August 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm #12251
Stumbled upon this site today and it had me literally rolling laughing.
I am an artist turned photographer. Then I had to ask myself, am I one. So I give you my site for honest critique.
Don’t be afraid to be honest.August 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm #12252IntuitionParticipant
First note: get rid of the music on your site -_- Nothing annoys me and many others then getting randomly blasted with music while desperately trying find the place to mute it. For the most part I like your pictures. No frill pretty photographs. That being said you have a few you just need to pull out completely, namely in the children section. There’s one where it looks like you whited out the background in post, and it’s obvious. Then one where the kid is in a chair with all sorts of weird lighting and bad white balance.
Your event work isn’t strong at all. White balance is all over the place and it’s mostly uninteresting. I would either update it, or pull it. I like your infant stuff, just watch when placing them on their backs, some of the neck positions look really uncomfortable, and I don’t necessarily mean like “omg fix that baby;s position you’re endangering them” more just that it feels uncomfortable? does that make sense?August 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm #12255
A few notes:
Sound that starts when the page loads is bad form. If someone happens across your page while at work in an open concept office (i.e. a cube farm) they could annoy a number of coworkers if their speakers happen to be turned up. I have Bose speakers so if I touch the top of the volume control, it mutes the speakers. There are other sources of sound here so I just muted your site. The next question however, is your music either your own composition or royalty free? Or did you pay a royalty?
The photos scroll which is interesting but if you mouse over a photo, it goes black!
I don’t know how to figure out the name of a photo. The black army guy with a baby in the same uniform, in your Family gallery, is not as good as the rest because the shadow from his cap makes his upper face very dark and light from somewhere is making his eyes glow. A good example of raccoon eyes.
Also in the Family gallery, the family with a black T shirt and very large “3” on the left, it looks like some of the black is clipping and some of the white is burned out. The background is burned out/low contrast. That shot might have been better if the background were slightly under exposed and the family were lit with flash to brighten them up.
If your About page is up-to-date, you are very pregnant. If not, you have a toddler?
“This page is still under construction.” Well, what page is not still under construction or just about to be under construction? Actually, I do know of a couple but the vast majority are works in progress so the “Under construction” sign is not really necessary.
It appears some unstated questions are answered but there are no links under the links button.August 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm #12256
Thanks. I’ll make some changes. First place to start is to take the music down. I do need to work on my event and family photography a little more. I honestly dislike doing family photo sessions, as it is difficult to get everyone looking at me at the same time, so I end up taking many shots and compositing at times, which I hate doing. I’m not sure if I just need more practice with family photos or if it’s just not my forte. I either seem to have the kids attention, or the adults, but never both.
I used to have it where when you clicked on an image, you were able to get the enlarged image. Unfortunately I found someone stealing my newborn work and decided to take that option off.
I agree with the child photo where the background is over whited, I had some issues with the backdrop wrinkling and didn’t fix it to the best of my ability so I’ll take that one down. Any tips on how to work with that? Or should I just get a better white backdrop?
I’ll also pull my event photos. I need more work in that area. So I’ll second on some weddings till I get more comfortable in that area.
The links area I do need to update. I should just take that out until I get links to all their sites. I just felt I needed to give some of my vendors some credit as they have been good to me and offered me discounts in return for photos.August 24, 2013 at 3:27 am #12264ebiParticipant
I’m not a huge fan of newborn photos but the picture of the boy with the glasses and the books was adorable. Made me smile.
I think your work is pretty good. Not really my style but you probably do very well in your demographic. Looks like you’ve been doing some editing based on comments above, which probably improved things quite a bit. I don’t like how you have a link called “about me & Portfolios”. Thats confusing b/c there is no bio about you and its just your portfolio. The black rollover thing has to go. I often put my mouse on the photos so it just makes them disappear.
The children section is probably the weakest, but there are some really cute shots in there too.August 24, 2013 at 7:17 am #12265
Seeing ebi’s comment, he obviously did not find your About page. I bet a lot of people missed several parts of your site because the standard design for drop down lists is that clicking a title delivers the list. Usually mouse-over also delivers the list. At your site, mouse-over causes the drop down, clicking takes you to an Easter-egg. I may not be using that term exactly correctly, Easter-eggs are an Apple thing. You do something odd on an Apple product and you are rewarded by it giving you something extra. In this case there is an extra page. I would not have found the About page except that I thought your title was odd and went looking. After seeing ebi’s comment, I went looking again and discovered I too had missed other pages. You shouldn’t need a manual to navigate a web page. Navigation should be reasonably obvious.
On your FAQ page (also hidden — you have to click the top title) the bottom of the page says: “Don’t see your question here? Click on the” — OK, click on the what?August 24, 2013 at 11:29 am #12268nesgranParticipant
I may not be using that term exactly correctly, Easter-eggs are an Apple thing.
Actually it comes from embedded messages in programming code, very geektastic and started before apple was foundedAugust 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm #12270
Prior to April, ’76! Wow. I first came across the term usage when using an Apple Newton.
Some research turned up the first Easter egg being in the TOPS-10 OS used in the PDP 10. While the computer was launched in 1967, TOPS-10 was from 1970, a couple of years before I wrote my first program. I also saw Word and Excel ’97 had Easter eggs. I have to dig through my stuff to see if I can still run them!August 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm #12271
I understand what you mean about the easter egg, camera clicker, nesgran and ebi. Thank you guys so much. You are all really great with the feedback and I feel like I am making progress on streamlining my website.
I fixed the black out when mousing over photos. There was a glitch in my HTML, when I took off the “enlarge” option when mousing over. Now it doesn’t black out. Which I agree, was annoying. I wasn’t sure how to fix it, but I was able to do a quick search online and find the area of code that was making it black out.
I also tweeked the menu. I hope it is a bit easier to navigate. You guys tell me.
My children and family sessions need a bit of work. I have decided to offer some mini sessions to build my portfolio in those two areas. I’ll offer it at a reduced rate or even do some free for a couple of freinds. Unfortunately that will have to wait till after I have this baby. October is approaching soon and I’m finishing the sessions booked through September, then taking a month off to have the baby. Since babies come whenever they please, I wouldn’t want to book any October sessions and then have my water break, or go into labor when I’m in the middle of nowhere taking family pictures. That would be rather embarrassing.
I have a question about proofing galleries on my website. I’ve been debating for a while, forgoing the disc with copyright release an switching to a proofing gallery where clients can order prints. I use prolabs when I print my own work. But many of my customers are going to Walmart, CVS, ect. I notice the difference and I recommend they pay the extra and order from prolab, but they don’t seem to care. My clients like receiving the disc and I am afraid that taking that option away, may mean losing some of them. I’m stuck when it comes to making the decision. I would still offer the disc, but only with the images that they ordered professional prints of, or I could let them buy the disc for a fee. I’m just afraid they might not like that. What do you guys think?August 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm #12274
FAQ still takes you to the FAQ page but offers Reviews as a drop down item. Think about changing Session Info to Sessions as the top menu item, then in the drop down, have FAQ, Info, Reviews and Book a Session. You could also put Pricing there if you wanted to minimize the top items.
To give a CD or use a web page? What to do about printing? Peter Hurley has an interesting solution; charge a lot for a session, then give the files to the printing house and let the customer order from, and pay, the printing house. Bambi Cantrell does a similar sort of thing but gives the files to the customer and doesn’t care where they print, if memory serves. Some want to hold the files and print/reprint, so basic sitting fee is less but you pay a lot for prints. It depends on your model.August 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm #12275
I made those changes. I can’t figure out how to get the top of each catagory not to have a clickable web page. So those are just filler pages I guess, or “Easter Eggs” Maybe I’ll throw something fun on one in the future. I’m out of ideas for now.
I guess I’ll stick with my model then. My clients like getting the disc and it makes it easy for me. I’ll just continue to recommend ProLabs, and maybe print a visual example framed with 4 image samples of the same photo from Prolabs, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens to hang in my studio. Then let my clients decide where to print.
I want to raise my prices to reflect the model I have, but I’m not confident enough in my skills to charge higher. I also feel I have to stay kind of low to compete with many of the Fauxtographers in my area. Some are charging $30 a session, and putting out work that makes me groan, but I guess everyone has to start somewhere. It’s just hard to compete with. The area is flooded with photography pages. I just keep telling myself that those who really like my work will come to me, over someone who charges $20 or $30. I think I have found my niche with newborn and maternity photos, and I like doing them. But I don’t want to forever be stuck in my comfort zone.
I can’t wait to move away from this military base. But I’m afraid no matter where we move, there will always be fauxtographers lurking.
Here’s a few from my area if anyone is interested :
They are all beginners. But are charging. I’ve gone to photography meetups and befriended a few. Some take constructive criticism quite well, and they are eager to learn and try to improve. Which is a good thing, because hopefully with some help, they will get there. Others, not so much. That’s all I’ll say.August 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm #12279ebiParticipant
So, like, this Military Wives With Camera, is a real thing huh? I’ve noticed that in these situations there is a lot of boudoir type stuff going on. So are these girls like “finding companionship” amongst other military wives while their husbands are gone. Because the pictures sometimes suggest this…
As far as remaining competitive, I would suggest one major thing – take the prices off your website. Discuss price last thing. Let them see your work first, then sit down with them to discuss so that they can meet you and see how you do business. Then have a discussion about pricing after you’ve sold them on you and your services. At this point you can charge more of what you are worth b/c you’ve gone farther to prove you know what your doing. Considering how they present their work, the others aren’t going to make such a great impression when meeting clients.August 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm #12355
Yes. this military wives with cameras is a real thing. It’s insane. Every wife with a DSLR is doing photos. I’m not sure what they are doing boudior wise. I know I wouldn’t want my ass and titties all over Facebook. Especially when they just apply bad overlays and tints, then they blur areas to soften them. It looks awful. They need to learn how to airbrush cellulite, liquify (and not overdo it) areas where clothing meets the skin and makes undesirable dents/fat appear. Boudoir is all about making these women look and feel amazing. Apparently some didn’t get the memo. Because they just look like they took their clothes off and are about to be part of an orgy.
I started out doing art, as I enjoy painting and I am able to consign my pieces in coffee shops and restaurants, and it’s a portable career. Well, photography is also a portable career. Problem being is that many of these army spouses have no idea how to use their camera, or Photoshop and they don’t take the time to learn. Not all, but some.
I picked up a few courses on photography and editing as electives in college. Having an art background has also helped me, in a sense that I understand composition and light. My photos are clean, crisp and nice but I am always pushing myself to get better. I follow a lot of photographers on FB whose work I admire (and the fauxtogs for a giggle) and I see many brilliant ideas. I hope that with time and more experience I can be as great as them.
I’m not sure how these fauxtogs come out of the box, thinking they will be an overnight success. It takes time and there is a lot to learn.
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