It's about time someone did some research (thank you PhotoShelter) and as a buyer in my previous life as a magazine art director, the results are not surprising.
The very comments that most buyers share about photographer websites today are the very same thoughts I've had for at least the last few years.
My husband and I have a lot of photographer friends. Ask any one of them about a conversation they have had with me about photographer sites and they'll tell you I can deliver a nice rant. I can't help it.
I care about the health of my friends and their business. I care about and love photography. I'm married to it.
Most photographer websites look great; beautiful even. Most suck in terms of speed and functionality. I've been harping about this for years.
Pay attention to this word: Busy. Busy, busy, busy. The last gig I had an art director, I worked somewhere between 45-80 hours a week. I didn't have assistants or a photo editor or a director of photography (gawd what a luxury!).
The last thing I want to do is listen to music and wait for some splash page or some fancy schmancy intro a designer thought would be cool.
And making the window fill my screen? Sorry, major annoying. That has got to be one of the more crappy features ever created. Someone must be thinking that I don't have any other software programs up at the same time and that I have the luxury of devoting prime screen real estate to your website. Wrong.
PhotoShelter made a smart move getting out of the stock biz and focusing on helping photographers make the most of their assets and archives.
I've had a small peak under the hood of their system (working on a photographer's website to integrate into PhotoShelter in the near future) and it is very flexible. I can't wait to dive in and really take it for a spin.
There's a bonus: You get a nice little discount at the end of the PDF.
Remember, try and place yourself in the buyer's chair. Small type and fancy flash animation may be cool for you but I can tell you for sure that most buyers want to get their job done and go out for a drink rather than waiting for your photos to load.
Yea, all this pent up frustration is working toward doing something about changing minds about photography websites.
Coming soon: More detail about my pet peeves about photography websites and alternatives to Flash.