Creating a custom BuddyPress profile page


I was wondering if anyone here had experience in creating a custom BuddyPress profile page, and what exactly that entails?

I've been tasked to convert a regular website into a Wordpress one.
The regular website has "Profile" pages for various artists and creative types, and they were structured where the first half (left) of the page had all the text, and the second half (right) had any images associated with the artist (the first image being slightly larger, and would sometimes serve as an avatar of the creator, but not always).
Attached below is an example.

I'm going to be bringing all of these profiles into Wordpress, but also making them into BuddyPress profiles in order to take advantage of all the social network capabilities that plugin offers. While there are plenty of WP and BP plugins that offer what I need (functionality-wise) in the new profiles, I don't know how to visually arrange them in the way that I want.

NOTE: I do NOT need to duplicate the look of the attached page exactly at all! (i.e., half text, half images). BUT -- I DO like that all images are viewable and all together on the page somehow (even if they're just thumbnails you have to click to see larger).

With plugins like rtMedia or BuddyPics, users can upload media easily -- but the default BuddyPress profile layout usually only shows a user's avatar only. Anything else (like more images) is usually another tab or links that need to be clicked on to access -- but I'd like a way to bring some of those elements on to the front of the profile pages (and not necessarily just images -- perhaps other elements from other plugins or pages too). Since it's a very visual-based group of people, it's important to have images that are more easily seen up front (rather than having to click to find them).

I have almost no experience altering template files, so I don't even know where to begin, or how difficult this is going to be. I also know it probably depends on what theme I'm using, which hasn't been decided yet. I find most BuddyPress profiles to look quite boring in most themes (WPLMS and BOSS being some exceptions). Since these profile pages are important, and I want them to look right, I'm flexible as to what theme to ultimately use -- as long as I can get the profiles looking good...

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!