I found this letter written by a bride on a website called “Offbeat Bride.” I am curious to hear feedback on this letter. What do YOU think? I want to know from the perspective of vendors, brides to be, photographers, or anyone!
*We’re ALL thinking it, but Becca, aka OBT member bmwbzz, finally came out with it. Since looking at photographer’s websites is part of our jobs here at Offbeat Bride, we ALL feel Becca’s pain.
Dear wedding photographers,
I think you’re swell but, as a whole, your websites suck.
First of all, turn the freaking music off. Seriously. I’m probably looking at your site at work and it’s hard to find the off button and I probably don’t like the music you picked nor do I care since I didn’t come to you for music. Don’t do it — it’s downright annoying!
Secondly, it should not take 100 years for your site or gallery to load. The best way to ensure this is to NOT USE FLASH! And while we’re on the subject of the gallery, how to move from one picture to another should be obvious to my grandmother and I should be able to peruse the thumbnails. I should also be able to use the keyboard or the scroller on my mouse to move through the pictures (which is another reason NOT TO USE FLASH!) Also, I’m pretty sure 75% of you all have the exact same Flash site re-branded. Stop it. Want something inexpensive? Try WordPress with a custom template design. [Editor's note: or even just a good pre-made theme.] And do NOT have your gallery or site pop-up! EVER!
Thirdly, don’t have your blog header take up the entire screen. I get confused and think there are no posts or something. And if you don’t have a blog with most of your current wedding previews, make one.
Fourthly, tell me how much you cost. I don’t care if you do “custom” packages, tell me how much your typical package is and what it includes.
Fifth, I’m probably going to post the photos on facebook. If you have a problem with this, the best way to handle it is to give me lo-res versions of all pictures with your watermark. Then everyone is happy.
Lastly, tell me WHERE YOU LIVE. I totally get that you want to travel and stuff but I’m not looking to pay for that so make it really obvious where you live and shoot weddings generally. Don’t make me look up your area code on google. Instead how about say “Chicago Wedding Photographer” instead of just “Wedding Photographer.”
Seriously I love you guys but weddings are stressful and photography is expensive, so make it a bit easier on us! True I’m already married and had an awesome photographer (with a great website!) but since I have three good friends getting married next year, I now have to look at all the sites again… and it’s annoying. It is also true that I develop web sites for a living and am probably more critical than most but really I’m trying to help!
Becca [and Offbeat Bride]
*After reading this letter and having some time to think about it, I decided to search out what the world’s top photographers are doing with their websites and this is what I found!
Bambi Cantrell-Flash and Music, Ben Chrisman-Flash and No Music, David Beckstead-Flash and Music, Dennis Reggie-Flash and No Music, Jim Garner-Flash and Music, Jose Villa-Flash and No Music, Sara France-Flash and Music, Karen Wise-Flash and No Music, Elizabeth Messina-Flash and No Music. To sum up my discovery, hands down ALL of these top photographers have Flash websites. It is almost half and half that have music and that don’t have music. I think that I am not going to worry so much about the letter and just keep on creating great images. I am however, going to take to heart the fact that I need to put where I am based out of! That is a great tip! I do have my prices listed and like anything in life, you have to do what works for you and your business!