Portfolio – Website Research & Development

Objective

The foremost role of a portfolio website is, as the name implies, to show off your portfolio. With that in mind my idea for the website is to keep it simple, displaying a handful of my best works – in this case, photographs.

With that being the main objective, a secondary intent would be to get people visiting the site to connect socially. The central method of doing this would be to link them towards my social networks, i.e Instagram, Facebook, and encourage them to follow and connect using those platforms. The reason for this is because social networks will inevitably get far more updates than a website would, simply because they are so much more convenient. In addition to more frequent updates, social networking also enables me to interact with my audience, to a greater extent than the website would allow.

Perhaps at some point, I could offer the option to purchase prints or even a book using the website, but at this stage, it is an unnecessary addition that would require extra, unwarranted time and effort.

Inspirational References

Below are three notable examples of popular photographers’ sites.

Eric Ryan Anderson

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Eric’s website is a simple, vertically scrolling list of albums and their titles. The unique about his website though is that after clicking on an album, you can scroll through all the images contained in the album horizontally. This creates a very intuitive and natural way to browse through his photos.

Jeremy Cowart

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The first thing that stands out in Jeremy’s website is the sheer amount of content it presents. Clearly Jeremy is not just a photographer, included in the categories on the website, he is also an artist, teacher, speaker, and more. Personally, the website at first looks really crowded with an overabundance of pictures and text. However it is in-fact quite well laid out, with the photos forming a neat grid under their respective categories.

Ryan Michael Kelly

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In a similar vein to the other websites listed, Ryan’s portfolio is very simply laid out grid of photos. Categories listed at the top of the webpage help organize the photos into the style you want to view.

Design & Implementation

The chosen design is inspired by the above mentioned websites. The main page will be a grid of photos, with a splash screen preceding it. Organizing the photos by category is something to be considered, although that will require considerably more pictures than I have currently uploaded. As for the menu, there is the usual “contact” and “about” pages, with social media links as well. I would like to emphasis the social media links though, as they are an important part of the website, as mentioned in the objectives section.

The draft mockup can be found here.

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Platform Selection

It’s 2017. There are – for better or worse – an overwhelming amount of website creation options. For the draft version of the site WIX is used, however I found the interface somewhat sluggish and unintuitive to use. Never mind the annoying pop-ups and banners advertising WIX.

For the final website, the plan is to use Squarespace or something in a similar vein, such as Format and 22Slides – both of which are created with photo portfolios in mind. The only disadvantage to such platforms, is obviously the subscription fee required. Most of these platforms do offer a certain period of trial though, so I can test them out and explore the best option. If for some reason none of these platforms workout, the last resort is to use WordPress.

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