Simple Sells

This weekend I was in Nashville, TN to film the Hope, Faith and Photos for a Cure event. I took the time to meet with my friend Jeremy Cowart. Jeremy’s gotten much acclaim for his meteoric rise as a celebrity photographer (that is, a photographer who photographs celebrities). We were talking shop and he was sharing how since he’s redone his website, he’s gotten every gig that’s come his way. His website used to be a pretty complex, Flash based “work of art” often times hard to navigate. Now it’s a simple html based site with simple left-hand column navigation. In other words, his work is the meat of the site, not the site itself.

Is your website selling your work, or is it selling the work of your web designer? Something to think about.

Jeremy Cowart's home page.

6 thoughts on “Simple Sells

  1. I agree again Ron….Geez…I seem to be reading and agreeing with you alot lately. I’ve often been tempted to go the route of those flash based template sites myself for my wedding videography. I have someone that has developed my current site, logos, and marketing collateral. He always told me they are nice but they are the same as everybody else. I had all the flash sites for photo/video out there that are dead giveways to have come from a few template providers that I won’t name but you know who they are.

    My developer is getting close to my new site roll out all based on a WordPress blog engine. It’s going to look fresh, hip, clean, bright and cheery. It’s going to be serious about my work yet show I have a flair for a little quirkiness too. My videos are going to be embedded from a VimeoPro account that will seamlessly be integrated into my site. With a name like Frogman Productions my site has to stand out from the rest because it is a quirky name. To look like everybody else with the black backgrounds and slow loading flash sites would be terrible for my business. My new site will be easy and fast to navigate and my new logo is kick butt. If you want a preview of the new look just PM me and I would be happy to run it by you.

    1. Thanks for following Phillip. But I’ll say the same here as I said to someone on Facebook. It’s not that Flash is an issue. It’s how the site is designed. I’ve seen plenty of Flash-based sites that are simple and very effective. Likewise, I’ve seen html and even WordPress sites that leave me scratching my head wondering, “what do I do next.” It’s kind of like filmmaking. It’s not the format it’s on, but it’s how you tell the story that counts. 🙂

      1. I agree about the Flash. I don’t care if a site is flash or not. How does it set your business apart is what I consider. When I go to photog sites (and videographers sites as well) and see a common looking template driven site that is only unique in the colors and logo dropped in I realize the site is no better than every other site out there. My site is not the greatest in it’s current iteration and it won’t be the most amazing site out there when my new one is rolled out BUT it will be about my brand and reflect who we are. People spend so much time building a company and trying to create a brand that is unique and different than others in their market then they go and have a template website that is the same as most of the other people in their industry. These days the website is one of the biggest pieces of collateral a company can have since most people are using the web to get information. They want to be different yet they are the same with their most critical element.

        Again, I’m not touting that my site is all that great as it is getting old and needs the soon to come refresh in the look but it has worked well for me and is unique to me. Make your sites reflect who you are not who everyone else is if your branding is important to you.

  2. Navigation is KEY to Me. (everyones TIME is valuable)
    My website is still in the making, but I have years of experience and consider my specialties is User Interfaces, whether its web or desktop apps. Years ago I read a book that asked Hw many clicks does it take to buy your product? Now I ask, How many clicks or minutes does it take to “see your best” and for me to capture your “essence of work”. Minutes evaluate to “User/Viewer Control”.

    Can I set the pace and pause/start- stop, at will and convenience. Yes Jeremy Cowart ‘s site is “To-The-Point”. I only would like to Clickclickclick a “Next-Previous” button, as an option, instead of trying to stop at each frame/photo. Long Mouse-Walks can sometimes make my mouse run off my desktop. And where is the “Previous” button in Fullscreen mode?

    I Like the consistent Menus at the bottom of the Scroll stroll. Very clean, reminds me of C. Jarvis and V. Laforet’s Blog sites. Honestly I really didn’t know his photography was this good. Yes I was blinded by the Bling and confusion before.

    Yes Charles Maring’s site has improved in the last 2 years, too. I always look to turn the music-off button. I’ve seen DS’s early website continue playing after I jumped to a different page. Two different tunes simultaneously.

    1. Thanks for the comment John. You mentioned about music. I’m a big fan of NOT having music play as soon as a site loads. Looks like you and I agree on that one too.

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