Now This Is A FANTASTIC Photography Website and Portfolio
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I get hundreds and hundreds of links to photography websites for me to critique. I have critiqued sites that need a lot of work but needed that push in the right direction. What I can tell you is that this Squarespace Rapid Fire Critique is one of the best examples I have seen so far.
In this critique I take a look at http://jonathangipaya.com/ . Jonathan is a Seattle based photographer and musician who is capturing images and telling stories that I truly love. His site is put together so very well it is almost perfect as a photo portfolio. It showcases his fantastic work not just in how the site is laid but the photos he is capturing.
His photos have a style to them that I am drawn to. I could honestly see hiring him to photograph me one day and I would not have a problem recommending him to anyone who is getting married or who would like a portrait session. His images are thick with emotion and contrast and of course I am drawn to that.
The way the site flows really makes it easy to navigate. He puts his best foot forward in each section and showcases the best of the best work. He has a few photo sections, a great about me section and a blog that you want to keep looking at.
If you have been waiting for a great example of a photography/portfolio website to follow, this is the one to look at.
Great work Jonathan!!!!
Here is the email I mentioned in the video.
The template is Forte. I like the option of having full screen photos/previews of each of my portfolio categories when someone visits my site. It’s about a 2 second preview of the first photos that I submit to each category that gets showcased on my homepage. It was important for me to choose a landscape orientation, otherwise it would have zoomed in on a portrait oriented photo and make it look horrible regarding quality and sometimes crop.
As far as tweaks are concerned, I found it very important when uploading your photos to highlight over each photo and choosing the focus point. Especially when it comes to the showcased photos on your homepage. When someone visits your site and their window is scaled at a weird aspect ratio (very small or very wide) the chosen focus point will still direct the viewer towards a subject’s face. I hope this makes sense (let me know if I need to elaborate more on this and I’ll try to explain it better with screenshots).
Other tweaks that I add/modify are the left and right arrows on my galleries. I’m planning on adding the up arrow for a thumbnail gallery because I like that feature on your website and I remember you mentioning it in one of my videos.
I added and synced my social networks to the website with the icons at the top right near the menus. A very simple add but very effective to getting my visitors acquainted with others way to follow me, etc.
For my blog, I’ve explored the option of different viewing options for multiple photos in one blog. I’ve checked out the thumbnail gallery and the slideshow gallery. I wasn’t really sold on those options and most of the time my photos render very quickly on my blog and allowed visitors to see them right away, instead of waiting for them to load (which is what I experienced on the different viewing options). I’ll include keywords and place a blog in a certain category. It’s allowed my viewers to search for a particular blog instead of going to the bottom and continually clicking on “older” link.
I shoot with a 5D classic on most of the photos, with exception to the concert photography (I’ll rent a 5D III) and will upload most of my photos at 50% of the resolution. I’m not too technical on what resolution I upload my images (I’d love to hear what you do), but looking at one of my images, it looks like it’s 2184×1456. I also thought that would be a decent enough resolution to ensure quality but cut down on load times. For portrait photos, I will crop to 8.5×11 because I like that look.