Discussion in 'Personal and Professional Photography Websites' started by modlife, Jan 13, 2009.
...on the front page of course
EDIT: On the whole site, of course
I loose the navigation with your blend of photo and text of contact and gallery, but since you do not have anything working there is not much to evaluate. If I were you I would come back with a working front page.
The front page should by the choice of photos indicate what market or what customers you are trying to attract. The problem I see in the first page is the implication that you ONLY do black and white and sepia work.
Then comes the question: As a customer, why would I want to buy a black and white or sepia shot of the kind that you have on your front page?
Your front page needs to "answer" those implied questions by the choice and nature of your chosen photos.
Good observation - I hadn't thought of it like that. Did you click through? I was hoping it would make you want to know more
Yes, I did click through. To mention another problem you talked about portraits but your photos suggested black and white portraits which suggests that you do not do colour portraits. Surely you don't want to turn away potential colour portrait customers. Black and white should also demonstrate excellent tonal control.
Moreover any portraits that you do display should demonstrate that you know how to pose people, handle lighting and exposure, and do postprocessing. Big issue is that in any portrait the eyes must be visible, bright, sharp, and in focus. That is basic. No shadows around the eyes.
Sorry to pour cold water on your enthusiasm but the details are important when it comes to both photography and web sites.
I highly disagree with you on the definition of a portrait...that sounds like a wal-mart photo studio rule.
Personally, when I snap a picture I'm trying to catch a moment, an emotion, even a thought or likeness of a thought. Crisp clear eyes, no shadows in every pictures just say "ok, say cheese!"
As for no shadows...what is light without shadow? Bland pictures I say...it's all about artistic control in my opinion and knowing how you're using the light...
I'm not saying that you're wrong or anything - just "to each his own".
I do, however, appreciate your critique and plan to overhaul the site slowly. For now, I added a few pictures I took that I have rights to, although I'm even changing them around/adding more. I never thought to get release forms signed in the past and don't feel like dealing with it after the fact.
If you do more reading in magazines such as Popular Photography or in any books on portraiture, you will find the emphasis on the eyes and getting them right as an integral part of any good portrait. Even look at the great portraits by Josef Karsh. Hardly Walmart type stuff at all. Look at the work of top wedding photographers and others that are making the big bucks shooting people. The eyes are always sharp, visible, bright, and in focus.
So, you would be in a minority of photographers who many customers would not consider capable, if you ignore what are considered to be the standards in various types of photography.
I'm not completely disagreeing with you, so don't take it that way. Like I said though, I have no rights to display my pictures of people, other than what I've done this week. I just recently decided to turn this into a business and have since built the site and booked(with contract) sessions, and booked a wedding - not bad for a week and "pictures customers won't like". I'm by no means trying to argue, it's just wrong in my opinion to say that "a portrait is (fill in the blank)".
People have different opinions. And yes, when taking portraits with eyes in the composed shot, they should be in focus.
I'm by no means new to this. When I see something of yours worth critiquing I'll take your opinions with more than a grain of salt. Until then, I still thank you for your time and ideas.
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