How to Create a Photography Website in 10 Steps
This post was last updated on January 28, 2021.
Looking for a way to showcase your work online without limitations? These ten easy steps will allow you to create a photography website in no time.
Despite their popularity, social media platforms are far from the best way to showcase your work online. Creating a photography website will enable you to display your pictures exactly the way you want, with no limits when it comes to size, quality or design. Plus, it will help you reach a wider audience and draw the attention of new clients.
With your photographer’s eye for composition and aesthetics, you can build a beautiful online portfolio of your own using a professional website builder. From the inspirational stages to developing and publishing your photography website, this guide will take you through the entire process step-by-step.
How to create a photography website
Here are the steps you need to create a photography website that represents your own unique style and impresses your visitors:
01. Set clear goals
Like any good photographer, make sure to set your focus on clear goals before creating this online masterpiece. When opening your website builder, ask yourself what you want to achieve by creating a photography website. Are you aiming to attract more clients? Display your latest photography projects? A bit of both? Have this in mind before you start, since it’ll help you choose the right images and organize them better for your site.
Typically, photographers will use the same website to display the different types of photography they work with. That’s perfectly fine, and even encouraged, as long as you draw a clear distinction between the different themes. Be sure to create multiple galleries, one for each category displayed: weddings, portrait photography, street captures, etc.
02. Include your best photographs
Hit us with your best shots. Now that you’ve decided which collections of works you want to display in your photography website, it’s time to choose the images.
It’s important to keep in mind that your website doesn’t have the same function as your Instagram account. You don’t want to publish every single picture that you take in order to raise engagement. On the contrary: your professional photographer website is meant to display only your best, most representative pieces from each category.
In a nutshell, always pick quality over quantity. Our recommendation: go for a maximum of 20 to 30 pictures per gallery. It’s preferable to leave your visitors curious to see more, rather than “overfeeding” them.
03. Create your layout
The layout is the visual structure of your site. With your photography website, you’ll want your best images to beat the center so that they get the attention they deserve.
The first way to do this is by going for a refined color scheme, with a minimal amount of hues. Use a black (“dark”, in web design jargon) or white (“clean”) background, since they make your photos stand out.
Second, consider the type of display you want to use. It should fit the dominant format of your pictures: long scrolling if you take a lot of vertical photos (like portraits), and grids for horizontal ones. To help you out, take a look at this guide on choosing the right layout for your photography portfolio.
04. Choose the perfect template
Professionally-designed photography website templates give you the chance to have a beautiful portfolio ready in no time. Since they’re created with the specific needs of each photography genre in mind, you’ll find that they already include most of the sections and tools you need. These templates are free and are entirely customizable – from the header to the footer – so that your website will tell your story from your own unique perspective.
Even if you plan to create a photography website from scratch, browsing through the best photography website templates for inspiration is a good idea. Looking at the online presentation other photographers use is a great way to find new ideas for displaying your work.
05. Add the right pages
It’s time to create the architecture of your photography website - that is, the pages you want to include and where they will be placed. Of course, you can adjust your plan at any moment with the Wix Editor, but try to be as detailed as possible from the start to give your website a strong foundation.
As a photographer, you don’t need too many pages. Instead, focus on these must-haves:
Homepage This is where you present yourself and what you do. The most common mistake photographers make here is to not include written content. Your visuals are the main feature, but it’s also important to provide your visitors with a narrative. For example, if you display a beautiful landscape image on your homepage, use words to make it clear that this is a website for a photography, and not that of a travel agency or blogger.
Therefore, make sure that your photography logo, name and expertise are large and legible on your homepage so visitors know exactly who you are, what you do and where you’re located.
In addition, you’ll want to include a navigation menu on your website so visitors can easily transition from one page to the next and find the content they want. Depending on your website’s style, you might choose to put a navigation bar at the header of your site, or use a collapsed hamburger menu to allow more room for visual content.
For more tips, here is how to nail the homepage of your photography website.
Gallery This is the core of your website, where visitors will discover your images. Since it’s the place where the magic happens, you need to carefully choose which online tool to build it with. We recommend the Wix Pro Gallery because it gives you full control over your pictures and the way you want to showcase them..
Basically, you’re able to set the quality and sharpness for every image so that your visitors will see them exactly as you planned. Plus, you can choose from a collection of stunning layouts (Instagram-like grid, panorama, etc.), which are fully customizable.
In addition, the Pro Gallery comes with several options to enhance and promote your photos. You can protect them from being downloaded (right-click protection) or add a sharing button to spread your talent across social channels. The Gallery also gives you the possibility to upload videos and text, adding greater variety to your final result.
About Me Page The About Me page is where people discover who you are. Granted, it doesn’t mean that you need to write about the day your great-uncle from Alabama offered you your first disposable camera. Your visitors will be much more interested in your philosophy of art and life, your technique, and where you draw inspiration from.
Favor the first-person over the third – it makes things more intimate, and readers will be more inclined to contact you. Of course, don’t forget to include a picture of yourself and a CV if relevant. Showing who you are and amplifying your personal brand is an absolute must when you create a photography website.
For more information, browse these 10 tips for writing a photographer “About Me” page.
Client showcase Like most photographers, you probably do a lot of commission work. People tend to feel more confident when they see the work you’ve done for previous clients. So, don’t forget to add and display these projects on your photography website (with your clients’ authorization, of course).
Wix Photo Albums is the best and easiest tool for that. This free app enables you to create stand-alone album sites for each of your customers. There, they’ll find the photos you captured displayed in a stunning layout and branded with your information.
Contact information Make sure potential clients can get in touch with you by providing your basic contact information. Details like your name, email address, and phone number can (and should) be added to the footer of your website – but you can also create a dedicated contact page so that visitors can’t miss this important info. A contact form is a great addition that you might consider, since it will allow visitors to send you a message directly through your website.
Another brilliant idea is to add Wix Bookings. This helpful app has already made the life of thousands of small business owners much easier. It enables you to display your updated calendar, so that your potential clients know when you’re available for a shooting. As a bonus, you can also let them book and pay online. No more phone calls or emails to answer – your hands are free to do what you do best: take beautiful pictures.
Extras (but highly recommended)
Although optional, these pages can serve your photography website well:
Blog: Tell visitors more about your projects, techniques and news. It’ll help you build a loyal community and give a nice boost to your site’s SEO. You don’t need to be Saul Bellow to write a photography blog. Instead, put an image at the center and write a few lines about what we’re looking at. What gear did you use? How were you feeling when you took the shot? Where was the picture taken?
Online store: Go a step further and make money from your photographs with an online store. Sell photos online straight from your own photography website with the Wix Art Store, which allows you to manage your orders in one place.
Testimonials: Display the positive comments left by your happy clients. Let testimonials do the talking for you.
06. Connect to your social channels
Show visitors to your site just how social you can be by enabling them to share your content on Instagram and other social media channels.. With more than 500 million daily users on Instagram alone, social media is the easiest and cheapest way to get your name out there and to attract new clients.
First, make sure a social bar is clearly visible on your site, with a link to all of your profiles. It shouldn’t take more than a couple seconds for your visitors to locate it on any page. We recommend displaying the bar either in your website’s header, menu, footer or as an anchor on the side.
Next, enable the sharing option in the Pro Gallery. There is nothing like a powerful image shared and enjoyed on social networks to build up one’s reputation. Last but not least, don’t forget to put your website’s domain name at the top of each of your social profiles to bring your social fans back to your professional site.
07. Improve your photography website's SEO
It’s a fact: photographers are much more visual than textual. That’s great when it comes to seizing the moment for a photo, but can be a challenge when you have to work on your photography website’s SEO (search engine optimization). Whether we like it or not, search engines cannot “see” images; they can only read words. So if you want your website to be visible on the internet and ultimately bring more traffic, you’ll have to make use of your keyboard.
Begin your SEO strategy by describing each image in the Title and the Description fields of your Wix Pro Gallery. Known as alt text, this describes what’s shown in the picture with basic wording. Be as sincere as you can, and avoid artificial information and keywords.
Alt text descriptions will help your pictures to be found more easily in Google Images, where the competition is less harsh than on the main search results page.
Are your images descriptions all set? Find out the next steps you can take with our complete SEO guide for photographers.
08. Optimize for mobile viewing
Smartphones and tablets are taking over. In 2020, over half of all online traffic came from mobile devices. Thus, one of the major challenges photographers face when it comes to their online portfolio is ensuring that it will be easily seen on small screens. Don’t forget to optimize your design accordingly.
The Wix Pro Gallery will instantly adapt images to any screen. As for the other elements of your website, the Wix Editor lets you make your photography website mobile friendly in a few minutes by simply dragging and dropping your elements. Just don’t forget to do so before you hit publish.
09. Ask for feedback
Before you publish, call your best friend. Not to discuss your feelings on the latest Star Wars movie, but to ask for an outside opinion on your freshly designed photography website.
It’s hard to be impartial when it comes to anything you created yourself, especially when it’s for the first time. Hearing someone else’s feedback – whether they be friends, family or colleagues – will help you optimize the navigation, fix any design issues and eliminate the stray typos
10. Keep it your site updated
Be sure to update your website regularly to keep your content fresh. In order to keep your fans engaged, be sure that they regularly see new images on your site. First, this lets them know that you’re still producing great work. Second, in today’s world, up-to-date has become synonymous with reliable.
Luckily, Wix makes it super intuitive for you to upload your pictures from your desktop. You can also use the Instagram Feed app, which will automatically update your Instagram pictures straight on your website.
By Jonathan Sitbon
Editor-in-Chief of the Wix Blogs