The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


The last few days have been spent making updates to my photography website.

I decided to follow the advice I used to give to business about their websites - focus on promoting the main thing you want to sell, rather than trying to promote everything you can.

When we can do more than one thing, our natural reaction is to try and spread our net as wide as possible, so as not to miss out on potential business. Unfortunately, this can have the effect of diluting the message.

Not only can we appear to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, we also end up competing with the widest range of people, most of whom are more specialised in their areas.

Let’s face it, if you’d like your car fixed would you rather go to a mechanic who is passionate about engines, or one who would rather be playing golf?

Although I can, and do, do event and product photography, and if I’m being paid, I’ll take the commission and do a good job, given the choice I’d rather be pointing my camera at people’s faces, which I find endlessly fascinating.

So I’ve decided to move from promoting myself as just as Kim Ayres Photography, who does portraits, events and products, to Kim Ayres Portrait Photography, and the events and products are more of a sideline than being on equal footing.

To this end, not only have I changed the heading on my website, I’ve put together a range of portrait package options for customers to choose from. And I’ve even thrown in a couple of seasonal offers.

If you have any thoughts or feedback, I’m all ears. While I find it easy enough to see where other people are going wrong, or getting it right, it’s easy to have blind spots when it comes to your own business.

And, of course, if you know of anyone who would like their photo taken...


Sami said...

I find it a very wise decision. In the end, when you're trying to follow your passion, wouldn't you want it to be the part of your passion that you're passionate about? Still working on it myself...

Going to check out the website now!

Sami said...

Checked it out. Loved it. I've been there before, but I actually read the "portrait experience" section this time. Wish I lived near you! That's my idea of top work!

Jayne Martin said...

Would you also take pet portraits? I know of many people, well most, who consider their pets family members and might even spend money to have a wonderful photo of them than a photo of themselves. I find animal expressions beautiful, too. Just something to consider. You might even consider a separate website for that. Anyway, your work is beautiful.

Mary Witzl said...

I've already seen what you can do!

Can I just say, for anyone who is visiting here and doesn't know, that you can make a sow's ear into a silk purse when it comes to photography: every time I look at my 'author's portrait', I shake my head in wonder.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Kim, for the love of god, who are all these new people you are attracting these days?

... be ready tomorrow at 7am, it's off to the golf we go for a couple of rounds and a good blether.

Bring a coat!

hope said...

I prefer being on the same side of the camera as you, but your photography update almost makes me WANT to pose. :)

It's not just professionally done, it's INVITING! Good for you.

erika said...

Spectacular portraits. They are so much more than just 'pictures of people'. Some of them almost tell a story. I love how you capture candid moments - or make them look candid, which is equally brilliant :) I especially loved the pictures of couples - the looks, the faces, the gestures, the atmosphere ... just so much "packed" in them. I wish you lived closer :)

Pat said...

It makes sense to show the specialized area, "Portrait Photography". If that's what you really like, and where you are really skilled in, that that's what you should promote. Your photography website looks good.

mapstew said...

Ye know Kim, ye could probably even make ME look good!


Pat said...

Good thinking Kim - more effective not to dilute the blurb and it won't stop people asking you to do other photography because that's human nature but you can decide at the time whether to do it or not. Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Sound logic it seems! You do take beautiful portraits and have a deep interest in gazing into the soul via the portrait!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I will bequeath you my idea of reproducing scenes from classic movies. Are you really playing golf with Jimmy? Get a photie!

Katie Roberts said...

Hi Kim. Loved the change to the blog background...made me laugh and it got a 'wow' out of me even too.Portrait site looks good too.

Love your photos, esp. the Wicker Man. (would have liked to clicked on and got a bigger size though) The concept of the portrait session is definitely the most distinctive and interesting.

I have a big mouth and opinions to go along with it. I could go on for pages if you want a real critique! (if you seriously do let me know - I'll write you an essay) it is hard to see the forest when your in it.

Love your work Kim. Great, real, beautiful, playful photos.

(Oh, and Mr Bastard, don't worry were all real, devoted, twisted, bearded bastards just like you. Some of us just disguise it better)

Entrepreneur Chick said...

THAT is what I've been doing wrong in one of my businesses! Promoting too many products!

Interestingly enough, I was going to ask you if you wouldn't mind taking a look at one of my companies?

It's along the same lines as what you do- but with a twist.

I can't decide to dump more money into it or sell.

I've got Halloween errands to do but will certainly go take a look at your new and improved site.

GREAT advice. Totally great. Spot on. Thank you!

emma said...

One thing I noticed looking at portraits 2, the colour photo with the blue headress stands out like a jewel.

It may be worth adding up to what size it's possible to print, and/or examples in frames? (I've been checking out redbubble - some framed examples look really nice, don't know if you think it's a bit amateur?)

emma said...

Oh - and I'd love for you to do my son's portait - if you are ever in Athens!

bonequinhoda bic said...

Great banner...spiders and coffe.

bonequinhoda bic said...

Sorry...I meant, coffee.

Kim Ayres said...

Sami - when faced with what we should do with our lives, most of the time we look at what's out there and decide whether we can do it, rather than whether we WANT to do it. Creating a life based on our passions rather than convenience is not something we're educated to do

Jayne - when taking photos of people, if they have a pet, it invariably ends up in some of the photos. I've come to realise it can be an important part of the shoot. Pet owners relax much more when they are with their pet, and are invariably pleased if I can include them

Mary - it was a real sahme I didn't get to do a proper session with you again before you left Scotland. However, when you return...

Jimmy - nooooooooooo... not golf... - I don't own a sufficiently hideous tank-top and trews.

Hope - are you one of those that hides behind the camera then? Many photographers I know do.

Erika - There's a simple solution - find 10 other people who are prepared to club together with a couple of hundred dollars each, then fly me and the family over for a couple of weeks. I'll do yours for free :)

Pat - thank you :)

Mapstew - it might take all my powers stretched to the limit, but I'm always up for a challenge :)

Pat - makes perfect sense :)

Starrlife - thank you :)

Daphne - I'd love to get my lens round Jimmy's craggy features, but I'm not so desperate I'd play golf to do it

Email me if you have a mo about the classic movies thing - I need a bit of clarity on what you want, but I'm happy to help :)

Katie - the spiders are just temporary - they were the only decent shots I had that seemed suitable for Halloween. They'll be gone in a day or 2.

If you want to email me your opinions, my address is available on my profile. Another pair of eyes is always useful :)

Entrepreneur Chick - feel free to email me :)

Emma - to be honest, I don't want to get involved in creating prints, mounting and framing them - it's not my idea of fun. Which is why I'm happy to hand people a disc of the images so they can do it themselves, even though it's less profitable for me this way.

And as I mentioned to Erika, if you want to find 10 other people who are prepared to club together with a couple of hundred euros each, then fly me and the family over for a couple of weeks. I'll do yours for free :)

bonequinhoda bic - my morning espresso is the most wonderous drink of the day for me

Katie Roberts said...

If there's something strangely like an essay in your inbox....

Ron Tipton said...

Just had my Christmas photo taken at the J. C. Penney store in Dover. I'll share it with you when I get it next week. Sure do wish you were nearby so I could have employed you to take my photo.I have one of those "fascinating faces."

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