If you are running a photography business and you want to compete with the many other photographers in your area, you need a professional website. You can certainly use all of the social media platforms available, such as Facebook and Instagram, but a well-put-together website will not only show that you are a professional who takes their business seriously, but it will give potential clients a place to visit and get the information they need when considering hiring you.
Building The Best Photography Website
The best photography websites always look incredible and seem impossible to create. We know we want one when we see it. But what should you put on your website? What should you leave off? Here are some tips for designing a website, whether you are building it yourself or hiring a web designer. Do you go with a free photography website or website template or go the custom route?
Who Are You?
The first thing you want them to know is who you are. Include your business name and your actual name when adding contact information.
Where Are You Located?
Putting your location on your website is very important. What area is your studio in or what area(s) do you do on-location sessions? Do you travel, and if so, what areas do you travel to? If you live in Georgia and you cover the metro-Atlanta area, those are the people you want to contact you, not Sally from New York.
Your contact information should include your business e-mail address, studio address if you have one, and phone and fax numbers. Some people prefer to call about inquiries, others prefer to communicate online. So give potential clients options on how to reach you for questions or booking requests.
What do you do?
Obviously you are a photographer, but what exactly do you photograph? What is your specialty and what target audience are you trying to reach? If you only shoot weddings, then make it clear you are a wedding photographer. If you do family sessions, maternity, and high school senior shoots, put that down. You will not be the photographer for everyone and everyone won’t be the client for you.
Choosing to put your pricing online is strictly up to you. Some feel that it gives local competition too much information. However, if another local photographer wants to know your prices, it wouldn’t be hard to find, whether you add it to your site or not. You could put at least a general idea of your prices to help potential clients know right away if you aren’t in their budget. Just because your work is worth every penny you charge doesn’t mean everyone can afford you. That’s just the reality of any business.
Photography Portfolio Websites
You need to show samples of your best work on your website. These images should represent what you do and your style when it comes to shooting and editing. Everyone has different taste, some people may prefer softer edits and others may prefer more crisp and bold edits. So when they look through your samples they should leave with a good understanding of what to expect with their finished images, should they hire you. If you shoot multiple genres, (families, children, maternity) create separate galleries and title them based on the genre.
You do not want to put too many photos on your website, but you want enough to show them that your work and style is consistent and coherent.
Social Media Information
Add links to your social media profiles. If you use Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter for business marketing, make them easy to access and find from your website.
Likewise, make sure to include your website address on your social media profiles, flyers, and business cards.
Even if you hire a web designer, you will still have a say in the overall design of the website. Your website should be smooth and free of clutter. The font should be easy to read as well.
The tabs and secondary pages should be easy to navigate to and access. If someone comes to your site and has to dig deep to find certain information, chances are they will just move on to the next site on their search. Make sure the mobile version is equally as user-friendly considering most people use their smartphones for web browsing these days.
Consider A Blog
Blogging can be time consuming and you simply may not have time for it. But if you do, it can really draw in potential clients and keep your site relevant on web searches.
You can blog about things that inform your clients. What to wear to a session, tips on framing and hanging photos in their home, venues that you use. Or you could simply blog some of your sessions. Let the blog posts tell a story behind the session and show sample photos. This is a great way to show the more personal/behind the scenes side of you.
You need to keep your website current and up to date. If your style changes or you drastically improve as a photographer, your galleries should show that. If any contact info changes, make sure to update that.
Maintaining a website can be time consuming, but it should be part of keeping up your professional business. Websites are a great way for photographers to display their work and have all of the important information concerning their business easy to find.
Clients should know whether you are a good fit for them right off the bat to keep from wasting your or their time.
Best Photography Websites & Builders
The best photography websites showcase a photographers portfolio in a clean and easy to use format that will highlight and accentuate their photography. Photographer websites can also include online proof galleries with secure access and a additional services such as prints.
Though the allure of a free photography website is strong for those just starting out, the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true here. The investment in a website that will showcase your portfolio may be the most important ongoing investment you every make in your photography career besides your equipment.
Websites for photographers come in all shapes and sizes, and prices. Below we have included an extensive list comprised of 20 different options available for photographers today.
Photographer Portfolio Website Builder & Templates
Photographers websites can be built using a variety of photography website builders or content management systems. The best website builder for photographers is a subjective decision based on specific needs. Truth be told, content management systems all have the basics, and as a photographer it’s important to also consider gallery and portfolio components. As you’ll see, there is no shortage of choices.
WIX – Everything you need for your photography website. Stunning photography templates, advanced image controls, dozens of beautiful galleries, easy SEO, and tons of storage so you can upload worry free. Showcase your photos in the highest quality possible with Wix’s Pro Gallery. With advanced image settings, responsive design, and built-in image protection, you’ll impress your visitors at first sight with this stunning gallery.
Squarespace – All-in-one platform. Explore some of the powerful tools and features that make Squarespace the best choice for professional photographers. Showcase your work with multiple presentations including full-screen slideshows, lightbox and more.
Weebly – Create a beautiful photography website – Build your own photography portfolio, sell photos online, create beautiful image galleries and more. Sell photo prints, digital downloads and more with a robust online store. Get 0% transaction fees and list an unlimited number of products with a premium Business plan.
SmugMug – Let’s put your photos to work. Showcase, share, and sell with SmugMug. Our photo portfolios look beautiful across all devices, are optimized to help you sell, and are totally customizable without any coding.
Zenfolio – Your all-in-one e-commerce platform to showcase & sell your photography. Today, Zenfolio proudly serves over 100,000 photographers across the world in every genre from weddings, events, portraiture, family, babies, and pets to senior portraits, school & sports, landscape, travel, wildlife, and more.
Pixpa – Portfolio Websites for Creatives. Create your online portfolio website with integrated e-commerce, client proofing and blogging tools. No coding needed. Pixpa’s easy, drag-and-drop website builder enables you to create your own beautiful portfolio website without any coding experience.
PhotoShelter – Where photographers get work done. Simpler. Faster. Easier. Better. Store your images, create your photo website, deliver your work, sell or license your photos. Professional photo websites & effortless site updates.
Format – Take your portfolio to new heights. Say hello to Format, the website platform designed to help you showcase your work and uncover new opportunities. Our easily customizable themes showcase your work in the best way possible.
Portfolio Box – Made for photographers. Professional photography portfolio. Showcase your photos with an amazing online portfolio website optimized for image viewing and presentations. It has never been easier to create and manage your own Photography portfolio.
Showit – The website builder for photographers. Powered by WPEngine, the highest-rated WordPress host on Earth. Choose from over 100 beautiful design templates handcrafted for photographers and professional creatives like you. Easily customize any design template you start with to reflect your unique brand. Showit’s powerful no-code website builder puts the power in your hands.
Folio Websites – The Photographer Website and Blogging Platform. Folio 2 is the next evolution of photographer website builders, blending form and function like never before.
Photodeck – Photography Websites with a Brain. Professionals use PhotoDeck for Portfolios, secure client galleries and e-Commerce websites. A PhotoDeck website will let your clients fully enjoy your work in its fullscreen glory, without distracting gimmicks, and without compromising a functional and pleasing user experience — even in advanced private galleries or ecommerce environments.
Site Welder – SiteWelder makes creating portfolio websites for photographers and artists a snap. Built for Everything: HTML5 Websites Scale From Desktop to Mobile. SiteWelder includes 26 built-in designs and over 800 color themes. With our latest HTML5 design templates, your images and content will scale automatically on different monitor sizes.
22slides – 22Slides helps you make great personalized online portfolio websites even if you have little to no web design experience. Simple, yet powerful portfolio websites. No cookie-cutter templates. Rather than resort to pre-made templates, we allow different parts of each page to be controlled independently, so they can be mix-and-matched to create many more possibilities. We’re not for the pick-a-template-and-done crowd.
Viewbook – Clean photography websites and online portfolio for professional photographers. Put your work first. Clean and uncluttered Viewbook websites blend timeless design with the latest technology, so they load fast and look great everywhere. Photography focused. One format doesn’t work for every project or style. We offer an ever increasing variety of galleries to choose from.
Pixieset – Beautiful client photo galleries. The better way for modern photographers to share, deliver, proof and sell online. Designed to impress. Dedicated online photo gallery for each of your clients, with beautiful cover and layout right out of the box.
Show Your Photography In a Stunning Website. Everything you need to showcase your work to the world. Get your photography to as many people. Beautiful photography designs. We know that looks is very important when it comes to websites. Present your work with stunning portfolios, galleries, blog and even sell your photography online.
Pro.photo – The best wordpress themes for creatives and photographers. Infinite possibilities. The ProPhoto theme software puts you in control, providing infinite possibilities for the perfect WordPress website. Stunning Premium Designs. ProPhoto includes several attractive designs you can tweak a little, or overhaul with your creative vision at no extra cost.
Photocrati – The WordPress Photography Theme. Photocrati is an epic WordPress theme for photographers, by photographers. Get 60+ starting designs, built-in galleries, ecommerce, and limitless design possibilities. Limitless Design Possibilities. Photocrati is like 60+ WordPress photography themes built into one powerful, seamless package.
Shopify – The ecommerce platform made for you. Whether you sell online, on social media, in store, or out of the trunk of your car, Shopify has you covered.