Our course details suggest that we begin researching web galleries to gain an idea of how to show off our images to their best advantage. It also gives the option to create our own web gallery at this point- but I don’t feel that I am quite ready for this just yet, and will probably need to do a lot more research before I attempt to create a successful web gallery. I feel that once I gain a little more experience and decide to go into photography professionally- THEN I would begin designing my own web gallery in the form of a website for my business.
I decided to go through some of the pointers for preparing to design a web gallery as listed in our work folder. This will give me plenty of ideas for when I’m ready to set up my web gallery.
- Decide what you want from your website. What is its purpose? Do you want to show off your best images, or exchange all of them with friends, or present just one aspect of your work?
From my website I would like to create a strong platform to begin my business. I would have a gallery to show off my best images thus far, along with a blog containing each individual photo shoot from start to finish- with a commentary of each couple and a description of the occasion itself. For example, a wedding day photo shoot blog would show all the images in the order they were taken- like a narrative, along with a description of the couple and details about their special day. Below is a screen grab showing an example of a blog post by a local photographer called Grace Photography. It’s entitled “Alistair and Laura; Just Wait Till You See Her”. The snappy title, along with the casual way in which the photographer describes her experience with this couple, and the subtle way in which she compliments them on their tastes and style is extremely clever. The personal aspect of her blog throughout is an inspiration, and definitely an aspect of a web gallery that is a must for me. Customers like to see how photographers will work alongside them, and make their photo shoots as easy and enjoyable as possible- and I think a blog shows this well.
- You are presenting your best creative work. Maintain confidence in the excellence of your images, and think of the website as a display arena of fine photographs.
I would like my portfolio to be a gallery of my top pieces presented in a really clear and clever way that is easy to navigate. Below are a few websites that show really clear ways of presenting a photographer’s best photographs. The main point that I have noted from these galleries is that they present large images in a slideshow format upon arriving at the website. This means that it is the first thing the viewer sees upon entering the website- which is vital. They are presented clearly and have arrows at either side of the photos in order to provide swift movement through all images.
- Do you want your site to fit in with the general standards and style of other photography sites? Or do you want to stand apart?
I would like my website to be funky and quite quirky. I think it’s important to have a web gallery that stands out from the rest of the market- whilst at the same time not scaring people away by its uniqueness! Below is an example of a really interestingly laid out webpage. The blank space to the left of the images creates a really different layout which definitely draws the eye!
- Take some time to look at other photographer’s websites. Consider making screen grabs of them so that later you can put your new design among them to see how it compares.
The website below is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE website that I have come across! It is amazingly laid out with the main slideshow of images on the front page, surrounded by quirky captions describing recent photoshoots such as; “a SUPER COOL wedding in Italy…it was SUPER hot!”<<<click on this caption and you arrive at the image gallery of this Italian wedding! I cannot describe enough how much I adore this website and layout! Something to aspire to!
- Get other people’s opinions. Talk through your ideas and design with friends and other photographers in order to help give you an objective opinion.
Upon talking to friends and family, they said a key aspect on a website is approachability; ie the client feeling comfortable approaching the photographer with any questions. With this in mind, I discovered a section on a local photographer’s website. It’s entitled “Family”, and shows pictures of the photographer’s husband and children. This would be the perfect solution to build a relaxed and personal relationship with the customer, and would make the photographer completely approachable as a fellow human being! Showing the personal life of a photographer is something I think is extremely important. Below is another photographer’s website with an introduction to herself on the front page- this is another way of gaining a personal relationship with prospective customers. These are all great tips that I will definitely be implementing into my website.
I have learnt a lot from my research into web galleries, and feel much better equipped to produce my own website in the next year when I decide to take on Photography professionally.
(1) GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY (2012), Alistair and Laura- Just Wait Till You See Her, Available from: http://gracephotographyni.com/alastair-and-laura-just-wait-till-you-see-her/ [Accessed 14/03/13]
(2) KEVIN MULLINS DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY (2013), Available from: http://www.kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk/ [Accessed 14/03/13]
(3) JEFF ASCOUGH: PHOTOGRAPHER, Available from: http://www.jeffascough.com/ [Accessed 14/03/13]
(4) PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOTTIE, Available from: http://www.dottiephotography.co.uk/#/funny-groups/ [Accessed 14/03/13]
(5) LIFELINE PHOTOGRAPHY (2011), Available from: http://lifelinephotography.co.uk/theblog/ [Accessed 14/03/13]