Photographer Nick Hall gives us a reason to visit his new portfolio website at http://www.nickhallphotography.com/.
|Nick breaks it down for us – |
“I knew back in November 2011 that I wanted to build a new site to house new work, support a new marketing campaign and give my brand a little rejuvenation. Nadine over at Brand Envy here in Seattle designed the site, as well as my new branding and promos. If you need a branding guru look no further. Arseni over at iHouseDesign programmed the site, but his experience and skill really brought the site to life.
Building an original website was a much more intensive project than I previously imagined. Here are some of the considerations and insights I took into account when building this site.
DESIGN BRIEF: First off create a design brief for your team so that everyone knows what your vision is, what you what from the site (be specific) and allows your team to familiarise themselves with your brand.
LARGE IMAGES: “Maximise the real-estate space” a friend said to me when I told him I was redesigning my site. As a photographer I think it is critical that my website functions as a promotional piece – big, impactful images. I wouldn’t send a large piece of paper to a photo-editor with a tiny image on it. With this in mind the images cover the entire site.
SO EASY MY GRANNY COULD: Navigate the site. No excuses for poor navigation. Having said that, creating simple navigation is a challenge and one that needs very careful consideration. Always default to the simplest architecture, never make assumptions about your audience’s capabilities and trust your programmer, s/he should always create the shortest path from A-to-your-image.
SOCIAL MEDIA: I really wanted to embrace social media. I wanted people to be able to tweet, pin, and facebook my images easily. I’m kind of tired of the social media copyright scaredy-cats. Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate the copyright/usage considerations with social media platforms, but I’d rather embrace and love than run and hide. To this effect there is a pop-out toolbox where ever you are in the site that allows you to download (branded PDF), email, and share (tweet, facebook, pinterest) my images. I’ve also included links to my profile pages for social media in the contact section. I’ve also included Insta.gram connectivity on this blog.
LIGHTBOX/PDF/DOWNLOAD: With my Lightbox I wanted to take the functionality a little further. I’d seen sites with lightboxes and sites with PDF creators but I’ve always found each one slightly limiting. So in an effort to have both we created a Lightbox section with custom PDF creation built in. My motivation behind this was that much like I want people to be able to spread my images through social media channels with ease I want my clients and target audience (AB’s, AD’s and Photo-Editors) to be able to collate, share and download my images with ease and control. So now the Lightbox feature functions as a place to collate your favourite images as you navigate the site and then share that Lightbox with a friend or colleague—regular lightbox functionality. Additionally the section also allows you to view all the images on my site in one place. You can select images to be added to the PDF creator, re-order them to your liking and then produce a branded PDF. Clients can make edits from shoots and send me their selects or create PDF’s of my work for comps and presentations to send to colleagues and clients.
MOBILE: iPads and tablets are an awesome way to view images. My desktop site is built in flash so we designed a separate HTML site to go mobile. The main focus of the mobile site was to express functionality on ipads and tablets, rather than iPhones and smart phones. Key objectives for the site were simplicity and intuitive navigation. You can scroll through images as soon as you land on the site and all the navigation tucks into a pull out toolbox so that it stays out of the way when you don’t need it.
VIDEO: I am shooting a lot of motion projects these days and so I wanted to feature motion work on equal terms with still work. We built a custom player so playback feels familiar and consistent with the site. Since the video galleries have the same CMS functionality I can build galleries and organise motion projects with the same ease as stills.
CMS: One of the great things about working with an awesome programmer like iHouseDesigns is that you get to use their tried and tested CMS. It is simple and efficient allowing me to quickly and easily add content and manage my assets however I like.
BLOG: The key things for me here was that I wanted the blog to feel like an integral component of the website. It has the same navigation as my website so that no matter where you are in the blog you can quickly get back to my site and view my portfolios.”