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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #1
beautyofgrace
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Default What am I doing wrong?!

I've been doing photography since 2007 and I feel i've come a long way since then.

Sometimes I can get business but a lot of the time I can't get anything! People always tell me that I'm great at what I do, but nothing happens.

Here is my facebook page and website. My website doesn't have many photos because it's takes a while for them to upload and they mess up. People hardly go there anyways.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beautyofgracephotography

Website: www.beautyofgracephotography.webs.com


I don't want to give up, but i'm feeling VERY discouarged.

What am I doing wrong? What can I do that can help me?!

I've tried doing specials for clients and potenial clients, i've done an add in a school newspaper. I'm going into my sophmore year in college so i'm not loaded with money.


PLEASE HELP! Thank you!!
-Jessica
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

okay for 1, YES people do look at your site. i constantly click on peoples sites here and on other sites i'm on. get it updated, have a friend/someone help you if possible. get the albums more balanced. having 1 photo in the wedding folder isn't cutting it. how are you advertising besides in the paper?
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #3
beautyofgrace
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

The site i use for my website slows my computer down when i go to add photos and when i add them, they mess up. I try all the time, but don't have the money rright now to pay for a better one.

I facebook all the time!! Pass out business cards, i have car magnets with my info. I dont know what else to do.
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #4
snyderman
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

I looked at your 'seniors' album. Seems about every other shot is pretty good. Many are not well thought out and lighting is not good.

My advice would to only select your very BEST work and put it on your website. Drop the stuff you know in your heart isn't your best work.

Idea: Look through the how to shoot a senior thread in the people section. Some of the posters in the thread set the bar pretty high. They are likely getting LOTS of work. If you'd like to be the 'go-to' shooter in your area, your work has to be as good as you see others doing.

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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

SORRY FOR BEING HARSH BUT IT NEEDS TO BE SAID :

Your prices are low and as such you are catering to people that don't want to spend a lot of money - hell why should they even spend what you want when a friend can snap them for free. This is a highly competitive market as you are competing with other bottom feeders.

On your website I see no benefit is stating that you use a bottom of the range camera and CS4 Photoshop - neither matter as you just want prospetive clients to fall in love with the images.

The website also shouts "free website by a wannabe photographer". I'm sorry and I donlt like being harsh but it is whaty it says to me. I even had a banner add for lingerie appear - not good.

As has been said by others, your portfolio is not strong at the moment.

Putting a calendar on your website is great if it is full - all it is saying at the moment is that you have no clients.

On your pricing I'd say simplify - IMHO there are far too many options.

From your FAQ:

Q: What camera do you use?
A: I currently use a Canon Rebel T2i


As said above - irrelevant.

Q: What other equipment do you use?
A: Canon 50mm f/1.8, Canon Rebel XTi, Default lens., Tripod from walmart., RC5 Wireless remote.


Again irrelevant - however is Walmart a brand name in photography?

Q: What photo editing program do you use?
A: Photoshop CS4


Who cares - look at my great images.

Q: Did you go to school or take any type of classes for photography?
A: NONE! This is all from practicing, trail and error, and studying online in my free time. It all comes from God.


So you are admitting that you have no experience and that you trust to god to get good results.


Q: How much do you charge for ______ type of session?
A: Look on my "Pricing & Print Info" page above^


Please don't talk to me - if you can't see what you want in my 3 page long pricelist then I don't do it - but please don't talk to me.

Regarding your Facebook :

If this is your main route to market then where are your prices?

Should be enough for now - please don't take anything above personally - it's not meant personally at all.
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

You're setting yourself up for failure, it actually looks like you intentionally don't want people to hire you.."Tripod from walmart" are you kidding me? Your URL is also long as hell and not memorable. You can't expect to get anywhere in business if you aren't willing to invest in it yourself, you're just saying to your clients you don't care and aren't confident with your ability.
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #7
JCOphoto
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

I agree with everything said here. You have some wonderful work. But you really need to rethink your presentation. Good luck! =)
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #8
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

You came to the right place to learn....
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #9
hairyjames
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Jessica, I've got to agree with what others have said so far. I've looked at your website and FB page and nothing "pops" in a way that it should . . . YET.

I said "yet" because if outstanding photography was easy, anyone could do it but it is like mastering music . . . it takes time, instruction, practice and creativity. In time you can be a fine photographer who sees the thousands of things in an image that come with experience.

DON'T GIVE UP, for you are on your way! However, I recommend taking some good photography classes so you can learn the compositional elements and attain the head knowledge to take that camera off the "P" mode and begin to do some eye-popping stuff that people desire when they pay a photographer rather than just have "Uncle Harry" take the snapshots. There's nothing "snap" about consistently good images.

BTW, once you learn the basics . . . you'll find photography increasingly rewarding! Best wishes . . .
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #10
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronosmena View Post
You came to the right place to learn....
Well said!

You have received some tough responses that not all people can handle. If I was you, I would take their advice seriously. If changing your website is not an option financially, then get rid of it. Use FB and create portfolios in there. Your current site, as stated above, is working against you, not for you.

The thing with marketing yourself online is you only have a couple clicks to make a good impression. If people have to scroll a lot, then you have lost them. The guy that designed my site really laid out the 'rules' to simple navigation. I had to trim a lot of fat to keep it where viewers did not have to scroll down. I also sent my site to a friend of mine that is a 20 year English teacher to help me with the grammar and content. She made sure that I said only what needed to be said, and that I stated it correctly. I have a tendency to over speak, she helped me with that.

If this is the path you wish to pursue, then I would suggest you find a fellow college student that can build website and find some sort of trade out. You scratch their back and they scratch yours. I just referred a $30k a year client to my website guy, now I no longer have to pay for ANY website changes.....ever. That one referral saved me a lot of money. I would get in with the tech group, make friends, and find one that you can trade services with. You never know, you might find one that is getting married soon.....you shoot the wedding and they build you a site.
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #11
yogestee
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Jessica,, it's tough starting out and it's a long climb to get the results you're after. Starting in 2007 you are just a tiddler in a huge pond.

As said in this thread, you lack presentation. No-one really cares what gear you use or what editing progammes you use.

Also,, I would definitely lose this - the bolded sentence for sure.

"This is me. My name is Jessica Cash and i'm 19 years old. I've been very interested in photography since April 2007 and got my Canon Rebel XTi that December. I've slowly worked my way up to where i am now in photography and don't plan on stopping here. I've done many senior portriats, weddings, couples, band promos and live music, and i love it all. I use Photoshop CS4 on all my photos.
I attend Ozark Christian College and i'm doing a Bachelors of Arts in Christian Ministry and I'm majoring in Children's Ministry. I will continue to do photography throughout my college years and so on along with the work God has for me wherever He leads me. "
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Old 5th of June 2011 (Sun)   #12
beautyofgrace
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Thanks for all the help! I sorta started fresh on a different (free) website. At this moment in time i'm not going to pay money to have a website, hopefully i will be able to later on. Until then, i'll stick with this and facebook.

http://www.wix.com/jessicadawncash/bogphotos

I still need to tweet it some more. Would this be a little better than my last?
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Old 5th of June 2011 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beautyofgrace View Post
. Until then, i'll stick with this and facebook.

http://www.wix.com/jessicadawncash/bogphotos

I still need to tweet it some more. Would this be a little better than my last?
+1 for facebook
........ 0 for twitter, i personally donīt use it so.. i canīt give any scores for it :P

my 2 cents? donīt give up =) i got my equipment stolen last november, and everything went over board, may 20th, i got 3 grand and buy new equipment! everything is going GREAT! =D so hang it there!!!
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Old 5th of June 2011 (Sun)   #14
philwillmedia
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Why did you change from your Webs.com site?
With a little bit of fine tuning and and a bit more content, it would be vastly improved.
The first thing I would do is get rid of that God-awful yellow and white background from the home page and that equally God-awful wallpaper looking background on your portfolio page.
They're both just an assault on the senses.
The backgrounds do nothing to enhance the images and it makes it feel like the viewer is being SCREAMED AT.
It's not pleasing to look at.
It just needs to be simple and clean. Less is more.

Promoting your website with a minimal amount of your work to show is not helping your cause either.
On your "about the photographer" page you say you've done "many" weddings.
Why promote your website with such little amount of your work and just a single image in one of your key albums?
One photo doesn't give anyone any idea of the quality of your wedding work and doesn't indicate that you've done "many" weddings.
It tells me that you've only done one wedding and that there was only one photo worth showing to potential clients.
You mention you do bands. Why no band photos?
If you're not prepared to show examples of that line of work, don't mention it.

I've been using Webs.com for several years (when they were called FreeWebs) and have found it a breeze to use and if I can use it, anybody can.
Occasionally there have been some hosting issues, but Webs are pretty much on the ball and get any problems sorted fairly quickly.

As far as telling people what gear you use - they don't care.
Most people wouldn't know the difference between a Rebel XTi and a 1 Series body.
Nor do they care about what college you attend or why.
It might make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but if I was thinking about hiring you to do my wedding, that wouldn't influence me in the slightest.
They just want to see the results you produce and you have very little to show on your site.
On your site, you say "I've slowly worked my way up to where i am now in photography". Where is that?
There's nothing that really shows where you are.

Imho, your "about the photographer", "about me" (call it what you like) page should really only relate to your photography.
People don't really want to know that you were born in 1972, that your first camera was a box brownie, you went to Dixiville High School, did a major thesis on the three legged, one eyed tadpole, that you've been married for two years and have 10 kids blah blah blah...They simply just don't care.
They just care about your photography experience and the quality of your work.

Just changing to Wix isn't going to help if you're just going to do the same thing as you've done with your Webs.com site.
It's as if you are looking for a quick fix - there isn't any.
The only fix is a bit of hard work to build your site.
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Last edited by philwillmedia : 5th of June 2011 (Sun) at 12:58.
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Old 5th of June 2011 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: What am I doing wrong?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snyderman View Post
I looked at your 'seniors' album. Seems about every other shot is pretty good. Many are not well thought out and lighting is not good.

My advice would to only select your very BEST work and put it on your website. Drop the stuff you know in your heart isn't your best work.

Idea: Look through the how to shoot a senior thread in the people section. Some of the posters in the thread set the bar pretty high. They are likely getting LOTS of work. If you'd like to be the 'go-to' shooter in your area, your work has to be as good as you see others doing.

dave
I agree. Show only your best. Trash the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Framed Life View Post
You're setting yourself up for failure, it actually looks like you intentionally don't want people to hire you.."Tripod from walmart" are you kidding me? Your URL is also long as hell and not memorable. You can't expect to get anywhere in business if you aren't willing to invest in it yourself, you're just saying to your clients you don't care and aren't confident with your ability.
You're sabotaging your efforts here by showing us notsohot images & telling us things that we don't care to know. If I was getting married, just one image wouldn't give me incentive to call you.
Focus on what we want, & your sales will probably pick up.
And get rig of the cheesy background to your site.
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