Hi there :-)
That being said, and in addition to Steve`s extensive analysis, I`ll
say that I didn`t like the site at all. Primarily for two reasons:
Flash!, and almost complete lack of any kind of persuasive sales
Yes, you have some words. But because they`re in the Flash! slide show,
they go by so fast, I have no idea what you said. Okay...not THAT
fast...and they do stay there, but with things fading in, fading out,
this and that...I just didn`t "see" anything.
I know enough people involved in planning weddings to understand that
the one thing they don`t have is a lot of time and patience. They`re
swamped, have a million details they`re trying to organize, and if
they`re not using a professional wedding planner, they`re overwhelmed.
You, like EVERYONE on the Web, have about 4 seconds to persuade me to
read more of your site. Your splash page (which has become sort of an
obsolete way of doing things) has an astoundingly beautiful image! Then
it just goes away.
When I started looking at the high-speed slide show, I didn`t see the
"off" button for the music right away. I have a 19" LCD panel, high
resolution, and I had to scroll to see it. Then, I only knew to look
for it because you`d said it was there in the above post.
The images went by so fast I couldn`t really take time to look at them,
see their beauty, and *feel* to myself, "Wow!...that`s the kind of
thing I`d love to see in our wedding!"
Setting aside that I had no time to enjoy the site, there was nothing
for me to read, nothing that tells me immediately what you`re
offering---other than pictures---and nothing to catch my intellectual
interest. You have nothing connecting your photography with the idea of
"Buy my services and I`ll produce your wedding in images."
So bascially, it`s a copywriting issue. I`ve seen the same mistake in
other photography sites, where the initial approach is to show
photographs. Unfortunately, that`s not part of the *business* of
photography. There are millions of photographers in the world, most of
them amateur, all of them believing they`re "as good as" the best
photojournalist on the planet.
Why should I choose you?
That`s the key to the business side of things. I`ll assume you`re a
great photographer, and some of your images are excellent as
attractions. That`ll get me to the site.....for 4 seconds. I`ll also
want to *later* check out your portfolio, but it`d be nice to see
elegant and tasteful examples sprinkled throughout the content and
But ultimately, I want to "talk with you." I want to hear you tell me
why you`re a great addition to the wedding event. I don`t want bragging
and hype, I`d just like to know that when it`s all said and done, I`ll
have a fabulous memory book of the most important day. See?
How would I make it better? I`d spend some time looking at the layouts
in news magazines with real longevity, which also focus on
photojournalism. I`m thinking of People, Newsweek, Forbes, Business
Week, Vogue, other fashion magazines, and so forth.
Look at the way they have headlines, pull quotes, font pathways, and
how they use images to illustrate the content and to guide the reader`s
eye to where they want those eyes to focus. If you must use Flash! you
can create some glitz and shine, but I don`t see the point. You can
just as easily do it in something search engines can read as well.
People "notice" photographs and images before everything else, but they
"see" headlines first. Those headines transmit information that`s
specific, where images transmit feelings. You can use the images to
immediately get me feeling interested, but unless you focus that
feeling into something I can remember, think about, and act upon, I`ll
click away feeling good....but shopping elsewhere.