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Web Design \ Jan 18th 2018

Photography Website: Design Trends You Should Follow in 2018

A photography portfolio, just like any other website, is never a “launch and leave it” kind of project. In an ever changing online world, having a beautiful foundation isn’t enough – it needs to be up-to-date. After all, this is your digital business card, the heart of your branding efforts. If it looks outdated, your photography services might be written off as out-of-style too.

But worry not, this doesn’t mean you need to be constantly scouring the web in search for the latest fad and meticulously updating your website to match the hype. That’s exactly the reason we’re here – to give you the most important web design trends that will make your website attractive, engaging, and relevant. If you’re using a flexible web-development platform, adding new elements and tweaking the design should be as easy as pie. Dedicate a couple of hours on the weekend or during off-season, and make your photography website stand out with these web design trends:

Break the grid

The grid has been a longtime friend for photographers, bringing logic and convenience to the portfolio universe. The traditional grid-based structure allowed us to display a large selection of photos at once in a way that pleases the eye, and even more so on long scrolling websites. Worry not, our friend the grid is here to stay, it’s just about to take a different form. The shift has already started, but in the upcoming year we are going to see more and more of the new trend: unconventional, unique grid layouts. Breaking the common pattern with asymmetry, white space, and sometimes even “chunks” of text, creates a sleek ultra-modern feel that draws attention to both textual and graphic content. Have we already mentioned the word ‘engaging’?

Inspiration: Look how this Wix template for real estate photographers makes wise use of asymmetric grids.

asymmetric grid for photography portfolio website

Be authentic

In recent years, the Internet has slowly shifted from using images that appear artificial, towards authenticity, diversity, and realistic imagery. This means that instead of “stock”-like settings, people prefer seeing real life situations, ones that they can easily relate to. What does it mean for photographers and their websites? Two things:

  • When choosing which photos to highlight in your portfolio, go for the most candid ones. Images of non-standard beauty and people with interesting character attract more attention, simply because they’re the most relatable.
  • Take the opportunity to show your true personality. Your self-portrait and text on the ‘About me’ page have the potential of winning over clients’ hearts.

By the way, embracing authenticity doesn’t necessarily mean using hyper realistic photos. Whether using a surprising prop or blending in a subtle effect – there’s always room for creativity and imagination to flourish.

photo of a young hipster girl

Play with icons and illustrations

On top of providing an additional visual layer to a website, illustrations and icons pose an amazing opportunity to further personalize your brand. Remember the part where we spoke about being authentic and communicative? The right illustration in the right place will grab your visitors’ attention, enhance your website’s look and feel, making it more playful, professional, or friendly – depending on what you’re aiming for. Illustrations, and especially icons, are also time savers: they deliver the message effectively in a shorter time than words would (yay, I managed to avoid the “Image is worth a 1,000 words” cliche!).

How can photographers apply this trend? One example would be using illustrated icons to represent the different services provided. Illustrations can also spice up your “About me” page, “Contacts” and any other part you can think of. With the right style and amount, they’re sure to add some character to your website. By the way, there’s a huge selection of cool icons and illustrations in the Wix Editor – and they’re completely free, too.

Inspiration: Don’t blink! This Wix template for fine art photographers makes the most creative use of icons.

icons and illustrations in web design trends

Be bold on minimalism

Minimalism in web design has been around for a while, and is most probably here to stay. But just like with candid photos and creativity – minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean that websites are doomed to be boring. With a finely executed layout and smart use of white space, there’s lots of room for experimenting. What are we in for this year? Bold color palettes, eye-catching fonts, non-linear typography, contrasting font sizes and the one to rule them all – asymmetry.

Minimalism also applies to texts and content. Less is more when it comes to your About me page, services description, and number of photo galleries. Today’s busy bees (aka your website visitors) need their websites brief and skimmable. Oh, and when you add new photos or albums to your portfolio, make sure to remove old ones. Potential clients should only be exposed to your most magnificent and recent work.

Inspiration: A white background, contrasted with a captivating cover picture: Wix user Bruna Cristina knows how to catch the eyes of her audience.

screenshot of bruna cristina photography website

Bring in the motion

Subtle motion has been a continuously growing trend over the past couple of years. The more popularity it gained – the more subtle it became. Adding moving elements to a website is tricky: you want them to liven up a page, while not stealing the whole show. On the other hand, they provide an awesome way to make your website more engaging and simply playful.

So what do we mean when we say ‘motion’, or ‘moving elements’? Well, anything that has movement: videos, GIFs, cinemagraphs, animated illustrations and even mouse-over effects. What’s in it for us, photographers? A handful of opportunities:

  • If you have quality videos to show, add them to respective photo galleries. Displaying a video next to still images creates a mesmerizing effect. Wix Video is a great tool to easily stream your videos from various platforms.
  • Being more subtle, cinemagraphs are even more captivating than videos. A cinemagraph will look very impressive as a centerpiece on a homepage.
  • Add some parallax magic to your background.
  • Use mouse-over effect to display gallery names.

Inspiration: Stunning, right? The Wix Pro Gallery offers you the ability to combine photos, videos and text in a single layout.

motion trend in web design

Focus on the user

This is not so much of a trend, as it is an important note to keep in mind whenever you’re working on your photography website (or any other marketing effort). You may know the best techniques for achieving focus in your images, but when it comes to websites, it’s the user that you need to focus on. Make sure to define your niche and deliver the right message that will hook the user. For example:

  • Cute icons and illustrations can enrich a wedding photography website, or any other family-oriented portfolio.
  • Bold minimalism is the way to go for fashion, art and urban inspired photography.
  • Authenticity is necessary when it comes to bloggers and travel photographers.

To sum it up in one sentence: embrace the trend that will bring the best out of your photography, and the rest will follow.

Ready to show your stunning portfolio to the world? Create your photography website with Wix!

Julia Ronen
By Julia Ronen
Creative Content Developer for Wix Expert Communities

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