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Design & Photo Editing: Hillary Maybery’s Marvelous New Website

Monday November 24th, 2014

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by Melissa Ginsiorsky

The last time I wrote about Hillary Maybery, I’d designed her a new Wordmark and some killer business cards. Hillary had decided to make the jump from wedding to commercial photography, so now that we had her logo sorted out, it was time to get her commercial portfolio up and running on a new site. Hillary signed on with me for a Web Template Customization and for a Web Edit with Sean Stone.

Hillary's hand lettered wordmark.

Hillary’s new wordmark fused hand-lettering with a watercolor wash.

We decided that aPhotoFolio’s Design X template would be a nice choice for Hillary’s new site, and while I waited on the edit from Sean, I got to work bringing her brand to life. I implemented her secondary “hi” mark as the splash page intro and the favicon, since it works as the perfect greeting and sets the tone for her whole site.

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Meanwhile, Sean worked his magic with Hillary’s images. Here is some insight from him about our history with Hillary and his approach to her Web Portfolio Edit:

We first began working with Hillary more than a year ago. She approached our photo editors about revamping her brand to move away from weddings and family portraits. We encouraged her to begin doing test shoots, bringing her skills honed from years of retail work to bear on lifestyle, fashion and kids. Hillary blew us away with the volume of quality work that she created on her own in the next year. She came back to me with hundreds of great pictures, which I shaped into her new edit. I emphasized those three areas: lifestyle, fashion and kids, which speak to both her strengths as a photographer, as well as her marketing goals.

Once I had Hillary’s final edit from Sean (who did a phenomenal job by the way), I made sure the images could be as large and impactful as possible while still allowing for some breathing room around the edges. It’s a tricky balance, but not having enough space between your images, navigation elements and the edges of the browser can really put a damper on the mood of your site, so it’s definitely one of those details that deserves attention.

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From the active and hover colors in Hillary’s navigation and scrollbar to the spacing and mosaic tiling of her thumbnails, every detail counts.

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The intricacies and tone of Sean’s edit, Hillary’s images and her branding all work together for a warm, inviting and cohesive web experience. Not to mention, I just love this first image from Hillary’s kids gallery:

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Rounding out Hillary’s site are her simple but sleek About and Contact pages. They’re nothing fancy, but little things like the color of her links and her personal sign-off on the About page make this site feel personal and tailored. Hillary also has a really interesting career history and decided to work with our senior publicist, Liz Ream, to come up with a bio that really did her justice. Here’s a bit from Liz about creating a unique write-up for Hillary:

Working with Hillary was a breeze, mainly because she’s so positive and interesting. She was not only one of the first women professional snowboarders, she’s also an equestrian rider, mother, avid traveler and free spirit. She came to me with a rough bio, which she needed help refining to make her commercial site as strong as possible. After she answered a short questionnaire I worked something up and she was extremely happy with the first draft. We made a few minor corrections and then got it up on her site. Dream client, to say the least!

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Hillary’s site and brand have been especially fun to work on because both she and her images have so much personality. She also put a lot of trust and confidence in our team here at WM, and I truly think it paid off. Hillary was very pleased with our efforts and had this to say about our work together:

I have been a successful wedding photographer for 10 years and now I’m ready to move into the world of commercial photography. My new site and the images are mostly test shoots to build my website portfolio here in Sun Valley, ID. Working with Sean, Melissa and Liz was an easy and FUN process. They’re no bullshit, with honest feedback, quick turnaround and want you to succeed! Honestly, this is scary and a huge investment to change my image and brand, give up some control and trust letting the experts at WM do their thing…. THEY ARE THE BEST! I am 100% confident in my future with my photography and working with new clients :) I LOVE my website …it’s so me!

Since we launched Hillary’s new site, she has joined Wonderful Machine as a member photographer and we couldn’t be happier to have her! See Hillary’s new commercial website for yourselves right here.

Until next time, don’t forget to check out all of our design consulting services, and drop me a line if you’re interested in a new identity or if you’d like to build out your own brand. We’d love to hear from you!

Tears: Jens Kristian Balle / Telus

Monday November 24th, 2014

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Sunday Spotlight 11/23/14

Sunday November 23rd, 2014

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Weekend Links 11/22

Saturday November 22nd, 2014

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Celebs Read Mean Tweets.

To Be Or Not To Be.

Grandmas on Drugs.

"We're the 'fun' grandmas." Photo by Greg Ceo.

“We’re the ‘fun’ grandmas.” Photo by Greg Ceo.

Animal Beards.

Realistic Barbie.

Virtual Reality.


It’s worth a shot. Photo by Kristyna Archer.


Instagram Like Predictor.

On Approaching Photo Editors.

Photographers Update

Ryann Ford‘s new Kickstarter Campaign.

George Qua-Enoo launches an online fashion and lifestyle magazine.

Tadd Myers gives a Tedx Talk on his American Craftsman project.

Andrew Peacock featured on Shifter.

Manhattan Diary: Maxim, Elle and Nylon

Friday November 21st, 2014

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by Alexandra Ostebo

For our November portfolio event, Jillian and I put on some extra layers, packed up the portfolios of nearly 25 of our member photographers and headed for the streets of New York. Our mission: to introduce these portfolios to the creative minds behind three iconic magazines— Maxim, Elle and Nylon.


It was a chilly 32 degrees as we passed through Times Square.

We unloaded the car for our first morning meeting with Maxim like a team of practiced paratroopers deploying for a mission. Jillian shouted, “go, go, go!” as I moved the portfolio cases to the cart on the bustling Manhattan sidewalk. Maxim, a popular international men’s magazine, is the largest lifestyle brand for the American male with topics ranging from celebrities and fashion to cars and politics. As four creatives flipped through the portfolios, we chatted with them about all of our services while also admiring their “idea wall” of beautiful magazine clippings.


Covers lined the halls as we entered Maxim headquarters.


From left, photo producer Emily Shenfeld, Photo Director Andrea Volbrecht, Photo Assistant Joanna Garcia, Jillian and Senior Photo Editor Rebecca Karamehmedovic chat about Wonderful Machine.

They were all very excited by the wide variety of specialties and locations that our photographers cover, as well as our stock request page. Books from Los Angeles-area photographer Lisa Corson and Minneapolis-based husband and wife team Ackerman + Gruber were especially popular. View the Ackerman +Gruber portfolio below:

Ackerman + Gruber

Next, we were off to Hearst Tower to meet with photo editor Kathryn Marx at Elle magazine. Basking in the Manhattan sunlight, our photographer’s portfolios looked all the more remarkable. We were happy to hear that Kathryn recognized a few of our members and uses the site often when looking for photographers in various locations. She expressed her enthusiasm for a number of the portfolios, but was particularly interested in work from Detroit-based photographer C.J. Benninger.


Pushing our cart of portfolios through Hearst tower.

Kathryn Marx

Kathryn Marx, left, and Jillian talk about photographers that fit Elle’s style.

Check out C.J.’s book:

C.J. Benninger

After a long day of traveling around the city, we made our way to the other side of town to meet with photo editor Xenia Rollinson at the edgy and eclectic office of Nylon. Nylon is a very distinguished fashion and beauty magazine that always has its finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

A beautiful neon sign at the entrance to the Nylon offices.

A beautiful neon sign at the entrance to the Nylon offices.

Xenia Rollinson

Xenia Rollinson, right, and I get comfortable in the offices at Nylon to talk about Wonderful Machine.

Xenia carefully flipped through each portfolio, and this intimate setting was perfect for introducing her to the many gifted beauty and fashion photographers on our site. Some of her favorites included Vancouver-based photographer Evaan Kheraj and New York City’s Claire Benoist. Take a look at Claire’s portfolio below:

Claire Benoist

At the end of the day, Jillian and I packed up the car and got back on the highway to Philadelphia. Until next time, NYC!

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