Last fall, while helping my kids with Zoom school and juggling the ups and downs of pandemic life, I completed a Web Edit for Vancouver-based architecture and hospitality photographer Jeremy Segal. Though Jeremy had a strong body of work, he was having trouble organizing his galleries and incorporating more narrative work onto his website. So, Jeremy picked up the phone and reached out to Wonderful Machine to see if we could help. After chatting with our project manager, Nadia Kiyatkina, about his options, he decided to move forward with a comprehensive edit of his website
My initial goals were to get a fresh pair of eyes on my work and to have external input to help me flesh out how to reach the new direction I hope to go in with my imagery.
All of our consulting projects begin with the photographer completing a questionnaire; this shines a light on what they’ve been struggling with and helps identify specific goals for the project. Once I read Jeremy’s responses and reviewed his existing website, it was clear to me that his presentation at the time didn’t showcase the full range of his capabilities as a storyteller. On top of that, some of the galleries were overly broad and diverse.
Jeremy’s Design gallery, for example, was a mix of exterior architecture and interior design-oriented photography that also included a story-driven project with more of an editorial feel. Even though all of these subjects related to one another, it was not necessarily the strongest way to group these images for the greatest impact. By pulling apart his architectural and design-related imagery into separate galleries — and creating a narrative project edit for the “Tokyo Design” story — the focus of each subject became much tighter, and the overall presentation of this material was given a more elevated look.
In addition to our consulting questionnaire, phone calls are another important part of the process for any Web Edit to establish an ongoing dialogue with the photographer about the project. Through my chats with Jeremy, I got a clearer picture of who his existing clients were as well as the types of clients that he hoped to reach. I can’t stress enough how important this part of the editing process is — defining marketing goals can sharpen the focus of a photographer’s overall presentation immensely.
It was precisely through this type of communication that I came to better understand the nature of Jeremy’s “Hospitality” portfolio and how we could reshape the edit with a brand narrative approach that featured a fuller exploration of the guest experience. Weaving together interiors, food, and some more lifestyle imagery into Jeremy’s Hospitality gallery helped to create a sequence that was more relatable, and less like a mix of food and interiors without much connection between the two. As is often the case with this type of hospitality gallery, incorporating images of people who are engaged in an activity or who are enjoying an experience can really help to draw a viewer in and create a clear sense of the appeal of the location.
The last remaining specialty for us to tackle was “Industry.” Much of the work within Jeremy’s Industry gallery was consistent as a group of images. The sequence, however, did not have the strongest flow to it, and the first few images were not the best options to lead things off. By reworking the image order with particular attention to color and composition, I reshuffled the sequence of the gallery to allow for individual groupings of photos that better supported one another in small vignettes. I also made sure to eliminate any images that felt redundant or unnecessary along the way.
My final recommendations to Jeremy involved identifying and sequencing projects within his portfolio that might be more effectively used as orphan links. Orphan links, live web galleries that can be selectively shared but are not available through your main site navigation, are an excellent way to present imagery that may be relevant to certain clients but isn’t consistent with your primary brand. After working through the orphan link galleries, we finalized the web edit process by having a final phone call to address any loose ends or questions that Jeremy had. Here’s what he had to say after the Web Edit finished up:
The experience was completely personalized and very thorough. Honore carefully studied my work and understood what I was trying to achieve almost intuitively — her know-how when it comes to editing a professional’s work is clearly present. The entire process went above and beyond all my expectations, and I left with new galleries and applicable principles to apply myself moving forward. Again, Honore was wonderful!
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