Simply put, I haven’t yet made a lot of progress on my Web site.
Right now, all I’ve got are the index and a few linked pages that I created for my Electronic Photojournalism class. And right now, everything’s still on my school-sponsored Web space.
But soon enough, I’ll have a functioning Web site with my own domain name. In the meantime, with the help of 10,000 Words and a few other blogs, I’ve been exploring other photographers’ portfolio Web sites.
One of these sites belongs to Chase Jarvis.
Jarvis, who operates out of Seattle and Paris (!), is definitely a commercial photographer who’s had quite few big-name clients. For example, he did photography and video for the worldwide launch of Nikon’s D90. He’s done ad campaigns for Reebok, REI, Windows Vista, Volvo, Jeep and more. And he has a few more string projects that, it seems, he does for fun.
Jarvis also has a really good Web site.
His design is simple but effective. Everything works and fits and clicks together.
He’s got high-impact visuals dominating the gallery pages. He’s got pertinent client/project information available when you browse his campaigns (hover your cursor over “information” near the bottom of the window). In his “about” page, a video offers you a glimpse of what he’s like, and he also provides information about the people who work for and with him.
Just as importantly as anything I’ve said already, Chase also has a blog.
Photographers and anyone else actively working in media need to consider keeping an updated, regular blog. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either. Blogs enable the readers to feel like they can get to know you, as well as inform the readers that hey — you’re still working. You’re still an active photographer, writer, videographer, whatever. You’re not just sitting down and letting life go by. You’re out there, and you’re putting your work on-line so anyone can take a look and, if they’re so inclined, give feedback.
So I appreciate that Chase, who seems like a pretty busy guy, keeps a fairly updated blog.
Obviously, Chase’s Web site is designed to appeal to potential clients, most of whom I assume are commercial and big-name. After all, he’s a commercial photographer who’s landed some truly enviable contracts.
Just as obviously, I can’t and won’t emulate Chase’s exact style when I get around to designing my own Web site. I’m a photojournalist. Unlike Chase and other commercial photographers, I’m not trying to win over well-known companies like Apple and Columbia Sportswear Company.
Rather, I want to show readers that I can tell stories visually, that I can tell the truth visually.
Here’s what I do plan to do:
- Make my Web site functional as a portfolio for both my photography and my reporting. I haven’t figured out yet how to present my written work, but certainly the two portfolios will be two different sections.
- For my photography portfolio: Ensure that the images dominate the page but that caption/other information is easily available without away-navigation. Create galleries that distinguish my editorial work from my other work.
- Have my contact information available at the bottom of every page. (This is not something that Chase does.)
- Include a blog. There is a long, complicated way by which I could migrate this WordPress.com blog to a WordPress.org blog (so I can keep all these posts under my own domain name), but I haven’t decided yet if that’s the route I want to take. Either way, my Web site will include a blog. Period.
- Keep the design simple.
I’m hoping to have this site up and running by Thanksgiving. If not, then by winter break. If I’m feeling brave enough, I’ll post screencaps of the work in progress and ask for feedback. If not, then you’ll just have to wait and see!