The Pros and Cons of 10 Unique Photographers Portfolio Websites

The idea of browsing through a photographer portfolio is the same to open a photo book and smoothly go through all the photos, but depending on the design of the website the experience may not be so smooth.

The most important thing about a photographer website is not the design, but the structure that is going to show his portfolio. Each photographer has a different portfolio in every aspect therefore their websites are very unique to fit their own display of work.

The fact that the website is the connection between his work and the public, they have to pay attention to every detail and make the best out of it to overcome the competition.

In this article you will see 20 totally unique websites that all have the same goal, display good photography. You will see how each website work and find out the pros and cons of each design.

01. Lee Towndrow

towndrow.ca

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Lee’s website is based on a flash gallery system, that may look a little messy, but it’s very dynamic, bringing you straight to what you want to see; the photography portfolio. As you move the mouse over the thumbs, it gets easy to realize they are all divided by five rolls and each roll represents a category. It’s also easy to go through each category’s photos just by holding and sliding the mouse.

Once you click on the photo, it appears on full screen and you can easily go forward and back or get back to the front page.

Pros:
In only one page Lee is able to show all his photos, and manages to have them divided and organized in 5 categories, it has some information about him even know it’s not really a biography.

Cons:
It takes a little bit to load each category in the front page when you first enter the site. When you slide a roll to the side it has an end in both sides, would be good to see a connection of the same photos sliding over and over. It’s a very dynamic website but it doesn’t really present a design.

02. Frederik Clement

fredrikclement.com

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Frederik has a very impressive portfolio website that fits perfectly to his needs, it’s created in flash and it loads very quickly when you first open it. The dark gray, white and yellow color palette fits right in with the colorful photographs. The first thing you will notice is one of his beautiful photos very big as a background and some of his information that appears very stylish on the top which disappear as you move the mouse off that area which is cool because it gives all your attention back to the photo on the background that can easily be changed by rolling over the mouse on the bottom area which will make appear the rest of the photos from his showcase.

Pros:
All of his photos are displayed in full screen on the browser, it’s very easy to move from one photo to the other and the gallery system hides the gallery as well as the top information to give more emphasis to his photos that appear full screen on the browser. All the photos have a link to download which is totally a plus, and you can choose anytime to go into full screen mode.

Cons:
The only things that are missing out are some information about him as a photographer and also some information about his style of photography since his photos are not categorized you have to go through them to get a feeling of what type of photos he takes, which can be a turn down if you looking to hire him.

03. Dimitris Theocharis

dimitristheocharis.com

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Dimitris has a very simple but yet very well displayed portfolio, and a little different from what we usually see. His website is not in flash and it has a horizontal navigation that allows you to scroll through a lot of his photos at once, and also gives the option of 5 galleries full of work. As you roll over each photo you notice a little description pops up which is really good.

The use of gray makes the overall look of the website very serious and plain showing some lack of creativity.

Pros:
A good part of his portfolio is instantly load after you go through the splash page and since the website is not in flash, he automatically gives an easy access to his photos which can be a good way to get his work exposed in blogs, and another pro is the fact that his photos come with date and a little info.

Cons:
The splash page opening before the actual website is unnecessary, none of his photos have full view option, it’s not so easy to realize he has more than one gallery, when you click on his logo it brings you back to the splash page, and there is no information about himself.

04. Joon Brandt

joonsworld.no

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Joon has an amazing portfolio website that show that you can display your whole portfolio at once and have a very elegant and inviting website at the same time. Also based on a flash galley system full of thumbnails that move side to side according to the mouse motion and each thumb get a little bigger as you roll over them making it easy to know in which photo you going to click.

When clicked, the photo appears in full screen along with the title, and it’s very simple to move on to the next photo or go back to the gallery.

Pros:
The whole portfolio is displayed at once when you first open the website, displayed on an outstanding flash gallery system that allows you to go full screen at any time. The overall look is very professional and attractive and you able to see all his photos in a really good size. The website is equipped with a very nice search system and it also has an about page with important information about Joon.

Cons:
Since it has a very unique gallery system that loads the whole portfolio at once, it takes some time to load when you first open the website and it also has to load each photo as you click on them.

05. Koen Demuynck

koendemuynck.com

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The Belgian Photographer Koen Demuynck doesn’t waste any time and starts up his website with a great preview of one of his photos and a small menu with the choice of 5 galleries for you to enter. The slick design created in flash allows his great photos to do all the work making a very smooth experience as you can easily navigate through the galleries.

Pros:
The simple design is very effect and makes it very stylish.  All his photos are displayed in great size and the galleries are very organized and easy to navigate.

Cons:
He doesn’t allow download of any of his photos and there also no information about him, that makes it hard for his work to get promoted by other sites and blogs that leads to less exposure which is the best way to reach clients.

06. David Hill

davehillphoto.com

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The so famous for his hdr looking photographs David Hill has one of the best photographers portfolio website out there. As soon as you enter you notice his whole gallery of work is right there on your face and there is a big preview of one of his photos already.

The fact that is not flash is a plus, making it faster to load and keeping the interaction of flash with thumbnails that light up as you roll over along the option of moving to other images when you roll over the displayed photo.

Pros:
It’s dynamic, organized, and easy to navigate which makes it friendlier than anything. Every photo contains such info that you can even see the location on google map. It’s also organized within 3 different galleries that can easily be changed.

Cons:
The only con is the fact that he doesn’t allow any downloads of his images.

07. Jaap Vliegenthart

jaapvliegenthart.nl

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Jaap Vliegenthart doesn’t have the best looking website. You will notice it’s simplicity when you first enter it, but it’s well organized. The website is in flash and basically has no design to it.  The portfolio gives you choices of a couple different galleries and they all very organized but very simple at the same time. As you click in one image it takes to another page where you can a bigger preview along with some info.

Pros:
The website is very well organized, making it easy for the user to see his work. It also contains great information about him.

Cons:
The same system could be done without flash which would make it a lot faster, the website lacks on design, and the photos should be shown a little bigger than that for better user satisfaction.

08. Corey Arnold

coreyfishes.com

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The fisherman and photographer Corey Arnold has one of the most unique ways to display his portfolio. A website based in flash that quickly loads and soon brings you to a big size photo that keeps rotating. You can access the menu anytime by just rolling over it, and there are options of different galleries he has to offer. As you pick a category, this not so usual gallery full of great photos will appear and within a click you can see the photos in bigger size.

Pro:
His website is based on a very unique gallery system which is a plus; it’s also organized an interactive. The fact that the menu hides and appears when you roll over gives more space for the photos to be displayed.

Cons:
The excess of loading can be a turn down to a lot of users even know it loads fast, the line grid the cover the full size photos that load when you open the website is not very beneficial for the displaying of his photo.

09. Jeremy Cowart

jeremycowart.com

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Created in flash, the website of Jeremy Cowart loads fast and enters showing a display of thumbs that each represents a different gallery. As you click on the gallery of your choice you be taken to an inside page that show a menu on the left with easy access to the other galleries and the photos of the chosen gallery will already appear in a good size, but he also gives you the option of looking at the thumbnails.

Pros:
The website has a dark and professional look and takes you straight to what you want to see .When you access a gallery you have the options of looking at the thumbs and also going full screen at any time.

Cons:
The only cons are the lack of information about his work/photos and the fact that you can’t download any of his photos.

10. Alberto Oviedo

oviedofoto.com

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Alberto Oviedo has a very direct website that interacts with you from the moment you enter, with the rolling photos that takes all the attention and when stops leads you right to the menu where you can choose a category and easily navigate through his great photos.

Pros:
The website is well organized and all the photos are shown in a good size and very fast because each photo loads separate. He has amazing information about him and also behind the scenes action which is great.

Cons:
The cons are that none of the photos have any information about it, not even a title, and they also not available for download.

Written By Paul0v2

Hello there! My name is Paulo Canabarro, I'm a graphic design student, blogger and freelancer. I'm a writer for abduzeedo.com and I have passion for cool and well done design. To find out more about me and my work, FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

5 Comments

  1. Robin Cannon

    September 28th, 2009 at 01:48 pm

    Outstanding article. Really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to go beyond merely a showcase of other websites, and undertaken a genuine analysis of the site design.

    When it comes to portfolio sites, the focus is understandably on photography and art sites. What do you think are the differences between these types of portfolio sites and those that are intended to showcase the work of a web designer?

  2. Paul0v2

    September 28th, 2009 at 02:41 pm

    I think they have the same purposes in displaying their portfolio but photographers don’t have to worry so much about the design of their own website, so they become more focused in just displaying their work and in the other hand the web designer’s website is also a piece of his portfolio and that leads it to different trends.

  3. Nate

    September 29th, 2009 at 09:26 am

    Excellent post! I agree with Robin that it’s nice to see your detailed analysis of each site, rather than just another “Top 10″ list.

    However, I don’t agree with the belief that because you can’t download the images, it’s a “con”. This is simply to protect the work of the artists, and keep people from unlawfully taking their work.

    I know most people wouldn’t do this, but there are those few dishonest ones!

    (Great blog too! I’m bookmarking and adding it to my list of favorites on my blog!)

  4. Paul0v2

    September 29th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Nate,

    Allowing the viewer to download a small preview of the photo is a pro because of the fact that you allowing your work to go within your website, the same way if you can give away a couple of your photos, you would still face risk of someone saying it was their work instead of yours but if they were to still they could simply take print screen and have the same exactly thing in hands anyway.

    So by allowing one to download a small resolution sample of your photo you increase a lot of chance of exposure, specially today with so many blogs posting inspirational photos and more.

    Thank you for your comment, stick around!

  5. Nate

    September 29th, 2009 at 01:59 pm

    Hey Paul, you make a very good point there. Thanks for elaborating on that!

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