Professional Development – My Identity.

After researching some other design agencies, I have gotten a feel for how the industry likes to market things… and sadly, what I had in mind is a little different.
Whilst the majority of these companies have very clean, white websites that leave plenty of room to showcase their work, I think that the website in itself can be a work of art, not simply a place to “paste” the portfolio. And don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful websites out there that use this method, as well as ones that have taken the “my website is a piece of art” very well also.

On to the process. To begin with, I sifted through almost every photograph I’ve ever taken since 2012, and every piece of design work since I started almost 3 years ago. Believe me this was no easy feat – considering there are 44,500 files on my hard drive. What I found though, was interesting. Some things I had forgotten about, and some old images that I wondered why on earth I never used these in my portfolio beforehand. Next was the even more tedious part – reediting every image to a standard parallel to mine today, and then watermarking them all. To protect my identity and work, I have found that it is very important to mark all of my work, no matter how insignificant it may seem to me in comparison to other pieces. Below is a screenshot of the small mark I have used on all of my photography, and as you can see in the full sized comparison, it is rather small but does it’s job very well:

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.30.24Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.30.27

The first step of building my site was building the portfolio, or “work” section.
I went through many different styles that my theme offered, but in the end I decided to go with the whole ‘more is less’ vibe, with a masonry look – and of course I had to spice it up a little by going back into each individual portfolio item and choosing a custom size (tall, wide, regular or tall&wide) to avoid the ’tiled look’. I also chose the meta to appear on hover with a slightly faded background seems though I have named all of the images:
Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.46.11Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.46.26

I was originally going to have just my work on the front page, though I guess my love for elaborate things and the need to fill empty space arose. And thus resulted the ‘site intro’ – which I decided to have just above the portfolio because having a separate page for all of this just looked like clutter.
Speaking of headers:

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.53.28.png

I went for a central location for the actual pages, this is because I think the balance of my logo and the ‘side menu’ (which is actually a search, see below) looks really nice. Also, the black and red colour scheme kind of came on a whim after I created the main image of the website. I decided also that I should keep my original logo because it suits my personality very well and balances out the ‘hard’/’dark’ appearance of my brand:

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.49.50.png

The header image is something that took me a lot of time to think about. I was so very close to going back to my old video background that I hold dear to my heart, though I stuck to my guns because it’s time for a change!
After much deliberation and photo-changing, I realised something… that my favourite ever project (Rebel/Corporate ID) reflected myself very much… I also have an inexplicable love for mountains which I am not even going to try to go into depth with, because it will quite literally turn into an essay that I’m sure you’d rather not read.
Anyhow!
I decided to go with a double exposure style image in Rebel’s signature colour – Red! Not only does this make my site intro eye-catching, but I think it stands out from the usual. Some of the images I considered (but discarded) layering are below:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.04.36Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.04.31Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.04.14

In the end I decided to go with the following images:
Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 00.17.30.png
(This one is actually what I opted for for my maintenance page, as I felt it got the point across)
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.15.34.png

Both of these mirrored and layered for the double exposed effect resulted in the following:

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 18.19.15.png

Despite this being rather ‘different’ for a design website website, I think it makes a small statement, it certainly appeals to me more than simply having work with nothing else. All be it a little narcissistic, I like the appearance.
After finally…. FINALLY making the decision on which image I was going to use (and after playing with parallax and hating it), I made it a full width background with some pretty bold text in the centre. It is full screen, but there is a small meta menu underneath for easy navigation of my portfolio, like so:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.20.37

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.20.46

I went for “I Am Georgia” instead of something like “I am a Designer” because I configured the SEO to say that I am a designer based in sheffield – also the site tagline says the same thing, so there are enough pointers. Back to the ‘statement’ thing… I like stating who I am and what I do, rather than just what I do.
First impressions aside, the next thing I did was the rest of the site:

Blog:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.27.53

Services:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.28.07

Contact:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.28.19

Team:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.28.26

And that is that! I made my site live, and started on Mardy Bums, which I showed you in the previous post, but here is it finished:

Homepage (Row 1):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.10
Homepage (Row2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.17
Homepage (Row3):Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.23
Blog (Unfinished Content):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.33
Portfolio (Unfinished Content):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.47
Meet the Models:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.50.17
Contact (row1):Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.50.56
Contact (Row2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.51.01

Third and finally, there is my first ever client. Literally the second I got my site up and running, I began asking every small business I came into contact with if they needed design, a website, photography, or knew anyone who did.
And then it happened! I found someone.
So!

First off, we spoke in person and via messages, going into detail about what she wanted, prices, etc. Then we went through a few mock-ups, did a photo and video shoot (whilst somehow ending up in the pictures, because a model didn’t turn up LOL that was interesting), and finally I got to work on her website.
Here are some screenshots of the whole editing process:


And finally, the finished thing:
Home(1):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.31.26
Home (2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.31.35Services(1):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.31.56
Services(2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 14.24.21
Book:
Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 14.24.42
About:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.32.37

All in all, my client was very happy with the outcome of both the photography and the website.
I feel that after just this one job, I have developed a lot as a designer – catering to someone else’s needs other than your own or the criteria is an odd feeling… though one I can get used to.
Hopefully this will continue.

Next up was researching Teacher Training Courses, and I won’t write a whole list of what I found out, but long story short there are 3 options I might take:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 02.46.59.png
Option 1: School based course with a PGCE included – this option is for secondary teaching.
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 02.48.01.png
Option 2: TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) – this option is good because it’s a 120 hour home based course which means you can teach anywhere in the world as long as you have a degree… Yes please.
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 02.50.30.png
Option 3 I am considering is the Uni-based 1 year, full time course where you get taught how to teach (?) by University peers. This is probably my least favourite but I may still choose this option.

Last but not least is my technical skills – mainly in Photography. I ended up not doing as much as I’d hoped for this section, the main reason being me getting some freelance work, but I did look at one thing: Indoor photography.
This is something I have never done before in detail (apart from the odd portrait), so it was a little bit of a challenge. The results are below, and if you’d like to know more about how this was carried out/more of the images, you can see my Creative Practice:


After everything, I feel I have definitely developed both creatively and professionally in this module. It was fun to work with my first client, and also to see how my style of web design has changed since 2 years ago when the site was first made.

As always, Thank You for reading, and I’ll see you in the next (and final) module.

Lots of Love,

G

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