Creating an “About Me” page can be quite a challenge for photographers. What should be included? How should it read? First person or third person voice? Should there be a client list or should it be separate. Well, let’s take a long look at a lot of those questions.
First of all, let’s take a look at the bare minimum to include:
1. who you are.
2. your expertise
3. how it(you) can fix a client’s problem
4. how they can contact you
Many sites are beginning to combine the contact information with the “About” page or Bio page. By combining the two sets of information, the site can do away with an unnecessary page or click, and make it even easier to contact the photographer without having to click away.
Did you know that the ‘About’ page is one of the most popular page on most sites? People love to read about other people, and get some idea of what it may be like to work with them. What does your ‘About’ page say about you and your business? Does it welcome the visitor in, and is that important for you?
Depending on different styles of photography, and the style of the site, the contact page must be reflect that unique style. Introduce yourself and introduce the unique style you have. Tell them a little about yourself. You can say a lot by saying a little. You can tell them a story, be bold, be humble, be yourself.
Brag. Crow. Blow Your Horn. It is important to let people know what you do and how well you do it. Don’t be over the top, but rather confident and certain about what sets you apart. If you have something that makes you special, let them know. It is vital to be clear when you set yourself off from the competition. Being witty and humorous can be a good thing. Being a jerk can be a problem. Be certain, really certain, that what you think is clever and funny is indeed that, and not dirty, snobby or condescending. Some people tell photographers to not tip off where they live so as to not chase away someone in another state or city. I am the opposite. Be upfront about everything. You can let them know you are only a few hours away by plane, and work the region, nation or internationally with ease. Never lie. No amount of overstatement can be worth it if your found out. That can be devastating.
There are so many different ways to present an “About Page”, and there are definitely more than I have presented here. Take a look at what we have, and think about how you will present yourself. The photographers below represent new shooters and established as well as a few in between. See how they do it, think about where you are and make your ‘About’ page as informative and reflective of you as possible. Social Media: The About page is a great place to include the social media that you are involved in. Skype, LinkedIn, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, Posterous and more. Embed your recent ‘tweets’ or Facebook entries (unless you are very personal on those… I keep mine fairly close to business, art and photography).
Makeup Artist Filippa Smedhagen Sund uses a third person approach with a little bio. She also adds links to clients she has worked with.
Mark Velasquez uses links to his other sites as a feature for his “Biography” page. Very simple approach.
An impressive client list with a very simple declarative paragraph describing Jeffrey Salter’s approach to imaging is all he needs to make an impact. A playful portrait says something about his personality as well.
Jeremy Cowart uses a light bio, reinforces his specialties and lists a short, but very effective client list.
Chase Jarvis takes a humorous, personal approach to his About page simply titled “Chase”. Effective use of video gives the visitor a glimpse into what it may be like to work with him.
Khoi Vinh (Subtraction) is a designer with a very interesting About page. A personal and fun image set against a “resume” looking bio.
Rick Gayle uses a list of clients with statement of photographic philosophy. It is in keeping with his minimalist site style.
Steve McCurry takes a long, third party narrative to tell his biography. A mix of personal triumphs and client names make for a wonderful, interesting read.
Travel photographer Gavin Gough uses a first person narrative and large photographs to introduce himself, and his work, to visitors.
Taking a first person narrative, landscape photographer Martin Lawrence tells the visitor when and why he became a photographer.
Wedding and Event Photographer, John Morris uses several paragraphs with headers to discuss his work, philosophy and personal bio.
People Photographer Clayton Bozard uses a bio photo with a behind-the-scenes shot with a nice layout to go with his third person narrative. Short and sweet.
Isabelle Ribeiro photographs dolls and people. Her About Page features a downloaded resume, a third person bio, and a quirky portrait to give a little insight to her personality.
David Eustace uses a small bio page, with a simple portrait shot. Written in third person, the bio features shows and clients he works with.
Fine Art Photographer, Joni Sternbach has a very comprehensive “About” area which is reached by a link titled “Information.”
Also a Fine Art Photographer, Liz Cockrum presents a short bio, exhibition lists, representation and more on a very structured page.
Portrait photographer Grant Harder takes a humorous approach to his About page. Note the fun and quirky image and creative typography.
Vee Speers uses a behind-the-scenes image and the result of that shoot for her “Bio” page. Featuring a short bio and client list, the page is very clean.
Candice Holloway takes a first person approach to explaining her art work.
My Split Second takes a very personal, first person approach. Adding dynamic content makes the page fun to revisit.
Jenna Ardell is a fine art photographer. She uses links and reviews to tell the visitor who she is. Links go to interviews she has done, galleries that show her work and clients.
Choosing a design for a very different and interesting site, Matthew Mahon uses Photoshopped Driver’s Licenses and other ‘documents’ to intersperse his “bio” throughout the images.
Jill Greenberg’s About Page has a small bio and tearsheets of print work and celebrities she has photographed.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to present your “About” page. Here are some more resources for you:
Smashing Magazine has a great list of some very cool Designer About Pages. No reason why photographers could not use some of these cool ideas. At Write to Done, Author James Chartrand of Men with Pens, has a nice, concise article on writing a powerful “About” page.
At “A List Apart” they present a well written How-To for About Pages.
Skelliewag delivers a nice little post on writing an About page that really nails it.
Here’s another take on writing the copy from “The Dabbling Mum.” Thanks for coming along. I hope this post had helped you work out what your “About Me” page will be.
We have looked at a lot of different approaches, but there is one photographer that really gets to the heart of it with his short and sweet “About” page.
Nick Onken simply tells us what he likes to do.