I was able to find 3 photography sites that I absolutely enjoyed, but that were all very different from each other. The links can be found here. Sarah Rhoads Photography, Gabe – Perspective Eye, and Jose Villa Photography.
The very front page to Sarah’s website is very clear, simple and personable. It is a cut-out of Sarah looking into her camera with a simple white background. On the right, in big, black letters is “Enter MY BLOG” and on the left “Enter CURRENT SITE.” From the very beginning, it gave off a very personable impression, as right away I can see the photographer (casual photo as opposed to business look), and the text doesn’t just say “enter blog,” but rather “enter my blog.” Together, it worked very well for me, because I felt like I knew more of this photographer than I did of the other photography websites I critiqued or looked through.
Looking through her site, I really enjoyed the fact that it was simple (again), but not dull. At first it was just white with grey, which made me think it’s not my time, but after I started navigating through the site, I noticed that the background always changes in color, which was “refreshing” and yet still kept the simplicity factor.
Seeing the blog, I was intrigued. I have seen many photography blogs, but this one was unusual and one of a kind (as of yet). Instead of going up and down, it went left to right, like a film strip. This aspect, I think, makes site visitors remember the photographer more because they were engaged by the site, among the pile of the many standard blog formats. Although, I don’t know what I thought about the images being much smaller than a usual photography blog does, I definitely took away the idea that finding a unique blog, not just a unique design, is important for me remember.
Jose had a different style of ‘simple’ and yet it worked very well. His homepage is just all white, with a rectangular box of two images that change (with what looks like flashplayer interactivity – intriguing to the eye).
What I though first to be an unwise decision two have two tiny boxes on the bottom left stating “contact” and “weblog” that made them look relatively insignificant compared to their crucial role in client generation, I then noticed that Jose actually has blog and contact me embedded throughout the entire site and blog, in different ways. I found this very cool, because it is a purposeful act to make sure that whenever the website visitor thinks of contacting Jose, he will always have a tab, thumbnail or image to click on.
I really enjoyed Jose’s gallery format and design. The transitions were always smooth and even the thumbnails on the side seemed to purposefully work together in terms of color theme (hard to explain, but you can see for yourself on the site).
His blog has the same qualities of being simple, having tons of crisp images in each blog post and thumbnails on the site to direct his visitors to other sections of the blog (instead of just having the labels of “RSS,” “archives,” and “porfolio.”)
Gabe – Perspective Eye
Gabe’s site, although a little too simple with no image in the beginning (but rather navigating-through-the-site instructions), did have very clear and purposeful tabs and links. At the top right, it has the necessary info needed for every site visitor, “portfolio,” “pricing,” “contact,” “blog,” “clients.” His site basically reminded me that you don’t have to shock your visitors (and potential clients) with amazing flash player capabilities, but rather, make it very easy for them to come to your site, easily find the necessary information, and contact the photographer.
His blog provided the largest images of the three sites, which of course worked very well because all the wonderful colors and detail have a greater impact on a viewer (and that is especially important in the photography business).