Site Showcase: Kayleigh Ross Photography
For this site, Paige went with the Wells template to best highlight her client's huge gallery of beautiful images! Infinite scroll and categorized galleries make for an easy visitor experience and the pastel tones help accentuate Kayleigh's feminine floral brand.
Template Chosen: Wells
Why did you choose that template?: Kayleigh was looking to have a vertical navigation as opposed to the more common horizontal navigation, which Wells offers. Wells was also a perfect fit to showcase her amazing photography front & center. The gallery pages of this template use the full width and height of the page to really make images the focal point.
What was the Client's Objective?: Originally, Kayleigh had set up a blog on Blogger to showcase her photography. Her business had grown immensely over time, and she was seeing a lot of success in her work (as you can tell from her jaw-dropping photography!) Her business had outgrown her blog, and needed it’s own proper online home. Our goal was to make her a website that kept her photography at it’s core, and was simplistic for her to keep up by herself over time.
Tell us a bit about the design process?: This website, along with all websites built with my studio, flew from inception to completion in 2 weeks. Prior to the project starting, Kayleigh and I chatted for an hour together to ensure we were on the same page with her style and the feeling she wanted her website to portray. Then, with all the content prepared prior to our start date, I got to work building out each page. A major part of this task was actually getting Kayleigh’s super massive photo file sizes down so the pages loaded quickly, while ensuring we didn’t loose image quality (JPEGmini was a lifesaver). At the end of the first week, I sent the site back for review, and completed all the edits desired. Then on the final day of the design period, we hopped on Google Hangouts, and went through a full 1.5 hour Squarespace lesson so Kayleigh could be confident taking over her own website updates in the future. Right after that, on the same call, we got her site launched and live!
How did you help the client differentiate their business through design?: It’s extremely common with photographer websites built on Squarespace to have the portfolio galleries click through in a slideshow. After clicking and waiting for each photo to change, it becomes a bit annoying, especially if you have a 50+ photos on a page. With years of photography work built up, we needed to ensure it was efficient for viewers to see her expansive portfolios as simply as possible. When designing, I made a conscious effort to have the portfolios as a long scrolling page, making it simple to see her skill & style in an easy to navigate fashion. With all the endless scrolling websites and apps (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), people are not afraid to scroll on a page, so we incorporated this common way of browsing a website into the design.
Is there custom development? What about custom added CSS? Can you tell us why you did or did not use these edits?: Knowing that this site would very much so be a “living” and ever-changing home for her photography portfolio, conscious effort was made to ensure it would be as simplistic as possible to take over, and hit the ground running with. For this purpose, I attempted to use the tools Squarespace provides to make the site unique, without making many coding changes that would be confusing to work with in the long run. We did code the page headers, but thankfully this was very easy to teach how to update in our post-design lesson.
What are the top three creative features you used in the design?:
1. Utilize the full width and height of the home page for photo features
2. Deviate from the typical slideshow style, and go for long, scrolling portfolio pages
3. Keep everything else minimalistic, so the photos stayed the focus