Creative Portfolio Websites | Give Your Work The Stage It Deserves! Design Tips For The Uninspired Photographers
Creative Portfolio Websites | In one of our recent posts, we discussed online branding and some of the most effective tricks you need to know about when trying to build a solid brand for your photography business. However, since your website is essentially the central hub and the most important element of your online presence, it deserves a lot more attention than a short paragraph. After all, your website will oftentimes be the critical difference between success and failure, so today we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know about setting up a website that’s not only an accurate representation of your brand, but also easy to use, effective, and appealing.
Setting up a website is no longer optional in any industry, whether you’re running an online business or a neighborhood brick-and-mortar store. Photographers are especially under a lot of pressure: you’re a part of a really creative industry, and your website needs to showcase your creative vision, but that’s far from being the only challenge. Considering there are almost a million portfolio websites out there, you need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd. Not an easy challenge, but it can be done! Here’s how.
This Isn’t The Time To Be Humble | Creative Portfolio Websites
The main purpose of your photography website is to showcase the best examples of your work, and as obvious as that may sound, there are still many (and we really do mean many here!) photographers that either upload a couple of shots, or go in the opposite direction upload all of their photos in one go! Don’t mistake your website for cloud storage – your potential clients don’t need to see absolutely every photo you ever took! Instead, limit your selection only to the most powerful and relevant photos that showcase your skills, talent, unique style, and area of specialization.
After all, if your target audience are brides to be, there’s really no need to include your architectural shots. Now, this doesn’t mean you should set up a separate website for each type of photography you’re doing – but you should at least sort your portfolio based on the niches, so your visitors can check out the examples they’re interested in. And for the love of everything that’s sacred, don’t upload “full-size” images in 300 x 300. Your visitors are there to see your work in all its glory, so give them just that! If you’re afraid of having your photos stolen, either watermark them, or disable the right click and saving.
Simple Is Better | Creative Portfolio Websites
Since so many photographers out there are using the same cheap templates for their websites, setting up a unique website that works for your business and your brand is vitally important if you want to stand out. However, make sure you don’t stand out for all the wrong reasons. For example, even you might be tempted to add unnecessary bells and whistles to your website to make it stand out, you’ll want to keep the design relatively simple. Simple design isn’t a euphemism for boring, mind you!
Your goal is to showcase your work, and overly complex design might end up overshadowing your photos. At the end of the day, if your visitors can’t stop raving about your website, barely mentioning your work, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands! Your visitors won’t be as likely to get distracted, and the website will load a lot faster, allowing your potential clients to take in all the goodness.
Brand It! | Creative Portfolio Websites
Simplicity isn’t your goal when it comes to the design – you’ll also want to make sure your website is an accurate representation of your brand. This is best achieved by using the same color scheme you’re using in your other materials, both in print and online. You can also use the same fonts and style of graphics to ensure consistency and reinforce your visual identity. The goal is to make your website a part of your brand’s ecosystem in order to boost brand exposure and turn it into a memorable visual experience.
So far, all the tips we mentioned were design-related, and for good reason – the first impression your visitors get will be based on the visual appeal of your website. However, usability is just as important. User experience and web usability are multifaceted aspects, and if you fail to meet all the requirements, you risk frustrating your visitors and losing potential business. So, what’s most important? You’ll want to start with the structure of the website – simplify the layout of each page, combine similar pages and keep the navigation bar well-structured.
You might be tempted to include pretty much every link in the navigation bar to help your visitors find what they’re looking for. However, this might do exactly the opposite, as people often get overwhelmed when facing too many options. Instead, you’ll want to include links only to the most important pages in the main navigation bar at the top of each page and tuck away the other less important links in the secondary navigation, whether the sidebar or the footer. This will allow your visitors to focus on your work instead of trying to figure out how to get from one place to another.
Mobile Optimization Can Make Or Break Your Website
More people than ever are using mobile devices to access the web, whether it’s a tablet or a smartphone. To ensure your visitors enjoy viewing your website regardless of the device they’re using, you’ll want to make sure your website is responsive and optimized for mobile devices. This isn’t important just for the user experience – even search engines are paying attention to mobile-friendliness and ranking responsive websites higher.