Any tips for my website?


TPF Noob!
Jan 14, 2012
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Columbus, GA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
At the end of 2011 I took the plunge and invested in a website. It's not really generating the traffic and interest that I would like it to be so I would ove to hear any suggestions to improve it. I am working on the about me section. Id like to make it a little more personal and not so much like a resume. At the same time I dont want it to seem like a personal ad on a dating site.

*I purchased my site through BluDomain so there certain elements of the design cannot be changed.*

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your help : )
Thanks for the tip. I was going back and forth about music when I put the site together: I thought it added a nice touch but I could easily see how its annoying.
Jacklyn, very nice, elegant, fairly simple/easy to nav
Nice variety of styles presented for future clients to view.
You can't just build a website and they will come... You have to work your SEO to get your website at the top of the list before it's going to generate anything for you.
The blu templates are nice and keep a good, clean look. You're fine there. Music slows down the loading and like Mike said... it's not well loved.

You have a lot of image issues with white balance, tilts, focus among other things that you have tried to cover up some in photoshop/editing.
you also show a lot of still life. What kind of client are you looking to attract? It's not still life... Lose them.
Your pricing: Damn you are cheap.
Where are you? I find that the most frustrating thing about every photography site out there. No one flat out says what area they serve or where they are located. I can guess from the area code, but that's about it.
I never claimed to be perfect and the best. I am still learning and not afraid to admit that. One reason why my prices are low. CHEAP is not the word I like to use, I am simply not going to over charge when I am still honing my skills. It also says exactly where I am located on the opening splash page below the link to my site or my blog.
I never claimed to be perfect and the best. I am still learning and not afraid to admit that. One reason why my prices are low. CHEAP is not the word I like to use, I am simply not going to over charge when I am still honing my skills. It also says exactly where I am located on the opening splash page below the link to my site or my blog.

Uh-oh. Here we go. Again.
MLeek isn't saying you should be "perfect" or the "best." She's just pointing what SHE, as an experienced photographer, sees as some issues with your work.
By the fact that you have a professional-looking website, a business name (which, I hope, comes with a license, insurance and all that) and you are charging for your work...what that DOES say is that you consider yourself a Professional Photographer. And when you claim that, OTHER Professional Photographers WILL judge whether you seem to have the photography skills to do this sort of work.

And your prices are CHEAP. Seriously, you can call them anything you like, but if I am looking for a photographer--say, for my son's senior portraits, as I just did last year--and I've gone to other sites or made calls and gotten quotes from professional photographers...once my bp rate comes back to normal from the prices they've quoted me :)lol:)...I'm gonna see a site like yours, look at those prices and say, "DANG...that's CHEAP!!" If you don't want to be thought of as the CHEAP Photographer, don't charge cheap prices. If you're not good enough yet to charge higher prices...then either don't charge at all...or live with the cheap label.

I don't mean any of that as harsh as it probably sounds over the internet. Just telling you how I see it.

I like your website by the way. Hate music that plays on websites, but didn't hear any on yours, so I assume you've removed that? Site is nice and clean, I could pretty much find what I wanted, and it loaded pretty quickly.

I do agree with MLeek about your location though--yes, you had it on the intro page. But if they didn't NOTICE or think to look then, and now they're on your main would be simple enough to put that information on your Contact page, as well.
I wasnt taking it personally. Once again, its not alwasy easy to read from type what someone is trying to say. My prices are low, I just dont like the WORD cheap. I appreciate and takke all fo the advice being... if I didnt want to hear I wouldnt have asked complete strangers to critique my work. Which, by the way, I cirtique myself A LOT more harshly than many of you could... the downfall to my type A, melancholy personality. As far as where I am located, I have been on MANY photographers websites and its hard to come by anyone who point blank states exactly where they are located. Unless they have a studio. Which I do not.

Again, I really do listen to advice being given. People become way too sensitive on these forums because it is very easy to misinterpret how and the person is trying to say.

For the record, I am also not doubting anyones experience on here. Probably 90% of you have WAY more experience than I do. One reason why I am here.

For this response I am address your issue about not generating website traffic.

For the type of work you do and the location in which you do it, you shouldn't expect work to come to you online.
You sell a service and while you may provide a physical product in the way of prints, you aren't selling products.

Some ways are - You need to use word of mouth, go shoot festivals, gatherings, and public events and give people your card with website address on it. Have a facebook page where you mention senior portriats, weddings, and sessions that you offer. Portraits can be seasonal like a lot of other types of photography. I shoot quite a few public events each year while I'm there with a display, I walk around shooting candid snapshots of people and give them my card or flyer when I do, Yes, they do visit the booth and or website and buy prints. They might think of me when that special event arises. While this is not the main focus or bread and butter of my photography biz, it does provide quite well.

My brother has been a wedding photographer for more than 30 years and most of if not all of his work was brought in by word of mouth.
Thanks for that advice Joey_Ricard. I do have a Facebook page set up, however its lacking in traffic just as my site. Part of the challenge I am facing is that, not only am I new to our area (so no one really knows who I am to begin with), but I am new to the professional world. I had a booth at our churchs craft fair around Christmas time and that the small amount of business I had for 2011. I am trying to find more options like that to present my work but I am also hesitant to do so as my confidence level in my work isnt the highest. I am proud of myself but I know I could do better. I really value word of mouth clients but when I hardly get any clients to begin with its hard to get referralls, haha.
Your post says a LOT of things to me... First you have started into business without really knowing the ins and outs of EVERYTHING-that's not so bad... Well, it's not good, but you can get there now.
You have no business plan, you don't have all of your research done, you don't have any marketing plan... Basically you are pretty good and therefore you hung out your shingle and now you need a crash course...
Here is a post on the things you need to do when going into business:
Business and business mentoring is one of my BIG areas. Businesses fail or succeed based on the drive put behind them. You have the wish, but you need to get a little bit of a direction and a plan. In this post I have a lot to say about marketing: We were discussing weddings in particular, but it applies to any type of photography.

I have loads to share with you here, but I am pressed for time right now and have to shoot at 7. I will be back!!!
Thanks MLeek! I am very interested in what you have to say. I will take a look at those links you included. Youre right. I have no business plan. When I was learning from a very good friend of mine a business plan was not involved. When I first got the drive to turn a hobby into a profession I was naive in thinking it would be easy. I am trying to perfect my photographic skills, and have been so focused on that for so long, that the business end was one of those "learn as you go" kind of things. Not the way to go about it, and it is advice that I will surely give to others in the future.

I appreciate your input : )
You are where most photographers start. They either get an education REAL FAST or go out of business REAL FAST. The photography education part of this is EASY compared to the running the business part!
So what do you have so far for your plan?

Do you have the necessary permits, tax ID's, etc? Insurance? Studio or on location?

Do you have any idea of your cost of doing business? cost of goods? profit margins?

Do you have any goals? As in what you want to make, how many days, hours, weeks a year you want to work, etc?

What are you currently doing to market yourself?

Do you know who your target market is?

MANY MANY MANY people think this is easy and it's easy money. All that money we are charging is just ludicrous, right? No. Not really. Most new photographers are breaking even or actually paying out to take their client's photographs and don't even know it. I mentioned before that your prices are CHEAP-you are probably not breaking even and you are definitely killing yourself with the CD thing. You just don't know it. You probably think you are priced about middle of the road to the higher side of affordable. You're probably not.
We'll get it figured out... I just will have lots of questions for you!
I was super careful about getting the necessary licenses and what not because I did not want to end up getting into any trouble for something I was just too lazy to look into. I got my city, county and state license. I didnt need a tax ID I was told by numerous state and federal people because I am just myself, with no employees and working from my home. I am on location and do my editing from my home. I dont have a specific number for my cost of doing business, I have looked into how to calculate it but, for some reason, have not sit down to actually do the math. As far as goals go, for now I am just hoping to get 2 clients a month. Seems like a measley goal, but its a start. Ideally I would like to have one client a week. I havent really attached a dollar amount to my goal, although it would be nice to just break even from what I have spent on my camera and lens. My marketing is done on my Facebook page, website, I put a Craigslist ad just to see if it generated any interest and leaving business cards or promo flyers at various places like church and the gym. Right now my target market is basically anyone who wants or needs photos... except weddings. I am not ready ready or confident enough to do that yet.

See the CD thing just seemed like it was more convenient for me. Most photographers in the Seattle area, where I started, did business that way so when I went to workshops to get business tips from pros thats what they taught.
Not an EIN, a sales tax ID and yes, you need one in OH. Welcome to the Ohio Department of Taxation

What is your schedule for free time like? Is there a time we can get together on one of the million IM's and go through your CODB and stuff?
I am open today until about 2:30/3. Saturday I have a newborn session for the afternoon-those take up HOURS of time so I can't give a definite when I'd be available. Sunday I have a funeral out your way (Geneva) so that's shot. Monday right now I am pretty open. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings I am shooting sports, but during the day I am around till about 4.

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