Photography Website Principles | Four Vital Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Publishing Your Website
Photography Website Principles | Setting up a photography website can be an incredibly creative and fun experience, and we’re lucky to have had the chance (and the honor!) to help many photographers bring their ideas to life and showcase their work in a way it truly deserves to be displayed. While every great photography website is unique in its own way, after more than ten years in business, we started noticing certain patterns present in each project – whether it’s the flow of the project itself, essential elements all websites have in common, or the checklist we go through with our clients at the end of each project, right before we pop open the champagne and publish the website.
Even the most organized photographers tend to get carried away once the realize the vast possibilities of web design and get distracted playing around with different options, testing various elements, and optimizing each detail. They can get so caught up with the details that they completely lose sight of the big picture and miss some major mistakes, noticing them only after they launch their websites. This is why we put together a list of photography website principles, a checklist of vital questions if you will, to help you make sure your website is the best representation of your business and your unique brand when you hit that Publish button. Let’s get started!
Is My Website Simple Enough? | Photography Website Principles
You’re a part of a creative industry, and every element of your brand needs to show that, especially your website. However, just because you want to make sure your website is unlike any website out there, it doesn’t mean you should keep adding random elements just for the sake of adding them. Sure, flashy elements, special effects, and other unnecessary elements will make your website stand out from the crowd, but it might be for all the wrong reasons. Remember, your goal is to showcase your work, not overwhelm your visitors. Not only that, but overly complex design is more than likely to overshadow your work, which is the last thing you want to happen.
Your work needs to be front and center, and a simple design will push it on the surface, where it belongs. Don’t worry, simple design isn’t a euphemism for “boring,” so when you finish working on your website, go through every page and see if there are any elements that might slowing down the loading time, or overshadowing your work.
Does My Website Showcase My Best Work? | Photography Website Principles
One of the primary goals of your website is to showcase your to your potential clients. Your portfolio needs to showcase your skills and talents, but also your area of expertise and your unique style of photography. However, we see way too many photographers out there upload pretty much every photo they ever took, believing they’re giving their visitors a better look into their work. What they’re doing, actually, is dumping too many photos on them, which is more than likely to overwhelm a potential client and make them feel like the portfolio is dragging on and on.
Before publishing the website, put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and check out the portfolio. Does it showcase only the very best examples of your work? Remember, it’s better to have ten great shots in your portfolio than thirty mediocre ones. Also ask yourself does your portfolio make it obvious what area of photography you specialize in. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how stunning your landscape photos are if your target audience are brides to be, so base your selection on your target audience.
Does My Website Make Me Accessible? | Photography Website Principles
Another vital goal of your website is growing your client base. So, a potential client will enter your website and go through your portfolio to see what it is that you can do for them. If they like what they see, they will want to hire you. Now, put yourself in their shoes again and consider how easy (or difficult) it is to reach out to you. This might sound like a silly advice, but you’d be amazed just how many photographers set up stunning websites, carefully craft their portfolios, only to hide the contact details several clicks deep, or completely overlook them.
Once you’re done setting up your website and uploading your portfolio, check if your contact details are visible on each page. This can be just your phone number and your email address in the footer of each page, not a complete list of every mean of communication possible. For those, you can set up a separate page and include other, less important details, such as your physical address, social media links, or anything else you think might be useful. For example, we encourage our clients to include a contact form as well each time we design a website for them, as it will allow the potential clients to reach out to them without ever leaving the website.
Is Updating My Website Easy Enough? | Photography Website Principles
One of the most important things when it comes to effectiveness of your website will be the freshness – in other words, how often you update it. This will affect user experience, as your potential clients might get bored by seeing the same content each time they visit the website, but it will also affect your search engine rankings, so opt for a platform such as WordPress that will allow you to update your portfolio and add new blog posts pretty effortlessly.