Not sure...

RoanMtnManRoanMtnMan Beginner grinnerPosts: 6Registered Users Beginner grinner
edited April 25, 2012 in The Big Picture
where this belongs in the forum as I am obviously a newby. But a friend suggested that this was a great avenue for improvement on my site and work. Sports, adventure and travel are my modus operandi. If you take slightly better photos than your peers you always get positive reviews (especially when they are the subject). However I am at the point where I need honest 3rd party criticism from those that really understand the craft. Any and all is welcome., both on my photos and my site layout.

Thanks in advance,

Caleb

P.S. I am a big boy, so don't feel the need to sugar coat it.

http://www.calebwrayphotography.com/

Comments

  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 19, 2012
    Caleb,

    I think much of your work is really great. I certainly don't have the level of skill you display, but I do have one bit of advice that may or may not be helpful. Some of the images on your site aren't as good as the great shots. That has the effect of bringing it all down a notch. My advice would be to remove those images that aren't the absolute best. 100 top images are far better than those 100 mixed with 1000 other variable quality ones. Does that make sense?

    If you just showed those best images, I'd infer by the quality of the images that you were a commercial outdoor/lifestyle photographer who specialized in winter sports, mountaineering, and high-adventure kind of stuff. So, show what you want to shoot.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • RoanMtnManRoanMtnMan Beginner grinner Posts: 6Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 20, 2012
    RyanS wrote: »
    Caleb,

    I think much of your work is really great. I certainly don't have the level of skill you display, but I do have one bit of advice that may or may not be helpful. Some of the images on your site aren't as good as the great shots. That has the effect of bringing it all down a notch. My advice would be to remove those images that aren't the absolute best. 100 top images are far better than those 100 mixed with 1000 other variable quality ones. Does that make sense?

    If you just showed those best images, I'd infer by the quality of the images that you were a commercial outdoor/lifestyle photographer who specialized in winter sports, mountaineering, and high-adventure kind of stuff. So, show what you want to shoot.

    Appreciate the compliments and great advice. I have heard this from a few other folks. It makes complete sense. Nice to get some reassurance. I am resigning to the fact that I need to start deleting. Always difficult to choose which one's are the 100 exceptional, as I am married to all of them. If I could bother you again, do you think I need to boil it down on just the intro slideshow or the whole site? My objective is to provide an online portfolio to editors and folks that need this sort of work.

    Thanks again for the time and reply.
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 20, 2012
    Not my world, but I do know a few things about marketing. Look at the top 20 photographers in your field and see what they do. You could also use analytics and basic marketing techniques to track which images are doing well. Do some A/B testing, etc. All basic stuff. I know there are photography consultants out there that specialize in helping commercial photographers develop strong portfolios. There are also contract marketing firms that can help as well. Usually these services are what your agency or rep does. Don't expect a rep to come knocking on your door in this market. You're going to have to send your port to them and convince them you are worth being represented.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • RoanMtnManRoanMtnMan Beginner grinner Posts: 6Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 23, 2012
    Thanks Ryan,

    Do you have any suggestions on how to begin to find said marketers and consultants? Not 100% sure that is my avenue but a conversation or two with them couldn't hurt.

    Thanks.
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 23, 2012
    I really only know of one person that can handle the job. Call Allegra Wilde. http://www.allegrawilde.com Not sure regarding her availability. I've not done business with her and I have no relationship. I know working commercial photographers who have worked with Allegra. She is highly recommended by them. Allegra would probably be in a much better position than I to recommend reps to approach, agencies, etc. However, you need someone like Allegra first to get your house in order before moving on to the next step.

    Start budgeting now. Pretty sure if you want pro-looking results you're going to have to hire pros. I imagine you already know that, though. :D
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 10,846Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 23, 2012
    What are you trying to get out of your site?

    A couple of things jumped out at me.

    Your "New from Caleb" page has an entry from this past February, then the next oldest entry is from August of 2011. Nothing new there. I'd recommend either posting regularly or removing the link.

    The publications page takes the viewer's focus away from your site. Is that what you want?

    Your photos are priced for sale, yet you have made the Originals available. That means your photos are available for free. Yes, I know, you have right click protection turned on. That's just a very tiny stumbling block; it doesn't protect anything. See ORIGINALS = a gateway to free photos, & right click protection is NOT PROTECTION.

    It's difficult to offer any more comments without understanding your goals for your site.

    --- Denise
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 23, 2012
    Denise,

    He stated his goal. I thought it was quite clear, but maybe I'm wrong. If I understand him correctly, he is trying to develop an on-line portfolio to gain new commercial customers who need sports/outdoor/lifestyle/adventure commercial work.
    My objective is to provide an online portfolio to editors and folks that need this sort of work.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 10,846Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 23, 2012
    RyanS wrote: »
    He stated his goal. I thought it was quite clear, but maybe I'm wrong. If I understand him correctly, he is trying to develop an on-line portfolio to gain new commercial customers who need sports/outdoor/lifestyle/adventure commercial work.
    Thanks Ryan - I totally missed that.

    I agree with your earlier comment that he needs to be more selective about the work shown on the site.

    --- Denise
  • lensmolelensmole Major grins Posts: 1,548Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 23, 2012
    I would suggest getting an agent.Try googleing photography agencies.
  • marionetmarionet Bill Posts: 382Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 24, 2012
    thumb.gifGood shooting!

    If I understand right, you're looking for any input. I felt the progression rate of the pictures was too slow (might be a system thing- I'm on mac 10.4.11); for me it was so slow I got impatient and closed the page before exploring, after seeing maybe 20 pictures.

    I think it's clear you're at least healthily competent; I agree it wouldn't be a bad idea to weed out a few of your weaker shots ("When in doubt, take it out ...").

    I think what you're showing is definitely publishable; have you been published? If not, I think whole stories are often more desirable to a publisher- pictures with captions and story - than only pictures. Publishers and editors need mainly stories for their pages, and pictures are but part of what they need (buy). If you want to get PR and Advertising sales, it'd be best to do research to understand the markets.

    Getting a rep is probably always a good thing but some are good and some aren't so good. If you want to get a good rep, it's probably a good idea to research the markets and maybe at least have some contact with buyers so when you interview with reps, you can present yourself more as a partner.
  • RoanMtnManRoanMtnMan Beginner grinner Posts: 6Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 25, 2012
    Great feedback all. This is what I was looking for. I really appreciate your time. I had no idea about the protection issues, but I will work on that pronto, makes total sense. The comment about the "New From Caleb" page is totally valid. I guess I was using it as a blog of sorts. But if it isn't new, it isn't new.

    A rep is a good idea. I know business well, but certainly not this one. And yes the site needs to be boiled down. I frequent the sites of those that have actually figured out how to make this a career and my site looks more like the Titanic than a shiny new sailboat. In retrospect, I think as a rookie, I was trying to convey that I am an experienced traveller, adventurer, and outdoor sportsman. I know many folks take much more technically sound photos than myself, but I was trying to display that I can and will go anywhere with a camera, and know how to manage it. Hence the reason for my overkill of galleries and photos.

    Lastly, the comment about the preference of most publishers is probably spot on. It's taken me a while to figure that one out. I have been published but it has been more on the side of a shot here and there as opposed to a full article. However in my conversations with editors the full article topic is often mentioned. My thinking was that I needed to get my feet wet before I start swimming, aka build a portfolio of published photos and then pitch some full article expedition ideas to those contacts. I have gotten some recognition from some of my blog posts (example: http://www.wildsnow.com/3416/denali-reflection-caleb/), however this world is darn competitive, and small, so I think the portfolio and network are the key.

    Again, thanks for the feedback, it really helps.
Sign In or Register to comment.