When Jodi, a photographer in Dubai, contacted me to design her website and I saw her beautiful photographs I was very excited to be able to help her grow her business.
Jodi had heard about me through a friend and got in contact with me because she was leaving Dubai and her job and wanted to take her side business – family photography – full time once she had returned to England. Therefore she needed a website. We met up to discuss her ideas for the website and Jodi told me in which direction she wanted to take the business. Of course she also showed me her photographs as well as the websites she liked and we immediately clicked and kind of knew we would be working well together.
Jodi also needed a logo but she knew very well what she had in mind and that she did not need a fully developed brand identity yet. She wanted a plain logo and also knew the type of font she was looking for.
Step 1 – Research
I start all my projects with an extensive questionnaire which my clients need to fill in for their brand as well as for their website. In these questionnaires I ask questions about the look and feel of the brand they want to achieve. Who their ideal customer is and what the company’s values are. I also ask what the outcome of the website should be, which problems should it solve as well as other websites my clients like and why.
I also ask my clients to collect images on Pinterest that reflect their desired brand. From those images I can see which colors and style my clients are drawn to and if they will fit with the business values.
Jodi and I worked closely together to define her ideal clients and the look and feel she wanted to create with her logo and brand.
Her ideal client is: a family with a dog in Sussex, England – her new home - and specifically it will be the wife/mom to book her photography services. The women will be social, like the outdoors, exercise and culture. And they love being with their family and want to record that time. Jodi has been even more specific than this which is absolutely great as she knows her customers so well.
Some of the 10 adjectives that describe her brand are: Friendly, Adventurous, Natural, Timeless, Passionate.
For her website, Jodi liked a very clean look, easy to navigate and impactful on the eye with a big slider. She was looking for fast loading speed as she knew this could be a problem for websites with lots of images. And she wanted to keep the option open of adding an online shop later down the line.
The goal of her website was to showcase her portfolio and to inspire people and of course for potential clients to contact her and book her services or recommend her to a friend.
I also did some research on her competitors as well as the style of the website she wanted.
Phase 2 – Inspiration
I took Jodi's images from her board on Pinterest as well as some of her own photographs on Instagram to look for similarities, the look and feel of her brand, which colors would fit and any other elements that I could adapt for her brand. From there I created this moodboard:
The colors reflect the style of her photographs as well as the area she now lives in and also the calm and relaxed personality of Jodi.
This moodboard ensured that Jodi and I were on the same page and I kept it by my side for my whole design process for the concept phase and also for the website in order to make sure we had a cohesive look that always reflects the same image and feel.
Phase 3 – Logo creation
I designed a few different main logos for Jodi all taking the moodboard as well as her business insights and of course her font preference into account.
These logos will seem very similar to you and that’s true of course, but they are all different fonts and we had determined in advance that she wanted a font like this for her logo - classic, minimal and elegant.
Jodi did really like the very last one but we decided that it would be too light on her website so we went for the same style but in a very dark grey/black, in this example number 3. She definitely wanted to have the whole name of her brand in one row.
But as a secondary logo I designed the photography part under her name. And as a submark Jodi only wanted her initials.
Phase 4 – Brand board
From the initial moodboard we identified her brand colors as well as her logo colors. And I created a style board for her brand. I includes her primary logo, her secondary logo, her submark, the recommended fonts and colors and some instructions on how to use them. Obviously I did not need to include any image examples.
Jodi can use this board in the future for reference when preparing any marketing material, presentations, quotations etc in order to keep her brand totally consistent and recognizable.
Phase 5 – Squarespace Website Design
And now it was time to design her website. Jodi had collected all the images she wanted to display on her website and together we identified the ones she would display on her homepage - on her slider and below as well as on her portfolio pages. We made sure it is a mix of families, couples, babies and children as well as close ups, scenic shots and of course her signature nature photographs.
We spend some time to find the right Squarespace template for her as she really liked the design of the Wexley template. However as the templates in the Brine family give a little more flexibility and she also had the idea of incorporating an online shop later down the line we decided to go with the Brine template.
Her website is very minimal and really concentrates on her beautiful photographs so if you know the Brine template you will know that we did not use it to its full potential. However with the Brine template we could do a big slider as well as different gallery styles which was most important to her. And the Wexley template does not allow for a big banner/slider. Plus there are so many different styling options for example for mobile that we used to her advantage as well.
You can view her real website here: https://www.jodidaviesphotography.co.uk/
I also added small things like a next button underneath every portfolio page to show the viewer that there is more to look at. Of course there is also a contact me button on ever page as this is her main objective with the website: show her photography style and portfolio and then to be contacted by her ideal clients.
On every page there is also one or two testimonials of past clients as it is so important to see that other real life people have booked her and were happy with her service. As not everyone might click on every page of a website, it is good to have a testimonial on every page.
Phase 6 – Handover
Finally we met again and I handed the site over to her. I explained how to add images and text to her site, how to exchange images and testimonials for example and just how to maintain and update her site herself.
Of course a meeting like this can be quite overwhelming so I always also record the training so that my clients have a video to go back to to be reminded how to do things in case something has slipped the mind.
I also showed her how to remove the coming soon page and defined the ‘real’ homepage and how to take the site live.
Overall I loved working on Jodi's project. With her amazing photographs it was so nice to see everything come together on her website - her photographs and her branding and her style joint together and come to life. And of course, I was super happy to see Jodi so excited about her new website!
Would you like to learn how to design a website like the one of Jodi Davies yourself?
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