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Author Topic: Got time for a quick personal site review?  (Read 2168 times)

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« on: December 22, 2010, 00:18 »
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Something that turns me off in a major way is people no matter what industry they are in, be it photographers, entertainers, restaurateurs or whatever that take themselves too seriously and buy into their own b.s.  I've been taking myself less and less seriously lately and I have been in the process of changing out my business plan for my wedding/portrait site to reflect that. 

I have updated the opening slideshow on my site and I'm interested in some feedback if you have a minute. 

Thanks!

www.MatHaywardPhoto.com


« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 04:38 »
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it rocks :)

like when you comment the pictures below (gets more personal)
music is cool also (tom waits and bruce)
pictures are stunning (maybe too much wedding or is your main focus? I guessed you were just in stock)

overall is a very easy friendly, and relaxing to see, looks like a fun photographer, nice to hire perhaps!

notice another thing sometimes you have to grey letter like in price and other tab.. hard to see something without selecting
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 04:50 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 05:47 »
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Don't like the huge image splash page thing.  Not crazy about the color purpley-blue.  Can't read the text on the pricing page.  Looks kind of pieced together overall.

Like the images.

rubyroo

« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 06:27 »
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I like the images, and agree with the sentiment about 'taking self too seriously'.  AFAIC, we're all perpetual learners developing in a craft.  It's one thing to feel pleased with your progress, but quite another to be up your own posterior about it.

It's different... I like it.  You have some typos on your home page though.

« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 06:31 »
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I like the site. Just a few subjective thoughts:

I prefer music to be off by default - especially because it takes a while till the controls are loaded. (annoying in most office environments for colleagues and such, or when you have your own music on.)
The slide show animation doesn't really complement the image quality. Although it fits nicely with music and sports images, it's not subtle enough for more emotive types of images (i.e. weddings and such).
There were a few images I would've liked to take a closer look at, but there was no way to pause the slide show.
I think a bit of text (outside the image frames) sending your message across to the user / viewer, or more easily accessible contact information on the main page is something to consider.
Why Flash only?

« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 06:35 »
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Don't like the huge image splash page thing.  Not crazy about the color purpley-blue.  Can't read the text on the pricing page.  Looks kind of pieced together overall.

Like the images.

ditto on the pricing page... very hard to read

The flash seemed to work well and loaded well.

Fotonaut

« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 07:31 »
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Very nice photographs, web site not so much.

« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2010, 09:36 »
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  Tried to load the page at 9:33 NY time, and got a 404. Maybe you're already making some of the changes suggested. ;D
My thought on reading your post is that if you are trying to get away from the "pompous photographer" style, you're on the right track, especially if you are trying to connect with the wedding market. Good luck!

« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2010, 12:14 »
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Thanks so much for the feedback!  I will get in there and change out the text in pricing asap.  As well as look into the rest.  Turning the music off by default is probably a pretty good idea.  Thanks so much for the detailed information, that is extremely helpful.  In the past, the site was dedicated entirely to weddings as that was my primary focus.  Now, not so much.  I am pricing myself pretty high for them (though giving a very good value through albums and ample coverage) to ensure that they are worth my while.  I was doing tons of weddings for 2K which netted me around 1K though each required at least 40 hours of work.  On top of a full time job, that is tough.  Now I am more interested in showcasing my work, doing portraits and concerts. 

Again, thank you very much!

Mat

« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2010, 12:37 »
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Overall, I really like the website!  As others have said, the pictures are just gorgeous.  I like the layout.  It's very eye catching and holds your attention.  Also showcases your diversity as a photographer very well. 

My hubby, who's looking over my shoulder, also really liked it!  He said he didn't like the music at first, but it got his attention and made him look over.  Then he was captivated by the pictures.

Here's my couple of "constructive criticisms".  I think the music is a good attention grabber at first, but should either fade out or stop.  It keeps going on to the point where it is distracting from the pictures, IMO.

I really loved your little opening screen talking about yourself.  Very funny, self-deprecating, and cute.  Makes you seem like a nice guy.  But here's the thing - I would NEVER hire a guy who describes his wife as a "super hot babe".  Guys may get it, but to a lot of women it is very off-putting.  And women are the ones who hire the wedding photographer most of the time.  It's great that you love your wife, but "married a smart, beautiful woman" would be a lot more appealing to a female audience, not to mention just more respectful. 

I think you have put in a lot of work and it really shows.  Very impressed overall :D

rubyroo

« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 12:45 »
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I would NEVER hire a guy who describes his wife as a "super hot babe".  Guys may get it, but to a lot of women it is very off-putting.  And women are the ones who hire the wedding photographer most of the time.  It's great that you love your wife, but "married a smart, beautiful woman" would be a lot more appealing to a female audience, not to mention just more respectful. 

Ooh.  I didn't pick up on that at the tiime, but that's a really good point.  I would take heed of this if I were you Mat. 

RT


« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 13:26 »
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The flash seemed to work well and loaded well.

Not if you're using an iPad!

« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 13:29 »
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I would NEVER hire a guy who describes his wife as a "super hot babe".  Guys may get it, but to a lot of women it is very off-putting.  And women are the ones who hire the wedding photographer most of the time.  It's great that you love your wife, but "married a smart, beautiful woman" would be a lot more appealing to a female audience, not to mention just more respectful. 


Great observation Lisa, thanks!  I'll change it.  I only put it in there because Lea gets mad at me for featuring pretty women on my site that aren't her :)  I am a bit of pig though, so maybe I should leave it as it could be false advertising to come off as sweet and sensitive :)

« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 14:18 »
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Hey Mat, as much as I hate flash, you have done a really nice job with the website.   I love all the little touches - like the writing of the directories on the right and the transitions.  Don't get me started on your style, love the photos. Do you have an hour to talk about them?

That landing page though, I really thought for a few seconds I had a bad link and went somewhere else.  The SnoopDog photo really threw me off for some reason, it took a while to sink in that you are a photographer and you took a photo of Snoop and aren't just a teenager that clipped a photo off the web.  I don't know, maybe just a font change to more of a story book, or the first few words in a celtic type of font...  I think it needs a Mat Hayward Photography or similar at the top so you don't lose visitors.  Forgive me for being so negative about the landing page when everything else is really really nice.

« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2010, 14:29 »
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Hey Mat, as much as I hate flash, you have done a really nice job with the website.   I love all the little touches - like the writing of the directories on the right and the transitions.  Don't get me started on your style, love the photos. Do you have an hour to talk about them?

That landing page though, I really thought for a few seconds I had a bad link and went somewhere else.  The SnoopDog photo really threw me off for some reason, it took a while to sink in that you are a photographer and you took a photo of Snoop and aren't just a teenager that clipped a photo off the web.  I don't know, maybe just a font change to more of a story book, or the first few words in a celtic type of font...  I think it needs a Mat Hayward Photography or similar at the top so you don't lose visitors.  Forgive me for being so negative about the landing page when everything else is really really nice.

I agree about the landing page pic...I was confused because I read the first line where you talk about being a red-haired, freckle-faced kid. I like the content of the story. But the line length is too long and it's too difficult for me to follow. I like black backgrounds, but the Avant Garde type and the black are making it difficult for me to want to read all the way through. Personally, I would save the black background pages strictly for the photos and a minimum amount of copy. The pages with a lot of copy, I would try something a little easier on the eyes.

Just IMHO. Nice work though, and I also agree...your photos are gorgeous. I admire that you are spending the time to get your personal photo website going. Hopefully it will showcase your work and help bring you a lot of business.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2010, 14:31 »
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That landing page though, I really thought for a few seconds I had a bad link and went somewhere else.  The SnoopDog photo really threw me off for some reason, it took a while to sink in that you are a photographer and you took a photo of Snoop and aren't just a teenager that clipped a photo off the web.  I don't know, maybe just a font change to more of a story book, or the first few words in a celtic type of font...  I think it needs a Mat Hayward Photography or similar at the top so you don't lose visitors.  Forgive me for being so negative about the landing page when everything else is really really nice.

I thought the same thing as Pixart. I thought it was a joke at first. I wouldn't have dug further if I didn't know it was you.


 

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