Three things you can do to breathe some new life into your photography website before hiring a pro.
Great photography websites are inspired by great photography.
We love working with photographers. I don't want to say photography websites are easy to build, but I'll say that when the primary focus of a site is on a collection of beautiful and unique images, sometimes the site almost designs itself.
Another example is Spring Rose Photography. Spring came to us with a package of marketing materials she had purchased that matched her brand, and we transformed them into a gorgeous site unlike anything you'd find in a template builder.
Custom websites are great, but I need a DIY solution now!
As a photographer, what do you do when you don't quite have enough saved up to hire a professional web designer? How can you bring your site to the next level all on your own, right away?
I've given it some thought and come up with three things you can do to breathe some new life into your website before making the jump to hiring some help.
Don't act like you don't already know you do good work. You know you're awesome. Whether or not you're a "pro", you've got passion behind what you shoot and other people will see that. Don't be ashamed of that.
The great thing about photography as with any artistic profession is that you're constantly bettering yourself. Web design is the same way too. The more you work at it the better you get. So, when you're showing off what you can do on your website, you should remember that people don't want to see what you did 5 years ago, they want to see what you are capable of now. Show them your best work.
Give your online portfolio a really critical makeover. Get rid of the stuff that is no longer a reflection of where you are as an artist. Used to do weddings but don't anymore? Or don't want to advertise yourself as a wedding photographer? Get rid of those shots!
Don't become overly emotionally invested in your past work just because you feel it's important to show how versatile you are. Make it a point to update your portfolio, or your featured images on your homepage every few months.
The main focus of your website should be on your brand. By brand I don't just mean logo - I mean what it is to experience working with you. Your brand is everything from what your clients experience when they work with you to the way you process your images in post. It's what makes you different. Your images themselves are the best example of this.
Therefore, it's never a bad option to go into your website and make it as clean and simple as possible. There's nothing wrong with a solid black or white background. Just as long as your images stand out and the visitor can read the text.
A good example is Gustavo Fernandez - his site, although a bit more complex in design than just solid white, is still very simple. He lets his amazing images speak for themselves.
Photographers don't have it easy due to an overly saturated market. Imagine all your potential clients trying to sift through countless websites of local photographers. How do you stand out?
Make it easy to find what they need! It doesn't take a professional web designer to be able to organize your content in a way that makes sense.
Imagine what it's like to be in the shoes of a potential client. How are you going to structure your site in a way that makes things easy to find? Maybe don't link to every single page in the main menu, that might be overwhelming. If you have the ability to do a dropdown menu, try using that under your Portfolio to illustrate the different types of work you do.
Image Proofing Software
If you're having trouble making any changes to your website the way it is, image proofing software is often the easiest way to have the most control over your online portfolio and client galleries. These systems are proprietary hosted solutions built for the sole purpose of displaying image galleries in a professional way, many of them built to be able to handle being fully functional websites!
We recommend you take a look at some of these if you're unsatisfied with the amount of control you have in your current system.
As far as customization goes, if you want the most control now on your own and also the potential for full customization later, we highly recommend SmugMug. Click here for 20% off your first year of SmugMug.
Share with us your experiences below! And of course let us know when you are ready for us to help you.
One Day Labs is a collaborative web design agency based out of Santa Rosa, California. We specialize in building affordable, high quality responsive websites in one day. We want to work with you! Let's talk and see if we'll work well together.
Melissa is the Founder and CEO of One Day Labs. She's a proponent of efficiency through collaboration and passionate about empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners.