Photography Portfolio Website Secrets | Boost Your Website With This Free Guide! Practical Advice For New Photographers
Photography Portfolio Website Secrets | Long gone are the days when you had to wait to get home and turn on your desktop computer to browse the internet. We’re constantly connected to the Internet (Except when the WiFi goes down and we curl into fetal position and rock back and forth waiting to go online!), so it’s no wonder we don’t use it only to connect with friends and family and watch funny cat videos. We learn things, do our research, shopping, and consume media online, whether on desktop and laptop computer, or smartphones and tablets. We also do business online!
Not so long ago, photographers had one way of standing out in a saturated market: posting an ad carrying around printed portfolios from a meeting to a meeting and hoping to get hired. However, with the introduction of the Internet, you can get your work in front of anyone around the globe. The only thing you need is a website. Yet, you’d be amazed just how many photographers decide not to invest in a website – and no, your Tumblr page doesn’t count! If your serious about your photography business, you can’t afford to cut corners when it comes to your online presence! And to help you get started on the right track, we put together a list of essential website design tips that will take your portfolio to the next level.
Not All Websites Are Created Equal | Photography Portfolio Website Secrets
Long gone are the days when you could set up a website using a generic template and sit around waiting for the phone to start ringing. You’re marketing to a generation that grew up online and is being constantly bombarded with overwhelming amounts of information both online and offline. This means you need your website to be just as stunning as your work in order to be able to stand out from the crowd and grab your ideal client’s attention.
So, how bad can a web template really be? Well, it turns out a lot worse than you think! These are usually developed by amateurs or beginners practicing their coding skills, and they tend to have all the telltale signs of amateur design. Now, we’re not saying that all templates are poorly coded – but even if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a decent template, it’s more than likely used by many other businesses, some even in your area. Think about it – how are you supposed to stand out from the crowd if your website is just like many other websites out there? You’re a part of a creative industry, and your website needs to show that.
Edit, Edit, Edit! | Photography Portfolio Website Secrets
You’re setting up a website to showcase your work, yes, but that’s no excuse to upload absolutely every photo you ever took. Instead, go through all your work and narrow down your selection to only the best examples that showcase not only your unique creative vision, but also your skills and area of specialization. There’s really no need to include examples of sports photography (No matter how much a particular shot means to you!), if your target audience are new moms or brides to be. If you upload too many examples, you risk making your visitors feel as if your portfolio is dragging on and on.
Simplify Everything | Photography Portfolio Website Secrets
The main purpose of your website is to showcase your work, so make sure the design itself doesn’t overshadow your work. Yes, your website needs to be unique, but adding unnecessary elements and cheesy special effects will only make it difficult for your visitors to enjoy your work. Think about it – you’re trying to showcase your work, not your developer’s mad skills, so include plenty of white space, limit your color scheme to 3-4 colors max, and give your content enough space to breathe.
Another thing you need to keep as simple as possible is the navigation bar – this is one place you’ll want to avoid getting creative with! Web users got used to seeing the most important links at the top of each page, organized in a horizontal bar, so give them just that! Not only is the location important, so is the number of actual links. For example, you might be tempted to include as many links as possible in order to increase the chances of visitors actually clicking around, but this might cause what is known as choice paralysis. Instead of overwhelming visitors with too many options, tuck away less important links into secondary navigation and even the footer.
Mobile Responsiveness Is Critical | Photography Portfolio Website Secrets
As mentioned earlier, people no longer use only desktop computers to access the Web – in fact, more and more people are using mobile devices, and it’s only a matter of time when the number of mobile users surpasses the number of desktop users. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, this is worrisome, as almost half of the visitors will be using a mobile device to check out your website. A recent study found that people are 5 times more likely to abandon a website if it’s not mobile friendly, so make sure your website isn’t one of them.
Instead of setting up separate websites for mobile devices and desktop computers, consider setting up a responsive website. A responsive website automatically adjusts to each screen size, utilizing every pixel of the valuable screen real estate.