I just finished redoing my Smugmug page that contains a selection of my favorite photos. There are 15 different Galleries, some by location and some by subject. I would love some feedback. My concern is perhaps there are too many photos to expect anybody to look at. Most galleries have 15-20 photos, but some have more, up to 29 photos. What do you think? Any other suggestions?
Well, I had no problem with the number of photos, often wishing for more.
Tony, how does one get to your SmugMug page? What’s the URL? I know we live in a world of brief videos, short messages, etc. However, when it comes to photography, I am known for spending hours going from photo to photo without any sense of time.
Edit: Oops! I may have missed the link clearly shown in the OP. I was looking at the site on my phone and clearly missed that.
I think that having the thumbnails on the page will give the viewer the opportunity to click on any singular photos, whether there are 5 or 30 on a given gallery. I don’t think that it’s problem as long as the total number does not force the viewer to scroll. Perhaps, you might want to consider @Tom_Nevesely 's suggestion to rotate images and keep the count low.
I contemplated the same issues when I was building my website. I know some people just have a few galleries with just a few images but I just couldn’t do that my self. I have 12 galleries on my website with anywhere from 20 to 39 images in them. Occasionally I get rid of an older image and replace it with a new one so that the galleries don’t grow out of hand.
Tony, I found a bug on your website though - if you click on the “Galleries” link on your “About Me” page you get a “page not found” message.
Hi Tony. I looked at several of your galleries and I don’t have any problem with the number of images. As a bit of a digression, but I think still relevant to this, our local camera club just finished putting on the photography exhibit and contest for our county fair. There were just shy of 400 images entered and most people who visited took time to look at most or all of them. We do a daily “people’s choice” award and I’m always amazed at how much diversity there is in people’s tastes. Even with hundreds of visitors voting each day, the winning image rarely gets more than 10-15 votes. The rest are scattered all over the place.
The relevance to a website is that you shouldn’t expect people to be grabbed by every image, so a large diversity is an advantage. As a non-landscape person looking at your gallery, I seem to find one or two images that I really like in most of your color galleries, but I love your black and white stuff. Just a matter of taste.
Thanks! I just deleted the link…I put together this site so long ago I have no idea how to fix it.
Firstly, your images are beautiful. I don’t think there’s a bad one in there (ie. I wouldn’t remove any!). You didn’t ask, but I think your images are processed beautifully - They pop, but aren’t over saturated. Simply well done.
To your main question, NO, I don’t think you have too many! Sure, I get the concept of keeping a site clean with only your best. And honestly as I think about this, it is mostly the established names who have a presence, sell books, workshops, etc. etc… keep their images very clean and concise. And honestly, they don’t need to prove anything. And it’s still also true that the average Joe Tog should also not put up all their images thinking they’ll impress people with volume; One still must have quality images.
I’m personally probably on the high end of having tons of images. Currently over 500 images, plus now over 150 ICM images (yup…) Much depends on the audience and viewer. Perhaps you are working with an Art consultant or someone who likes to show your work - on your behalf. I think a broad selection offers folks choices. On the flip side, the casual viewer is not likely to sit through a slide show of 500 images! I get that.
And so it really boils down to what you want to get out of your website. As a collection of your “favorite images” there’s really no rules and you should have as many images as you want - that fit your criteria - your favorites! IF, on the other hand, you’re hoping for some exposure or showcasing your work to potential clients, etc., then your site might look a little different or have added features - like a search link (which would require lots of fun adding keywords!)
So I think you were mostly looking for feedback on the number of images. But hope it’s ok for some other non-image feedback. Here are a few minor things to consider:
- The opening of each gallery has a string of text reaching across the entire page, “For best viewing click the right…” At a minimum, I would move this below the thumbnails, reduce the size of the text and keep the width no wider than the gallery of thumbs. That large text across the top of the gallery is taking away from the image experience. IMHO.
- Same goes for the description of the Gallery (not all have, but Mono Lake is an example). The Gallery description shouldn’t extend across the whole page. At most, the width of the thumbnails.
- the “TO OTHER GALLERIES” link is pretty big and probably doesn’t need to be ALL CAPS (kinda the old TEXT SHOUTING thing…) and maybe include a little arrow like: “<To Other Galleries”
- On the Home page I noticed that the images, especially the slideshow images are different sizes depending on what monitor is being viewed on. I have a 24" AT 1920x1080 and the slide show image is actually smaller than your title image at the top of the page. On my primary 27" at 2560x1440 the slide show images are better proportially compared to your title image/signature. Personally, the slideshow size should be bigger than your title
-along same lines on the Home page no matter the screen size/resolution, I have to scroll down to see the Galleries; And there’s nothing in the opening screen that tells me there are any Galleries, unless I scroll. So maybe just for a navigational improvement, include a “Galleries” link alongside your “ABOUT ME” and “CONTACT” links. Even if that Galleries link only scrolls the page down… at least the navigation is obvious that you have galleries… You might even consider having the Galleries selection it’s own page - and keep the Home page for simple entry and introduction. But that’s not a huge deal.
Anyway, the site is simple and clean. And again I think your intent is simply to showcase and display your favorites. Anything beyond that there are things you could add - if you were so inclined. But other than the small suggestions, I think your images are indeed showcased nicely (including the large views and slide shows.
I am rather new as a hobbyist photographer and I do not have my own webpage, so not that much of experience to give advise! Anyhow, below is my opinion as a viewer that like to look at nature images.
I have visited your webpage, what an amazing set of images! From an image quality point of view there is no need at all to reduce the number of images. But for me, there are too many galleries and too many images. I prefer a lesser amount of images so that I as a viewer could take more time to engage in each of the images. With the present amount of images I do not have the time, and instead just click further to see the next image, and the next image and so on.
Wow Lon, thank you so much for your long and detailed response. I am touched you took the time and effort to do this. And thanks to the others who also responded. And it got me thinking about why I even have a web site. I am totally non professional…I have never sold a photo and never tried. Photographing nature makes me happy. When friends ask if they can buy a photo, I tell them my photos live a lonely life trapped in a digital file stored in my computer, and that they are longing to find a good home. And I offer to give it to them. Years ago I visited my daughter’s (who was thinking of becoming a writer) college and heard a writing instructor tell everybody that if you want to be a writer, you need to write for yourself, because the odds of getting published are slim. I think that also applies to photography. I spend a lot of money and time, take photos, spend hours editing them, and create a website of my favorites because it is a form of self expression that is incredibly meaningful to me. Like my photos hiding in my computer, my website is hiding on the internet, seen by few. Of course, most of us humans want other people to notice us, but the truth is I seldom think about this and mostly am grateful that I have the wherewithal to go to beautful places , take photos, and share them the limited way that I do.
I’m with ya Tony. While I have tried and to very limited success, tried to sell and promote my work. In the end I’m most happiest doing this for myself. If I sell something, great - but that’s not what’s important. At one time I had visions of making a living at it… and I dabbled in just about everything… stock, selling prints, gallery/art shows, been published in any number of venues, I even got to be an assistanct on workshop once… Jack of all trades… master of none. Just never had the drive or wherewithall to make the leap - which ultimately has given me great respect and admiration for those who have made that leap and made a successful career at it.
In the end, as you happily admit, it’s really about the joy and doing what makes one happy.