This session was engaging and actually quite eye-opening, realising the importance of simplicity and using websites that represent you as an artist and photographer. We were shown several websites for examples of work that works above the rest, most of which include simple and clean designs, which lets the images speak for themselves.
My previous website was set up on Wix, which I think we can all agree is not the heights of professionalism, which I think I knew as I was setting it up, seeing how clunky the design process was and how the design looked from a new viewer’s viewpoint. I liked the images I had included however I felt there was too many of them, sometimes smaller numbers represent a higher quality chunk of work.
As opposed to a physical portfolio which can be changed and images switched out to suit a client, a website can be a way to show your identity as a photographer through a collection of projects. The thing to focus on is the visual language, how your website connects, the intent, the integrity and direction of your work can say much more visually than in words.
A digital portfolio can also work to your advantage when approaching clients who mainly use online platforms to show work, such as online magazines, or fashion work. With a slight idea in my mind of going into the magazine industry in the future, I can recognise how important seeing the images on screen to start with are.
An important design tool when going into website design is the ‘3 click rule’ – can you navigate to all areas of the website within 3 clicks? Nobody wants to have to move through confusing navigation when the most important part of the design is the images and how your voice is coming through.
The website we create is our identity as photographer’s, so make it a good one!
At this point, I have to admit that I am very apprehensive about creating and designing a website that will be accessible to the ‘public’ as I have very little faith in my work and really struggle to narrow down sets of images. Feedback on my current Wix site was that there perhaps was too many bodies of work included, with too many images in each one, so the first step is obviously taking stock of the work I really want to display and trust in my ability to evaluate it well.
Other topics of conversation throughout this lecture included the discussion of physical portfolios and how they can work alongside digital ones, but maybe in a more successful way; they can help you stand out. A physical portfolio is not limited to a couple of screens, you can have a set of prints, books, postcards, anything that will make you stand out and be noticed, something memorable! I really enjoyed this discussion as it brought to light the many different ways of creating a way of promoting your work. For example, James showed a mock passport with the images from the relevant project in it, telling us he would send these to people he wanted to work with so they could have something physical, sometimes it makes all the difference.