Shawn Hubbard is not only a sport, fitness, and reportage photographer based out of Baltimore, Maryland, he’s also the team photographer for the Baltimore Ravens. A few months back, he gave us a call looking for some help with a web edit in order to integrate some new work into his portfolio and remove some of the older, less applicable content. His web and print edits would be part of a larger Branding Overhaul, which you can read about in Rachel’s Branding Overhaul: A Touchdown for Shawn Hubbard.
Luckily, Shawn’s site was already in good shape. He was using a very responsive template that was streamlined, easy to navigate, and showed off his work at a large size. When we started our work together, he had his site broken down into three main categories: Portfolio, Stories, and Personal Work.
Here’s a screen grab of Shawn’s site before the edit. You’ll see that along with his primary specialties, he’s also showing a handful of reportage and personal projects. Although these projects included plenty of strong, well-executed images, they just didn’t fit with the current direction of his brand and ended up diluting his focus as a result.
Shawn’s original edits were also a bit on the extensive side, showing more content than needed in order to show clients his style, vision, and skills. The fact that a lot of his team coverage galleries felt dense and staggered with content made it hard to navigate through the work and appreciate key moments and images. For example, in Shawn’s Baltimore Ravens gallery below, the image thumbnails lack a sense of continuity and rhythm, causing the gallery to feel like a series of “Best of” and favorites all dumped together.
With Shawn’s new edit, it was important for us to focus on streamlining the content and showing only the most commercially viable, brand-relevant images in a more creative and dynamic way. And while it’s always nice when photographers reveal some of their personal work and projects, it’s important to keep in mind that there is such a thing as the proper place and time. With Shawn having photographed the Ravens for a number of years and building up an incredibly strong reputation as a Sports and Fitness photographer, it was important to choose the projects he’s showing carefully and strategically.
In addition to the new active lifestyle images and team coverage, Shawn sent over some really great work he recently did for the Packers that we wanted to include in the edit. For the new site, we planned to structure his work in the following manner: NFL, which would include 3 galleries: Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, and Superbowl Highlights; Active Lifestyle, which would include commercial and editorial sports and fitness lifestyle images; and Stories, which would include the two strongest and most developed stories that tied into Shawn’s overall brand: “Making the Cut”, and “Baltimore Responds”.
In order to organize all the game coverage in an interesting manner, we decided to tell a story within each gallery, engaging the viewer and showing a multitude of decisive moments that included portraits, expressions, plays, and victories.
Here are thumbnail views of Shawn’s new Ravens and Packers galleries. Notice how much better the work flows by showing less content and sequencing images that have a strong push and pull from one image to the next:
In addition to the web edit, I also helped Shawn with a Print Edit for a brand new portfolio. After discussing the different options available and going over the pros and cons of on-demand printing, Shawn decided to go with a custom, hand-crafted 11×17 screw post portfolio from Mullenberg Designs. With this type of book, he’d be able to update it with new work whenever he needed and add supplemental content to better suit individual clients he met with. Our team helped him determine the best design, fabric, and sizing so that the book would complement his brand in the best possible light.
With Shawn’s print edit, we decided to do something a bit different than the web edit and lead with the active lifestyle work, then carefully segue into his sports team work. This way clients who were already familiar with Shawn’s site could feel refreshed by a different approach with the book.
What’s nice about working on a web and print edit together is that, as editors, we’re able to be more decisive and deliberate with our selections, knowing full well that if the web edit is starting to feel too dense or repetitive, we’re able to easily pull images from the sequence and make plans to use them in the print edit. Being able to partition images between web and print helps create a strong continuity and bond between both media, and shows off how well-rounded and dynamic a photographer’s body of work is without being repetitive. Of course, there will always be certain key images that get included in both media, but the overall goal is to keep each edit unique, concise, cohesive, and on-brand.
Here’s a look at Shawn’s new print portfolio along with a few of our favorite spreads below:
Additionally, since we offer a print production service here at Wonderful Machine, we were able to handle all the printing for Shawn’s new book in-house. He was able to get beautiful, double-sided pigment prints, meticulously quality-controlled by our photo editors, with the same attention to detail he’s used to applying to his own work. And if you know Shawn and his work, that bar is pretty high.
Shawn was so pleased with the quality of the book, he decided to make two copies: one for us to keep here at Wonderful Machine, and one for him to take to client meetings. And at the end of his Overhaul, he left us with these kind words regarding the web and print edit:
Stacy did a remarkable job of deciding which images best represented my brand… Between a fresh, streamlined website, a beautifully printed portfolio and a print promo, I’ve never felt more confident about my brand and can’t wait to show it off to potential clients.