When searching for photographers or illustrators for a project the first thing I do is go searching through websites to see what work is appropriate for the project at hand before I call in books.
The past few days I've gone through only half of the websites in my arsenal... this is my first step in researching, the next step is combing through promos, PDN, Creativity, Communication Arts and other sources. Since I'm looking through so much and am also working on a timeline I can't go through the entire website but skim over it.
Here's the thing if the site takes to long to load or I can't get to the images I need fast enough, I bypass it and move on to the next name. It may seem like I'm missing out or cutting someone short but when I'm going through 100 or more websites in a few days I need to work quickly and methodically.
I thought I'd share a couple of the websites I really like and the reasons why they work for me when searching. (Please note: these are not in any order of preference and the reasoning is just my personal preference.)
Their website is so easy to use. I scroll over the artists' names and get a preview of their work. This feature is great because if I'm looking for a product shooter I'm going to bypass names that show portrait photography. The other feature that I think is incredibly helpful on this site is that once you click on a desired artist name you are directed to their artist detail page which lays out all their galleries, biography, a link to their website and current news. Succinct, simple, and so easy to use.
His website is so clean, not a ton of links to dig through to get to desired imagery or contact information. I like the scrollbar feature on his site because I can control the speed at which I look through the imagery. I also like how he incorporates tearsheets and the use of the images in their commissioned layout. The main focus of his site is his imagery which is what I'm looking for.
Daniela Wagner Photographers
Their website has a lot of flash animation/java script but it works brilliantly for them. I can scroll over the photographer's name and see what genre of photography is his/her specialty. Once I choose the photographer I am interested in perusing more, the imagery shows up in the main frame of the site. I can choose from the menu to look at publication work, portfolio, the artist's website, etc. A main image appears but to the right of it is one of my favorite features - the image previews. So I don't necessarily have to view each image larger but I can peruse through the thumbnails.
These are only a couple of sites I like and that make my job a bit easier. I have a ton of others but prefer not to make this a ginormously long post.