This week we are taking a look at a photographer’s website and re-designing it. I’m looking to improve the conversion of the portfolio site using the best practices I have learned over the years. The photographer in question is GF Williams, he is a remarkable automotive photographer I have been following for around 6 months. He has worked on large shoots such as McLaren F1’s one off Gulf livery and many more.
The header and hero banner
Starting with the top of the site we have the logo, menu and hero banner. Currently George has his logo which includes his name and ‘photographer’ in a pretty large size. This is positive as it indicates to the viewer exactly what he does as soon as they see the site. This is surprisingly missed by a lot of websites, make sure it’s clear what you do! I’m not a huge fan of the light red colour, it does not suit the high end style of his photography. A stronger colour is definitely needed.
The menu is simple and effective, it does its job. One of his awesome photos is pride of place in the middle of the hero banner. I like the darkness of the image, a dark scheme is often related to luxury. I would recommend a call to action and possibly a header in the middle. A CTA button pushing potential clients to check out the rest of his portfolio or to contact him would increase conversion.
The about section
Second, some context. Here there is some more context around George and his credentials. I personally would be tempted to put this information and more in an about page. The home page should be able to be scanned extremely quickly, most people don’t want to read much more than a sentence or two. My biggest problems with this section are the alignment of the title and the hard to read white text on an image. The title should be aligned the same as the paragraph text, both should be central of left aligned. This allows the user to easily read the information.
Building trust and social proof
This middle section is crucial. Throughout your site you should be aiming to build trust with the viewer. Using logos of his past clients is great, especially as they are such large companies in the automotive industry. I would organise this page slightly differently but that’s down to personal preference. All in all, a great section.
Another brilliant section, again showing social proof which builds trust. To a viewer if you have many people following you online you are much more trust worthy and clearly good at what you do. The sections are all full screen height which feels like overkill at times, this section could definitely be smaller and more efficient. We’ll address that when we get to my re-design!
The last CTA
A little too much space around this section again. This could be a third of the size it is. However having a call to action for the viewer is perfect. Being the last section of the site you must give the user an action to perform before they leave your site. George has gone for a link to his portfolio, I would try to place this higher in the site and have a contact button at the bottom. This is so that the sees his portfolio before seeing a contact form without having to search around for a long time. The site should gently guide the user and be easy to use.
The final design
Fixing all the points I made before I designed this new home page. Adding my own design ideas throughout. I stuck with the dark theme and expanded it with orange accents. The hero banner has social links and more context on the image being used, linking to the case study page of that specific shoot. This allows for easy access to more information for the viewer. The menu has been moved higher and the contact link is now a button to stand out and therefore be easier to see and click on.
The client logos and social media followers sections I have simplified and made smaller. This allows for the viewer to scan the home page and know exactly what they need to know, no more, no less. In between is the ‘Recent work’ section, this showcases projects as an image scroller. Therefore showing more projects than the original site which is especially crucial for a photographer’s website. Each scroller section is a different project which could be clicked on for more information on a case study page.
Finally, I noticed there is a link to a blog on the current website. To get more viewers for this blog a section showcasing recent blog posts and their images has been added. A title and small excerpt can be read and then clicked on to open the main blog page.
Overall I went for a relatively minimal design to allow the images to take all the attention. The site is now easier to digest by showing easily scannable information and showcasing more projects and content. Design is definitely not often a science though! If you have any views on either design let me know in the comments below.