Well designed online portfolio/website critical for any photographer

by Admin 11. August 2011 14:58

 

We at Xplore Studio just love designing and developing photographers' websites. With photography you have the advantage to play around with so many different styles and techniques - plus you have the added bonus of working with beautiful, great quality images that brightens up the website.

If you are a photographer and would like your own unique and cost effective website designed, do not hesitate to give us a call - we will create an online portfolio within your budget.

 

Here are a few pointers.....


As a photographer, your most important marketing tool is your online photography portfolio. On your website or your blog, this is what’s going to showcase your work, and get you hired. Yet I see mistakes all the time. And I have a ton of questions like, “Why isn’t my site getting any traffic?” and “Why aren’t people contacting me online?” Here are 10 mistakes we see frequently – do you see yourself here?

1. Enter Page


Do you really need to divide up your site, and dedicate one whole page to making your visitors choose? If they type in your URL, they want to see your site. They want to start learning about you immediately, not have to decide if they want to visit your Flash site, Mobile site, Fast site, Slow site, Blog, Flickr portfolio, etc. Yes, you can weave things into your site, and have things on the side of your content that allows them to navigate elsewhere. But don’t make your first impression just a choice.

2. Photo Size


Have you ever gone to a photographer’s site, only to wait 30 seconds for it to load a huge file thousands of pixels in size? Boring. This is the web. You don’t need large files – the smaller the better for loading, and to protect you from clients downloading them to manipulate them. Stick to an image that is between 500-1000 pixels on the long edge, depending on how you are grouping them together.

3. Music


Um, no. Just don’t do it. There is no such thing as setting the mood or creating ambiance. If a visitor heads into your site at work on their lunch hour, you better believe they will back out quickly when the music starts. The web is visual, unless you find a video you choose to watch.

4. Photo Quantity


A portfolio is what you make of it. You can have a flash gallery that creates a slide presentation. Or you can choose to sort by category, client or niche, and showcase a great deal of your imagery. This isn’t a place to put every image from the shoot – showcase what made the shoot special. For a portrait setting, we may have put up 10 to 20 images. For a wedding, around 200 (we shot 2000-3000 images at every event PJ style). There is no such thing as too many photographs, IF you tell a story with what you have.

5. Fill It Up


Every photographer has to start somewhere. If you really want to get into weddings and you’ve only done one, by all means put it up. But don’t forget to quickly put up every other wedding you do as well. A potential client really wonders when they visit your wedding gallery, and only finds one bride.

6. Pay, Don’t Go Free


With all the options you have available to you today, there really is no reason to not have a classy, custom made web presence. Don’t opt for a Facebook or Flickr presence only. You have to control your portfolio, and give it your unique style.

7. Make It Easy


Create navigation that’s easy to follow. Don’t load it up with 30 choices; make it easy for me to decide where to go to next. Don’t label things with “cute” wordings. Go for the normal, and follow what the big stores do. People are used to commonality here, so don’t confuse them by trying to be different. Be different in your photography style, or the way you offer customer service. Don’t go for the cute on things you can’t control – like the way they move around your site.

8. Flash


If you’ve been on this site before, you know my feeling towards Flash sites. Don’t do it. It makes things difficult to control, difficult to navigate, and difficult for the search engines to find. I don’t mind the occasional Flash splashes to show off some of your work. But don’t put your entire portfolio into a Flash presentation. They will always have to start at the beginning, and can’t be specific about images they like. “I like the image at this URL, clicking the 3 category, the 15th image in” makes it a little hard to communicate.

9. Think Sales


I’ve been on photography sites where there is no contact information. Period. The idea of having a site is to make connections, and let anyone and everyone connect with you. Have a contact us form. Put your email on every page. Put your phone number right near your header. Put your address and a map to your studio. Put your Facebook, Twitter and Flickr connections on every page. Tell them how to connect with you.

10. Be Original


Don’t look through photographers sites to find one to mimic. Go to a different industry. Check out architecture, authors or sculptures. Look through Amazon, Oprah and Martha Stewart. Find things you like, and pull from a variety of sources. You don’t want a potential client to show up and say, “this site was just like X’s site”. You want them to say, “WOW”.

We give credit to Virtual Photography Studio. 

Andrea

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Articles | Websites

Website for Bacchus Equipment

by Admin 1. February 2011 07:56

Bacchus Equipment is a leading supplier of quality capital equipment and consumable items to the wine, olive and beverage industries.

Our client wanted their website to reflect a warm and inviting effect rather than project a clinical and cold feel with all their equipment on the Homepage. Seeing as they supply their equipment to the wine industry and their offices are situated in the beautiful town Paarl, we could play around with the image of the vineyards.

This just goes to show that no matter what industry you are in, your website can portray your products in an attractive manner.

Marlene

 

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Clients | Websites

You could still be on holiday...

by Admin 13. January 2011 09:57

Our business services include: Website Development, Graphic Design, Branding, Corporate Identity and Online Marketing

 

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Promotions

A website well blended

by Admin 5. October 2010 03:54

This was a great website to design and develop, the look and feel of the website was of great importance and had to be calm and inviting.


The website went live in the same week as Shelley’s book launch – so there was much excitement all around.


The website also gives Shelley the ability to showcase current workshops and add it to a calendar.


All and all it was a blast working with Shelley on this website – if you would like to order a copy of her book please do so on the website.


Marlene  

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Clients | Websites


Please send your queries or any info directly to info@xplorestudio.co.za and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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