Last year, the once Philadelphia-based Ryan Donnell made a transitional move to Iowa. While he managed to carry his strong client relationships with him to Des Moines, he recently came to us for help with a Photo Edit that would gear toward national clients. He wanted his website to feature both commercial and editorial work, as well as reportage. Ryan’s priority was to refine his extensive amount of work and transform his website to better focus on his current path.
I wanted to present work that would engage his clients while staying true to his photo-journalistic roots. (Ryan began his career shooting for newspapers after graduating from the University of Missouri.) Many of his images express a reportage feel, but with more production and posing involved. Ryan sent me 700 images— 200 more than what we normally ask for— and I was thankful that he did. While reviewing his collection, it was easy to see his growth and maturity as a photographer, which helped me to understand the direction in which he wanted to go, which was less of the photojournalism and more of the stylized commercial and editorial shoots.
Ryan’s website was displaying an overwhelming amount of work, so I dove straight into organizing. A lot of his assignments were very lifestyle-based, but the category was nowhere to be found. Creating a Lifestyle gallery opened a door that invited many of his photos in.
I tried to make his Portraiture gallery fun to look at by showcasing a variety: close-ups and full-body, inside and outside, goofy and corporate.
For the Education gallery, I made sure to find a balance between the classroom environments and all of the happenings outside of class, like general campus life, field trips, sports, and studying. Since he typically photographs K-college, I sequenced them as a timeline of youth from middle school to high school, ending with the university. It made me kind of miss being in school!
A combination of Ryan’s healthcare, corporate and industrial images made his Industry gallery come to life. I started with healthcare, as that’s a priority for his future assignments. The images with computers helped transition into the work space which then led to blue collar jobs and physical labor.
I also dedicated a gallery specifically to projects which was important to have because it’s something Ryan is passionate about. He loves reportage and these projects justify that he can tell stories while also showcasing his newspaper background. Overall, it’s a comprehensive edit showcasing the best of Ryan’s work in a way that makes sense.
To see before and after videos of Ryan’s site, and to hear my analysis, please check out my screencast below:
See more of Ryan’s work on his website!
Wonderful Machine: Adventure Calls: Ryan Donnell for North Dakota Tourism
Wonderful Machine: Web Assessment: Oliver Parini Sets His Sights on Travel
Wonderful Machine: Web Edit: Tim Black