My New Photography Website. let me know what you think.
This is a discussion on My New Photography Website. let me know what you think. within the Your Website forums, part of the OTHER FORUMS category; Well I just got this new site up and running a few days ago. While I know its not perfect by any means its definitely ...
Well I just got this new site up and running a few days ago. While I know its not perfect by any means its definitely a huge improvement over my last site. Let me know what you think honesty is appreciated. oh and the thing I hate the most is the splash page but apparently without it I cant use Google analytics.
Visit My Website Here
08-31-2010 11:17 PM
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Getting it perfect is like hitting a moving target - there is always an improvement or change...
I see you lead couple multiple times. You may want to break up / space out the frequency of their images.
I really like the gray / blue color scheme. Great images!
People hate me after I review their website or they think I'm a total troll. Either way I will say what I say.
I tell every one this and no one listens because they think they have a cool website. Users HATE FLASH /SLIDESHOW websites. Automated web sites make me want to throw my computer out the window. No seriously, studies have shown that a nicely designed website with little or no flash is preferred by most web users. The slideshows are useful once I've navigated to a gallery, but not before. I don't want to see all that crap. I'm looking for information and not looking to be entertained.
Your website gives the impression that you've only ever done one wedding, that of some fat woman and her over weight hubby to be. (Sorry to be so blunt). My system is calibrated, maybe poorly calibrated, but calibrated. Many of your images look to be blown out. Blowing out a portion of some images can be artsy but your images just look blown out to me. Even worse, a fair number of the images look to be wrongly focused or completely soft.
Your about page says that you've been practicing photography for 3 years, when you get it right, come back. No I'm not being that critical but you need to rethink saying that. It's also pretty terrible that your portrait is credited to a different photographer. Can't you do your own PR shoots.
I don't know about LA but around here people would find your rates astronomical; especially the extremely small number of prints in the offered albums. I think most people expect the album to run at least 100 pages. My doctor boosted that he had over 2000 images of his daughters wedding. Your offering 18 prints and basically half a day or less with no reception included. WOW, I hope you already have a reputation for doing great work. I wouldn't be coming to you anytime soon. Are these packages really competitive ? Only the well established , word of mouth guys can charge that much around here.
I had to hit the pricing tab at least 3 times before your slideshow stopped long enough to show me the wedding pricing page. And I hate to scroll to see information. Reconsider that huge picture and such a small text box.
One last thing, the entry page is a disaster. I had to view it at 75% to see it all on a high resolution screen. It's way too large, reduce the size of the entry page to no more than 1024 width and 760 high. Little irritations make the competition seem better.
I have a professional background in user interface design for software and web interfaces.
Thanks for the honesty! haha I've read one of your posts on a flash website so I'm not surprised by your hate for it. Now I've never seen a professional wedding or portrait photographer that doesn't use a flash website or have a big ol slide show in the beginning. So my question is if they drive away business why do most Pros do it? My target audience isn't other photographers that I can see being annoyed by that. So far the feedback I've received from regular people(my potential clients) is that they love the site and the slideshows. As far as everything else you said.. I completely agree. When a slide loads you cant click anything and I HATE the "splash" page and the stupid tiny scroll bar on the text pages and all that. Unfortunately thats what you get with a $20 website and at the moment I cant afford much better. And wow harsh much on the couple. The average professional photographer charges starts at $3000 my prices and packages are scaled accordingly since as you've pointed out I've only done one wedding so far. I Print from a professional print lab I dont include prints in my packages which lowers the price. Clients can use the money they saved to order whatever prints they want from their online gallery. Your doctors album was either tiny and cheap or ridiculously expensive. My Price for my album with 200 prints would be $1500. But I'm thinking about offering a smaller album with more prints.
Originally Posted by clupica
I searched for and looked at a number of wedding websites that claim to belong to LA area top-ten wedding photographers. Most do have slide shows but only in the gallery and then I can start and stop the slideshow at will. One website had a very nice mouse over gallery that was astonishingly fast. Flash need not apply. Another was indeed the opposite, it not only had an annoying slideshow that couldn't be stopped, it had a sound track as well. If you find a list of the top 10 things people hate about websites it's forced flash and automatic music.
If you're serious about being a wedding photographer then you need to get some more weddings even if you shoot them for free. You could volunteer to be a second shooter for someone established but they're not like to say yes. Would you train the competition ?
Just to be a snit; if you've only shot one wedding who are these clients that love your website.
Oh, why do pros do it, flash that is; because they don't know anything about website design and think they can do it themselves or have the neighbor kid do it for a 6 pack. Most businesses that succeed do it in spite of themselves.
Flash has a place and a use but it shouldn't be running full bore all the time. The entry page and most information should be static so that potential clients can find information easily. But of course, galleries should have some sort of automated presentation.
You should also consider something like SmugMug. A lot of semi-pro and pro photographers use services like SmugMug. The photog posts pictures to a private gallery and the couple and their friends can order prints. You can also offer an album through SmugMug. SmugMug is just one among many online services that help photographers make money. The reason to use a specific service like SmugMug is to control the quality of the prints being made in your name. Your work may not look all that great if its been printed at Joe's Diner and Print Shop.
I think that you should lose the 1st page that makes you hit enter. The slideshow isn't my favorite for every gallery, but it is easy enough to opt out of. I did not look through your pricing as that is 100% your choice. What you wish to earn has nothing to do with what other photographers do or do not charge.
I agree with Charles about the use of Smugmug or a similar service.
I saw that you posted and I thought to myself, "Oh no, Steve's going to tear me apart".
Funny thing about that "enter" page; it seems to be a standard offering on the wedding sites. Alot of the wedding sites I looked at had an Enter page. That's probably #6 or #7 on the top 10 list of bad design ideas. Not bad enough to be #3, but it does annoy people like me who get annoyed easily.
PhotoShelter provides web services to photographers. To read the full report "What buyers want" go here One caveat, the report is about people who buy photography so not really the same target audience.
Originally posted by PhotoShelter
[b]With insights ranging from background color, to page layouts, to interest in personal blogs — it's marketing and design advice from pros who license commercial and editorial images, and hire photographers every day. For example:
When viewing images on a photographer's website, would you rather price the images online, or call directly to negotiate? Must price online! 48%
Price online and call 39%
Just call to negotiate 9%
Don't care 4%
Tolerate/Like this feature Hate this feature
Flash-based introduction to your website 4% 96%
Textured or graphical backgrounds 6% 94%
But I hope you noted that 96% of the nearly 500 people surveyed said that they hate flash websites.
I like to keep people guessing
Originally Posted by clupica
An enter page is one of the most common aspects on most sites. I have no idea why, most surveys claim that people hate them, yet they continue. Same goes for flash, slideshows and just about anything else. Find enough surveys and you will find enough people who hate most things.
Over the past two years, we have rearranged our site several times and cross referenced the amount of visitors and sales. We went from 2 slideshows on the main page to 1 slideshow and saw an immediate change in the length of time spent on the home page.
We added slideshows to our portfolio sections and again, the time spent on each page went up.
We tried a slideshow on prints and stock images and our sales fell through the floor fast. We went back to static images and the sales rose back to pre slideshow levels.
We have also tried different colors and different layouts, but simple black and traditional smugmug view work best for us.
When someone asks me about how to get the most out of their site, I try to think like a client. I visit a lot of sites (on request) and most lose my attention so fast because of flash, sounds/music, slow loading, or difficult navigation. That certainly doesn't mean that thousands of others won't like it.
You have to try a few different things to find what visitors to your site like and don't like. Just because one thing works for me doesn't mean it will work for you and vice-versa.
I think it's a hangover from when flash was new. This is where the developer got to "show-off." A good friend and web developer still uses them occasionally due to client request, but is sure to include a button that allows you to opt-out of watching the intro.
Originally Posted by Cygnus Studios
“Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that,
behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”