review abother "about me"

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by kimberly_lucero, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Hi guys,
    I am new on here, and find that I frequent this site for advice but have yet to ask my own questions. I love absorbing all the information but I am also looking to interact more. I have recently designed my website and not sure about the "about me" section, it is very me but also not sure if it's too much "me" and maybe I need to tone it down. It goes like this:
    "
    Hi! I'm Kim "aka" Berlynn. A high energy, bubbly, seriously creative minded individual who
    cannot quite be labeled into a neat little box. I love monster energy cans, have a
    lust for travel, and even a passion for fashion. Oh, did I mention I like to take
    pictures? If anything my box is a hot mess...but the most fun hot mess you'll ever
    meet! I promise.
    In a nutshell I grew up all over the United States. My mom and her other half,
    literally, had a dart board with a map attached to it and when the mood
    struck..they would toss a dart and off we would move. Can you imagine?! Yeah-I
    know!So growing up I was typically the new kid full of curiosity with a zest for
    chasing the sun, always on the go. What does this have to do with photography?
    Nothing yet, its just me and my messy little box that I like to pretend is not a
    box...
    So, after growing up throughout the states as a young wee-lil adventurer I
    eventually ended up in San Diego where I went to high school and eventually college
    only to discover that I had some SERIOUS wanderlust in which case I moved to the
    Hawaiian islands. Sold my car, packed my bags and off I went. First Oahu then to
    Maui then back to Oahu. Sounds nice? It was. Long story, you should ask me sometime. The words "Simply
    Amazing" don't quite do it justice. I managed to explore my hand at writing a
    fashion blog ( www.nosatisfashion.wordpress.com ) and styled my pants off while in
    the islands. So if you ever have any personal styling questions, or need your
    closet cleaned out, you can ask me about that too. I have a passion for LIFE and
    all the beautiful moments that come along with it. I remember such moments as a kid
    in the car, driving to wherever the next destination was, taking a glimpse inside
    other cars; a glimpse inside other peoples lives and today is not much different.
    Photography has always come natural to me and I feel privileged to be allowed to
    not just take a glimpse, but to capture these moments in such a manner that is both
    special and unique. Outside of the box, minus the hot mess of course. After all I am a
    professional. Perhaps you will allow me the honor to take a glimpse and capture a
    special memory in your life because, that's how I feel about photography: lucky and
    grateful to work in a craft that I love so much. If your a dreamer, a wanderer, an
    explorer or even just someone who follows their own personal dreams and goals then
    I bet we would not just get along, we might even become friends.
    <3
    Want to find out? Contact me @Photography@Berlynn.co"
    kind of not sure if I should remove the whole bit about the hot mess, I like it...but not sure if some people would take it the wrong way. I am certainly open to changing it, but I do want to convey that I do multiple things (I have a degree in visual communications, fashion blog, photography, travel/nature freak) Do I need to keep it all about photography or can it really be more about me? Thank you in advance for your time.
    P.S. I do have another bit on my site about what type of photographer I am and what it is all about. It is more basic and to the point. So that's another reason I got a little more personal here. But again, open to suggestions. Thanks!
     
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I can't see anyone wanting to read this, and if they did, they wouldn't hire you after they read it. TMI, way too much TMI. And irrelevant.
     
  3. Like Jeff said, way too much information. Think about what information would someone be looking for if they went to this page.
    Also think about breaking the text - perhaps use bullets as long text is hard to read.
     
  4. Just way too long. It's interesting, but too personal as well. When I'm looking at a photographer's website (and I have done so as a customer as well), If I see something longer than about 10 sentences, I skip it completely. Yours also has a few grammatical errors and that says, "lack of attention to detail" to me. As a customer, I was looking for a clue that the photographer had the technical ability to get what I wanted. Reading something like this would not give me that impression.
    Sorry! Just being honest and it's only my opinion.
     
  5. Kimberly, I agree with the comments above.
    It kind of reminds me of a profile that I would read at match.com:)
     
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Just as a comparison, here is the About Me from my website:
    I am a San Francisco based photographer specializing in performance events, portraits, real estate and fights, along with the Pandora's Box inside my head. Clients include Incredible Features, Undisputed Boxing Gym, World Team USA, Strikerwalker ET Music Productions, Pacific Realty, and Gomez & Patton Real Estate. Publication credits include Drum Magazine, Guitar Player, Real Fighter, Vincit, CA-Modern, and The Art of the Warrior. I do volunteer work for La Cocina and the Haight Street Fair. I photograph and write for Sensitive Skin Magazine and The Owl. I take on personal clients for portraits, tattoo display, and performance.​
    While I don't think I get any business because of this writeup, I do think it gives potential clients a level of comfort. A view into my personal life would be highly unlikely to do that.
     
  7. Sorry but there is just way too much meaningless stuff. All I can see is someone manically talking after drinking 18 double espresso shots, with lots of sugar.
    An About me for a photographer needs to be about photography, not a rambling life history. In all that rambling you barely mentioned photography...
    Oh, did I mention I like to take pictures?
    What does this have to do with photography? Nothing yet
    Photography has always come natural to me (sic).....
    and when you did you didn't say anything meaningful like where you are or what exactly you photograph.

    Conclusion - hot mess indeed.
     
  8. WOW - tough crowd LOL Sort of agree but in a kinder way. Now that we have all smacked you down and you have stepped away from to coffee! :)
    OH - you lost me at bubbly (sort of got that from the rest of the post).
    Seriously though. Try again - I have written MANY bios as my mood changes and so forth. Keep at it. Bios are always a work in progress. Find the right fit, talk about your vision with photography. Where are you from and "what" do you take images from.
    People don't care about YOU yet. That is something that they will want to learn AFTER they see you work.
     
  9. Highly unprofessional. Your bio should include your educational history and experience as a photographer if that is the skill you are trying to market. Listing some personal interests is fine but keep it short and general. I have to agree with the comment above me; people really don't care about you as of yet and won't be interested in going further to contact you if you don't seem professional. Once you meet with a client, then you can be more personable. People want to know they have hired someone who is professional, has a strong work ethic and can be responsible. Organization is highly important too so the remark about being a "hot mess" is entirely not to your favor. I'd start over if I were you. Sorry, I don't mean to be too critical but you do want to be successful, don't you? Hope my opinion and the others could be some help to you.
     
  10. ok ok, I hear you guys. I would like to mention that the first bio I ever wrote was very similar to the one posted by Jeff. Basic and to the point. I had a friend in marketing tell me to make it more personal. Apparently I got too personal. I also have text on my first page describing what type of photography and services I provide. (I am a lifestyle photographer btw, focusing on families, maternity, engagements and special events)
    Now with that being said, I have re-written my bio in a completely different manner bc yes, of course, I want to be successful. I also do not want to sound like everyone else. I don't think that everything needs to be relevant to photography. In fact, I have seen several articles written about how you should talk about anything except photography when it comes to an "about me". I have also seen other bio's that were short, personable and had little to do with photography but completely impactful. What about those? Is there only one way to do it? Most advice I seem to find is contradicting which is why I am here. It can be very confusing to determine the correct source of information. So, I will not give up and here is another version. Please keep in mind that I already have a clear description of the work I do on my first page. I do not feel it is necessary to repeat the same info in the about me. This version is much shorter and I broke the text down. I recognize not every single sentence is absolutely necessary when it comes to explaining what I do photographically but, I feel it helps in sharing my personality. That is at least part of the point, right? Hopefully it's an improvement:
    Me: Hi! My name is Kimberly a.k.a. "Berlynn" I am a: free spirited lifestyle photographer with a passion for creation and a lust for travel Who lives: in San Diego with my wild morkie-mix Shiloh (she thinks she's a lion) Along with my: ninja partner in crime, a.k.a. "Roots" Height: 5'2 a.k.a. "mini" Mission: tell a story through the use of emotion and light; capturing perfection in the day to day moments. Vision: photograph not just people and places, but the way they make me feel "It is the photographing of ordinary things, in extraordinary light, which results in
    extaordinary photographs." - David Young
     
  11. Kimberly, I apologize if I sounded harsh. I was actually reading some match.com profiles just before I read your profile and it really did sound like a good profile for that site:)

    Here is the typical info that I post at my website and other sites. ''Multi-award winning photographer specializing in family beach portraits, fine art, special events, parties, children, sports, real estate, and much more.''

    I usually don't list a bio about my past shows at museums, art fairs, magazines/newspapers that have used my work or the awards unless I am asked. I guess I should list my bio on Pnet some day, but not sure if it would help me get any business.

    I went back to college a couple of years ago to take most of their photo classes. It was great to be surrounded by other people that were interested in art once again.
    One of the last classes that I took was called Portfolio and it included doing a resume. That is when I listed all my past work experience and awards. It had to start off with a summary, which I guess would kind of be like a bio. My summary is geared for the type of work that I do in my area.
    I am copying this from the resume> ''A creative photographer with experience in portraits; community, sporting, and social events; and landscapes, wildlife, and beaches. An organized, focused professional who is able to complete assignments on time. An outgoing, personable individual who can easily work independently or on a team, and who can work well with the public and co-workers.''
     
  12. Now, I really really don't want to lower the tone here or appear dismissive in any way, but perhaps I should point out that round my way "box" is occasionally used as a euphemism for a woman's nethers. Hearing you describe how your "box is a hot mess" involuntarily made me spit coffee on my keyboard. Just FYI; one should be mindful of avoiding unintentional double entendres on one's professional profile.
    On the plus side it sounds warm and personable, but also hugely disorganised, rambling and manic. If I were to hire you I wouldn't want you commenting on the state of my closet or trying to become a friend until at least after we were on a reasonable professional footing.
    I'd also be a bit careful about using other people's quotes to fill your profile; David Young's is a noble sentiment, but it's not yours and unless you have the photographs to back it up perhaps you should think of your own?
    Thanks for a good chuckle though; it made my morning (although that probably means I should get out more...)
    Best wishes, Mark
     
  13. Eliminate 'ninja partner in crime'
    Hackneyed and really has no meaning. It's wasted words. That's a 'no-no'.
    Who is 'Roots'?
    Friend or pony?
    Is a morkie a friend or a friend of a Mindy.
    Would anyone know what it is without going (as I did) to Google.com and finding it is not even a recocognized breed.
    Nobody wants to have to go to google.com to read a bio. Think dropping the arcane and mysterious.
    Communicate with others, not with your own psyche.
    Don't be mysterious - quirkiness may be fine in dating or in a personal presention, or if you're famnous and have a Gugenheim grant and a trust fund for finances it may be fine, but if you're setting out for business with a web site bio, you've got to figure out what it's supposed to do.
    Yours is not doing it.
    Not yet.
    Not until you figure out WHY you are writing the bio.
    This is not a literature class, and you are not writing for a literature quarterly read by a few hundred people; you are writing for the masses to inveigle them to give you money to take photographs, and you should be telling them WHY they should part with their precious money by first calling you or otherwise tracking you down as opposed to the thousands of other qualified photographers willing to sell their young for a chance to do the same.
    Think of your customers and why what you offer will meet their needs, otherwise for all the creative look of your writing, it's just an exercise in onanism, as your writing will drive off core customers, assuming you are an entry-level, basic, soon to be starving, photographer, who may be forced after six months to offer to sell a lens on Craig's List for some food and some ARCO gas for your car.
    Your writing is exclusive, which means it will drive off a good number of potential customers.
    You need to understand that unless you're of the Lohan, Hilton, Kardashian set, you're going to have to deal with everyday Joe Blows.
    They're not going to understand what you've written, and they're not going to be 'in touch' with what you've written or the least bit intrigued, much less moved to pick up the phone.
    That's the bottom line.
    Do they pick up the phone, now or later? Or even give you a recommendation to someone in the market for a photographer?
    They won't if they can't get through your quirky prose.
    If they don't consider you, it's a lost opportunity.
    You can help or hinder those opportunities, and so far we've seen mainly hindrances.
    Being 'in business' means that customers are precious, and you don't easily at first get to pick and choose them -- it's the other way around.
    Your advertisement (a bio is an advertisement, like it nor not) should not be repelling or driving away customers through being mysterious, arcane or just too self-centered.
    Think what your basic meat and potatoes customers at the start of your career are going to want you for, how you can handle them (even if you don't want to make them your career clients) and how your bio is going to help get them into the door to pay for your rent, your equipment, your gas, and some living expenses, otherwise, the energy in writing a quirky bio, as above, is onanistic, in my view.
    Also, your use of bolding and colons, while interesting from a design standpoint, does not square with the text -- it needs to make sense linguistically or be discarded.
    This is meant to improve your presentation and help you make money and a living, not in any way to cut you down, even if you can't see that at this minute.
    Best wishes.
    Please save this and read this in one year.
    john
    John (Crosley)
     
  14. Try this!
    My name is Kimberly. I specialize in lifestyle photography and have a passion for creation and a lust for travel. My current home is San Diego California. My photography tells a story through the use of emotion and light; capturing perfection in the day to day moments. Mu vision is to photograph not just people, but places and memories. I photograph the ordinary in extraordinary light which creates a marriage of outstanding beauty and extraordinary photographs.
     
  15. Kimberly, first of all, I don't think anyone's intent is to discourage you, but rather to help you. Please don't take the advice personally. Your friend in marketing, I believe, is wrong. Your bio is your calling card and it must be professional if you want customers.
    While the revision is shorter, it still does not meet your objective. First you must draw customers in by offering them a service they want. Even though this is supposed to be an "about me", It is not about you, it is about them. If I saw a photographer claim he/she was able to capture "perfection" in the day to day moments, I would run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I would see that photographer as egotistical and arrogant (and I am not implying you to be either one of those). Simply, an egotistical photographer does not have the interests of his customers at the forefront. Why should I, as a paying customer, hire someone who does not have my interests at heart? If your work is good, it will speak for itself. Supply references and examples of your work. State the area in which you specialize but never, never, call yourself perfect, or claim to capture perfection. Not only does it come across in a way that is not your intent, you open yourself up to lawsuits should someone not be satisfied. Remember that stupid lawsuit in which someone put a hot cup of coffee in their crotch and drove off? Sadly, we live in a land of all sorts of opportunities for the opportunistic and dishonest. It sure would be a shame if someone were to sue you because you claimed to capture "perfection". Ridiculous, I know, but it could happen. Anything could happen.
    I understand you wanting to be personable, I really do, but the chemistry with the clients is built over time and when they have developed some confidence in you. First you have to come across as someone in which they can put their confidence. I am not a professional photographer; for me, photography is a hobby and creative outlet. I am learning, just as you are about putting my name and my work out there. When I send a query to a literary agent or an editor, I must be professional and to the point with a focused introduction of myself and a clear and concise synopses of my work. It is then up to the agent if they want to represent me and that is the way I think you should approach your photography as a business. If you represent yourself professionally and supply examples of your work, then the customer will choose accordingly. It may take awhile but you will get there, and anything worthwhile is worth the work and wait. I would also advise you to take business courses. I wish you well.
     
  16. Will someone please take the woman for an ice cream and some lollies, and make sure she gets home safely?
     
  17. Me: Hi! My name is Kimberly a.k.a. "Berlynn" I am a: free spirited lifestyle photographer with a passion for creation and a lust for travel Who lives: in San Diego with my wild morkie-mix Shiloh (she thinks she's a lion) Along with my: ninja partner in crime, a.k.a. "Roots" Height: 5'2 a.k.a. "mini" Mission: tell a story through the use of emotion and light; capturing perfection in the day to day moments. Vision: photograph not just people and places, but the way they make me feel "It is the photographing of ordinary things, in extraordinary light, which results in
    extaordinary photographs." - David Young
    Simple question. Is this what you would say/the way you would say to a potential client when you first meet face to face?
     
  18. For the record, I am not offended by any advice given that I have asked for. However, I do find it offensive that anyone would suggest suggest business and/or portfolio classes. That is purely of opinion, without any knowledge of my background. It might surprise you all that I have several years working in a very corporate environment, college degree and all etc. That is besides the point, I did not ask nor do I have any issues in any of these areas. I admit I am not a fantastic writer, but this does not mean I am uneducated.
    As for the comments made by Trisha on perfection I will make some changes. I also made the text appear less mysterious as per John's request. I did not intend to come off as egotistical, especially since I consider myself to be fairly humble. Good food for thought. I am not here for a debate or a critique on my work. I made the changes to my bio the way that I wanted to based on the advice I felt would work for me and my demographic. To all of you who wrote thoughtful and helpful comments, thank you! I'm not sure how welcome I feel in this community but I appreciate the advice all the same.
    BTW~ Trisha- that whole mcdonalds incident you are speaking of was very real and the woman involved was severely burned. The money she won didn't even cover the bills from the hospital. There is even a documentary on netflix about it.
    P.S. For those questioning what a morkie is: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/yorktese.htm first link on google. But, I made the revision anyways ;) as you are right in the fact that no one should have to google it.
     
  19. Yes, Kimberly, I know the McDonald's incident is real and that is why I used it as a reference point for how ridiculous our legal system is; I am sorry the woman was hurt but people should use common sense and not sue others for injuries caused by their own lack of common sense. It was used to illustrate the absurdity that someone could sue you for claiming to capture "perfection".
    You can take offense to some of the suggestions offered as a means to help you, or you can learn from them; the choice is up to you.
     
  20. Trisha, you misinterpreted what I said. I did take the advice that I asked for and I mentioned that I am very thankful. I do not need to go back to school, nor would I ever give that type of advice to someone I knew nothing about. Just my .02
    And I'm sorry to drive this mcdonald point home but it is important you see the truth. Mcdonalds is at fault, not the woman and it caused a lot of aftermath. The fact that we are even discussing it is proof. She wasn't just burned, her skin had to be grafted. Please take the time to read this article: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate...-hot-coffee-lawsuit-why-it-matters-video.html but here is an excerpt anyways:
    "Hot Coffee is a documentary movie that follows the stories of four ordinary Americans as they try to right perceived wrongs—and uses these stories to explore how corporate interests have stacked the cards to limit access to the court system.
    Using the case of Stella Liebeck, for example, we learn that while she became a laughing stock and the butt of jokes on everything from Seinfeld to The Simpsons, the actual facts of the case point to very real, very dangerous malpractice on behalf of McDonalds."
     
  21. Who's truth Kimberly? Yours? Treehugger.com's? Like I said, I am sorry she was injured but people need to exercise some common sense. Would you put your hand on a hot stove? Are you going to sue your stove manufacturer if you put your hand on it and there wasn't a warning it was hot?
    Business courses are beneficial to anybody who wants to be in business for themselves. Your bio was not professional and that is the part of you that you were sharing; I based my perception of you off of what you gave. You asked for advice and opinions and that is what you received by people who had good intentions (myself included). Time to move on...
     
  22. "You asked for advice and opinions and that is what you received by people who had good intentions"
    Well - what she got was a lot of testosterone laden BS actually. I'm a little disappointed with the quality of responses on this thread.
     
  23. I consider any reference to the McDonald's case to be 'off topic' and irrelevant.
    However, since it has raised its ugly head, let me put the argument to rest.
    I practiced law for about two decades during the time the suit was heard and know lots more facts about it than most people.
    Kimberly is correct about the facts, and McDonald's could have served very hot coffee that they knew would almost always be placed in laps without the potential for causing scalding requiring grafting.
    In any case, as I recall although there was a very large award of damages, the trial judge, as per his/her discretion, I recall cut the monstrous judgment to a much more reasonable amount considering some pretty damning evidence against McDonald's. Here is a link to the Snopes.com message board, and the information in its first post I believe to be true.
    http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/ubb/get_topic/f/107/t/000479.html
    Read the first post, please for the facts as I researched them long ago.
    This is not something to pile on Berlyn for, nor for her source, whether it be labeled 'treehugger' or not. I have a law degree cum laude, and I'm also convinced, based on facts I once researched extensively, though it's been a very, very long time since I last practiced law.
    A major part of my practice was claims and dealing with insurance defense which defended claims, and they would easily jump on easily distorted facts to claim the right to limit or prevent plaintiffs from access to attorneys of their choice. Corporations and their insurance companies have been trying to do this since almost the start of time to prevent claimants/plaintiffs from getting adequate counsel and one way is to distort facts to make honest claims sound ridiculous. Read the facts presented at least and see the other point of view.
    Obviously the judge was convinced, and the judge sat through the whole trial. FYI, judges are commonly drawn from insurance defense counsel and prosecutors and more often than not are very conservative-oriented (business oriented) and anti-claimant/plaintiff.
    It's easy to jump on Berlyn for mentioning this, but don't. I have credentials, experience and knowledge, and if you want to e-mail me about it, we can discuss the matter privately. (E-mail's on my bio page).
    Berlyn has taken her criticism (from me at least) in good faith, and that is the first step to getting her into a gainful occupation producing photos for 'Joe Blow' clients who are likely to want her services during the first years of her profession -- which is why she asked our advice, and why I gave mine (above).
    No use muddying the water with off-topic nonsense, so let's now leave the disputable McDonald's case aside.
    By the way, Snopes.com is a highly respectable and neutral site dedicated to researching truth and in the process shooting down many urban legends. The message board is not their research product, but I have independently reviewed the facts presented in the first post, and I believe those posted to be true from my previous research from reading legal cases and legal publications.
    It's easy to have an opinion; I do my research in almost all cases.
    john

    John (Crosley)
     
  24. WOW - that was a buzzkill! LOL
     

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