once you are logged in, follow these steps:

- Click on the Appearance menu on the left-hand side
- Locate your theme and click it
- Once the theme preview pops up, click on the "Activate" button in the upper-left

3. You're Done!
That's all that is needed to install your new Wordpress theme. Your theme should now be installed and activated on your website. Try going to your website now ( to verify your theme is installed and working properly.


1. Set up your static home page
Our themes are setup to be used with the Static Home Page feature of Wordpress. There are two steps to this process.
a.) In your Wordpress admin, click on Pages. By default Wordpress creates an "About" page. Delete this first. Then underneath Pages, you'll see a "Add New" link to create a new page - click it. This will load a screen where you can create a new page for your theme. (Note that pages will appear as links in the main navigation of your Wordpress theme website.) Type in a title for the page (this will be how the link appears on your website) and also type in some text for the page (you can come back later and add more text; any text will do for now). Now for the important part: On the far right-hand side of the screen you'll see an Attributes box. In this box there is a drop down underneath Template. Click the drop down underneath Template and select +Home Page (note that all templates for the theme begin with a plus + Please do not use any templates which do not begin with a plus). Once you select the Home Page template, click the Publish button to create and save your page.

b.) After you setup your home page, click on Settings in your Wordpress admin. This will open the Settings submenu where you will have several menu options. Click on Reading in the submenu. Now the settings are visible on the right hand side of the screen. At the very top, on the right-hand side of the screen, you'll find "Front Page Displays" with two options. Select the "A static page" option. Immediately below this you'll see the "Front page" drop down where you should choose "Home" or choose whichever page you set up using the Home Page template in part 'a' of this section. You're home page is now set up!

2. Replacing images and pictures
If you didn't do so when you installed the theme, you will want to replace all the default images and pictures of the theme. This step is covered in Section 1, Step 2 and Step 3.

3. Creating your pages
Creating more pages in Wordpress is very similar to how you created the home page in step 1. You need to click on Pages, and then click on Add New, or if the page is already created, you'll see it listed on the right-hand side of the page. Clicking on the page name of a page which you have already created will allow you to edit that page. Clicking on the Add New link will let you create a new page.

Please be sure to ONLY use page Templates which begin with a plus (+). When you create a new page (or while you're editing an existing page) you'll see the Template drop down on the right-hand side of the screen. There are many options to choose from in this drop down, but you should only ever use those templates which begin with a plus. These will be at the top of the list, for your convenience.

Each page template is named according to its intended use. The following page templates should only be used as their name suggests. These templates are reserved for their intended use and have special built in functionality that allows them to work the way they do. Please only use these page templates as intended: Home Page, Portfolio, Archives, Contact.

The New Page template is for creating pages which do not fall under one of the predefined templates. You may use this template repeatedly to create as many pages as you wish, each with their own name, content, and main photo. See step 4 for more details.

4. Using the New Page page template
The New Page page template basically used just like all other page templates, with one exception: you can define the main image by simple attaching an image to that page. So, create a new page (Pages > Add New), select New Page in the Template drop down, enter a title and content. Then, follow these steps for adding the main image: 1. Click on the Image Upload icon, which is to the right of "Upload/Insert", directly above where you enter your content for the page. 2. Following the on-screen instructions, upload the image which you want to appear as the main image for the page. 3. Once the image uploads, you'll see a screen to set various options and details for the image - none of this is necessary. You may just click "Save all changes" at the bottom of the window. 4. You will then be brought to a window which will list the image. On the right hand side, you'll see an "Order" column. Set the order number to 1 and then click "Save all changes". 5. That's it! This image will now show up as the main image for this page only.

You may repeat this process to create as many pages as you wish.

5. Setting up your contact form
You will need to modify the file "form-mail.php" to enable the contact page to send you email. This file may be edited from within your Wordpress admin.

Click on Appearance, then in Appearance submenu (underneath), click on Editor. The Editor will bring up a list of all theme files. There will be many files listed on the right-hand side. Find the file named "form-mail.php" and click it. This will load the file into the editor window. Once the file is loaded in the window, there are instructions for modifying the appropriate lines right in the file itself. Please refer to the instructions in the file at this point.

So you know, you will be editing 6 settings: time zone, where to send the email, where to CC the email, email subject, where to redirect the page after the form is filled out, and a security check.


1. If you have the Antique White or Template "3" theme:
a.) There is a file who's name begins with "text_box.....". This file is the for editing the text that appears in the bottom text widget (located near the bottom of the site). This file is located in your theme folder. You can include HTML and CSS in this file if you wish, such as links, heading tags, etc.


Thank you for purchasing this premium Wordpress theme!

We welcome your feedback, comments, opinions, and suggestions (or anything else for that matter!) on this Wordpress theme, on this instructional document, or anything else. We're constantly working on new themes and theme features, and would love to hear what you think!