Here's an excerpt about photographer websites from an interview on Adbase with Justine Shockett, an Art Producer for CUTWATER, a San Francisco ad agency (via Creative Freelancer Blog). She shares a lot more than her thoughts about websites.
Juliette: Do you bookmark websites?
Justine: Yeah, I bookmark tons of websites, you know, go there, check out the rest of their work. The thing is, a lot of times people just send one image and it's really difficult to get an impression of somebody's work from that. If it's enough to get me to go to their website, and then I look through it and I like it, I'll save it. If it's not...
Juliette: So, you would like to see more [images] in the email so you can overview?
Justine: Yeah, I love to see more. Yeah. You know, ones where they've got a little bit more of a series… kind of a storytelling. You really get a sense of what somebody shoots.
Juliette: And then when you get to their website, is there anything in particular that you find that you like or don’t like in the website?
Juliette: You made notes.
Justine: I did. I made quite a few notes. As far as websites that I feel are really effective and help me to get through them quickly, and also make me want to go back and see more of them: definitely clean and simple design, nothing too crazy or flashy. Flash websites are okay, but I'm really just there to see the work. I don’t need all the extras. I love when they've got thumbnails that you can scroll over and the images just change and pop up. I don’t like the fading in between images because it wastes time…
Juliette: You just want to go.
Justine: Go to the next one. After looking at hundreds of sites, you're just ready to get to the next thing. I don’t want to have to wait for it to load and fade in and out. I love that websites have little categories so it's a little bit more specific for rep sites. But they'll have food shooters, auto shooters, lifestyle… and I can scroll over and bold whoever is appropriate for that category. And I can go directly to those people and view that work.
Juliette: Right. And then are you trying to make a list of the different sites that you want to send somebody [at CUTWATER] to look at?
Justine: Definitely. Yeah. I'll go through… I'll usually provide a list if it's very specific. If I worked with the art director, we've narrowed down to a very specific look that they want. I try and give him at least 5- to -10 options.