PJ Photo

About the client

Paul Johnson (PjPhoto) is one of the UK’s leading wedding photographers. Throughout his 25+ plus career as a photographer, Paul has won many awards and photographed weddings at the most prestigious venues in the UK and Europe.

The project brief

The original brief was essentially a redesign of the old website, which was somewhat tired. It was to be more detailed, have more content and do a better job of presenting Paul’s fantastic work.

I was asked to create something fresh, modern and different from the competition. Displaying images in a large size, regardless of their orientation, led to the coding of a custom gallery. Paul Johnson’s website was to be a showcase and a point of reference for past and future clients.

A number of upgrades have been built into Paul’s website since the original build was completed, and in version 2 the underlying structure of the website had a new colour scheme/aesthetic laid over the top.

How I met the brief

PjPhoto is one of the more complicated website builds I’ve done like this. It was technically demanding to build as the design is complex. A lot of interesting layout issues arose during the building of the home page, all of which were overcome with some head scratching!

During the time I was building the main templates, a previous employer posted me a book on “responsive web design”, which is the art of coding a single website that can display on a variety of screen sizes, from desktop computer to smartphone. Inspired by this book, I set about coding Paul’s new website so it would work on an iPad, and the results were encouraging. The whole website was made responsive, giving Paul the edge over his competitors.

Another area of development which proved a challenge was the image gallery. The idea was that all images would display side-by-side, at the same height. But how would the user navigate between these images? What about touch screen users? What about different screen sizes? I ended up coding a bespoke gallery which resizes itself so it’s never taller than 80% of the available browser window, and can be controlled using a button navigation or swiping a finger. This was far more suitable than any javaScript plugin I could find, and I’m pleased I put in the hours to create something different to the norm.

Notable features

  • Clean, stylish design, with a feminine edge aimed at the bride.
  • Complex responsive build (one of my favorites!).
  • Easy to use blog which is integrated throughout the website.
  • Bespoke gallery which can display a variety of different image ratios without cropping.

Words from the client

Thank you so much for doing such a great job on the redesign of the site. I couldn’t have wished for better. I think I’d find it extremely hard to find another designer who’d give as good a service as you.

Paul Johnson