A step-by-step guide to making your own photography website, from curating your work to creating and customizing the perfect photography website template.Build My Website
Creating a photography website might seem like something only established pros really need to do, but the reality is more like the opposite—a great online portfolio is crucial for any emerging photographer. Whether you’re a student, a freelancer, or any type of photographer looking to get serious about your work, having a well-curated website will help you get your work in front of the people who need to see it.
You don’t need to put in tons of time and effort learning HTML and CSS in order to build a photography website, either. There are lots of website builders available online that offer a wide range of customizable templates to help you build your own site without any coding knowledge. Some website builders also offer extra features like your own online store, a built-in blog, and proofing pages to let you privately share photos with clients.
Having a large portfolio of work to share might also seem like a prerequisite for a website, but you can easily curate a memorable site that features as few as twenty images. A website that shares only a small selection of work is easy to browse through, and gives viewers a quick overview of who you are and what kind of photography you do. You can get creative with your website and use it as an online photo diary or a gallery for a single photo project; or you can go the super-simple route and just use your site as a place to host your CV, contact details, and a few of your best images.Build My Website
Now take some time to think about how you want your photography portfolio website to look. You might want to sketch out possible layouts with pen and paper, especially if you are planning to create the site yourself using HTML. If you are using a website builder to create your online photography portfolio, you may find it easiest to start experimenting with the different photography templates and layout options available. There are lots of free website templates out there that can help you quickly build a professional-looking online portfolio without coding.
Just selecting a photography website template you like can be a good start to getting things rolling. You can always switch up your website template for a new one if you don’t like the one you’ve tried, and just seeing your photos laid out in a neat grid or horizontal gallery can help you decide which layout works for you.
With Format, it’s easy to choose and customize a photography website template so your site looks exactly the way you want.
Choose a theme to get started now.
When you create your best photography portfolio website it can be tempting to fill it up with a huge archive of your work. But your images will stand out better if you don’t select too many of them. You want viewers to see and remember your strongest work; you don’t want them to be overwhelmed by pages and pages of images. Some of the best online portfolios include only one or two galleries of images.
You might find it easiest to curate the galleries for your photography portfolio on your computer before uploading them to your website. Here are a few ideas for how to categorize your work. (If you do additional creative work that isn’t photography, you may want to keep it on a different section of your website.)
When you upload a gallery of images to your site, also consider whether or not you want to include captions on your photos, or add a written statement about the work at the start or end of the gallery. Adding even just a little information can go a long way to holding the attention of your viewers, and can also add a lot to their understanding of your work. Even if the gallery is a simple photo diary, you may want to add captions which explain where the images were taken, or a brief statement about what kind of camera you used. If you’re uploading a series that has previously been published, you may want to share this information and add a link to the publication.
As it’s likely to be the first page visitors see, your homepage is the most important page in creating a photography website. You can create a lasting impression by making a title page which visitors have to click through, or by selecting one of your best images for the homepage. You might also consider setting up your homepage to direct to a gallery of recent work or one of your best projects. Or, you could use your homepage to show a brief overview of five to ten standout images that provide a quick look at the kind of work you do.
Think carefully about how your homepage will look to someone who has no idea who you are and has never seen your photography before.
Now you’ve curated one or two galleries for your photography website, it’s time to create an about page with a biography on it, and perhaps a brief CV or artist statement. Including a headshot is always a nice way to add a personal touch to your about page. You may want to add links to published work here, or create a separate page titled “Publications” or something similar.
Make sure your contact details feature prominently on your site, whether on your about page or on a separate contact page.
Make it clear to visitors what kind of work you do and what opportunities you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a certain type of clients, commissions, or publications, say so! Clearly state what kind of work you are available for, where you are located, and how you can be contacted.
Add links to your social media accounts, if you have accounts that you use for your photography. Don’t add any accounts that you wouldn’t readily share with clients. If your Instagram is more focused on your personal life and you don’t share your photo work on it, you don’t need to link it here. If finding clients is a priority for you as you create your photography website, you may want to consider creating professionally-oriented Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram accounts for your photography business. Adding a LinkedIn link can be helpful if you want to be able to share your professional CV with clients.
Make sure the title and description of your site are set up how you’d like them. Many photography website builders will allow you to edit these aspects of your site from their site editor. This is what will show up when people find your website in Google searches or share it on social media, so you want to make sure this info is all correct and easy to read. It’s also a good idea to make sure the open graph image of your site looks the way you want. This is the image that will show up when people share your site on social media, so it’s important to choose one that represents your work well.
Adding keywords to your site title to make it indexable by Google is a good idea for photographers hoping to get discovered online. You may want to use keywords that would help potential clients find you, such as “wedding photographer London,” if you’re a wedding photographer based in London. Many website builders will let you add these keywords yourself when you are setting up your site.
Not every photographer needs a pricing page on their website. If you aren’t specifically looking to get paying clients from your site, you don’t need to include your rates. But if you’re a photographer who specializes in weddings, engagements, or portraits, for example, it’s a good idea to have your site include purchase details for these services. You may even want to add an option to book and pay for sessions through your site.
How you price your photography and list your rates is up to you, and it depends on the way you want to do business as a photographer. You may prefer to negotiate rates directly with clients depending on what they’re asking for, or you may find it useful to offer an estimate of how much your services cost. Listing your rates can help you get more targeted business from clients who already know that they can afford your services.
If finding clients is a priority for your photography website, it’s good to consider not only adding your rates, but also including any other information that clients might need. For example, creating specific galleries titled “Engagements” and “Weddings” to showcase your expertise shooting for past clients will help prospective clients get a feel for the kind of work you do. If you’ve shot lots of engagements and weddings, but you stick them all together in the same gallery and just title it “Photos,” visitors to your website will have to scroll through your work to know what you specialize in.
Make sure your photography portfolio website is optimized for viewing on all devices, including phones and tablets. Most photography website builders optimize their themes for mobile viewing, but it’s still a good idea to check how your finished site will appear on your phone. More than half of web traffic is now taking place on mobile; it’s likely that many visitors to your site will be viewing it on a small screen.
Update your photography website at least once a month to make sure that your newest work is posted, your CV and contact info are up to date, and everything is running smoothly and looks good. Adding your latest projects and publication details to your website helps ensure that anyone who comes across it has the latest information about your photography practice.