« on: May 15, 2014, 07:12:21 PM »
I have taken a look on the website, which is linked under your user name. Sorry to be blunt but that's what I think: the website was made by an amateur and clearly looks like this.
The website itself looks very unprofessional and cheap. I guess that's what it really is. A decent wordpress theme for photographers costs less than $100. An alternative would be Squarespace, which is more comfortable to maintain. But it is focused on the US market and without the online shop it's hard to justify the costs. With your background in netwoek engineering it should be quite easy for you to maintain a website.
The second and even worse impression I got came from your pictures. There are a few good ones among them but the majority of them should not be shown on a professional photographer's website. Under exposed, flat lighting, bad framing... all can be found. The kid potraits are great and professional looking but the family ones aren't. Don't show them.
You have a section for pets but all I can see are a few shots of them same dog. There are some great shots among them but 3 or 4 shots of this dog would be enough. What about cats or any other kind of pet? Show some other dogs, too. It can't be that hard to find any other dog to photograph.
The section "commercial" shows as the 2nd picture a twig with some lichens. Anyone with a macro lens can take a picture like this within minutes. You don't name the scientific name of this lichen, so I guess it was not shot for some scientific purpose. What was the purpose of this shot? Just the nice background blurr? What is the commercial aspect of this picture? I can't see any at all. Better take a high quality shot of a watch or pen.
The next one is an abandoned house. Why? The first architecture shot shows a HDR with too high saturation of the lawn, flat light, artificial looking purplish grey sky and it is clearly visible that the house was not shot with a shift lens. This is by all means an amateur shot. The same can be said about the landscape shot coming next. Too much saturation, flat light, bad framing... it goes on like this for a dozen or so pictures. Then there are some good wedding shots. Why do I need to search for them? Just show the wedding pictures. Leave out the rest.
You advertise "a very affordable price" for your commercial shots but most of the shown ones can't be used for a commercial purpose because of their quality. What's the matter of "a very affordable price" in this case? Why should anybody pay for car shot like the ones you are showing, if they can take exactly the same with a p&s cam?
The section "SJL SERVICES" says: "With our extensive experience in the glamour and fashion photography world if you are looking for the glamorous look, we can create any image you desire." If you claim extensive experience, why are there just 4 different amateur models found in "MAKEOVERS"? Why is no professional model among them? Why is no fashion shot shown?
As you say in the beginning of this thread: "I am trying to get my photography business running..." The website and most of your pictures look like they were done by an amateur. Change this. Get a professional website (not just the layout but also professional texts), get a logo, get rid of most of the pictures and just show your best work. Say something about yourself. For the beginning just advertise your strengths like kid portraits and pets. Don't show architecture, landscape etc. shots on an amateur level. If you do so, tell your customers that these shots are just a hobby.
At least here in Germany the law requires you to inform customers about the legal form of your company. The tax number has to be shown, too. You don't even mention your full name or address on your website. Your price list does not say anything about taxes. BTW, are the prints measured in inch or centimeter?
English is not my native language and I don't try to offend you. Sorry if some sentences sound too harsh. I just want to give you a honest feedback.
BTW, David duChemin's book "Vision Mongers" is a really good read for anyone trying to start a photography business.