It’s Time We Nerds Help

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Just through the course of a day I end up on some photographers website. Invaribly it’s something hosted by or wix, all done in flash with copy-righted background music playing and a crappy looking WordPress blog hanging off the side like dirty dish rag hanging out of the kitchen window. I keep asking why, but never get answers that I find acceptable.

Until I asked Stella the same question. Being the photographer of the house, I thought she would have good insight into the reasoning behind photographers having such horrible websites. Our conversation went a little something like this.

  • dbwilldo: why do photographers have such yucky websites?
  • Stella:because they are not nerds

Could it really be that easy? A person that has the ability to charge thousands of dollars for their services that they perform with (possibly) tens of thousands of dollars worth of **very** complicated electronic components just aren’t nerdy enough?

That must be it. I think the problem that we as nerds run into is in our thought patterns. Photographers _aren’t nerds_. Photographers are _creatives_, that just so happen to do their creating with digital equipement. A fact, I think, fools the rest of us into thinking that photographers know the same things that we do.

Which they don’t.

They just want a website that displays their portfolio and other information in a pleasing manner, just like everyone else. Sites like photobiz and wix have capitalized on this, targeted photography professionals with words like ‘easy to use’, ‘background music’, ‘elegant’ and ‘comic sans’ to lure them in. So they get stuck.

Makes me wonder. Do they not try to open their websites on their iPhone/Android/Blackberry? Have they not tried to open their site using an iPad or Android tablet? If they have, do they just shrug their shoulders and say “Oh well. I’m not a nerd enough to make something better”?

Or do they see Flash as their security blanket? Thinking that if their photos are wrapped up in flash, they can’t be stolen and used in nefarious ways. Nerds know otherwise, don’t we?

Instead, I prefer to think that we, as nerds, have failed the professional photographers. Failed in that we haven’t shown them the way to nicely display their photos on any device, on any platform and with any browser. We have failed to guide them in best web practices. Failed to help them save money by avoiding services such as these.

As nerds, we owe it to our photography brethren to show them the right way. The way to display their photos in a pleasing way that is easy to use and keep their photos as safe. The way to share their work with iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry users. The way to save money by not having to pay the rediculous rates that the other guys charge. We owe them.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.


  1. The pro photographers I’ve met (the ones with “studios” and such) may Photoshop the crap out of their stuff – but don’t want to be bothered with websites.

    I’m pretty sure that they don’t care if their site is viewable on a phone (iPhone or Blackberry – really Blackberry? Who still uses a Blackberry? 😛 ). They should start carrying about iPads and Android tablets – but I don’t think whether or not their site is viewable on a phone matters to them.

    Plus keep in mind that these are typically one man operations. The photographer is also the office manager, accountant, marketing department, secretary, coffee brewer, mailroom attendant, gopher, IT guy, and yes – website person. They could spend a few hours playing with WordPress or some other application to build a website that doesn’t use Flash, works well across platforms, and doesn’t use Comic Sans… But why when there are other things that are pressing for their attention?

    I would also bet that most of them don’t know or care that their site is so dependent on Flash. What is selling them is that with a “turnkey solution” that they have what appears to them to be a “professional looking” website without having to code it or do a heavy lift to design it.

    Their site may be terrible to somebody who does web design – but for a photographer with better things to do – it’s a no muss no fuss way to get their portfolio online.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Michael!

      I think you are right. If it’s not broke, why fix it?

      I am going to be very interested in what you think about 500px. Looks like it might be something that I can point to instead of the flash services.

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