Well, typical of my focus on the business/marketing of photography, it got me thinking about your websites. The image above is exactly what many of you do to your potential clients. You bury them with a total overdose of information, images and policies. So often, you simply scare them away.
- You don't need to show people every image you've ever taken. With every image you put in your gallery, ask one question every time, "If this was the only image I could show to get the job, would it get me hired?" If no, then don't share it on your site! Six to twelve images are plenty in a gallery category. Remember, LESS IS MORE!
- Everybody knows how a wedding plays out. You don't need multiple categories within your gallery. My suggestion is to break out engagement from weddings and then that's it - let bridal images tell the story in those two galleries. I've been on sites where photographers have broken the wedding out into six or more different galleries. It's not necessary and you're making your clients work to mine for the images you want them to see.
- Stop posting policies about cancellations, schedules, deposits, booking dates, etc. You got a potential client to visit your site. Save the details for the contract discussion when they hire you.
- If your bio is in 8pt font or runs below the fold, then you spent too much time talking about yourself. Keep it short, sincere and write in the first person. Sign your bio like an artist's statement, because that's what you are, an artist. Nobody cares how you got started or what awards you've won - they want to know why you're a photographer and if they can trust you to tell their story.
- Use a head shot of you in your bio that shows you working. It'll carry so much more weight if there's a camera in your hand instead of a bad selfie or that shot you set up that looks like Uncle Harry trying to do a senior portrait.
- Testimonials usually aren't believable. Think about your own reaction to consumer testimonials on any products you buy. Don't bury people in testimonials. However, I've seen a few recently that were really well done and included not only the names of the bride and groom and their comment, but one of the images of the couple. At the same time I was on a site recently that had twenty or so one to two line testimonials - all hard to read, in reverse type and a small font. I read the first one and the rest were just wasted space!
- Stay away from fonts that are so fancy, most people can't read them! If you want people to read what you wrote then make it easy for them. You don't need fancy script lettering and often reverse type is hard to read. Keep it clean and simple, black type on a white background, especially if it's something people might want to print and hang on to.
Your website should be all about what you sell. It's your storefront and just like Tiffany's, you want to show only your best images. Don't forget that a picture really is worth a thousand words. Keep your text relatively short. Be honest and direct and create an experience people want to share with their friends. Stop overloading everybody who visits your site.
Photo Credit: I'm a huge believer in photo credits, but can't find who took the image above. However, some of the other images that Nick shared came from a terrific website, TotallyCoolPix.com. It's worth checking out for some amazing images by some incredibly talented photographers. And if anybody knows whose shot it is, just let me know and I'll add it to the image.