Do you offer consults on websites that already exist?
Yes! My fee is $95 for a 45-minute live call where we walk through the elements of your site that may be confusing or holding back your ideal clients from committing to work with you. You will have the opportunity to ask questions during this call.
I specialize in designs for small cash-for-goods (retail) businesses, artist portfolios, small service businesses, and e-commerce sites for info products. I may not be able to speak your website if you are outside these specifications, but don't let that deter you from reaching out to check! If you are interested in this consultation service, please send your website URL to me using my contact form and let me know that you are interested in a 45-minute consult. I will send you my response within 2 business days. If I am able to give you feedback on your site, we ought to be able to set up a call time as soon as I send my response.
I already have a photographer in mind for my website. Will you still help with my design?
Yes. It will be ideal if you and I plot out your site map before you arrange time with your photographer, so that you can be sure you know what photos you need, and we don't end up planning your site around your images. But yes, absolutely. Your images should match your brand, and my photography style might not be the perfect match, and I totally get that. If you do need my photography skills, you will get them at a premium rate when you sign up for a photography add-on with your web design. Just FYI.
Are your web designs responsive/will they look good on a phone screen?
Yes! One of the big reasons I use Squarespace for all my designs is that the final product will always adjust to the dimensions of whatever device you're using.
Do you take long-distance clients?
Not for web design. I can be persuaded to be on-location for a client that doesn't live in my area, but long-distance communication has proved too troublesome in the past.
BUT! I share a lot of my techniques in the tutorials that come with my DIY web design kits. You can build a site on your own, or purchase a kit and outsource the assembly to somebody local to where you are, and get an excellent value that way, if you like!
I literally know nothing about technology. Am I going to be able to update my own website without help?
Yup. I created a video tutorial to walk you through all the most common update functions, which you will receive once your site is live. You won't need to know code or have any design training at all. All you'll need to know is your login password.
Why do you use Squarespace? Do you ever do WordPress sites?
I learned very fast after I started designing websites that the client is best served by a website that doesn't require a lot of tech expertise to update or grow with the business. If you own a restaurant, you might want to be on your site daily to update the specials; if you own a boutique, you might want to add new items to your catalog or remove items that have sold out. Nobody wants to have to call and pay a web designer for help every other minute. That'd be an enormous pain. But with Squarespace, once the site is up and running, you won't need to know more than how to type with two fingers. It's a pretty awesome platform.
I am familiar with WordPress, but no longer build sites from scratch on that platform. I am also hesitant to update existing sites put together by other designers, as this can sometimes violate contractual agreements between a business and its original web designer. All the sites I build, I do on Squarespace.
I'm thinking of getting one of your DIY web design kits. What do I need to know?
I'm pretty thorough in my descriptions of the kits, but here are some key points:
• You need to have Photoshop, even if it's just the two-week free trial
• The cost of hosting a site on Squarespace or using a custom domain name is not included with the cost of the kit
• Some of the DIY kits feature graphics and fonts that you have to purchase separately if you wish to use them. You certainly don't need them if they don't match your brand, but in the event that you do want to use them, I have deducted the cost of those items (as they were when I created the design) from my base price of the DIY kits so that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg.
Do you do photos for non-business use?
I've been known to do senior photos and engagement sessions, but for the most part, what I'm best at is business and lifestyle photography. If you have your heart set on having me to a non-business project, feel free to inquire.
Will you post images on my social media for me if I get your social photography subscription?
Posting images is not included in the cost of the subscription. A lot goes into social strategy, and it would not be feasible for me to do the social posting for every business that signs up for a social photography subscription. If you are interested in improving your social strategy, subscribe to my blog, where I do write about marketing, in addition to other business topics. In some cases, I am willing to assist with social posting for a predetermined period for an additional fee. Inquire if this interests you.
How many photos will I get from my session? How will I receive them?
Every photo session is a little different, but generally, for a one-hour shoot, I guarantee at least a dozen rockstar images and about double that in delivery. Half-day and full-day shoots tend to offer shots more per hour, as generally by nature they often require more rapid shooting or more shots are needed overall.
Photos are delivered digitally through an easy-to-use portal unless requested to be delivered through a specific software system. I do not offer prints at this time, as my services are for digital business use (web designs, ads, social media, business portraits, etcetera), but I can recommend printers if needed.
How far do you travel?
I'm a Maine-based photographer, in the Portsmouth/Kittery area. I am willing to drive to most places in New England, but special arrangements would have to be made for me to do work elsewhere. Don't let that deter you from inquiring! I've done travel for special occasions, such as going on tour with a musician for a couple months and being on-location for the development of a space for a business. I'm happy to travel if it's worthwhile for both of us.
Do you work in trade?
Technically, yes. I do sometimes work in trade if the party for whom I'm doing photos has something of equal value to offer that I'm already in the market for. I might, for instance, need a videographer for a short film project at Alexis the Greek, or I might trade a day of photography with another photographer so that I can get some up-to-date images of me for my site. I do not trade for watermarked images.
If I get the photos unedited, can I get a discount?
No. I understand where you are coming from with this question, but part of the service that I offer is my knowledge of post processing. All the images I release into the world build my brand and my reputation as a photographer, and I do not release images that have not been finished to my satisfaction. That includes raw or untouched images.
What should I wear when I get my picture taken?
Since I am a business and lifestyle photographer, I tend to shoot portraits of people in clothing they would normally wear for the context they're in (so if I'm shooting photos for a yoga website, yoga pants and an athletic top would be appropriate; if I'm shooting in a professional kitchen, then a uniform, an apron, and/or restrained hair would be appropriate).
Within those parameters, some good rules of thumb are:
- Avoid patterns as much as possible if you don't want them to distract from the story we're trying to tell in your pictures (patterns like plaid and polka dots look much louder on film, and tiny, abstract patterns tend to look drab)
- Wear color if you can, rather than black or white, since both black and white look timeless in real life but often wash folks out on camera
- Try, if you can and you're comfortable with it, to have your hair pulled back from your face, so the light can catch your eyes and smile
- Don't over-accessorize; choose one statement piece if you want or a few more subtle pieces, but don't overdo it
- Wear clothing you can maneuver in comfortably and that you like yourself in. You'll be more confident having your picture taken if you feel like yourself, you know you're modest, and you know you look your best
I hear you edit screenplays. Is that true?
Yes. I actually offer several services that I do not advertise under the umbrella of my Alexis the Greek brand. The focus of Alexis the Greek Photography and Web Design is establishing consistent, branded online presence for startups and small businesses; however, I studied screenwriting in college and have done well in the writing field, in terms of publication and contests, so I do edit for other aspiring writers upon request as I have availability. If you'd like me to look over something you've written or you're interested in a quote, reach out to me here.
Do you offer business coaching?
Yes. I am not a certified coach (as of January 2017), but enough first-time business owners have reached out to me to request this service that it is now something I offer. I can offer coaching only on a case-by-case basis, depending on my availability and my ability to translate my business knowledge to the company in question. Please detail your request by filling out my contact form. Tell me a bit about your company, what your goals are, and what attributes you are seeking in a coach to help you achieve your goals, and I will be back with you within 2 business days.
Why is your business called Alexis the Greek?
Before I became a professional photographer and designer, I worked for a couple years at a breakfast place in southern Maine, where a little Greek woman would come in maybe three times a week for her morning coffee.
"Remind me of your name, dear?" she would always ask.
"Alexis," I would say.
"Alexis!" she would say, throwing her hands in the air. "That's a Greek name. Are you Greek?"
"No, I don't think so," I'd reply. "I think I'm too tall to be Greek."
"You are very beautiful," she would say. "You'd look very handsome next to my son."
"Yes." She would sigh at this point and shake her head sadly. "But my son is married."
"Shame," I'd say.
"It is," she would answer. "It is."
I came to be known around the breakfast place as Alexis the Greek, and even after I left, it just sort-of stuck!