If you are a photographer, you want people to be looking at one thing, and one thing only — the pictures. Content, content, content. Make them big, choose them well and edit HARD. You have two nice portraits of the same person? Choose the best one…simple as that. Using two different pictures of the same thing makes your work look weak. I can’t stand it when someone says to me, ‘Oh, I’m not sure about this next one.’ If you’re not sure, why should I be? Be 100% sure of 100% of your images. Remember ‘IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT’. And don’t make your website too clever. You want people to look at your work rather than the website design. There are lots of subjects that need clever websites. Photography is not one of them.
2 Optimise your pictures for screen resolution. Big files do not mean better screen resolution. All they do is make your site load more slowly. Make sure all your images are sized correctly to fit your website.
3 Your children are, I’m sure, wonderful kids. Smashing. Dead clever, doing really well at school, look really cute when they’re eating chocolate ice cream. The apple of your eye and all that. Come on, you know where this is heading. Unless you’re having a website dedicated to them, or aimed solely at your family.. .it’s a ‘no’ from me.
It needs to be one thing or the other. Personal or professional. Work or play. If I like your work and follow your blog I want to see new work, new commissions, work in progress etc. Interest me.). Also, if you are going to blog, keep it up. Nothing is as bad as liking someone’s website, going to look at their blog and finding that the last entry was eight months ago.
5 Where are you? If you’re looking for work as a photographer, put your location on your website.
6 Music? For me no, no and no again. Hate it. And it slows your site down. And it’s subjective. Don’t expect anyone to love your images if they hate your choice in music. If you DO insist though, make sure you have permission to use it. You wouldn’t want a musician taking a picture from your site and using it as their CD cover without your permission would you?
7 Don’t use Flash to build your website. It doesn’t work on most tablets / and is basically useless. You don’t need Flash animations to make your work look good.
8 Update your site regularly. Put new stuff up. Change things around, and draw people’s attention to your work with your blog and social media. Use the internet, don’t be afraid of it — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
9 The About page. Apparently 90% of visitors to photography websites click About, so make it work. Don’t tell people how much you ‘love photography’, that should be evident in your pictures. This is the section where you want to showcase your finest photographic achievements. What makes you unique? Tell me and ‘show me your medals’.
10 Finally, and most importantly of all.KISS, which, in case you don’t know, stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid, and is the answer to 99% of photography related questions. It is VITAL for your website. Don’t fluff it up. Clean, strong and simple design will showcase your work most effectively.
Having a website is important. It is a showcase for your work and your talent.
I was quoted £3,500 from a designer to do mine. Would it have been better than the one I have at present? Possibly. Could I have afforded it? Definitely not. Does my website work? Yes. It’s my shop window and seems to do the job. Both my main website and my new hotel photography website, including purchasing the themes and a typekit account, cost under £300.
As they say over the pond, o the math…and it will start to make sense.
There are literally thousands of ideas for websites out there, but if you remember a few basic principles, keep it simple and pick your best work, you can’t go far wrong!