CameraMan wrote in post #13422625
I need to redo it. It's been up like that for 2 years. I have more wedding stuff to put on it. I've been toying around with some WordPress themes and trying to find one that works well.
Like that for two years? The very first thing I would suggest is to take the site down. Maybe redirect it to your facebook page (which at least is kept up-to-date). Also re-write your model mayhem profile. Not only is your Model Mayhem profile ranked above your website in a google search for "alan mars photography", but it makes you sound creepy and desperate, like you're only on MM to stare at naked chicks. When people go looking for you they will use google.
Then stop toying around with wordpress themes and shell out $35 for any nice premium theme. You can always change it later.
Right, now onto a bit of role-playing...
I'm a hypothetical potential client who has been told to check out OP to shoot my wedding. I don't know anything about OP except his web address. As with any anonymous visitor to a website, first impressions count for EVERYTHING.
After a few minutes looking through his site, here are seven things I've learned about OP which will affect my decision to hire him:
1. He is too lazy to finish something as important as a professional website, and too incompetent to work out such simple things as text formatting (instead, posting large JPGs consisting of nothing but simple text on a black background).
2. He isn't concerned about his public image enough to finish his website, or maybe that's just the best job he can do?
3. His basic graphic design skills are poor. You would expect a good photographer to have a good eye for aesthetics. The logo is terrible, the layout is disjointed and a complete hotch-potch, and there is no consistency to the style, colours, fonts or type.
4. His writing skills match his design skills. There isn't a lot of text on the site except for his Bio, in which talks about such interesting things as getting laid off several jobs (and being happy about that), being a truck driver, and exploiting the mistakes of ebay camera sellers. I'm not sure how this would convince me to hire him.
5. He clearly can't build a website himself, yet is too cheap to hire somebody else to build it for him. Hardly the sign of a successful business.
6. Judging by his "clients" section, he has only ever shot for one client.
7. How many good professional wedding photographers explicitly list their camera equipment? He devotes an entire page to this, which makes me think he must have some pretty impressive gear, right?. But then looking at the list, he only has 4 lenses in total, and three of them cover basically the same focal length (35-70, 28-135, 24-105). So really he has two lenses to shoot weddings with, an EF 50mm f/1.4 and an EF 24-105L. hmmm.. a professional wedding photographer? really? Ok, so admittedly hypothetical clients wouldn't understand the gear well enough to make a judgement like this... in which case, WHAT'S THE POINT OF LISTING YOUR GEAR?
After visiting this website, do you think I would pay $500 for OP to provide *any* service for me?
No way. And then when he then drops his price down to $50, it just confirms to me that not even he believes his work is worth anything much. But he's still charging me something, so it's not a gift either.
But I hear the OP cry "What about all the positive things?!?!". Let me say that once a viewer is focused on a few major negative things, they're not looking for positives any more. They've found a hole in the ground and they want to see how deep it goes. They're looking for more negatives.
And, importantly, as this hypothetical client I've gone through this entire decision-making process without even regarding the quality of the photos. It's irrelevant. Even if the photos were great, I still wouldn't hire OP after visiting that site. I just wouldn't have any faith that I could rely on him to deliver a professional product. That website was ringing alarm bells in my head on every page.
Now OP, do you understand why your niece's friend might have knocked back your $50 wedding shoot? I possibly would have too. The other guy might have been an unknown quantity, but in her mind she hadn't been given any reason *not* to like him. If she saw your website then she had plenty of reasons not to hire you.
And "free" from the other guy really is a gift, and a gift can have any value. But $50 is only ever $50. A $50 photo-shoot is worth exactly $50.
I don't mean to be too harsh, in fact I am genuinely trying to help (think of it as tough love). I hope you take this in the way it was intended. But this is exactly what I do when I go shopping around for an expensive purchase. I look for reasons not to make the purchase. These are the kind of thoughts that will pass through the minds of the people who visit OP's site. They won't sugar-coat their thoughts or make concessions, if they are looking to pay good money for a service then they expect professionalism.
That website might not be something important to OP, but it is his public face to clients. That site is doing more harm than good. A lot more harm.