Top Tips To Begin Your Photography Website

September 23rd, 2020

When photographers go out to shoot, whether fine art or commercial, we want to put our best foot forward. We are looking for that “wow” shot – the picture that says “ok, they know what they’re doing.”

Shouldn’t that also be the same for our website? What would that “wow shot” in the form of a website look like for you? The answer will be different for each and every photographer for good reason – we all want a site that represents us. We want a site that reflects our vision and approach. As unique as photography sites can be, there are a few core practices that can be implemented to make sure you have the ingredients for success online.

1) Know your goals

‘Intention’ is the cornerstone of your website.

  • What is the purpose of your website? 
  • What do you want your website to accomplish for you? 
  • What are your goals? 

Can you tell I like to ask questions? 😉 These are all important to ask yourself if you’re creating a site for the first time, or if you’re looking to just refresh. 

We want to build our websites with goals in mind so that it makes sense to our visitors and clients when they interact with us. Everyone who visits your site has an intention, so we need to make sure that their journey is as simple as possible.

Quick Tip – If there is an aspect of your site that does not serve a specific purpose, for example an empty testimonial page or a Blog that you don’t keep up, I recommend removing it or launching it when you can update the content. Keep it fresh!

2) Curate Your Homepage

The first thing your visitors will see is the home page. When you meet someone new, first impressions are everything. I’d like to think about homepage images in the same context. The pictures you choose here can make or break a potential sale, a booking, or even a simple inquiry about your work. Every website should have homepage images that reflect the photographer you want to be, even if you’re advanced, always keep pushing! As my father always told me growing up, dress for the job you want – this is no different than that homepage. Put those fancy clothes on. No matter how many images you decide to show off, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with an eclectic range of your genres, style, and capabilities.

3) Discoverable Portfolio Selections 

Images lend a hand to what is possible with your eye and your camera, but it’s also an introduction to the masses of your sample work and capabilities. This brings me to the second must-have in any photography website – an accessible portfolio! The quicker you can present your portfolio genres to visitors, the better. 

  • Add your genres to your menu 
    • I personally recommend drop down menu items on your homepage are an effective way to present each facet of photography that you practice. If you have a beautiful image that exemplifies your work as a family photographer on your homepage for example, let’s make that portfolio incredibly simple to access so they can see more work in that genre, and potentially solidify a booking we would not have gotten otherwise. 
  • Highlight your artwork 
    • If you’re a fine art photographer and you have some great long-exposure shots, make that visible along with the rest of your genres underneath a portfolio drop-down menu item. 

The quicker you can take anyone to the right sample work, the better! And it can help your organic search ranking. 

4) Contact Information 

My third must-have for any photography site is making yourself accessible, and I don’t mean this in regards to just being available for booking. We can practice our own forms of customer service by making sure that clients / visitors have an easy way to contact us, options include:

  • A contact page on your site with a form and phone number 
  • Listing your preferred way of communication right on the front page of your website. 
  • A simple “any questions?” menu tab can go a long way when it comes to being personable and as a photographer, that’s an important trait to have, especially online.

SEO TIP – By adding your service area like city and state, that can help your site show up in search results for your local area.

These are must-have recommendations for any photography website all boil down to simplifying, being intentional, and being personable. It’s no different from when you are out shooting. Think about the photographer you want to be, how to best accomplish that online, and how to simplify your goals for your site to build a bridge that gets your visitors to where they want to go, quicker.

Richard V

Along with being a Zenfolio customer success team member, Richard is a film portrait photographer. Richard’s experience includes wedding studios and portraiture studios. Richard owned and operated a community studio and darkroom in South Carolina. Richard says, “My passion is not only photography, but also helping others in being successful with their photographic endeavors.”