February 9, 2011

Building a Better Online Portfolio

Another great webinar from PhotoShelter was just posted online in video form.

The video takes a great look at how to think about your portfolio website. Happily many of the things discussed are things I considered and took into account when I designed my new site; but I bet some of you should think about these same things on your site.

Just like I often ask about peoples images: "What is your subject? What are you trying to communicate? Who are you trying to communicate with?" I would ask the same about your website, as I ask myself the same about my websites often.

For those that freak out about her comments on watermarking here is a decent article about watermarking; but I'll share my personal thoughts quickly:
  • I don't think your portfolio site is a place for watermarking.
  • Centered watermarks are a huge distraction.
  • I think that your stock site is a great place to consider visible; but not overly distracting, watermarks.
  • I use watermarks on my stock site, so that those that snag images from google for presentations/mock-ups/etc, and those that view them, know where to go look for the real image later. I drop them at the bottom, so if people want to steal them they can, they are registered with the copyright office so...
Some other things from the video that gel with my personal thoughts, and design:
  • Let there be white.
  • Simple, clean, and succinct, with no extra distractions, is beautiful.
  • A readable site that is easy to navigate, and organized with a logical flow goes a long way.
  • Cut the fat and only provide extra information if it is relevant.
  • Take your own emotions out of the equation and think about your target audience.
  • A portfolio is not your stock site, it is not the place to show all of your images.
  • Let the site be about your images, not your images only being a part of the site.
  • Let them see the image, and you had better know how they will see it. (think web color/sharpness/resolution)
  • Make sure that their impatience does not keep me from seeing your site. (my site is even slower than I want it to be)
  • Kill the freaking music, especially if you are not the creator/owner/licensee. (artists, unfortunately, are often the biggest thieves of other artists work)
  • KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid (a motto I try to live by)
Take the time to watch the video, and feel free to bounce thoughts and questions around here, on my Facebook, or straight to me at info@DaveShumway.com.

Happy Shooting

p.s. Why on earth do I always type 'often' with two ffs? I know that it is 'often' and write it that way with no issue... odd.

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