Online Photography Portfolio Advice | Website Design Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Photography Website And Grow Your Client Base
Online Photography Portfolio Advice | What do you do when you want to kick back and relax? Or when you want to research something? What about shopping? Or you met someone you like and you want to know more about them? The answer to all of these question is pretty much the same – you Google the living daylights out of it! The same goes for your potential clients, of course. The moment they decide to hire a photographer, you know they’ll go online and start researching. This means your photography business needs to be online!
Having a solid online presence is no longer optional. On the other hand, setting it up can feel overwhelming with all the options available at the moment. However, regardless of the number of choices you have, there’s one thing you can’t afford to overlook – a photography website. This is your digital storefront, your calling card, and your portfolio all wrapped in one! In other words, it needs to be up to par with your work! We put together a list of our all-time favorite design hacks to help you get started on the right track. We use these every time we design a website for a client, so you’ll definitely want to read on. Let’s check them out together, shall we?
Be Unique | Online Photography Portfolio Advice
If you want to stand out from the crowd of other photographers, you need to be different. We’re not saying your creative vision and style aren’t unique. However, if your website isn’t, it will make even your work feel a bit more generic. If you really do have just a few seconds to impress a visitor, you’ll want to stay away from templates. These are usually developed by amateurs, and they have all the telltale signs of cheap design. Now, we don’t have anything against templates – in fact, there are some good ones. The problem is that many people are already using the good ones. And how are you supposed to stand out if your website looks like the website of your main competitor?
Keep Things Simple | Online Photography Portfolio Advice
The main reason you’re setting up a website is to showcase your work. However, your work can take the center stage only if the design of the website is simple and unobtrusive. You’re showcasing your work, not the mad skills of your developers. This is why you should stay away from cluttering the design with unnecessary design elements and cheesy special effects. In other words, make it easy for potential clients to focus on your work, and not your website.
User Experience Is Everything | Online Photography Portfolio Advice
Loading time will affect the user experience, but there are other aspects you’ll want to pay attention to first. Let’s start with the navigation bar. Most photographers are tempted to clutter it with as many links as possible. This won’t really increase the chances of your visitors staying around longer. Instead, they might feel overwhelmed with too many options. What you want to do instead is limit the number of links to 5-8 links max. Feature only the most important links in a navigation bar at the top of each page. All the other links, in the meantime, can be tucked away in a sidebar or even in the footer.
Another thing worth mentioning is accessibility. You’re not setting up a website just to showcase your works. Chances are you want to grow your client base, and this can only happen if potential clients can contact you. Yet, you’d be amazed how many photographers set up stunning websites only to bury their contact details several clicks deep. Or, even worse, leave them out altogether. Don’t turn it into a treasure hunt. You want visitors to have access to your contact details the moment they decide to pick up the phone. This is why you want to feature your most important contact details on each page. This can be in the footer or the header, depending on the design.
Chop, Chop! | Online Photography Portfolio Advice
How do you perform a Google search? If you’re anything like most people, you type in a search term and hit enter. Then, you probably open at least a dozen of link in separate tabs, quickly glancing at each. We do this to narrow down the selection and check out more thoroughly only the most interesting websites. Your potential clients do the same, which means your website needs to impress, and it needs to do it quickly. You have only a few seconds, and if your websites takes longer to load, you risk losing visitors. No one will sit around waiting for your website to finish loading, so optimize it for perfect performance.
The number one enemy of speed when it comes to websites are photos – and photography websites are packed with them. This is why we optimize each and every photo we upload to a client’s website. At the end of the day, there’s really no need to upload the largest version of each photo you have. You’re showcasing your photos, you’re not sending them to print, so stick with 1920×1080 for the resolution. Also, limit your selection to only the strongest pieces. Remember, your website is not a cloud storage solution, so don’t upload ever photo you ever took. Too many photos will affect loading speed, but will also make your portfolio feel like it’s dragging on.