Sunday, December 12, 2010

Do I really need a mobile friendly website?

Here are some StatCounter stats about ways that people are viewing some of my websites, based on the last 500 visits. While we tend to think we need to move quickly to the next biggest thing because it's always flashing across our TV screen and other people are freaking out about it, we're better served by analyzing the hard data of what's actually happening:

From - audience is generally people interested in hiring me.
Browser Statistics

From My Blog - audience is mostly people who find me via google searches, and through referring links from other websites.
Browser Statistics

From - audience is mostly photographers and people searching through google.
Browser Statistics

My guess is that the few iPhone and Android user hits I get, may actually be other photographers, rather than clients doing their photographer shopping on their cell phone. That doesn't mean I don't plan to pursue a non-flash version of my site in the future, but that I'm not over-eager to make major changes right now while the market is still young and mobile views are still quite low in comparison. If I see the mobile device figures jump to 10%- you bet your butt I'm switching. My guess is that by then, there may be an even newer technology which allows flash to be viewed on mobile devices, or creates an entirely new platform. Is this helpful to you? Do you ever notice what people are really using to view your website?

Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practicing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Shootsac

Continuing the trend of my reviews of camera bags, I figured I needed to add my favoritest bag of them all, Shootsac. I use this sucker more than any other bag and I have to say that (bag cost only... we need not discuss my shameful cover habit) this product may have the greatest return of interest out of any product that I've purchased for photography.

Item: Shootsac

Product Website: Shootsac

Price: $179.00

What I Bought Bag For/What I Expected: I purchased this bag because from the get-go in my career I knew two things, one - that I'm klutzy as all heck so I knew there was NO way I could carry two cameras and not drop/bash/break one in the course of the day and two - that I love changing lenses and being forgetful, I'd be apt to leave one behind if I continued my method of leaving the lenses in convenient places. I loved the ads and the raves I heard online about how wonderful it was to carry lenses on you and how easy it was to use. I purchased this bag in early 2008 and have used it on practically every shoot since.

Expectation Met: YES! *wahoo*

+ The bag very easily wraps around your body, making it less cumbersome than more traditional camera bags.
+ With the introduction of the shoulder pad (a MUST buy!) it became much more comfortable and easy to carry.
+ The lenses are secure. Two + years later and my lenses still don't wobble or fall out, even though the neoprene has stretched.
+ Cute, cute, cute covers. I try to match my weddings (color wise) and the brides always notice and comment.
+ Cover comes in handy when asking bride to sit anywhere that may mess the dress up.
+ Easy to get in and out of during a wedding.
+ Getting in/out of the bag during a wedding is silent, unlike other bags that have velcro, zippers etc.
+ There are often sales and perks through various times of the year.

- The bag is not cheap, nor are the covers and the shipping can be steep (they often have free shipping sales though!).
- Some people have had issues with the 70-200 falling out, personally I haven't *knocks on wood* but it's been talked about enough that it is a concern. I believe though with the newer model the pockets are deeper and that helps the issue.
- It doesn't hold a SLR. I've seen it done but I could never make mine fit.
- You cannot put a lens in with the hood on facing out, can sometimes get the lens in with the hood backwards but not easy to get in/out.
- While it's becoming a bit more male angled with some mantastic covers, it's still a smidge feminine (according to my hubs anyways).
- Some do complain about the bag not sitting up when set down. This isn't a problem that bothers me but is one you should be aware of if this could be a problem for you.

Picture of me shooting in Punta Cana with the Shootsac:

What's in the bag? Nikon 70-200 VR (which is in use here), Nikon 24-70 2.8, Nikon 60 macro, Nikon 85 1.4, CF card wallet, extra camera batteries, iPhone. During the wedding I also will carry my SB-900 and battery backup (with the battery backup going into a pocket with the flash on the camera).

Corey Ann is a wedding & lifestyle photographer from North Canton, OH. She is a mix of everything - fashionista (runs Clothes for Pros, clothing suggestions for photographers), travel guru, deal hound and geek rolled into one. She's had a website online since 1997 and a blog since 1999. When not plotting world domination or her next trip, she can be found reading one of the 100+ books she reads a year. Follow her on Twitter.