What's wrong with my website?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by WeddingPhotographer, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my website
    layout? Please look at my website and let me know.

    My website: www.philipcorcoran.com
    WeddingPhotographer, Mar 17, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. WeddingPhotographer

    RHinNC Guest

    I see nothing wrong with it. The layout of your website is clean, simple and
    to the point.

    The photography is good as well.


    "WeddingPhotographer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my
    > website layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com
    >
    >
    >
    RHinNC, Mar 17, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. WeddingPhotographer

    bob Guest

    WeddingPhotographer wrote:
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my website
    > layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com
    >


    I like it. I think the business model is sound. It might be good to
    explain that part of the reason traditional wedding photographers shoot
    the wedding inexpensively is that they subsidize the shoot with
    overpriced prints.

    If it was me (being the photographer), I would supply the bride and
    groom with a CD or DVD (so they don't *have* to download). I would also
    offer (perhaps at a nominal fee) to hand them a stack of 4x6 prints
    (from Wal-mart, CVS, or wherever). When my wife and I got married,
    looking over the proofs was fun, and we had a lot going on. I wouldn't
    have wanted to be *required* to download all the photos myself.

    You might also want to mention that *real photo prints* can be made
    inexpensively from the files (at the type of location mentioned above).
    I was talking to a number of people at Christmas, and none of them
    realized that -- they thought the only way to get prints from digital
    cameras was to own an inkjet printer.

    Bob
    bob, Mar 17, 2005
    #3
  4. WeddingPhotographer

    Douglas Guest

    The most successful wedding Photographer I do prints for doesn't charge a
    cent to photograph a wedding! She imposes a minimium purchase requirement of
    an album and a parent's album or a wall mountable canvas portrait but no
    money changes hands for the photography.

    Last month I made six canvas portraits and 280 prints for her. Above average
    month I admit but you get the picture, I'm sure. Don't rely on advertising
    alone for your clients. Get some litrature together and introduce yourself
    to everyone associated with wedding planning and flowers.

    Offer them a commission for every wedding you do which originates from them.
    Don't rely too much on a web site either. The real deal is done face to
    face. Incidently your photography is quite good and the site acceptable.
    That's not the problem if you are not getting work.

    Far too many talented Photographers go belly up in the business because they
    haven't a clue how to market themselves. If this sounds familiar, get a
    marketing manager or a wedding planner on the job. Just tack their cost on
    your price. Price alone is not what you need to be concerned with.

    Work like yours shouldn't come cheap and any self respecting father expect
    his daughter's wedding to cost a heap. What's it matter if the pictures cost
    $1500 or $2000 when you can see your little girl in life size on canvas
    hanging on your lounge room wall whenever you feel like it?

    "WeddingPhotographer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my
    > website layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com
    >
    >
    >
    Douglas, Mar 17, 2005
    #4
  5. WeddingPhotographer

    erics Guest

    "WeddingPhotographer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my
    > website layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com
    >
    >

    Thats one way of promoting your website anyway....
    erics, Mar 17, 2005
    #5
  6. WeddingPhotographer

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my

    website
    > layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com


    I'll be blunt and forthcoming, but don't take any of this as
    mean-spiritted by any means!

    The first thing that comes to mind is that the home page looks bland and
    very amateur. That alone will turn away a LOT of people. Second, when
    people are shopping for wedding photography, they may not be looking for a
    "general purpose" photographer that shoots food, travel, etc. - but someone
    who specializes in wedding photography only. Regardless of the validity of
    the logic, some people will perceive someone who does ONLY wedding
    photography as being more of an expert in the field. However, that's not to
    say that a better-looking home page and some terrific samples couldn't bring
    them around.

    Moving on to the photographs themselves, there are various technical
    shortcomings in them - from being less-than-sharp to poorly- or under-lit
    scenes. However, the largest shortcoming is that the images don't really
    convey emotion in them, they don't make the viewer *feel* anything. Women
    want their wedding to be like something out of a fairy tale, and they want
    their pictures to make the viewer feel like they're looking into a
    fairy-tale.

    I did a quick googling for some wedding photography, and here are some
    comparisons:

    http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/web/050208_043_img.jpg
    http://www.iqphoto.com/newgal/images/sample199.jpg

    Look at how the use of perspective, lighting, and depth-of-field give the
    second photo more depth, draw your attention more to the cake, and creates
    much more "mood".

    http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/050208_021_img.htm
    http://www.brycevickmark.com/wedding/images/sc32.jpg

    Whether you like that last pose or not aside, you can see how much more
    emotion is conveyed in the image.

    http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/050208_031_img.htm
    http://www.brycevickmark.com/wedding/images/01eastcarter06.jpg

    Some of your photos are getting much closer - here's one that I liked:

    http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/050208_042_img.htm

    That's a good use of persective, and the sky makes a good background.
    However, the subject's expression almost makes her look like she had
    something bad for lunch, and her shoulders look hunched forward. The
    subject also looks a bit "flat", and some directional lighting would help
    out with that. With a little better expression, pose, and lighting, that
    good photo would be turned into a great photo.

    Steve
    Steve Wolfe, Mar 17, 2005
    #6
  7. "WeddingPhotographer" <> writes:

    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my


    I have friends in sales, and they assure me it takes months to get results,
    that the key is repetition, repetition, repetition. One guy who sells on
    the phone says it takes about 20 calls to a buyer to make the sale.

    Read up on marketing. You need a plan, and you need to stick with it.
    --
    Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Mar 17, 2005
    #7
  8. bob <> writes:

    > WeddingPhotographer wrote:
    > > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my
    > > website layout? Please look at my website and let me know. My website:
    > > www.philipcorcoran.com
    > >

    >
    > I like it. I think the business model is sound. It might be good to explain
    > that part of the reason traditional wedding photographers shoot the wedding
    > inexpensively is that they subsidize the shoot with overpriced prints.
    >
    > If it was me (being the photographer), I would supply the bride and groom
    > with a CD or DVD (so they don't *have* to download). I would also offer
    > (perhaps at a nominal fee) to hand them a stack of 4x6 prints (from Wal-mart,
    > CVS, or wherever). When my wife and I got married, looking over the proofs
    > was fun, and we had a lot going on. I wouldn't have wanted to be *required*
    > to download all the photos myself.
    >
    > You might also want to mention that *real photo prints* can be made
    > inexpensively from the files (at the type of location mentioned above). I was
    > talking to a number of people at Christmas, and none of them realized that --
    > they thought the only way to get prints from digital cameras was to own an
    > inkjet printer.


    Just a thought -- bear in mind it often isn't the bride who selects the wedding
    photographer, but the bride's mother, who may not be as computer literate as
    the current generation. If the bride's mother doesn't have a computer, you've
    just lost the sale. I would include a couple of real prints in the basic
    pricing model, and print them at a place like mpix.com, ezprints.com,
    shutterfly.com, and not at Walmart (unless you can convince Walmart not to
    print the store name on the back of the print). People want something they can
    hold.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
    Michael Meissner, Mar 17, 2005
    #8
  9. WeddingPhotographer

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    On 17 Mar 2005 in rec.photo.digital, WeddingPhotographer wrote:

    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I
    > think my work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something
    > wrong with my website layout? Please look at my website and let me
    > know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com


    The photography is good, but you need to sell sizzle, not steak.
    Strictly from a website point of view: I visited your site in Lynx, a
    text mode browser. Search engines (SEs) are essentially text mode
    browsers. Here's what your site looks like:

    [logo.gif]

    Rates ⢠Online Proofs ⢠Contact
    _________________________________________________________________
    Weddings Food Travel
    Weddings
    Food Travel
    Music Theater Glamour
    Music
    Theater Glamour
    _________________________________________________________________

    There's not much there for a SE to latch onto. I ran a wisenut
    (http://wisenut.com/) search on 'photography boston'; you didn't show
    up on the first three pages.

    - Get your keywords into the body text on your page. If people don't
    find it (and if it ain't in the search engines, they won't) they won't
    visit. And SEs look for words on the page.
    - Secondary to that, keywords in the keyword meta tag aren't worth the
    paper they're printed on. They got abused in the early days of SEs,
    and current thinking is that most SEs ignore them.
    - Get incoming links. Do you have a professional association? Other
    (non-competing) wedding professionals you do business with? Suppliers?
    A shop that does your printing? Chamber of Commerce? If any of them
    have websites, get links to your site.
    - Consider Google Adwords or a similar program from other SEs (Yahoo?
    MSN? AOL Search?)

    Non-web items:
    - Do you do bridal shows?
    - Yellow pages advertising?
    - Church bulletins?
    ....

    --
    Joe Makowiec
    http://makowiec.net/
    Email: http://makowiec.net/email.php
    Joe Makowiec, Mar 18, 2005
    #9
  10. WeddingPhotographer

    Guest

    I agree.
    Although it's hard to get into the mind of a woman, my first impression
    is, that she is not looking to share her dream wedding pictures with
    photos of Food and Glamor. The site should be wedding dedicated, to
    show you mean to give her full and exclusive attention.
    Also I agree it's a bit clinical. This is the event of a lifetime, and
    she needs to feel it's going to be "special." I don't see that here.
    The originator says he wanted a 'modern' feeling, but to be frank, and
    no point in being anything else, the wedding photos I see are
    pedestrian/everyday, not traditional, quirky even, or modern. This is a
    very special day!
    DonB

    Steve Wolfe wrote:
    > > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I

    think my
    > > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with

    my
    > website
    > > layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    > >
    > > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com

    >
    > I'll be blunt and forthcoming, but don't take any of this as
    > mean-spiritted by any means!
    >
    > The first thing that comes to mind is that the home page looks

    bland and
    > very amateur. That alone will turn away a LOT of people. Second,

    when
    > people are shopping for wedding photography, they may not be looking

    for a
    > "general purpose" photographer that shoots food, travel, etc. - but

    someone
    > who specializes in wedding photography only. Regardless of the

    validity of
    > the logic, some people will perceive someone who does ONLY wedding
    > photography as being more of an expert in the field. However, that's

    not to
    > say that a better-looking home page and some terrific samples

    couldn't bring
    > them around.
    >
    > Moving on to the photographs themselves, there are various

    technical
    > shortcomings in them - from being less-than-sharp to poorly- or

    under-lit
    > scenes. However, the largest shortcoming is that the images don't

    really
    > convey emotion in them, they don't make the viewer *feel* anything.

    Women
    > want their wedding to be like something out of a fairy tale, and they

    want
    > their pictures to make the viewer feel like they're looking into a
    > fairy-tale.
    >
    > I did a quick googling for some wedding photography, and here are

    some
    > comparisons:
    >
    > http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/web/050208_043_img.jpg
    > http://www.iqphoto.com/newgal/images/sample199.jpg
    >
    > Look at how the use of perspective, lighting, and depth-of-field

    give the
    > second photo more depth, draw your attention more to the cake, and

    creates
    > much more "mood".
    >
    > http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/050208_021_img.htm
    > http://www.brycevickmark.com/wedding/images/sc32.jpg
    >
    > Whether you like that last pose or not aside, you can see how much

    more
    > emotion is conveyed in the image.
    >
    > http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/050208_031_img.htm
    > http://www.brycevickmark.com/wedding/images/01eastcarter06.jpg
    >
    > Some of your photos are getting much closer - here's one that I

    liked:
    >
    > http://www.philipcorcoran.com/weddings/html/050208_042_img.htm
    >
    > That's a good use of persective, and the sky makes a good

    background.
    > However, the subject's expression almost makes her look like she had
    > something bad for lunch, and her shoulders look hunched forward. The
    > subject also looks a bit "flat", and some directional lighting would

    help
    > out with that. With a little better expression, pose, and lighting,

    that
    > good photo would be turned into a great photo.
    >
    > Steve
    , Mar 18, 2005
    #10
  11. WeddingPhotographer

    secheese Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 19:46:05 GMT, "RHinNC" <> wrote:

    >I see nothing wrong with it. The layout of your website is clean, simple and
    >to the point.
    >
    >The photography is good as well.


    Agreed.
    secheese, Mar 18, 2005
    #11
  12. WeddingPhotographer

    secheese Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 13:58:06 -0700, "Steve Wolfe" <>
    wrote:

    > The first thing that comes to mind is that the home page looks bland and
    >very amateur. That alone will turn away a LOT of people. Second, when
    >people are shopping for wedding photography, they may not be looking for a
    >"general purpose" photographer that shoots food, travel, etc. - but someone
    >who specializes in wedding photography only. Regardless of the validity of
    >the logic, some people will perceive someone who does ONLY wedding
    >photography as being more of an expert in the field. However, that's not to
    >say that a better-looking home page and some terrific samples couldn't bring
    >them around.
    >
    > Moving on to the photographs themselves, there are various technical
    >shortcomings in them - from being less-than-sharp to poorly- or under-lit
    >scenes. However, the largest shortcoming is that the images don't really
    >convey emotion in them, they don't make the viewer *feel* anything. Women
    >want their wedding to be like something out of a fairy tale, and they want
    >their pictures to make the viewer feel like they're looking into a
    >fairy-tale.


    Hooey! His site is refreshingly clean and to the point. His
    photography is great.
    secheese, Mar 18, 2005
    #12
  13. WeddingPhotographer

    Guest

    So were you in the business before? Are you expecting to simply get
    business because you are on the web? When I worked in this field
    (admittedly, and immodestly, at the high end!) almost all of our work
    was from word of mouth, selective advertising in magazines, contra
    deals with other organisations like florists, caterers, reception
    houses, gown manufacturers, etc, or from the highly naughty method of
    using the papers and a phone directory to send out a package showing
    what we could do to people who had just become engaged... (O;

    This was before the days of the web, but the same principles still
    apply - think about *all* the places where you will be noticed, and
    target them. In the case of the web- you need to get *many* links to
    your site using similar principles as above. A quick check indicates
    no-one is linking to you, so you might nearly as well be invisible...
    , Mar 18, 2005
    #13
  14. WeddingPhotographer

    Frank ess Guest

    Steve Wolfe wrote:
    >> I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    >> newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I
    >> think my work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something
    >> wrong with my website layout? Please look at my website and let me
    >> know.
    >>
    >> My website: www.philipcorcoran.com

    >
    > I'll be blunt and forthcoming, but don't take any of this as
    > mean-spiritted by any means!
    >
    > The first thing that comes to mind is that the home page looks bland
    > and very amateur. That alone will turn away a LOT of people.
    > Second, when people are shopping for wedding photography, they may
    > not be looking for a "general purpose" photographer that shoots food,
    > travel, etc. - but someone who specializes in wedding photography
    > only. Regardless of the validity of the logic, some people will
    > perceive someone who does ONLY wedding photography as being more of
    > an expert in the field. However, that's not to say that a
    > better-looking home page and some terrific samples couldn't bring
    > them around.
    >


    I try to avoid "me-toos", but Sr Wolfe makes good points there, and if
    he hadn't, I'd have tried. Another way to think of it is: You may seem
    _too_ good for someone whose only interest is in hiring and forgetting a
    photographer until it's time to choose images. They don't want to know
    about your other skills, just that you can be depended on to deliver on
    the big day. Make two sites, one with wedding-only, maybe not even a
    link to other services, another to offer the rest to another breed of
    shoppers. If I'm looking for a wedding photographer, I'm not sure I want
    some glamour stuff planted in my subconscious (seductive and bride don't
    juxtapose well, maybe).

    I think a change from text-on-white could make a world of difference. I
    realize white is a wedding color, but unless there is some kind of
    character in the background, what I see on your page is pretty stark,
    and not very enticing. I made a 1600x20 pixel jpeg image with Photo
    Shop's gradient tool that fades from very light yellow to almost white,
    left to right, and use it for background on many pages. Less than 1K,
    kind of subtle but influential, doesn't take much to implement, and in
    my view saved me hiring a professional to tweak my sites (*very*
    expensive). I use other color variants on different sections or themes,
    which helps visitors stay oriented as they wander the site.

    Small stuff, but effective in implying competence. Or so they tell me.


    --
    Frank ess
    Frank ess, Mar 18, 2005
    #14
  15. WeddingPhotographer

    Pete Fenelon Guest

    WeddingPhotographer <> wrote:
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my website
    > layout? Please look at my website and let me know.


    I don't wish to cause unnecessary offence here but... the brides (and
    weddings) all look a bit *too* "ordinary". You're supposed to be selling
    a dream, what you've got is some average looking women at average
    looking weddings. Where's the magic?

    pete
    --
    "Send lawyers, guns and money...."
    Pete Fenelon, Mar 18, 2005
    #15
  16. WeddingPhotographer

    Des Perado Guest

    "WeddingPhotographer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my
    > website layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >


    Too slow by far. I gave up after 30 seconds of not seeing anything to grab
    my attention and make me want to hold on a bit longer. Spice up the home
    page, get a faster host. People will NOT hang about unless they see
    something appear SOON.

    But having said all that, I actually think your post was spam. You're not
    interested in our views at all.
    Des Perado, Mar 18, 2005
    #16
  17. WeddingPhotographer

    Malcolm Guest

    "WeddingPhotographer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    > newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    > work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my

    website
    > layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    > My website: www.philipcorcoran.com


    Joe mentioned some of the technical aspects (the HTML) of the site. I agree
    with Joe. The site is poorly designed. Whoever did this site does not
    understand website design.

    For example:
    1. The "heading" Philip H. Corcoran - Photography is a graphic, not text.
    There is no way a search engine can find this. So Google cannot index your
    site.

    2. What Google uses to index sites are headings. ie <h1>...</h1> etc. Your
    site does not have any of these.

    On the aesthetics side, other people responded with words like "clean,
    simple and to the point". They did not respond with words like "WOW
    magnificent etc". ie the site is a bit bland.

    Fix up the site, then submit it to search engines like Google. If you don't
    submit it, there is no way for Google to know about the existence of your
    site.

    Malcolm
    Malcolm, Mar 18, 2005
    #17
  18. WeddingPhotographer

    Alan Terry Guest

    In article <>, WeddingPhotographer
    <> writes
    >I've been advertising my new wedding photography business in Boston
    >newspapers for several months but I've received few inquiries. I think my
    >work is good for the prices I ask. Is there something wrong with my website
    >layout? Please look at my website and let me know.
    >
    >My website: www.philipcorcoran.com


    - Page(s) too slow to load

    - Get a wedding-only site

    - Photos are too dark

    - The blue text gives a cheap feel - I'd try grey

    - Add a sample of the ordering page(s)

    - Switch to a sans-serif typeface

    - Is full payment in advance normal in your market?


    --
    Alan ............
    Alan Terry, Mar 18, 2005
    #18
  19. WeddingPhotographer

    Guest

    And by the way, it is regarded as bad form to post something like this
    and run away.. You might get tagged as a spammer.........
    , Mar 18, 2005
    #19
  20. Thank you all for viewing my website and contributing your suggestions. I
    will consider all your opinions whenever I do a redesign of my site.
    However I am pleased to find that nobody complained of difficulty in
    navigating my website or found my services hard to understand, so I am happy
    that I achieved my design goals.

    I am surprised though how many of you commented about search engine tags and
    SEMs. I advertise my services in ways that are targeted towards brides in
    my service area, and that includes paid ads on magnet wedding sites. To
    attempt a worthwhile search engine presence on my own in this highly
    competitive, "big boy" field would be hugely expensive. Hiring ad space on
    magnet wedding sites costs me only a fraction of what I'd have to pay to
    push my way in front of them.

    Some of you complained that my website is slow to load. I tested my website
    repeatedly using an old computer with a Juno dial-up connection, carefully
    cleaning my browser's cache each time, and in my tests none of my pages took
    longer than 18 seconds to load. None-the-less I do include a low-resolution
    version of my wedding album on my website.

    Again, thank you all for your suggestions.
    WeddingPhotographer, Mar 18, 2005
    #20
    1. Advertising

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