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  1. #1
    Member TheGardener's Avatar
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    Current Rating

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    This is my first-ever site, put together to showcase my photos and advertise my photography services. There are a few bits I plan to polish up, and I will of course be continually adding content, but for the most part this page is in its final state. I've searched the web for other professional photogs' sites and found many of them to be ugly and counter-intuitive, so I tried to avoid the mistakes of those pages. Comments on the site's design aesthetic, professionalism, and anything else are much appreciated. I basically had to learn HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP from the ground up in the course of making this, so if you have any suggestions for better coding practices I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    It's pretty good for a first site! I like the name....

    Can't see the location of your studio anywhere... so don't know how far I would have to come...

    save picture file names as things that google images can hit on you will get more traffic! (use hyphens inbetween the words...)

    IE: "clowns-eat-fruit-picture.jpg"

    Set the image alt tags, this has a number of advantages....

    Set the meta tags!

    I would change the contact email address to not be text and make it so that you can click on it... makes you more likely to be spammed, but then people seem to prefer this....

    Basically looking good... :-)

    -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  4. #3
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    Pretty good considering you're new to building sites. I definitely think you have great potential in the site but there are a few things that 'annoy' me in the current design - some of them may be simply personal preference though.

    - the logo and the menu images have a blocky/old school look to them
    - the font on the site seemed a little large
    - the dark color scheme (well - all that black) was a little over bearing...

    On the flip side, I liked

    - the name
    - the layout :-)

  5. #4
    Member TheGardener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m.mckernan
    I definitely think you have great potential in the site but there are a few things that 'annoy' me in the current design - some of them may be simply personal preference though.

    - the logo and the menu images have a blocky/old school look to them
    - the font on the site seemed a little large
    - the dark color scheme (well - all that black) was a little over bearing...
    Thanks for the review. The pixelation in the logo and menu is part of the site's design aesthetic; I feel such an appearance lends the site a certain charm. The logo for http://www.boingboing.net is one example of this type of design. But if I hear from a lot of people that it looks ugly, I may consider changing it. I think it lends the site an artsy feeling, but I suppose others may think it looks unprofessional.

    I wanted the text to be easily readable; it's a few points larger than the text on many other sites, and I think the positive consequences of that outweigh the negative. While researching other pro photo pages, I found many with annoyingly tiny text. Check out http://www.dvafoto.com for microscopic text in a layout with tons of room. The black and white design was used for high contrast after seeing too many muddy low-contrast sites (http://www.fredmiranda.com). That's the basic rationale behind my design choices. I'm currently working on eliminating the use of iframes on the gallery page.

  6. #5
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I think if you want to use the simple charming approach then it's important to show that its not because you cant do "proper" stuff...

    IE do something fancy somwhere else...

    I get what you are saying about the small text, but smaller fonts always look better in my opinion... Large fonts can easily be the downfall of a site... It's something that I also resisted for a while...

    -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  7. #6
    Senior Member minute44's Avatar
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    I like it...

    The black and white approach could have been a disaster but I think you've made it work quite well.

    One thing I will say is increase the width of your middle column... It looks a little odd having a 3 column layout where the middle is the same size as your outer ones...

    It reminds me of those mini-pop characters and stuff. I don't know if you'll know what I'm on about there though.
    No ma'am, we in IT don't have a sense of humor we're aware of.

  8. #7
    Member TheGardener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minute44
    I like it...

    The black and white approach could have been a disaster but I think you've made it work quite well.

    One thing I will say is increase the width of your middle column... It looks a little odd having a 3 column layout where the middle is the same size as your outer ones...

    It reminds me of those mini-pop characters and stuff. I don't know if you'll know what I'm on about there though.
    Good point; it is kind of disorienting. But the left column is usually the one that has the primary page content, so widening the middle would be confusing. I could the primary content to the middle, but I don't know if that would flow so well, and it would necessitate a substantial redesign of page contents. The other option is to merge two columns into one and have a layout with one thick and one thin column. I don't know how I'd organize my page content with that kind of layout... I'll have to think about it.

  9. #8
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    Hi, starting to shape up really well...

    here are the kind of meta tags you need, obviously change them to suit your business... Add your name / company name in them... The most important ones come first... Add them to the header section of the html on each page... Each page can have different tags (if you have the time!)...

    <meta name="DESCRIPTION"
    content="Photographer. Advertising, Editorial, Portrait photography, view sample images, and contact info.">

    <meta name="Keywords"
    content="music photographer,portrait photographer,portraits,music,photographer,Rock,Pho tography,Pictures,Images,US,Portraits,Top Photographers,Photographs,Photography,Commissions" >

    Keep up the good work! :-)

    -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  10. #9
    Member TheGardener's Avatar
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    Thanks, that's something I should have gotten around to doing. Because of the PHP templating system used all pages share the same header, so I won't have to bother with entering multiple sets of keywords.


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