How A Photography Website Can Help Grow Your Business

March 12th, 2021
woman working on computer

As a photographer, I know sharing your work on social media certainly has its rewards. You can share your photography with a world-wide audience and build a group of devoted followers. It’s also a great way to network, inspire others, and be inspired.

When I started out, I relied heavily on my Facebook business page and I’d post regularly and even use ads to help increase my reach. I was working a full-time job and shooting portraits on a part-time basis. Working 40 hours a week, editing until 5:00 a.m., promoting and constantly updating my work on Facebook, plus shooting on weekends was exhausting. Not to mention spending money on flyers, business cards, and ads…anything to help get the word out. But as we all know, when you’re starting out, the hustle is SO real. Especially in a highly competitive field like photography.

You’ve got a great chance of being seen everyday via your daily Instagram posts, but are you being found? Being searchable on the internet gives you a huge advantage over others that simply rely on their photography social media accounts. Take into consideration that Instagram can block search engines from indexing your images. This absolutely affects your ability to gain more traffic and visibility from search results.

If you need further convincing that having a website is a necessity to grow as a photographer, instead of relying solely on your Instagram account, peruse the list below!

Reasons why you need a photography website…now!

  • Build credibility and show your professionalism- Separate your brand and photographic work from your personal social media profiles.
  • Take control of your brand and establish your brand identity.
  • Be searchable by Google – This will increase visibility and connect with new clients.
  • Present your work and yourself to people by framing your business narrative.
  • Best of all, it’s simple and cheaper than a daily cup of coffee!

“How can I find your website?”

That phrase started becoming a common question from potential clients. It became clear that I was missing out on the most powerful business card of all that clients wanted to see. It was time to establish myself and it all started out with a simple, but engaging online portfolio. I had my custom domain name in place, a home for my photography, and a new way for people to find my work and my services.

Can you build your own website?

Yes! Building your own home on the internet is simpler than you might think and the daily cost will be much less than your morning latte. So, how do you get started? It may seem daunting, but lucky for you, a website building site like Zenfolio makes the process super simple! (Full disclosure, I work for Zenfolio and love the product, too.)

User-friendly templates

Templates offer a quick start for photographers who would rather spend more time shooting than designing a website from scratch (like you). It’s an awesome way to get your work online. Your website is like a business card that helps you connect with potential clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and on holidays too…WIN!

In addition, think about how impressed your friends, family, and colleagues will be when you share your accomplishments with them. Having your own website will also help you gain credibility and inevitably, create a sense of professionalism for potential clients and visitors to your site.

Search results for new clients

Speaking of big, let’s talk about increasing your reach and visibility by putting the tried and true powers of SEO, search engine results to use.  Whether you have a multi-page website or a one-page online portfolio, you can benefit from the advantages of being searchable on the internet, and more importantly, found. 

Search engines rule the world and when you have a site you’ll be able to benefit from tools that help drive people to you. When you play your search engine optimization cards right, you’ll reap the rewards of increased traffic to your site and it will feel like some form of strange magic. It’s really real, promise. 

For myself, once I put in the work to increase my SEO (search engine optimization to help people find me faster for the right keywords), I really started to see results. People that were looking for the type of portrait work I offered were finding me, organically, via Google searches. And guess what? Many of these potential clients did not find me on Facebook because they did not use Facebook. I felt great! I reached a new and diverse audience and in time my bookings increased. Eventually, this led to my being able to take the plunge and do photography on a full-time basis. 

woman having a photo session in studio

Keeping clients engaged with contextual galleries and ultimately with a space that represents you and your work will help you connect in a most powerful way. Surely, you can get your message across via social media but it’s very important to separate your photographic work from your personal life. This allows you to begin to explore branding your work, which is a very important aspect of any visual artist’s business, whether starting out or experienced. Your site visitors will get a better feel for your work and personal style when they step into your own world.  This leads to a more captivating way of telling your story, displaying your work, and expanding your photography career. Yes, this can be accomplished with a simple portfolio site. We all have to begin somewhere, but just because you’re starting small doesn’t mean you can’t think big! 

As I mentioned earlier, your social media presence should not replace having a website. Instead, your social media should complement your website. 
Don’t you want to take control of your future as a photographer and reap the awesome benefits of diversifying and increasing your visibility? I’m fairly certain that the answer is a resounding YES! You have tools at your disposal so use them, and more importantly, have fun with the process!

Janette has been capturing memorable moments from behind her lens since 2005. Her work has included founding South Florida’s first vintage pin-up photo studio, as well as working with clients like The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, TLC, Chewy.com, and has had work featured in publications like Decibel and Rolling Stone magazines. Janette is currently living in North Carolina and explores new creative outlets in analog photography, videography, and music while providing Customer Support for Zenfolio.