New website for your scrutiny at DVinfo.net

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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 24th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #1
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New website for your scrutiny

Hi folks,
I have my first, very own website complete with video samples and everything. I have decided to take the plunge and put it out there for the scrutiny of the DVinfo community. Please let me know what you think of the website, feel free to critique my videos, let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance. www.tahoestarr.com

By the way if you need a website built I highly recommend DVinfo's very own Keith Forman. He is knowledgeable, helpful, patient and one of the easiest people to work with I have ever met. Thanks again Keith...you are a stallion.

Jeff
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Old April 24th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #2
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Hey Jeff,
First off congratulations on putting up a website! You've acheived a goal I'm struggling with establishing so far in my journey. Well I'll be completely honest with you, but all this in love bro. I would discard Dana point sample. I'm not sure if it's your 1st wedding ever or not, but it's really a lower production quality than your other 2. I watched it and I was thinking of just leaving the site, but I watched the other samples and it's much higher quality than the first one. I would also recommend practice shooting more so you can become rock solid at shooting. When you went handheld there were drastic shakes, find a nice stabilizer to use and practice during down time if you can. Last thing is please find out what is the average price for weddings in your area and up your prices closer to that. Your really selling yourself short there. Looking at your 3rd video, it's worth more than $1,100 BASED on the highlight and hopefully the rest of the wedding was done nicely. For your website have a higher price, you can always change the price when dealing with a person right there in front of you. Your good, your getting better as I viewed all 3 samples, so don't sell your self short. Even editing will kill your patience sometimes (it has for me), then you'll look at what you get for profit and start screaming why did I charge so low. It happened to me, thank God no more though.

Your heading in the right track. Good Luck Sir
Monday
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Old April 24th, 2006, 10:10 PM   #3
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Good advice

Good advice thank you...the Dana Point video was done off the cuff at my cousins wedding with a crappy one chip hand held camera. I think I will take it off even though my wife seemed to like it... By the way all three of those weddings were done for free.

The other weddings I truly intended to keep the camera on the tripod but (and probably due to my lack of experience) I found it easier to take it off and move around. Then as I was editing I was kicking myself wishing I had never taken it off.

Thanks again,
Jeff
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Old April 24th, 2006, 10:53 PM   #4
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Your welcome Jeff.
Definitely there are more people here that can give you some more input as well. You don't have to stay tripod bound the entire time. Pretty much for the ceremony stay tripod bound to keep the image as stable as possible, but there are parts which will be filmed better not on tripod, but shot on a stabilizing devise. quick ex. is when the B&G bounce from the crib. LOL (ok when they leave the altar or from the front) you'll need to race to the back if you don't have a camera man back there and film them coming down the isle, it's hard to move with a bulky tripod, but a nice monopod or stabilizer will work beautiful for that.

Just have fun practicing and developing that part of filming. There's always room to grow no matter what. So strengthen this area by practicing, try shooting your kids (with you camcorder) if you have any, doing something they like for 30 mins. and make them a short video to their favorite kid song, they'll love it. The best part is that you have something to film and get better at. Take care and good luck. Here's an example of nothing spectular. I was practicing shooting my friend just walking. Attempted a few types of shots for fun, but it was doing during a set time for practice. He got a kick out of it. This was only for practice, made it possible to review and critique while not on the job.


Monday

Last edited by Monday Isa; April 25th, 2006 at 07:59 AM.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 05:19 PM   #5
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Hey man, great looking site!
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Old April 25th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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just my opinion about the look of the site. It is pretty charged (too much different backgrounds), flashy colors, pages are too white, funny fonts. It looks very amateurish.
most of elements are ok, but mixed together, it is too much.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #7
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Giroud- What flashy colors? For the most part, it is white and gold, with black text.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 06:31 PM   #8
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the too blue,too big Taho header, the gold on white. the violet or blue links on white.
the non blended frames separation (boxed look). Too many font size. the ugly useless counter. the page too big to fit my 1024x768 screen (and then menu is at the bottom of the page)
Frankly it is only my opinion, but it was my first impression.
I am web developper (programmer) and frankly , each time i develop a website, it usually works well but it is ugly too.
Then i call a friend , graphical designer, ask for a proposal, and each time i am amazed by what he can do.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #9
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The HTML appears to render as intended on Opera on Linux. The video format is incompatible, of course, so I can't comment on the video content. I did look at the source code. A web standards based approach using stylesheets would have made the site appearance easier to change. See http://csszengarden.com/ for example. I don't see the need for the billboard legal warning on the home page, that was the first thing I saw. Background image tiling is distracting and interferes with foreground content.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 06:46 PM   #10
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yes , i like the "dark rose" look, very classy despite using funny fonts, lots of structured elements and very clear colors
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Michael
The HTML appears to render as intended on Opera on Linux. The video format is incompatible, of course, so I can't comment on the video content. I did look at the source code. A web standards based approach using stylesheets would have made the site appearance easier to change. See http://csszengarden.com/ for example. I don't see the need for the billboard legal warning on the home page, that was the first thing I saw. Background image tiling is distracting and interferes with foreground content.
That was for the benefit of unscrupulous types, that steal video and content from other sites, and claim it for their own. Not that it does much good.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #12
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I agree with this guy mostly....the site looks like many of the lower budgeted type videographers here is So. California. I dont mean to be harsh, but you are asking for input. When I see sites that look like this from either photographers or videographers......my first impressions are not all that good. You are in a "creative" field, so IMO.....your website should be in comparison with your work/samples/etc.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois
just my opinion about the look of the site. It is pretty charged (too much different backgrounds), flashy colors, pages are too white, funny fonts. It looks very amateurish.
most of elements are ok, but mixed together, it is too much.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #13
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Jeff, I think your site needs more unity in graphic elements. By taking some things out or by unifying them it will make the site more simple; more elegant.

First, some things that are glaring amateurish elements:

1. The visitor counter. - Your web hosting package should already give you stats so there is no need to proclaim to every visitor how popular (or unpopular) your site is. It is not needed and distracts from any other design element.

2. Frames - Frames navigation not only introduces difficulty in building, there is also no need for it in such a small site. It also means that no inside content page can be reachable by itself through a search engine or by individual link. By this I mean that if someone wants to send a friend to an individual page they cannot provide them with that link, they can only provide them with a link to the front page and then that person must navigate to find that page.

3. Head of Bride and Groom graphic on the "Packages" content page is chopped off!

4. Over use or misuse of dropshadow on everything. Dropshadow is useful to help something stand out from the background if there is not enough contrast between the foreground element and the background element. However, I see this used for no particular reason in the left menu font-buttons, the bridge and groom graphic on the left pane and on the top word-logo. It is actually needed in the top word logo because of the photo background but the dropshadow is at too great a depth to provide much help in making it stand out. You might also switch the dropshadow for a light glow or 1 pixel stroke instead. As it stands, it is garish.

5. The UP / DOWN state of the left buttons is too much candy. It doesn't say elegant to me. And I believe most brides want their weddings to be elegant.

You have quite a few graphic elements that pull the eye in many directions.

The most dominant element is the Tahoe Starr banner with the lake photo in the background. Then you have the black and white bride & groom and then underneath the front text you have the wedding rings. This is simply too many graphic elements. You have to ask yourself: what direction do you want the eye to move when they first come to the page? Going straight to the top banner is good since you want to identify yourself and your purpose, but then the eye is forced to decide whether to go to the bridge and groom or to the obscured text.

This leads to the criticism of clarity. The font choice for both the left menu buttons and the top logo, as it is rendered currently, is a bit difficult to read at first glance. The Tahoe Starr top logo is identifiable because it is so large, but as you can see the "Video Productions" isn't large enough to see the holes in the "e" or "o"s. There is no danger of anyone not understanding what these words mean, but it looks ugly. Using the same stylized font for the left menu is not a good idea for the same reason. You may want to use a serif font but maybe one that is more clear. The top logo is also defeated by the fact that the photo background has a lot of detail. If you are attached to that photo, then you must provide greater contrast between the the word-logo and the background. The background underneath the front page's content text makes it very hard to read.

Speaking of backgrounds, you have four different backgrounds on one page! You have that embroidery on the left pane, the stretched photo, the wedding rings and the satin background. This is at least one selection too many. Pick one or two but definitely not four. It is quite garish to have four backgrounds on one page.

I hope this feedback is useful. By cutting back on the number of elements your site will be imrpoved quite a bit.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #14
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Ok... I scaled back on many of the graphics elements that were mentioned.

I would also like to address a few points-
Keith, yes, you can bring up any page, bookmark it, or send the link. The frames are not that big an issue. If you bring up any page, the quick links at the bottom will open any other page, even the whole frames site.

As far as the script font, yes, it is a little hard to read. But, it is a wedding script, and thousands of brides still use it on their invitations.

And about the counter, I only put that there, so that Jeff can easily see if he has had traffic. If not, re do the meta tags, and resubmit to the search engines. It also provides an external link, which helps the search engines find it. Tacky, maybe, but it serves a purpose.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Keith, yes, you can bring up any page, bookmark it, or send the link. The frames are not that big an issue. If you bring up any page, the quick links at the bottom will open any other page, even the whole frames site.
Right now the site is greatly improved because it is not overtly frames so I think it is not an issue with this site now. However, on your point about bookmarking, this is still not the case. If someone wants to send just the packages page, for example, they will have to right click on the link and open as a new window. Only then can they bookmark that one page. Believe it or not, some people do not know how to right-click and open as a new page.



On such a small site, it doesn't make a difference but in a larger site it would not be a good idea.

Right now the site is looking a lot better. The script font against the background is much clearer and it was a good decision to take away or reduce the dropshadows.

Another small point I did not bring up before. I think most people expect that an underlined word is a link. I know I thought I could click on "Packages" "Tahoe", "Starr" and "Custom" in the packages page. So that is confusing. I would remove the underline as you already have that font bolded.

On the front page, you need a bit more space from the bottom quote text and the bottom of the page. There is also a gap between the first quote and the upper text that I would suggest closing up.

On the Packages page the body text content's left margin is not consistent with the text content on the other pages.

I know how much work it is to build from scratch so the improvement is good.
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