As we all know, the world wide web is a vast and sometimes terrifying expanse even to look at, let alone contribute to with the fruits of your own digital labours. We’ve partnered with website building tool Squarespace to show that it needn’t all be so hard, starting off earlier this year with a series that looked at how to create the perfect portfolio online.
Now, we’ve searched high and low for some off the best examples of people using Squarespace, whether for business or pleasure, and we’re starting off with a beautiful photography portfolio site designed as the creative side project of Nashville-based copywriter Miles Price.
“It’s important to have pursuits [outside of your day job] in order to recharge your creative batteries. Everyone needs them,” says Miles. “Spending a weekend shooting—or, an evening after work—is the perfect medicine to return to work with a new perspective. It helps me when I’m in a rut, or just need to clear my head during a big project.”
Miles first came across Squarespace thanks to his girlfriend, who was using the service to build her concert consulting company’s site. “I fell in love with Squarespace’s clean interface and workflow, the attention to beautiful images and how awesome sites looked on an iPhone,” says Miles. “It allows me to display my work in the way I’ve always wanted: beautiful, large and easy-to-navigate images. I find myself tinkering with page layout, image order, and text all the time because it’s so easy. Also, I don’t have a formal coding education, but am very knowledgeable in HTML and CSS—knowledgeable enough to make the changes I need to customise a template to make it my own.”
Miles’ website uses different subsections to allow easy navigation and a very crisp, succinct experience. “I wanted the first thing you see on my site to be a recently completed project—like, the Gruhn Guitar project—and work that is always updated (stills, Polaroids, Instagram),” he explains. “People is a simple gallery page of portraits I’ve shot. I changed how the gallery displays images in the Style Editor, so it doesn’t auto-crop images. Journal is my blog, and I should be better at keeping it current. It’s a basic “Page” with a Summary Block (set to Grid) pointed at my blog page for the content. You can further adjust how many posts you want to display and how they’re formatted when you add the Summary Block. Profile is another empty “Page,” but I used spacers to give the text some breathing room. The social links are in the footer, so they show up on every page on my site. To me, that’s easier than having a separate ‘Contact Me’ page.”
For Miles, a great website is one with “large images, clean typography, and the fewest clicks to get where I need to go.” He says: “It sucks looking at a portfolio full of beautiful work with tiny images or never-ending navigation that takes away from the experience. Great site design is like walking around a museum—the museum naturally guides you along as you’re taking in the beauty on the walls.”
He’s taken these into account on his own site: a beautifully slick showcase of big, bold images and a pared-back design that’s brave in its clean aesthetic and reliance on one look and feel, and one typeface, Maison Neue, by Milieu Grotesque. “I think the way you treat type is just as important as your site’s content and the design,” says Miles. “I love the way Maison Neue looks in all its forms—headers, body copy, and smaller sub-feature text. I’m no typographer, but it reads very easily and has a lot of character.”
As for social media, Miles is happy to keep his portfolio as very much a personal project, and has no “strategy” for sharing work online. “Having a portfolio that I’m super happy with keeps me on my toes with self-editing, and to keep my work arranged for this type of presentation. These photos are my favourite photos I’ve ever taken—if people like them and want to share them, they’re more than welcome to!”
For all his internet-savvy and the power of the digital world to show his creative talents to a larger audience, for Miles, the internet is more than just a stage. “There’s so much inspiration and amazing art available at all times. It’s unbelievable how easy it is to come across something beautiful with so little effort.”
So what tips can Miles offer for other people making their own Squarespace site? “Look at other’s work for inspiration, and really pay attention to what they’re not doing to make your site stand out. Squarespace’s templates are fantastic—you’ll be surprised at how much you can push each template to get what you really want out of them. And, ask the Squarespace Answers community for help! Whenever I had a question about how to work out a weird CSS issue, I always found my answer there.”
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If you’re not currently using Squarespace to host your creative portfolio, the kind folks over there are offering It’s Nice That readers 10% off their services. Sign up below, and upgrade your account using the discount code ITSNICETHAT to get 10% off. Sign up for Squarespace now!
Squarespace is a creation tool enabling individuals to create a great website by giving them the tools to create an elegant solution and get their voice heard in the world of online publishing. Whether for experienced designers or for someone putting together their first website, it makes forming a beautiful platform simple.
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