I assure you I am not paid by AW to leave a review, just a long time customer (6 years or so). I am not a photography enthusiast, so if the photos on AW are bad, that's news to me, nor do I care. I don't get off on "good photography", I'm looking at the models. I prefer the amateurish nature of the site compared to some other sites I have visited over all. Maybe their photography is more on the not-quite-pro side of things, but it ain't rocket science and they use good cameras, usually natural lighting, and plenty of resolution (they offer XL high resolution photos besides the regular, on newer shoots the past several years). I also only view this stuff on a smaller Macbook pro and not a large monitor or TV, so maybe I haven't missed the ultra high 5k rez or whatever. The HD they offer and XL pics are enough on my system. Some shoots are better than others on here.
I think you're right, they do mostly have former models do the shooting, I may have called them pros in my review, but I think imeant the camera equipment is professional.
I think the non-pro approach makes it more real, like the models/shoots aren't part of some industry porn site (which of course, they are). Like the girls just got together to shoot some porn and have lots of orgasms (and once a month, one of them brings their boyfriend) .
I've got other porno from other sites, but still come back to this one alot. It's all subjective anyway, there is a lot other sites have not on here, and vice-versa.
Also , I am new to PU, and have not left reviews of other sites yet, I may work on that.
ok, well, this is topical - this just came in from a customer (not a plant):
My name's [redacted]. I used to be a member on your site and I have to say I've always been a huge fan of what you guys have done/are doing - I love how AW has brought back REAL, natural girls, presented in real, natural settings. There's something so much more appealing about what you do than the general standard that's out there...these airbrushed, hairless, plastic-y bimbos with stilettos under harsh studio lighting, wearing make-up by the pound, that we are for some reason supposed to find attractive...needless to say, yuck.
I saw an AW picture randomly the other day of a model I found out was called Carmina, just a picture of her holding an aqua-coloured jumper/sweater over herself and I thought to myself, "God, abbywinters gets this so completely right."
It often amuses me that militant PU people shout down positive reviews of our site (and other sites here) - they cannot seem to accept that not everyone agrees with their own world view ("I don;t like the site, so no one else can either!"). I reckon we should let CatSteppings have his say, and perhaps you could post your own review?
Well, you have kind of done that - you don't like our photography. You are correct that some of our shooters have been models (we find we get better results from new models that way). I (Garion Hall, owner) am responsible for their training. They may not be the best shooters in the world (though, I think they are pretty good), but they consistently produce content that our customers enjoy (seems like CatSteppings is one of them) which is what really matters in my book.
If you have some other specific feedback on the photography, I'd love to hear it - your point on depth of field is well taken, and it's a conscious decision we make. I am not always happy with the result. While we could shoot at f16 and wide angle lenses all the time (some of our competition does that - you won's see any DoF issues on inthecrack.com, for example), it's difficult to get that much light into the locations we shoot (often, the models own homes - which are small, especially in Amsterdam), and the result would be less "natural" looking images. So, we make compromises.
Of course, you don't want to hear excuses, you want RESULTS! Perhaps we have to agree that our site is not right for you - I am sure there are many sites whose content doesn't float your boat, and maybe we're one of them?
If you have other photography feedback, I'd like to hear it.
The number of updates, it's a tough issue. Of course, customers always want more, but there's a risk of "firehose of content", porn overload, where customers become complacent. We used to have more frequent updates (3-4 new items a day). When we reduced it, some people complained, but most were fine with it (others actually preferred it). As you probably know, all pay sites are dong it tough; it's difficult to compete with the tube sites. Everyone has ideas on how to do it best, and if there's one thing I've learned in the last 15 years, it's that every customer wants something different, and there's no way to win by trying to please everyone.
I see it as our job to "curate" the "abbywinters paradigm", stay clear to our vision and mission, and let customers choose if it suits them (or not). We do not aim to be "all things to all people", but we listen to feedback, and if it's in-line with our vision, we work to implement it. Indeed, a bunch of feedback has been offered here on PU, and we have implemented some of it (RagingBuddhist in particular was very vocal about some things).
We're surprised to get this feedback, I don't think we have ever got feedback like this, to be honest (we have had feedback about the depth of field being too shallow, but that's not really what you're commenting on, I think?). We get a heck of a lot of OTHER feedback from customers on every little detail (here, on our boards, and by email), and I cannot remember the last time this came up.
So, I'm intrigued!
You said you're not sure what we do to our images, so let me tell you: Our images are shot on Canon 1dmk3 cameras as RAW. We use only Canon L series lenses. We lightly process in Adobe LightRoom to balance colours and add the watermark. We resize and output with a moderate JPG compression, resulting in file sizes of 150kb to 600kb (for "regular" sized images - "XL" images are 800kb to 1200kb). We use calibrated good quality monitors, and the shoots are reviwed by at least two people as a "sanity check" before being released on the site.
I'm not sure if you're exaggerating for effect when you say "every image", but we'd very much like to hear from you an example of an AW shoot that is good, and another that is bad, to see if we can identify what you're seeing. If you did not say that other sites images look great, I'd assume you're using a really bad monitor, or display settings, but that cannot be the case (you ARE looking at these other sites ont he same monitor, right?).
Have you tried looking at our images on any other computer screen? I cannot imagine that a screen could make our images look bad and everyone elses look good, but I suppose it's possible? You sound like you know a fair bit about image quality - if you're interested, we'd like to send you a RAW image for you to process so it looks good for you, and send it back to us to see how it looks on our end (please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to do this).
If you like our content (which you seem to, apart from this image quality problem), we'd like the opportunity to work with you to fix it.
We're bemused, and would love to hear back. Either way, thanks for trying us out and being a member.
This explanation from abbywinters.com Owner Garion Hall
We used to use CCBill, but received many complaints from our customers about poor service (and some evidence that seemed an employee of theirs was selling email addresses to spammers, tho this was back in 2003). We developed our own billing solution, gmbill.com which has massively better features, and better service, and is considerably cheaper for us (and thus, for customers). Feedback we regularly get from other webmasters and customers is that CCBill's service and product remains low quality. Perhaps not surprising when you're the walmart of billers?
However, we do use CCB as a backup biller, in case GMB goes down, or if GMB refuses to process a given credit card. Most adult sites have a secondary biller (and GMBill.com is some sites secondary biller, in case their primary biller goes down). If, when joining AW, your card was rejected by GMB for some reason, you would have been presented with the option to join by CCBill (and a few other options).
GMB's trustworthiness is without question - it's more secure, reliable, robust, and owned and operated by people who care about customers, the industry, and GMB's clients (abbywinters.com in this case).
So that explains the biller we use, and in regards to your other points about the image size and quality: Good News!
You may have heard the entire abbywinters.com complex is undergoing not just a redesign but a revolution! (You can read about it and check out screen shots on our forum) When the old site is switched off and the new one is running smoothly we'll offer all photo sets in a range of sizes for download. Of course custom zip files are still available so you only download those you really want. We're in Alfa testing right now, beta testing soon(sign up!) and we're expecting to GoLive January 2010!
I have checked with the head of our billing service GMBill, you shouldn't have any problems with your bank. Most of our members are from the US but GMBill is used globally. Talk to our Customer Support team and they'll help sort out any issues for you.
Thanks for your review, you've got a lot of good points, I just wanted to say that we are listening, we do hear the complaints about nudity to non-nude proportions and I think we're getting on top of that now. There is a fair delay between filming and releasing the encoded content if that helps explain it a bit better?
I wanted to thank you for making us aware of your concerns. We strive to give exceptional customer service in all areas, and the security and safety of our customers is of utmost importance to us.
If you would like to mail our support team, we'd be glad to look into this further for you, and have our technical team work with you if necessary.
What we've found is that adult sites are often targeted URLs for ransomware. The end user is silently infected at another site. Then when the target URL is visited, the trigger is pulled and the ransom aspect of the trojan is activated.
When customers do encounter this on our site, or any site, we encourage them to disable java,(and leave it disabled if possible) and run the free version of Malwarebytes.
If you have specific questions, concerns, or need assistance, please contact us, and we will be glad to help.
Well, you are right and you are wrong, greg909. I would agree when it comes to picture sets, as good as the quality is, but when it comes to the videos the personalty of the girls really shines through and you look at them as distinct individuals.
I just joined ATK Galleria, you are right. They're images are similar. I find myself very frustrated. I got excited to view some of the larger images, just to be frustrated with the quality. The pics are not crisp, there's no fine detail. There are so many with the faces fuzzy, blurry, or out-of-focus.
What does someone have to do to find a site with good quality, crisp, natural pictures? Someone help me please, lol.
There have been about a dozen articles on Mike South's website going back to last September about the problems at ATK and they just seem to be getting worse. They haven't been paying their photographers and don't seem to be shooting much new content any more so the sites are getting filled with content from the archive site or swapped in from other ATK sites. I have been a member of the Galleria site off and on since 2003 but don't expect them to be around much longer which is a shame because in the past their variety of both girls and photographers was unbeatable, and now what they are putting up on the site all looks the same.
Based on my experience, most girls prefer to shave "down there" nowadays. It doesn't surprise me that hairy models are hard to come by. But that is not the customers' problem. I had a very good rate at ATKHairy and waited and waited for an update from ATKryan (the webmaster)about the issue and canceled yesterday, and his explanation (it's hard to get hairy models, and more sets are coming in from abroad but delayed by customs) came today. Fantastic. Too late.
His problems getting models, again, is his issue. His customers were paying good money for good porn, and he wasn't delivering, and wasn't upfront and honest about why right from the start when it mattered most. THAT was what was wrong with ATKHairy--deliver the promised content or explain right away why you cannot do so for a brief period.
Thanks, Greg. I am happy to see that I have company because, judging by the majority of the comments at ATK, "Scary Hairy" is in and is even being encouraged and promoted by ATK Owner. Maybe people got tired of ordinary hairy and are now going for the extreme. I am not condemning this site for it, if scary is becoming their bread and butter then so be it.
But at the same time, as I told others, I also wanted to warn those who might be turned off by the excess hair, and the tattoos and piercings you mention, not to go there. The 85 might fool some folks so I hope they read the review carefully.
As to the regular sets, I find them basically bland except for SeanR's but even there I have a problem with all the make up he puts on his models.
I agree entirely, the irony is that shaved IS a fetsh, surely natural ladies are just that - natural and shaving is a recent thing. To dome degree or other women shaved downstairs, but this was to trim it as much as anything - going by what most females have said to anyway!
What seems to have happened in the last few years is that pubes are considered "dirty" or something along that line and they must be removed totally.
I don't agree at all though that his recent models are old slappers, one or two yes; in 2010 have you seen: Regina, Kirsty, Shanice, Sheila, Emma, Zarina, Marika, Alabama, Lauren, Sian Tequilla - these have all been added in 2011 are some are gorgeous. I will agree though they have makeup but that is the photographer's style I guess.
Granted a fair few have tats but these are in fashion these days too!
Good points. My guess? It looks as though he lets the girls do their own makeup (I have used that approach with my models). Some gals wear tons of tacky makeup and others very little. Maybe some guys like that cheap hooker look, but I do not. Gaudy eyeliner, porn-blowjob lips, etc.. I would love it if all the photographers would make their models wash all that shit off before they started. Then again, I am guessing that some of you guys like that stuff.
The "fuck-me-pumps"? That is sooooooo overdone. Again, I think some guys like to fantasize that they are surrounded by naked, women in cheap shoes. I for one have never slept with a girl while she is wear stilettos, but again, I guess it pops some people's monkey.
Other costumes and such. Well the biggest complaint they get is that each set looks the same as the last. They try to make up for it by varying the costumes. My tastes are for the ordinary, and I love a girl in jeans.
I was a member there a long time ago and remember thinking how repetitive things were. I'd thought of giving it another shot one day, but the poor photograpy and the "bizarre tattooed skanks with body piercings and weird makeup" makes avoiding it a very easy call. Thanks for the report.
When it's good at this site, it's very good. Unfortunately, too often part of the girl's image is blurry. There were some great shots there recently of Milla, for instance, that were marred by her head being all blurred out in the largest pics.
Sometimes some members will look at a similar site and see something we don't but I do find that 95 was rather high for what I consider to be a semi-dead site. I checked what passes for a preview section and
at least 3 of the updates are many years old since the performers on them have been retired for a couple of years already.
It's nice that you get access to a couple of other sites but frankly Seventeen video is basically the video section of this sites photosets and the other site is a cam site.
There was a time when Seventeen was the site for cute teen models but that time is long gone. There are better ones now and frankly cheaper ones as well.
OK, I know what you mean, but I really think they have improved a LOT at Femjoy in the last 4 or 5 years. I keep all my images by year (10 years worth for Femjoy) and I just went back and opened some zip files from 2007. They are good, but sometimes these images are a little darker and sometimes the emphasis is on the overall locale with the model included in the image periphery someplace. This was pretty common in softcore several years back and was a technique made popular by Holly Randall and others from the days of Penthouse magazine (the "artsy" dark hazy look, the halo look and the High Dynamic Resolution look sometimes still used by Michael Ninn and others can go straight to hell as far as I'm concerned.) Honestly, a panoramic shot with the model in the image can sometimes be very beautiful, but it does not appeal to everyone, it should be used very sparingly and it distracts from the reason for the set, which is the model. Dark sets do crop up occasionally and I too get very frustrated with them. Fortunately, those sets are very rare. Digital cameras are much better these days, too, so the softness we used to see sometimes is also rare.
One thought....sometimes they mess with the thumbnail image to brighten it up for the text they are adding, not simply to improve the image. This may be why you sometimes see brighter thumbnails.
These days I download and unzip the zip files of entire sets instead of just individual images. I also have a single folder where I keep the very best high-resolution images because of the model, the pose and the image quality, not because of the locale. If an image I want to keep happens to have a little too much space at the bottom or top (often they are formatted portrait but could easily be cropped to be landscape), then I just load up Adobe Photoshop and crop it myself. I just looked at my jumbo best-of collection, about 1000 images, and I've probably cropped 75% of them, but I've only messed with color balance and brightness on about 10% of them. These are the cream of the crop models and images across about 30 sites, but they still required a little cropping to suit my tastes and emphasize the model over the locale. I imagine that may be the case for others as well.
Photographers these days need to be all things to all people. That means they need to do panoramas, full body shots, close ups, hands and feet, face shots, coy shots and open shots, all with both direct eye contact and averted eyes. A little of everything. Amazingly, probably 80% of the Femjoy sets and 60%-80% of the images in those sets for last few years are keepers for me. That may not sound like much, but that is an incredibly high percentage compared to the average soft core site I visit. Of course, your mileage will vary, but I think the photographers at Femjoy do a very, very good overall job these days of keeping their audience happy.
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