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Old 12-28-08, 10:35 AM   #1
Rachel Peters
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Default How Many is Too Many

Heya.

Opinions: I've put up shots of myself on my website: http://rachelpeters.com/category/photos/
and I feel like I should perhaps narrow the fancy shots down to just a few ideal ones? I'm not sure. One one side, I like having a variety of moods, but on the other, I feel like it just looks vein.
This isn't necessarily for busking promo. I do other stuff like lectures on animation or whatever, and want to keep myself open to indi acting rolls, so thought I'd keep it general -- the overall "me".

Should I cut some out?
Should I keep the variety?
Which ones?
I can't tell.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:39 AM   #2
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Of course you're going to look vain. What else does a personal web site signify besides, "Hey, look, over here!" to millions of strangers across the globe?

Scott's the best here at parsing this type of thing, but it's pretty much given that your site's character should represent the type of gig you hope to attract. Those pics on the front page look great for facebook, et al, but I'm not sure which performance or other artistic category I'd place them under.

If you have work to show off, then that should be the star of the show; anything else, personal pics included, would come 112th place after that.

So once your artistic side has materialized & developed (where you are now), next comes targeting your audience. Ask yourself, "Exactly who can I get to pay me for this stuff I do?". Then develop methods of reaching those exact people, and to give them a taste of your stuff once you've made contact.

Be precise in all these traits, like a surgeon.
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Old 12-28-08, 12:03 PM   #3
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"So once your artistic side has materialized & developed ..."

huh? really?
have you looked through the site?
What I create and how I've developed it is not the issue.

Agreed, the pictures are indeed not the priority of my self-promotion, considering what I major in. But they're there to keep more doors open in my many fields, because opportunities have arisen.
I would suggest exploring the whole of: www.rachelpeters.com and not just the photo page. I thought it was understood that this was simply one page I was sharing and not the whole of my promotion.
Although I am mainly a filmmaker and a visual artist (well materialized AND developed) opportunities to develop in acting, performance and speaking are approaching me, so I put up photos for people to know what I look like. I was wondering if I should have this many or perhaps fewer, and which of the ones I have might best represent.

"If you have work to show off, then that should be the star of the show"

huh? really??
I'm just wondering if you've actually looked around the site or simply at the photos I linked.

"Exactly who can I get to pay me for this stuff I do?"

Are you purposely stir up EVERY point of pride I own?

Because if you're serious, I think you've made some rather large assumptions about who I am, how old I am, how long I've been doing what I DO and where I am in my career (which is not based on my “beginner variety performer” status. I do a lot of things. I do them well, and people pay me well to do them.) I've sort of passed the point of wondering if anyone will pay me.
I am not asking how to get started in the world of business, as if I am just graduating from high school and writing my first resume.
I'm not asking how to redevelop my career or website to be solely a variety performer.

I like being open to critique, and I do it often, and I try not to argue with it, but Chance, I'm not sure we're on the same page or even in the same book.
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Last edited by Rachel Peters; 12-28-08 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 12-28-08, 12:15 PM   #4
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You're kidding, right?

Like you don't see where it says "where you are now"?

FYI, I've been to your site many times over the past and I've always thought you were extremely creative. And in this post I could have sworn you were asking for critique, not an ass licking.

Stop reading my various points off inside your mind as though they are personal attacks; I've never attacked you before, and I'm not doing so now. Just read them off like a boring grocery list:

...Pick my best stuff, the stuff I'm most proud of...
...Highlight these things as best as I can visually (pix, vids, etc.)...
...Keep my work front & center and myself somewhat to the background...
...Target EXACTLY the BEST PEOPLE to pay me to continue my work...
...Get my highlights into THEIR hands asap...
...Be precise in the above steps, like a surgeon...
...Stop attacking people when I ask for public feedback in an open blog.........
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Old 12-28-08, 12:17 PM   #5
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My apologies. I'm just reading you all wrong then, and I didn't want an "ass licking". I didn't intend to attack, and I thought you were.
I'm sure a real conversation would have panned out better. Maybe I'll withdraw my initial request since my intent doesn't seem to be translating well.

BUT I still feel your points (which are good and completely valid points) aren't exactly applicable to what I was asking. More applicable to a general "how to get started" question.)

It was a silly question I asked in the first place. Fergettit.
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Last edited by Rachel Peters; 12-28-08 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 12-28-08, 12:38 PM   #6
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seriously, i'm actually really sorry... you never realize how much pride you've developed over the things you love until you think those things are being insulted (creativity, art, content, career development).
pride ruins everything... like the time i was chalking up a festival and someone said, "hey, that's actually kind of good!" I just stopped and thought... "KIND of???!" ...everything else would be solved, me thinks, if I could shed pride.
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Old 12-28-08, 06:22 PM   #7
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If you're apologizing for misunderstanding what I wrote as I meant it to be understood, there's no need. If you're apologizing because of a kneejerk reaction on your part, apologize away... then take some vitamins and grow some thicker skin. We all have had to in order to survive in this game. Why should you be any different?

The main point I was trying to get across before, is that your site, how ever carefully and lovingly put together it may be, comes across less as a sales page and much closer to a beefed-up Facebook page.

Which is absolutely great if that was the look you were trying for!

(Can I stop ducking now?)

I just wouldn't use it as my main selling page, the one I'm hoping the museums and festivals visit in order to decide whether or not to hire me. You. Us.

If it were me I'd follow the guide from before much more closely, and r.e.a.l.l.y, c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y define who I want to reach first, then selectively re-design a selling page to reach that target with. If you come up with 5 targets, then create 5 targeted selling pages and direct your audience where you want them to go. You just might want a museum to see a different side of you than, say, a street fest, etc., etc.

And yes, before you say it, I realize that I'm not sticking exactly to the original premise of this thread. Since when did that ever stop you, them, or anyone else before now? It's free advise, and worth every cent!
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Old 12-28-08, 06:33 PM   #8
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(if I stripped away the kneejerk reaction of pride over hearing what I thought was, "you have no talent and haven't developed what talent you may think you have" -- paraphrased) ... What I originally wanted to let you know is that your response wasn't at all what I was asking.
I cannot rebuild my site. It wasn't the question. It could be greater. Yes it could. In an ideal world, definitely. Wordpress templates only bend so far and I've spent a lot of money. It is all that it can be.
I felt patronized by those comments I quoted back to you, and they weren't what I asked.

That's all.

Felt like the equivalent of,
Q-"Should I wear my hair up or down?"
A-"Well, you're fat."

See where the frustration could develop?

Maybe I'm aware that I'm metaphorically fat and that's why I didn't ask whether or not I was fat.

I have plenty thick skin, I really do. All I do is critique and get critiqued in art. I get paid to make stuff so that people can tell me how it's not what they wanted, so that I can change it seven times and suck it up.
But I just wasn't asking for a new website. I'm not in charge of it and i can't and won't rebuild it. Which is why I didn't ask about my website.
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Last edited by Rachel Peters; 12-28-08 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 12-28-08, 06:38 PM   #9
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And no, you can't stop ducking. Not until you admit you responded with advice i wasn't asking for!!!!
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Old 12-28-08, 06:57 PM   #10
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"And no, you can't stop ducking. Not until you admit you responded with advice i wasn't asking for!!!!"

ERM...

"And yes, before you say it, I realize that I'm not sticking exactly to the original premise of this thread. Since when did that ever stop you, them, or anyone else before now? It's free advise, and worth every cent!"

Wow. Different prescription might be in order.....

And yes, you have fat hair. But why is that a bad thing necessarily???
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Old 12-28-08, 07:33 PM   #11
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Boy, this sure did get out of hand.
I'm calling it a night.
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Old 12-29-08, 03:30 AM   #12
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Hey Rachel,

Maybe this will help!

"I feel like I should perhaps narrow the fancy shots down to just a few ideal ones? I'm not sure. One one side, I like having a variety of moods, but on the other, I feel like it just looks vein."

I agree. I think that it makes you look vein. However, as Chance was pointing out, if your site is a vanity site, then keep 'em all and add some more! But, if the site is supposed to be used as a business promotional piece, then you only need a head shot plus whatever might be needed for your particular profession. If you're an actor, then you might want a half dozen shots showing your different characters, if your an artist a handful of pictures of your works, etc.

I realize that you have some eclectic skills, so if you are wanting to sell them by web promotion, you might consider splitting them up onto different sites. After all, how often is someone who is booking for a pavement artist going to be interested in toy design? If they want a fire eater, why would they be interested in film animation?

As for the time and cost, well that's just part of doing business. Advertising and promotion to get the next gig is always going to be a drain on the pocketbook. A single page site for each 'Rachel' may enable you to target your clients more directly.

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Old 12-29-08, 08:28 AM   #13
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Yes, you phrased that MUCH better than Chance did. It still just isn't possible at this point in time, but thank you.
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Old 12-29-08, 05:22 PM   #14
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Yes, my wife always tells me how terrifying my shopping lists are!
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Old 12-29-08, 07:50 PM   #15
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I feel like an idiot for the whole thing. Even the initial question. What a mess. Dear me. Oh my. and so on.
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Old 12-29-08, 08:14 PM   #16
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I think 3 photos:

1. A formal, professional looking headshot
2. A more casual, smiling, "personality" full body shot
3. A candid, funny/silly shot

Maybe:
#1 = 069
#2 = 059 or jacket
#3 = jello

That is all.
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Old 12-30-08, 02:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel Peters
I feel like an idiot for the whole thing. Even the initial question. What a mess. Dear me. Oh my. and so on.
Not at all. We're all constantly struggling with finding a line between vanity and journalism within our self-promotion. I know that your post has me thinking about my efforts and how I might want to portray myself in images on a new website, and I suspect that it will inspire others to consider their own as well. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, it makes sense to choose those pictures very carefully.

Basically, I think that it brings up a fundamental question of using one's website as both a promotional piece as well as a channel for creative expression. How much of that crossover you want to embrace will depend on the individual. In your case it is a collection portrait images, but it might be a blog, or family images, or media about hobbies, etc. How much of the 'real person' should be revealed rather than creating a staged persona directed at business clients? There's no clear answer and you'll get opinions from all directions.

You also should remember that when you receive advice from people here, it is not just for your benefit, but for our own as well! In my case, when I tell you to do something, I'm actually telling myself to do that thing. Since I don't like being wrong, it's easier to take when I direct critique on someone else...

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Old 01-03-09, 03:17 PM   #18
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The smaller question -

You leaning on wall is an awesome "moody" pic, and you in red shirt is an awesome "happy but still smart" pic. The other two pictures do not show your unique, striking look as well as the first two, and the jello one is comedy gold but feels (as a medium) like a personal photo rather than a promo photo and thus feels out of place in its current location.

The medium-sized question -

You may want to do another photo shoot at some point, because you have an amazing, striking look that is not coming across in some of these pictures and I think a truly great photo shoot would be a good thing.

However - I am much more captivated by the photos in the top bar on the home page, where we see you doing your work, than portrait shots.

Which leads to the large question, which I think what those castrating, insensitive bastards Chance and Steven are trying to get at as they callously stomp your dreams and mutilate your pride with all the power of the patriarchy - come on guys! Didn't you get lucky last night? I did! I mean, me and Doc Johnson and xtube did...

Why are these pics here? When I click "photos" from the front of the site, I expect to get photos of your work, or photos of you in action. Put a pic on each of the bio, about, and contact pages maybe, instead of giving them their own page? You say right on the page - "these photos don't show the real me" - and maybe you're right, but the real you is all over that site, and maybe using some of the photos as "elements" or "facets" of the real you by putting them with the sections of your site they might go with would be an option?

Also - I know what you do, and how many things you do, but not everyone who visits does. Maybe for their benefit, add a quick single line of text to each section of the site? Like, under the "artwork" section, "A trained fine artist, I work in paint, paper and stencil to create custom decor and limited-edition prints." Or for the "screen" section, "With fifty years experience in Disney-style cel animation, I've recently completed a feature-length work on black holes. Explore my body of film at the links below." This might give some context? Because I hail you as a renaissance woman, and I think other people might sometimes need a little road map to get where they're going and which side of the canyon they should be taking the picture of, so to speak.

Said with a warm, sisterly glow as we bond together over the money I owe you...Haven't forgotten

xo
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Old 01-03-09, 04:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
.....those castrating, insensitive bastards Chance and Steven are trying to get at as they callously stomp your dreams and mutilate your pride with all the power of the patriarchy....
Curses, she's on to me!
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