A Model's Website Can Be A Model Website; A Look At Other Contenders, Too

The best photographic site on the web belongs to Federica Fontana, a beautiful Italian model who has assembled a website that combines state of the art effects that are as elegant as they are clever.
© 2003 Federica Fontana, All Rights Reserved

"Things are only impossible until they're not."--Jean-Luc Picard

People often ask me to name the best photographic site on the World Wide Web. Right now, my answer would be an Italian model's website. Federica Fontana (www.federicafontana .it/index3.html) is a beautiful model who has assembled a site that combines state of the art effects that are as elegant as they are clever and never, ever get in the way of communicating her message to potential clients.

Living in New York City, Ken Tan from Melbourne, Australia, has created a highly interactive and Flash-based website to showcase his constantly evolving fashion, glamour, and landscape portfolio.
© 2003 Ken Tan, All Rights Reserved

G'Day Mate
Ken Tan (www.kentanphotography.com) is a transplanted Aussie living in New York City and has created a website that grabs your attention the moment you log on. I don't usually like music as part of web design and Tan's site has done nothing to change my mind, but at least you can turn it off. What I like most about the site is the volume and quality of Tan's amazing work found in the Editorial, Beauty, Commercial, and Glamour galleries that are all really fashion-related and presented in their own musically driven, Flash-based collections including a slide show or individual thumbnails you can click on to see larger. But not that
much larger.

Some of the galleries have multiple collections so you can enjoy the freshness and vitality the photographer brings to this genre, especially the Beauty gallery that has the only music I really liked. The images, ranging from the workmanlike to the sensual, make you wish there were even more of them to look at. His Glamour section has a few black and white images, which are, I guess, a client-based decision rather than a stylistic one. Nevertheless, I really liked them and would have loved to see more. There's also a Landscapes gallery that must be the kind of work Tan does for fun, because it's not related to any of the other images on the site except by the care and craftsmanship that went into creating these dramatic photographs.

Deborah Sussex used a "mineral" theme on her website with different kinds of rocks pointing to its various sections. Credit for the clever design goes to Rosemary Ernst at Hand Spun Digital.
© 2003 Deborah Sussex, All Rights Reserved

Rockin' Website
Minnesotan Deborah Sussex used a mineral theme on her website (www.deborahsussex.com) with different kinds of rocks pointing the way to its various sections. Credit for the clever site design goes to Rosemary Ernst at Hand Spun Digital. Sussex is a fierce generalist with sections for Portraits, Weddings, Commercial, and Fine Art photography. In between she has time for "projects," including a book called The Art of the Canoe with Joe Seliga. Copies of the book autographed by her and Seliga, as well as a limited edition print, can be ordered from the site.

The site has a soft, friendly interface and lots of photographs to browse. I went to the Fine Art section where I was treated with jewel-like thumbnails from her different series. Clicking on them shows more tiny thumbnails and ultimately a slighter larger image with her copyright symbol plastered right across the middle. This seems like overkill since if you try to right-click anything on a page a small window appears notifying you that the right-click function has been disabled and to contact her if you want permission to use anything on the site.

My dad is a belt and suspenders man, too, so I respect her wishes. Her Wedding photographs in black and white or color are some of the freshest, most spontaneous I've seen in a long time. My favorite is a large outdoor group portrait entitled "family portrait." Don't miss it. Over in Portraits there's a section called "Animal Friends" that includes a wonderfully wistful image of a border collie called "boat ride for man's best friend." Before leaving, be sure to look at the images in her Commercial section to see the self-assured work of a photographer who's not afraid to tackle any challenge.

Rodger Overholser's website contains wonderful images of nature, but there is a whole lot more including some wonderful black and white photographs made in a documentary style.
© 2003 Rodger Overholser, All Rights Reserved

Nature Photography
Rodger Overholser (www.reopix.com) has created a little haven on the net where you can escape the yin and yang of current events and enjoy the beauty of unspoiled nature, plus a whole lot more. Galleries are arranged in a vertical thumbnail display that includes (although untitled) Still Life, Critters, Abstracts, Nature, and Black and White. I was curious about what a nature photographer considered "Still Life" so I peeked there first. I found a nice grid of thumbnails that might have been called anything, including "Miscellaneous."

Nevertheless, I was struck by the strong composition and use of color in his architectural images as well as a panorama of two people hiking a trail. The site has a clever, photographic-oriented design that is quite pleasant to surf, making it easy to find your way in and about the photographs on display. The Critters section contains a collection of mini-galleries of animal photos labeled Mammals, Birds, Pets (mammals or not), Insects, Reptiles, and Others. If you've seen the reef scene in Pixar's Finding Nemo, you know some of what's happening here. The Black and White galley contains images that could be called documentary in style, including a "gears and chains" and a worker working next to a railroad grain boxcar. I would like to see Overholser do an entire essay on this topic. In fact, I think black and white may be his real forté, even though he may not know it--yet.

Post Your Pix
Don't forget about posting those pictures you made on May 21, 2004, to the Take Your Camera To Work Day website at: www.takeyourcamerato workday.com. The site will be up all year so people can visit, share, and add new photographs widening their circle of images and friends. If you want to recommend your own or a friend's website for an appearance in this department, e-mail me at editorial@shutterbug.com.

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