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My Professional Photography Website Needs You!

lovehappenslovehappens subscriber Posts: 3
edited August 2008 in Website Critique
Donelovehappens7/9/2008 2:45 PM


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    VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    The site is fairly well laid out, but it does have a few problems.  Your navigation bar.  When I go to a page, the nav bar segment for that page disappears. (Well, white text on white background disappears).  I have a short memory, and I didn`t know what page I was on.  This is also a good place to mention the title for each page - they are all the same.  The page title should be relevant to the page contents.The more I listen to the music, the more I dislike it.  You are trying to appeal to an upscale market, but rap???  In my book, rap is not even music.  I am at the age of many of the MOB`s that you want to reach, and rap is a quick way to get me to go elsewhere.  I just kept listening to see how much worse the music got.  OK, the music didn`t get worse, but it is like your typography - all over the place.  (To everyone else - MOB means the Mother of the Bride.  It`s an inside term for wedding businesses).Now that I mentioned typography...  Your fonts are usually too big.  One line is: "http://www.borkgren.co" and the next line is: "m".  I say usually because you change font size all over the page.  Very amateurish.  Also at the bottom of the "HeartNotes" page, there is some HTML showing.  Something didn`t close correctly.  More typography problems on the "Investment" page.I would change "Investment" to "Prices".  You can explain how it`s really an investment in the page text.  Why prices?  People don`t search for "wedding photographers investment", they search for "wedding photographers prices".  Also in "investment", you change font size and color all over the page.  Yukk.  (The general rule in typography is no more than two fonts per page).  Further, your list in "investments" changes paragraph spacing twice.  There`s a gap between point 1 and point 2, and again from point 3 and point 4, but no gap between 2 and 3."Giving Back" - again the typography problems and the incomplete html code at the bottom of the page.  Nice touch, though.  It does make you more human to share this with your clients.  Clients are much more likely to work with a professional that they feel comfortable with.On your home page, notably the many meta-tag keywords.  You seem to be preferring a Hispanic (Italian or Italian?) theme to your music and keywords, but you don`t put "Spanish Wedding" in the list?It looks like your pages are mostly flash.  It`s pretty, but search engines can`t see the content inside a flash page.  That could seriously hurt your page rank with Google.I really like your Photojournalism link, but this is a wedding photography website.  I would make the invitation to see your photojournalism work a small line at the bottom of the home page, not as a main entry on the navigation bar.One more critique and I`ll be done with the bad news.  GET A PROFESSIONAL EMAIL.  Yes, I am shouting.  A gmail, yahoo or aol email account is the mark of a genuine amateur.  You have a domain, get a few mailboxes for names like: info@lovesimplyhappens, and sales@ and sherrlyn@.But never, ever use yahoo or gmail for business email.  It just doesn`t project a professional image.I said that I would have some good things to say....Your photography is among some of the best that I`ve seen.  Your tribute to Ashraf is touching and the world needs to see more of these stories.Final verdict on the music...  I would be willing to bet a dinner that the music is not licensed.  You so properly point out that your images are copyrighted and that you are using tracking code embedded in the images, but did you get permission to use the music?  This is not aimed directly at you, but I find it hypocritical of many wedding photographers that scream bloody murder when a MOB scans the images from the album to send to Aunt Martha who is in a Hospice and can`t possibly travel to the wedding, but they think nothing of putting popular songs on their Photo Album CD`s without ever seeking clearance from the artists` agency.So, on the music.  Dump it.  It does not add value to the purpose of the website, which is to get the attention of the MOB and the brides.  Remember, people will do business from those professionals that they feel they know.  If I were designing this site (don`t look at mine - it sucks) I would put more of your images in the demo slide show, use some appropriate background music from one of thousands of royalty-free websites, and narrate the slides *in your own words and voice*.  It`s as if you are talking directly to the bride and her mom.  It will quickly break down the "stranger" wall and the first time you talk to them on the phone, they will feel like they already know you.Hope this helps, now I gotta get back to work.Videography2008-6-19 22:35:25
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    WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member

    One thing I really don`t like, and barely realized was there at first ..... on the investment page in the right panel, at the bottom, is a 1 and text after it .... like there is a list, but it`s impossible to scroll it in Firefox ..... it barely works in IE ..... and its hard to read over the background image.
    The music ... drop it completely .... even if it is appropriate, which I don`t know because I turned it off immediately, is one of the biggest annoyances on a site.
    Your page titles and descriptions are tooooooooooooooooooo long .... make them unique and relevant for each page ..... since your site is flash, you need all the SEO help you can get on your pages.
    On some pages, your name on the right side doesn`t even show up.
    Great photos, love the simplicity of the look, and the flash aspect may appeal to viewers at first .... but this site is not designed to be effective for you.

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    culinary1culinary1 subscriber Posts: 0
    The first thing that turns me off is the text.  It is redundant and changes from 2nd person to third person and then back to 2nd.  I really didn`t like how it flows.  You should ask some friends of yours who are writers to help you out on that.  The first photo though is exquisite!
    I loved the inside of your site but the music isn`t quite right.  Maybe something more classic?
    Otherwise I like the way the photos change and the page is not static.
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    lovehappenslovehappens subscriber Posts: 3
    Media fairy I couldn`t disagree with you more.  Obviously you do not know the wedding business because it is all about who I am as a person and photographer.
     I am now booked into  2009 and I have been in business less than a year.  I have had to turn 2 couples away. 
     I just sold one of my upper end packages which is not cheap. The couple hired me because I am  photojournalist, the images they enjoyed in both wedding and journalism, and because they were able to learn enough about me that they like me as a person. They wanted a "real" photojournalist to shoot their wedding. Most couples who have hired me want a photojournalist and love talking about this at the wedding.
    My new blog which  will soon be up and running will have even more personal information about me! Couples want a professional but they also love knowing who their photographer is.  Every  couple that has hired me has cared immensely where I have been educated.  I`m always open to suggestions but please know what you are talking about before trying to give advice.  I love constructive thoughts when they are correct. I had some very good wedding planners go over my site last week on another forum and received such different reviews than here.
     I definitely gleaned a few good details of advice from here and it made me go over my spelling. It`s so darn hard to write into these tiny little boxes that I am given on the website and there is no spell check. It won`t let me insert from word.  It`s frustrating to say the least. I would never buy a site in this style again. It`s just that I paid for it and now feel I need to use it. Yay my customized blog is coming soon.
    I am always tweaking.  I`m going to see if I can get my website question off of startupnation.
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    VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member

    <<Media fairy I couldn`t disagree with you more.  Obviously you do not know the wedding business because it is all about who I am as a person and photographer. >>
      I`m surprised you would make such an ignorant and arrogant statement in writing. Eight years in the florist business, specializing in weddings, taught me what it is about: The Bride. The Wedding. The Fairy Tale Come True. Not you. 
    Don`t you just love it when someone asks for a critique then gets pissed off when you give them what they asked for?  Your statement says volumes.  But I refrain from going into that here.When I do get around to introducing my new website to the world, I hope I can count on you and others to be just as brutal and straight up with me.Steve
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