Critique sought for photography website / portfolio

Discussion in 'Personal and Professional Photography Websites' started by briar15, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. briar15

    briar15 TPF Noob!

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    I am looking for any constructive critiques, reviews, or advice for my photography website. These include any tips for the pictures or the website design. However, at this point I'm more concerned about the photos themselves.

    The primary goal of this website is as a lead in to some upcoming non-profit / educational projects that are highly image oriented. It is not really profit driven, and any income made from my photography will be sunk back into the non-profit (I'm not expecting to sell photos at this point, more of a "what if" or down the road). The projects are related to public land advocacy and issues in anthropology, and will involve producing prints.

    A little background:

    1) About 90% of the photos were taken during backpacking excursions or bare minimum travel, thus my photographic equipment was chosen for being lightweight, flexible, and easy to access quickly. Equipment was mainly prosumer level (currently Canon 60D, Tamron 18-270 lens, Canon EF-S 10-18 lens, Canon 100mm macro, etc.)

    2) I am not a full time photographer. This is my first website / portfolio. I am also aware that the website appears different depending on screen size (e.g. desktop, laptop, iPad, phone), and I'm working on trying to accommodate all these formats. Website was made using Wix.

    3) All people in the photos granted permission for the picture or were part of a public performance. I tried very hard to remain ethically above board. None of these photos were "staged" but were part of daily life scenes I came across.

    I am looking for anything, positive or negative, that will help me improve.

    Thanks,

    Link below:

    www.brentleftwichphotography.com


     
  2. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not a big fan of the baby blue background, but other then that i like it.
     
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  3. JustBen

    JustBen No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1) I agree with Light Guru. The baby blue background does not work. Try to go with something more subtle.
    2) I also don't like the font you used for "Brent Leftwich Photography". It kinda looks a little too playful in my mind.

    I really like your photos, this is some great work!

    Checked your website on my phone as well (Android, Galaxy S6) and the website looked pretty good. Just the formatting of your introduction on the main page was a little of. Photos took some time to load, but that could be related to my phone as well.
     
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  4. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Great photos..not crazy about the blue but it isn't a deal breaker.
    Not sure about "Welcome to Brent Leftwich Photography. My photography aspires to be an intersection of art, nature, and anthropology, combining my love of the outdoors, culture, and history. Thank your for visiting my online gallery."

    It's just too ingratiating.
     
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  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Since you asked......

    Like they^ said, the blue color is distracting.

    You have some really nice photos.
    But mostly, I have no idea what points you are trying to make with this website.

    It's like you took a great many decent photos, divided them into rough categories and made a rather arbitrary collage of them. (A bunch of your photos are, imo, almost really good but would have benefited from some critique and some editing.)

    There seems to be no continuity or purpose behind the photos - and your 'about' page didn't help any. Your idea or feelings should be obvious from the images and should be sustained. (and those titles that pop up in a mouse over - truly saccharine).

    Most of the information in your 'about' page could be summarized or discarded because it doesn't mean anything to people looking at your photography.

    Your philosophy, if it is important to your work, should be mirrored in your photos.
    Viewers should be able to come away with some coherent view both of what drives your photography and the stories' behind your pictures.

    Lew
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  6. BassFace

    BassFace TPF Noob!

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    Definitely agree with this, personally I would keep it simple with a white background, but that's just me.

    Really love your work, especially in the culture and travel section, very very good stuff there.
     
  7. briar15

    briar15 TPF Noob!

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    I want to thank everyone so far for their comments. It's been really helpful. I even appreciate the harsher comments; it's all part of the learning process. The website design was put together after looking at a few dozen other photographer's sites for ideas. It's clear I'm not a profession website designer. From these comments and from what was stated on other forum boards, this is what I've learned to this point:

    1) The blue background is universally hated by almost everyone who's commented. A lot of people don't like the font either. My favorite comment was that it reminded them of a 1990s sitcom. That will be changed. I had originally had it white, and it just looked uninviting and cold to me, but I didn't want silly either, so I will definitely address this.

    2) I've received fewer complaints about display issues, so hopefully I got that fixed. I know the bright reds and oranges look oversaturated on some monitors, but that appears to be a monitor by monitor issue. I will also slowdown the title page slideshow.

    3) There are a number of comments regarding artistic approach / philosophy. I especially appreciate the comments from "The_Traveler" which, for the most part, may be pretty spot on. The struggle I'm having is trying to find a balance between being taken seriously as a photographer versus keeping it accessible to the layman. I would like to get the attention of the professional world, but also have an inviting appearance for people unsophisticated about photography. I don't want to dumb it down too much, box myself in thematically, or appear too avant-garde. The philosophy or idea behind my photos could be cleaner it seems. It may be foolish, but I'm trying to appeal to Ansel Adams and Ma and Pa Kettle at the same time. As an aside, I was advised to give the photos titles by a colleague, and they are probably a little overly sentimental. I'll look at toning down the saccharine.

    The photos on the site haven a kernel of advocacy behind them. As some upcoming projects develop, I want to use the photos as a narrative to help convince the general public that certain places and cultures deserve their attention and perhaps their protection. A lot of the choices originally made regarding site design (i.e., background, titles, longer About section, etc.) were an attempt to make it appear a little more folksy and accessible. Obviously, some of that isn't working out, but again, part of the learning. I agree that photos should speak for themselves, especially to other photographers, but I worry that the general audience may appreciate help listening. My next project is a fund raising galley show combing photography with narrative experiences regarding public lands advocacy.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are a good photographer. Is the site intended to develop business for you? If so, who is the target client? If the purpose is to show off your photography, it is a success. Your photography is worth showing off.
     
  9. JoeN

    JoeN TPF Noob!

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    I love your pictures.
    it's very impressive
     

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