Why Should I Consider Building a Photography Website?
I’m sure that all of you would agree with me when I say that photography is art. It’s certainly challenging to get the perfect light and the proper perspective, while so many things can go wrong along the way. Then, even if you manage to capture a perfect photo, you can’t just save it somewhere on your hard drive. You want it to be seen by as many people as possible, right? Here I’m going to share some advice on how to achieve that.
If you are a photographer, then a photography website is a necessity. It’s a great marketing tool, and it would be a shame not to use all the benefits of digital marketing to promote your photography business. Whether you’re a photographer specializing in one specific type of photography or offering a wide variety of photography services, building a website is the first step to increase your online presence.
The best part about a photography website is that it doesn’t just serve as a place to list your services and attract potential clients. It is also a platform to showcase your work and share tips with all the people interested in photography. Every photography website should have at minimum these sections: about, portfolio, blog and contact.
Photography website key points
Here are some of the key points to consider when building your photography website:
- Come up with a catchy domain name
- Create a professional logo
- Create a responsive design
- Use informative content optimized for search engines
- Optimize all images before uploading
A website for photographers should be a place for you to share your work, inspire other photographers, and attract new clients.
What Is The Best Website For Photographers?
Photography websites are in many ways similar to general-purpose websites you can find all over the internet. They all require stable and fast hosting, a good domain name, proper SEO, and a slick modern design. However, there are a few key areas where the best photographers’ websites stand out.
The first and most obvious are the photos themselves. When visiting your website, the searcher’s intent is often to see your work and decide if you are the photographer they wish to hire. Your photos will play an essential part here. This is why you must carefully edit and choose the images you’re going to display in the photo galleries. You’ll also need to make sure you display enough images for photo editors to understand your artistic approach. The images need to be properly optimized, or they will slow down the website. And don’t forget about the alt tags and file names. You must follow the basic image SEO best practices to ensure your photos rank on Google search. When done correctly, you will have organic traffic source to your site from simple searches like “photographer near me”.
Apart from photos, a few more things will help your photography website stand out. One of them is a good photographer bio. This will often be a potential client’s first impression of you. It needs to leave them with a sense of who you are, how you work, and why your personality and approach are an excellent fit for them. Another important aspect of every website is a memorable and unique logo. It works in tandem with your portfolio and bio to present you as a reliable and experienced professional.
Now that you understand the essentials and what content needs to be included on websites for photographers, let’s move on to how you can build one.
How to Build a Photography Website?
When you decide to create a photography website, you will follow similar steps as you would for building any other website. However specific to photography sites, there are a few unique steps that need to be taken into consideration.
First, let us start with the basics steps you need to take after you’ve committed to building a photography website:
- Buy your domain name (it should be related to your niche or personal brand).
- Get a fast and reliable hosting (this is incredibly important since you’re going to be sharing large amounts of photos).
- Consider who your target audience will be (photo editors, art collectors, etc).
- Consider the colors and fonts you’ll use throughout the site.
- Decide if you’re going to a use a template website that suits your needs or hire a company to custom build your site.
- Organize all of the text and content, and begin building your photography website.
We will go over some of these steps in more detail later. Now let’s focus on some do’s and don’ts for building a photography website.
Photography website do’s and don’ts
- Create an attractive and responsive portfolio section. This should include your best photos and have varied themes. You want to showcase the full spectrum of your abilities. Your best work deserves the best presentation. It needs to look impeccable on both mobile and desktop.
- Don’t upload large images. It might be tempting to upload the highest quality images, but this can significantly hurt the user experience on your site. Many large images will slow down your website, and you will even lose some visitors. As a rule of thumb, no photos should ever be larger than 500 kb.
- Optimize your photos. You want to resize your images to a minimum resolution that keeps the quality of the photo high. After that, you can upload the photo for additional compression through a website such as tinyjpg.com
- Do proper image SEO. If you want your photos to be found on search engines, you need to properly name the file and add alt tags once you upload the photo to the site. The file name should include the main keyword you want to rank for and use dashes for spaces. Perfect image search engine optimization is critical to get your images seen in google searches.
- Don’t be lazy with your bio. As I said before, the bio is an essential part of the site. It is your first opportunity to introduce yourself and leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Make sure it is grammatically correct and stands out highlighting your skills, achievements and personality.
Photography Websites Examples
I’m sure you have spent time looking for photography website ideas and I understand why. This is something that all your current and future clients will see, and you want to present it in the best light. Here are some of my favorite photography websites examples. Maybe they can inspire you to create your own.
Best Website Builder for Photographers
Website builders can be an excellent option for photographers because they are easy to use. They provide all the necessary features one would need when building a website. Some of the important features for every photography website are galleries, photo albums, portfolios, and slideshows.
The goal is clear – every photographer needs a website for their business. But, the problem is that there are so many options out there. So, how does one choose the best website builder for photographers? One way to find the answer is to look at what other photographers are using. Many professional photographers use WordPress and Weebly, while others use Squarespace and Wix.
My recommendation is to choose WordPress. It might not be as simple to use as other website builders, but it will allow you to create highly customized pages. You can edit every aspect of your page and tailor it to your needs. Another advantage is that it’s SEO friendly, so you won’t have a hard time optimizing your content for search engines such as Google.
Free Photography Website Templates
Here is one more reason why WordPress is a great tool to create a website. It comes with many free photography website templates that you can use to build your website. These photographer templates are available at no cost and can be used to create a website quickly. Since those are photography website templates, they will include all the essential sections, like about, portfolio, blog, contact, etc. Many templates are highly customizable, and you can tailor every section of the website to your needs.
A photographer’s website is the face of their business, and it needs to be aesthetically pleasing. A free photography website template provides an easy way to create a professional-looking site without spending time on the design and layout.
Hire a Company to Custom Build Your Photography Website
If your sole purpose of building a photography website is to get jobs and generate revenue, you should consider hiring a company to build your website for you. It’s an extra cost commitment up front, however there is a reason professional photographers make that investment of hiring specialists who build photography websites. These companies have the experience and focus on photo image optimization, photography keyword research, photography meta tags and photography blogs. Even if you have studied web design and SEO, you will not be able to ever optimize your site to it’s fullest potential unless you’re working full time on the backend of the website, as search engine ranking is constantly evolving.
My favorite company for photography website building and photography SEO is Paradox Bay. As you can imagine, they are the team of designers who built my website and helped optimize this blog post, which is the exact reason why it showed up in your search engine and you’re reading it now.
Photography Website Hosting
Once you’ve bought your domain name you essentially have your photography website, and it is time to look for a reliable photography website hosting service. When choosing website hosting for photographers, there are some things you should keep in mind. Your website will serve as a place to share your work with clients and potential customers. Since photos take up a lot of storage, you have to choose a hosting service with unlimited storage space. Check out my tips for optimizing pictures before uploading them to your website. If done correctly, it will save you a lot of resources.
Besides storage, you should choose a hosting package that offers automatic backups as I suspect you will update your website quite often. Whenever you add new content, there is a chance that something can go wrong. There might be some server-related errors, plugin conflicts, etc. If you have backups of your website, you can quickly revert your website to the latest available backup and continue where you left off.
The Art of Shooting and Displaying Photographs
Building a photography website is not a simple task, but with generic templates it is easier than you might think. The most difficult thing is envisioning exactly how you want to present yourself and your work. If you shoot food, lifestyle, travel, portraits, and headshots, you’ll have to decide what work you want your client to see first and prioritize that in the portfolio section. For example, if you know you’re going to be marketing yourself as a travel photographer and contacting magazines like National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, etc, you do not want to be displaying headshots on your homepage. Rather you would create a private gallery of your headshots that could be sent directly to corporations when searching for that type of work.
In any case, photography websites are a great way to showcase your images and attract potential clients. If a photographer doesn’t have a website, it comes off as unprofessional and makes it difficult for potential clients to find their work. Those clients may already be having difficulties finding a way to contact photographers. A website is a necessity for search engines.
There are also shoppers and art collectors who search online for wall art, such as posters, illustrations, photographs and fine art prints. If you dream one day of selling your photographs online as fine art prints, your website is going to be a critical instrument to this success. Some photographers will create an e-commerce section on their own site to sell prints, or you can look for a company like Winter Museo. It features a limited number of professional artist, and they handle the promotion of the artist’s work on their social media pages.
In closing, if you’ve made it this far in the article, you’ve now got a lot to consider. You’ll want to find the right balance when it comes to shooting pictures and displaying them. You’ll have to factor in that if every month you are creating more unique and inventive images, every month the website will require updating.
I’ve been shooting pictures professionally for over 15 years now. I absolutely love seeing amateur photographers grown and evolve. Should you have any questions that I can answer, I’d love to hear from you. Consider me a friend and an open book source when it comes to photography.