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Sales, Exhibitions and Web Presence Discussion of commerce models and processes by which Photography reaches clients and the public.

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Old January 13th, 2008, 02:15 PM
ron_hiner ron_hiner is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 132
Default new home page

For years, my home page had nothing but my name and phone number on there... and I kept myself very busy without doing any marketing at all... but I came to the realization that if I want to do the kind of work that I personally want to do - as opposed to what clients' are wanting, I'd have to get more proactive... So my new years resolution was to be more proactive and shoot more of the kinds of photography that instests ME... and get paid to do it! Step one was to get a new home page. (Only a portion of my income is from photography -- but clients need to know that they are getting professional level work and service.)

My view of a home page, btw, is really just a business card -- from the home page I'll link to galleries and client stuff. Having said that, my market research basically led me in two directions... there are great sites that will host galleries (including zenfolio, photoshelter, and countless others). And there are sites that do a nice job with a home page (Clickpics, livebooks, and others). The first group doesn't solve the problem, and the latter group seem frightfully expensive and they create cookie cutter sites that look like cookie cutter sites. Only the really expensive ones allow much customization. So my mission was to start with a blank slate and create something myself -- and something that could be easily attached to either 3rd party galleries, or those I generate myself in Photomechanic, Photoshop, Lightroom... or whatever.

At the moment, I'm more focused on the mechanicals of this rather than the choice of images (and the finish work on the images).

So here is a start...

So... here's my first cut. I welcome and highly value C&C.

BTW, this will require Flash version 9. If I like the way the flash version works, I'll create a simplified HTML version as well.

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Old January 13th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK - Somerset
Posts: 1,703

Hi Ron,

Sorry, I don't use flash, so can't see what you have done. fwiw, if you are experimenting, best to hide it behind your normal index page, and refer your testers to that.

Best wishes,

All images posted in OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated Comment Only or Edit and Repost.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Kathy Rappaport Kathy Rappaport is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,793
Default No image

I popped in and got no image at the front. I have Flash 9 so I could not see the splash.

My page is a Smugmug website that's been customized for me. I like it because I can use their lab for filling orders and set prices myself as well as use my own domain name. I can even tie into other webpages seamlessly. So far, so good. More images to add, but, this is a big step for me. I have only had a site before and the Smugmug site has a lot of features.
You can call me ChatKat
I created this piece of fine art. It's Fine Art because it's mine, I made it and I say it's fine art...
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Old February 18th, 2008, 10:38 PM
Sean DeMerchant Sean DeMerchant is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington State, USA
Posts: 735

Hi Ron,

Please note I am knocking down Flash usage from a profession perspective today. It is nothing personal. Flash fails to protect your images (note reduced scale & copyright & bibliographical data).

In general Flash is a poor choice of medium for displaying ones business assets. You can note that Google only indexes the existence of a Flash page and none of the content.

Turning off scripting can illustrate what Google sees when it looks at your site.

Plain HTML can create pages for each and every image (data driven sites need unique page names for unique content) and each page and image can have words about it indexed too. i.e., sisters, orchids, twins, rodeo queen, ... This could also get you studio name, address, phone number, and such out there so that if someone searches for "photography studio westport connecticut asmp ppa" might have a chance of finding you.

Nor can people bookmark a favorite image nor email the URL to friends without wasting minutes typing directions to find them (and on the web we have seconds to capture our viewers, not minutes).

Please note I am aware there are other search engines out there besides Google's. Beyond that, Adobe provides an SDK for exposing flash documents to search engines.

Sadly though, most writers of flash sites fail miserably at making their content accessible by not being aware of the clients window size (huge pixel counts in resolution often imply tiny pixels that require larger fonts for readability). Again, this is easily handled with HTML (excepting long words or phrases with non-breaking spaces which can break things). But this can also be done in Flash if the programmer (note programmer, not designer) is good enough. You can find a visually good flash design in terms of scaling content at: And those of us w/ the photography bug should be especially aware of that due to our more commonly using larger high resolution displays w/ tiny pixels.

Sorry to be so terse, <smile> but I am testing a change to the Quick Reply script and my mind is still in work mode (and shall be for another week or three).

all the best,

[I]"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." [/I]- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
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Old February 21st, 2008, 07:46 AM
ron_hiner ron_hiner is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 132

Originally Posted by Sean DeMerchant View Post
Hi Ron,

Sorry to be so terse, <smile>
Sean -- nothing terse at all about your reply. Thank you - and Kathy and Ray for taking the time to reply.

I found and hope fixed the problem Kathy experienced.

As for Flash, yes, I fully agree that there are disadvantages to using it. But there are also considerable advantages. One needs -- and I have not yet created -- an HTML page for those that choose not to use Flash and search engine optimization.

Flash is a poor choice for some - but not others. It does indeed add a layer of protection for images - you can't just do a right click and Save As to grab the images. In this particular site, the flash doesn't do much but call the URL of the image file and display it. It's not easy (with special browser plug ins) to determine what the URL is of the images being shown.

The best way to prevent image theft is to not upload it to the web in any form. If fact, if the image can be displayed on your computer, it can be saved to your computer. The second best way is to just upload images with too small of resolution to be able to do much with.

The easy to snag images from flash applications is to do screen grabs. I have a theory that if one can come up with a design that keeps the images in motion, the screen grab thing would be a lot less effective.

This site was written in Adobe Flex -- not Flash. Flex compiles into Flash, but its far easier for me to deal with. This is the first thing I've done in Flex, so I don't thing its a bad first effort. In addition to the SEO problems, I'd like to make it scalable to the users screen. This is going to far easier for me to do in Flex than in HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

My objective for this site is not to be found in search engines anyway... I get 100% of the photo work I want by one of two sources: people call me because they know me or have seen my work -- or its work I go out and seek for a project of my own vision. I want to do more of the latter -- and people generally want to see some of my work. I carry around a box of prints for that -- but I'd like offer a little bit of contact info and a few shots on a web site.

Thanks again for the replies!

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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:10 PM
Roger Lambert Roger Lambert is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 134

Hi Ron

Your home page photo does not look good.

I am seeing clear jaggies on it - it seems to be very low rez, and comes across as very harsh.

The rest of the photos on your site look fine.

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