This week marks the initial release of Hope Snow Photography, a new site I’ve just completed. Hope Snow is a photographer in the Gadsden, Alabama area, specializing in weddings and engagements as well as fine art photographs. I think you will find her approach to capturing the romance and expectancy of the moment is refreshing and she has obviously invested a lot of time and attention into sharpening her craft. In conceptualizing how we wanted to present her business on the web, two important themes emerged.

First, we wanted to make the site very simple and clean. Most people that are looking for a photographer online make a lot of judgements within the first few seconds of visiting the site. With that in mind, we wanted her art to be represented in a way that was not obscured by bloated content or trying to say too many things at once. In short, her work can really speak for itself, so why not just let it talk?

Second, we wanted the work to tell a story; after all, these images represent beautiful stories of people coming together and celebrating life. To support this, we had the idea that the galleries should be grouped into themes. We even played with the idea of calling them “stories” but ultimately stuck with the more standard naming of “gallery.” When a gallery is selected, instead of showing a page-long list of images, we decided to open a light box slide show and begin automatically scrolling through it. This scrolling ties in nicely with the images on the home page that slide behind the logo.

With the guidelines of using simplicity in telling stories, the rest of the site was fairly simple to flesh out. We put a section on the homepage explaining who Hope is; again, very simple and to the point. Hope also wanted to display testimonials of her clients. This was created in a way that will allow for easy expansion in the future if we decide to add detail, like client profiles for instance, to allow visitors to further connect with client’s stories in a meaningful way. Finally, we included a very simple contact form that focuses on the quick and concise conveying of information. The resulting email is styled to be quickly digested as well. The goal in this approach is to eliminate as much of the hassle in the information gathering process for potential clients and just get the conversation started.

In addition to these functional and aesthetic changes, we made a bunch of technical upgrades as well, such as switching to a virtual private server instead of shared hosting, optimizing images for the web and delivering them via cloud media servers, and giving the site a certificate for safe, encrypted browsing. As proud as we are that the site is live, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts; so leave a comment!

If you live in the Northeast corner of Alabama and are shopping for a photographer, definitely give Hope a thought. You will not be sorry.

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