How restructuring your photography website could spark new ideas and improve your photography.
If you have a photography website, one question you’ve no doubt asked yourself is how best to organise your photographs. The answer was probably driven by the subject matter of your images. One approach, certainly for landscape and fine art photographers, is to organise images by types of terrain, for example, land, sea, urban, desert etc.
Another popular approach is to group images by country or region. This is the approach I adopted when I set up my website a couple of years ago. But although most of my images are taken overseas on photography trips, I don’t class myself as a travel photographer, at least not in the ‘National Geographic’ sense, and, after a while, I found this approach too literal for my work.
I decided to restructure my website and group my images by concept, for example, Watermarks, Echoes, Serenity, Contours, Ritual, and write a vision statement for each portfolio. It was a valuable exercise that made me reassess my images and their raison d’être, both as single images and as a collection.
The benefits of restructuring my website didn’t end there. It’s had a lasting effect on my photography. It has made me much more aware of what it is I’m trying to convey through my images. This means that when I’m out shooting, I think about creating a portfolio of images that communicate an idea, a concept or a story. This was the case particularly in Venice and Japan where I had a clear idea of what it was I wanted to convey: the resulting portfolios, Echoes and Ritual, are both ‘works in progress’ but they have a coherent theme that I hope to develop on my next trips to these locations. Approaching my photography in this way means I’m less likely to return home with a random series of images that have nothing to communicate other than they were taken, for example in Venice or by the sea.
Another benefit of reassessing my website was that I started seeing connections and themes running through my images that I hadn’t noticed before. Admittedly, some of my portfolios are rather light on content currently, but the ides have been sparked, and anything that stimulates ideas and creativity and gives our photography added purpose has got to be good news.
So what’s the right way to organise a photography website? You need only look at some examples of other photographers’ sites to know that the answer is: whatever showcases your work and your vision to best advantage.