Local photographer Jay Fram, who was one of our WIL features from earlier this year, has had always had a unique ability for capturing the perfect moments from his subjects as well as a keen eye for design - which is most likely due to his close collaborators, Almanac.
It should come then as no surprise that his digital presence is a wonderful marriage of both photography & design that gives us one of the strongest custom portfolio sites we've seen in quite some time. It's incredibly minimal yet rich with content and leaves a lasting impression of his work and aesthetic.
Let's take a look at the branding first. Here's Nathan Sprehe, principal of Almanac, on the solution they devised for their friend:
"We began our discovery phase by working with Jay to identify and refine his target audiences and conducted interviews with some of those people—art buyers, creative directors and corporate clients. Their input informed our work in defining Jay as “an American photographer who crafts honest, emotional images of real people and places.” With that in mind, we developed a simple, versatile and bold mark intended to correspond with Jay’s personality on set—professional, contemplative and at times, loud and boisterous."
"Business cards are printed with black thermography across three different types of paper, each color corresponding to the color palette."
"When it came to the website, we made a conscious decision to abandon a portfolio “section”, instead opting for an approach that put sortable image galleries right on the homepage. In addition to the work, the responsive website features an “on-set” section where you can see more of what it’s like to work with Jay, photo story galleries and his blog, which we rolled into this website from another platform."
Here's Jay's thoughts concerning the site:
"I love photography sites that feature giant full-screen imagery immediately on the landing page, but I also felt limited by that approach. It can be agonizing to choose (and constantly update) a single image with which to make a first impression, when no single image can impart the breadth of any photographer's work. And I definitely do NOT like automatic slideshows. We chose to go the opposite route, to have the viewer land on a dynamic collection of thumbnails which resize upon refresh, and reshuffle depending on browser width. The images load quickly, and have the express advantage of giving an art buyer/editor a fast and hopefully more nuanced read on my visual style. Obviously I hope they click the images to open in full-screen lightbox view, but if not, they still get the gist."
"We were also able to incorporate most of my wish list - migrated blog, on-set snapshots, tearsheets, viewable on mobile and tablet, all fully editable and customizable via Wordpress. I'd still like to tweak the iPad experience of the site, and the lightbox view, and allow a client to create customized downloadable PDFs. Also coming soon, the site will serve light appetizers, and after 8pm, craft beer and custom cocktails."
Beautiful work all across the board that we're proud to say is 100% locally made in all aspects; if this combined work doesn't get some national press we'd be very amazed. The only extremely minor thing we'd like to address is that the browser back button is useless once entering the full-image mode, but maybe that's just our own dated navigational habits as opposed to an oversight of theirs. Also, we gotta say something about that beautiful footer; we totally have footer fetish going on with it - we just want to click all over it.
Ahem… congratulations to everyone involved.
View Jay Fram's site here.
Be sure to check out the full Almanac blog on the project here.