One of my clients is thinking of re-designing her photography website, so I started looking for other photography sites on the internet as part of my competitive analysis.

Surprisingly, I didn’t find too many original websites featuring photographer’s portfolio. Many sites were based on a couple of similar Content Management System, so they had the same navigation and main features. But I did come across some really fascinating “photofolios”. I was using three different resources for my research:

  1. StumbleUpon – if you haven’t yet installed this useful Firefox Add-on, then I highly recommend you to do so. You can select a number of various categories that you want to browse and start Stumbling upon interesting sites on the Internet. I simply selected Photography section, and was clicking my way through various photography related sites.
  2. Google – searching for keywords like “photography portfolio”, “creative photography”, “famous photographers”, etc.
  3. The Photobloggies – Annual Photoblog Awards – I was very glad to find this similar to Weblog Awards website. Make sure to check out the contestants of 2007 Photobloggies, the winners will be announced on May 1, 2007.

While looking for some creative good-looking photography sites I came across some very interesting website with unusual topics. So I’ll be sharing with you both kinds of websites. The photography itself is a work of art on most of these site, and there are so many stunning photos, that I won’t be mentioning about them in my review – I’ll leave them up to you to discover.

8 Elegant Portfolios

  1. Donata Wenders – a fascinating portfolio piece with three main categories each presented in a unique way: works from Galleries section are displayed as pictures on the walls of a Gallery-like interface; People and Places shots are hanging in a photographer’s studio; Movies section is showcased in a theatre-like layout, on a big screen.
    donatawenders
  2. Whateverland – a beautifully designed photoblog with carefully thought navigation: you can browse the archives, or visit today/yesterday’s photos, find out all about the photographer’s equipment and even browse other photoblogs from author’s collection.
    whateverland
  3. Visual Relax – a nice photoblog featuring works of 3 photographers, the navigation presents a long bar with linked dates and months. Later on I found several other websites that used the same type of navigation, so I’m assuming they’re using the same CMS for these sites. I must admit it works really well, easy to use.
    visualrelax
  4. PHOTOMO – such a clean and poised website, very simple to navigate and pleasant to explore. Make sure to check out the Guestmap and Links sections after going through the photos.
    photomo
  5. Eolo Perfido – this website comes with a very effective horizontal scrolling for browsing the photos from various Galleries.
    eoloperfido
  6. Kim Gottlieb-Walker – it’s a must see website for both design inspiration and the fascinating collection of celebrity photographs.
    lenswoman
  7. Steve McCurry – an exquisitely designed website in Flash with gorgeous burgundy colour scheme.
    stevemccurry
  8. Michael Muller – another Flash website with an extraordinary way to view photos within a category – just mouse over the featured photo from different directions and you’ll see what I mean. You can spot many celebrity photos here as well.
    mullerphoto

8 Original Topics

  1. Self-Portrait Day – I could’ve easily placed this site in my Beautiful sites category, if not for the peculiar topic of this photoblog – members of this site are sending their self-portraits. However the goal of this blog is much more than a “15 seconds” fame: “We hope that Self-Portrait Day functions as a way for people to find new sites. For those of us who find we’re following the same circle of Web sites every day, we hope that this will act as a way to discover new places. Basically, it’s a launching pad: almost every portrait should lead you somewhere new.”
    selfportraitday
  2. Express Train – I really like what this website is all about – photos from the author’s daily commute (three trains, 11 stops, and 45 minutes each way) to work in Manhattan and back home to Brooklyn. I wonder how do people on the train react when he takes their photos?
    train
  3. San Francisco Daily Photography – the title says it all – riveting photographs of urban life in San Francisco. This website has inspired me to start a similar site for Vancouver. Now all I need is to finally get a professional DSLR and start polishing my photography skills. I also found another blog with a similar topic: Buenos Aires Daily.
    sanfranciscodailyphoto
  4. Outafocus – I never thought that out of focus blurry pictures can look so good and be so mesmerizing.
    outafocus
  5. The Mirror Project – featuring site members who “have photographed themselves in all manner of reflective surfaces”. There are some very finny and clever shots.
    mirrorproject
  6. Cara Barer – Her Book Project started from finding a deserted soiled copy of the Yellow Pages. Now she works with many other books (some bought at discount, others are found or donated by friends), transforming them into organic sculptures.
    carabarer
  7. Drive Back in Time – Don’t be deceived by these photos thinking that they were taken in the old days of the last century. Most of the photos were shot between 2002 and 2004 for a Russian automotive magazine. Dmitry Popov carefully researches the era when the cars for his photographs were produced and then arranges the photo shoot accordingly. “The actors, costumes, hair, makeup, setting, and props are all fashioned to the standards of the era.”
    drivebackintime
  8. Nick Brandt – His photographs of Wild animals are the most spellbinding photos that I’ve ever seen. I would love to visit one of his exhibitions and see the photographs in full size.
    nickbrandt

So here you go. Hope you’ve enjoyed my photography bits as much as I did. And if you know of any other amazing photography portfolio sites, please, share them with us here.

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5 Insightful Bits in response to “Captivating Photography Bits”

  1. Jess

    Wow! Those are awesome links! I love just staring at pictures from time to time.

  2. Thanks for the mention! I really appreciate it!

  3. Vivien

    oh, you’re very welcome, Archie. Thanks for stopping by :-)

  4. I like Whateverland and I’ve seen Michael Muller before, that’s a very cool and unique website… confused the heck out of me the first time though :P

    I don’t mind the vertical scroll in portfolios… although I might if I was using a mouse, it’s easier with the two fingered scroll on the MacBook.

    Loved Cara Barer’s project too. Very cool.

  5. yes, with the Flash people sometimes go crazy with the navigation. I sometimes find myself clicking around Flash sites to figure out how do I move forward.
    I’m glad you found some photography sites that you liked.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach programming, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on