What do you do if you become a photographer? You spend hours taking pictures, days editing them, you experience inconvenience during photo shoots, e.g. when you have to lie in a most uncomfortable position till you are all stiff in order to capture the best angle. You deal with dozens of clients or, alternatively, (and no one can tell which is worse) with wild animals, because you are a wild nature photographer, risking your life every time you go into the woods for a perfect shot.
However, despite all of that, you love your job as nothing else, because it is more than a job. It’s your best and biggest passion.
Long hours editing give you a perfect result and personal satisfaction. Being in an uncomfortable position finally shows you what you’ve been looking for – the best angle of your subject. Dozens of happy customers thank you from the bottom of their heart for your ability to capture their most precious moments in a beautiful way. The dangerous woods reward you with a stunning set of amazing pictures where a cute fox is pointing its nose exactly at the camera’s lens. When you see the result, you understand that this is exactly what life is worth living for.
Nevertheless, if you don’t have a proper website, all your work may be undertaken in vain. To prevent this from happening, make sure your website is up-to-date and showcases your work perfectly.
How can you tell whether a photography website is great? What features should it have? The invisible hand of web design trends sets its own rules. In this blog post we are going to check them out.
Steven Pinker, a famous experimental psychologist, said the art of photography was all about directing the attention of the viewer. We can say the same about websites: they are all about directing the attention of the viewers to the parts you expect and want them to see.
If you ask yourself, what is the first and the main criterion of a photography website, you’ll probably answer like this: ‘it has to be beautiful.’ Since ‘beautiful’ has a very vague definition, we are going to point out the features which distinguish an average photography website from a great one.
So, let’s start. Links in this post are affiliate links.
It’s an essential trend that actually helps your website float in the Google abyss. Responsive websites are rated better than non-responsive. Moreover, you may have a large number of your potential customers using mobile devices and they won’t experience any difficulties viewing your website if it is responsive. Make sure you don’t lose your customers because your site is not fully visible.
2. Flat Design
You must’ve heard a lot about this trend. It’s focused on usability, it doesn’t distract a user’s attention and the customers will find exactly what they need – no more, no less. Flat design keeps a website clean and beautiful.
3. WordPress Powered Sites
This trend deserves a special attention. More and more photographers choose WordPress as a platform for their websites. And there are a few reasons for this: WordPress is a free, SEO-ready and easy-to-use content management system. When you build a portfolio website or a photography blog with WordPress it’ll take you minimum time to post your content and edit it. Also it won’t be a problem for you to customize the design of your site. WordPress is known for its large and friendly community who are ready to help you in case you have any questions. Finally, there is a wide choice of Photography WordPress themes, so you can build your website without even hiring a designer. However, choosing a theme has to be taken seriously because a very big responsibility for the success or failure of a photography business lies in the design and usability of a website. Luckily, there is a huge variety of beautiful WordPress templates for photographers offered by trustworthy theme providers like TemplateMonster.
To sum up, WordPress gives users a chance to build websites (including photography website) in a fast an easy way.
4. Single Page Website
How many clicks does a customer need to make to get all the necessary information like portfolio, contacts, story etc.? Two or more is okay if your customer’s aim is to find out more about you, but what if it’s a newcomer who is very likely to leave a website 5 seconds after being there? This is where a one-page website comes into play. All a customer needs to do is to scroll down the website, not making any extra movements, and see all the info you want them to see. And get interested.
5. Full Screen Background Image
This trend captivated the whole world and it’s quite understandable. Firstly, you can insert the main message into the picture on the home page. Secondly, using a full-screen image lets a viewer’s eye feel the simplicity of the design, which doesn’t contain anything superfluous. However, you should consider the image carefully, as it will be the first thing a visitor sees, and, as we know, the first impression is the most important. Remember the adage, “You will get only one chance to make a good first impression”.
6. Ghost Buttons
Probably the most obvious term among all web design trends which doesn’t need explanation. Transparent or almost transparent with 50% opacity, ghost buttons look especially nice on full-screen photography. Who’d think something as simple as a ghost button would gain huge popularity in such a short time?
7. A Video in the Background
If you had to choose: a video or an image, which would you choose? Of course, that would depend on the circumstances, gist of the project and target audience. However, videos are more likely to convey emotions. And emotions rule the world, or, to be more precise, emotions rule user experience. Use video in your design and prove this statement yourself.
8. Slider on a Home Page
How do you show several images to a customer in the first seconds of his being on a website? By using an image slider on a home page. The more your customer sees, the better the benefit for your business. Besides, human nature is curious and wants to see more, so rest assured the viewer will view all the images in the image slider.
9. Masonry Layout
A beautiful trend for image-centered websites. Since a photography site fits the definition ‘image-centered’ more than any other does, it may be a unique characteristic that will make your website stand out in a crowd of other photography websites.
10. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling is a great trend that has turned web design upside down. A trend that gave flat 2D images depth and visual volume. A trend that may become a key feature for the success of your website. It adds liveliness to a website and turns it into something more than just a site.
However, you should use Parallax wisely. Someone said, Parallax scrolling is like salt – neither too little nor too much is good. But well-portioned Parallax, just as well-portioned salt, is perfect.
11. Dark Layout
Dark is classic, and classic is eternal. A photography website will be a smash hit if you use a dark layout – black is associated with elegance and magnificence. Remember the feeling you had when you’d go to a website and it would have a modern dark design. It created a good impact on you, didn’t it? If you like dark elegant colors, this trend may be your choice.
12. Sticky Navigation Bar
What happens when you are in the middle of a website and all of a sudden you decide you want to go the main menu? You have to go back and go through the entire search process again. However, we are sure you’d rather have the menu stuck to the top of the page so that you can locate the destination button right away. So would your customers. Consider this trend before creating a photography website.
13. Minimalistic Websites
Minimalistic design is an evergreen trend. Less is more, especially when building a photography website. Considering the fact that you are going to showcase your work (which is usually colorful), the very design of a template should be simple and easy in order not to overload the viewer’s senses.
14. Image of a Photographer on the Home Page
You probably know that using faces in a design raises the trust level of those who see it. Many photographers have already successfully used this trick. Besides, the face of a photographer gives the website a very personal touch, which is really important for establishing psychological contact with your potential customer, and your face may be the thing he remembers first when hearing of your website.
15. Image of a Camera on the Home Page
Who said only a photographer or his picture can be on the main page? What about the medium in this photography site – a camera? It truly represents the focus of a photography website, so keep that in mind.
16. Vertical Navigation on the Left
If you wonder how to choose the best placement of a navigation menu, you may consider placing it at the left side. Most users are so used to seeing the navigation menu at the top of a website that seeing it on a sidebar will stop their autopilot from clicking in and they will start paying more attention to the website they are currently visiting.
17. A Blog-Like Design
A cozy design of a photography website that looks like a blog. A great chance to tell your customers more about you and what you do in a way they all understand. Using a design of this kind may help you create a website to which a viewer will want to return.
You’ve just read about the main features of photography websites and blogs. However, some trends (responsive design, flat design, parallax scrolling effect, etc) are not limited to photography business only, but can be seen on other types of websites.
We hope this article will inspire you to take a fresh look at your website and make it look trendy. You can even use any WP theme from those featured on the list for your future photography website. And of course, you can create your own trends that will make your web page unique.