Photographer’s Website Critique

For one of my journalism classes, I was assigned to critique the website of a photographer whose work I admire. I chose Liesle Diesel, an amazing photographer who specializes in documenting weddings. I love her authentic style and ability to capture the beauty, humor and emotions of a wedding. Her work is a breath of fresh air from the corny, predictible wedding portraits you typically see.

Liesle Diesel is fromChicago, IL, and is an award-winning member of the Wedding Photojournalistic Association.

Liesel’s website is well designed with a unique flair. It is artistic and professional. The creative presentation of material fits very appropriately with her style of photography.  She categorizes her portfolio by wedding stories, portraits and personal projects.  She organizes her photos in a way that makes it easy to navigate.

The following elements strengthen the quality of her website:

  • The slideshow on the main page shows a nice variety of images, displaying the range of Liesl’s skills with a mix of black and white and colored photos.
  • There is an option in the upper right corner to view the website in full screen.
  • The Facebook like box at the lower left corner is not distracting, but adds to the credibility of her work – showing 2.1 thousand likes.
  • The font style and colors are consistent – white for inactive text and green for active texts.
  • Liesl provides three layers of information in her ‘info’ tab: “why a liesl,” “bio-liesl,” and “buy-a-liesl,” allowing her audience to really get to know her.
  • The blog and client login sites open in new tabs, making it easy for people to return to the home page without losing their place. The style of the blog is also consistent with the website.
  • When viewing photos in the portfolio, they automatically begin rolling through a slideshow. However, if the user wants to scroll through the photos at his or her own pace, arrows appear on the right and left sides of the image, and there is the option of viewing the photos as thumbnails.
  • There is an option to email the photo at the top right corner.

The following flaws weaken the quality of the website:

  • The text “Liesl Diesel Photo” at the bottom right corner turns green when you move the cursor over it. This is misleading because when you click it, nothing happens.
  • There is a lot of dead space at the top of the main page, the portfolio, and the info page.  She could fill in more of the space by using larger photos and larger font sizes.
  • From the ‘connect’ page, you are not able to click on the ‘portfolio’ tab. This is hidden unless you are in ‘full screen’ mode.
  • On the ‘portfolio’ page, the text for subcategories is almost too small to read.



A Reality Check on Raw Milk

My Final Project Topic

Milk is no easy topic to discuss, often eliciting emotional reactions from people on both sides of the controversy. In an official E. coli investigation this spring, Missouri State and Boone County health officials found that 13 E. coli cases reported consuming raw milk products from the same farm. Supporters of raw milk feel that the benefits well outweigh the risks of drinking milk and that the government is infringing on their right to chose their own food, but raw milk critics say they’re concerned about public safety.

Several arguments fall in between the two sides, raising questions such as, “Should parents be allowed to give their children raw milk?,” Is the raw milk making people sick or the lack of cleanliness of the farms?,” “Can you prepare raw milk to reduce the risks of getting E. coli?,” and “Should producers be allowed to sell raw milk at farmers markets?”

For my Electronic Photojournalism final project, I will investigate the controversy surrounding raw milk and present my findings in a visually compelling way to inform my audience and allow them to decide for themselves if raw milk is worth the risk. I will use elements of photography, video, audio and graphics to tell the story and provide the information in an entertaining and easy-to-understand format. I will aim to create a truly unbiased piece of journalism that gives equal credit to all sides of the argument. There have been criticisms of the media over-sensationalizing coverage of raw milk without providing enough educational information.

To successfully tell the story, I will interview raw milk consumers, proponents and farmers, as well as health department officials and raw milk opponents.

My multimedia piece will incorporate visuals from the farm, drop sites and grocery stores — following milk from the farmer’s hands to the customer’s shopping cart. Visuals will also show consumers drinking raw milk and using it for cooking. The video and audio will include interviews from the types of people mentioned above. A text story will explore any legislation efforts being considered or recently passed, and what people’s reactions are to these measures. The graphic will lay out a simple ‘pros and cons’ chart, taken from opinions gathered in the interviews. Another graphic may include a map of farms where people can buy raw milk and which farms were linked to the E. coli outbreaks.

-Photos are from a raw milk rally in Minneapolis in summer 2012.