In this day and age, almost every photography business has a website. It’s not easy to keep up with the task of competing with the millions of photography websites on the internet today. In order for your website to be remembered it needs to enthrall, stand out and be unique. It must be attractive and appealing to the eye and most importantly, it must capture the essence of the business, product or service you offer. In terms of functionality, a good design would ensure that users can successfully perform tasks, such as finding information on products or services, posting comments, submitting contact information, or purchasing an item.
But not all online businesses who managed to have a website enjoyed instant success. The main reason for a website to fail is because of poor website design. We know that the web is in constant evolution, when it was first released to the public around the early 90’s its limitations and functions have gone beyond what anyone could have imagined. So to keep up with the ever changing environmental situation and adapt to it certain measures should be taken such as having a good and relative website for your photography business.
A well-designed photography website would make audiences feel confident of the company, that they are reputable and take their business seriously, serious enough to spend some time and effort to make the site look appealing. Why wouldn’t you want your website to exude these very important qualities? After all, your photography website is a showcase of your business to the World Wide Web. Think about it in a physical sense, window dressings, how a brick and mortar retail shop will put up a pretty shop front to get the attention of passing customers.
When enacted properly, good website design should look like a work of art. This is because there is a tremendous amount of skill required to design a website. When a visitor to your site discovers that the site they are visiting has been properly designed they will inherently react positively to the site and stay longer. A site has less than 30 seconds to capture the interest of potential customers. The first emotional judgment that is made would be what would influence a possible sale or further inquiries leading up to sales so make sure those 30 seconds are well used.
Like the old saying goes “first impressions are the most lasting”, so make it a good one.
6 Tips For Your New Photography Website:
1. Consider Your Target Demographic
Your portfolio needs to reflect your target demographic, whether it is a couple looking for a wedding shoot, or an agency looking for a commercial shoot. If your portfolio gives off the wrong image, you won’t attract any of the clients you want.
Think of a wedding photographer’s portfolio, typically white, clean, and easy to use. This is suited towards the target demographic of a wedding photographer: typically younger couples (sometimes females are in charge of certain decisions) with dreams of the perfect wedding. Typically speaking, weddings are full of white, with beautiful flowers and rays of sunshine. If you want to attract wedding clients, you need your portfolio to resemble a wedding.
2. Try to Keep the Contrast High
Depending on the style of photography, images usually look a lot better when you view them on a black background. This is typically because there is more contrast than when viewing against white. Contrast helps bring out the colors of the photo, which in turn, makes the image appear more vivid and stunning. If you do any type of boudoir, commercial, HDR, nature or portrait photography, try viewing your work on black and then on white and see which one looks better to you.
3. Only Use High Resolution Images
When a potential client goes to your view your portfolio, they expect to see high resolution, professional looking images. So give them that! Don’t display “full size” images at 300px by 300px. The viewer is there to see your work at its greatest quality, not a low quality optimized for bandwidth. When you consider your target demographic, chances are high that they are located near you. By now, most of us have high-speed cable or DSL connections, so utilize them.
Provide high-resolution images for your clients and in return they may have to wait a couple seconds longer. If they’re that impatient that they won’t wait for your portfolio to load the best quality possible, then personally speaking, they’re too impatient to be my client.
Everything on the Internet comes with a price; it just so happens that the price for high-quality work is longer load times.
4. Narrow Down Your Choices of Images
Although you may have a large collection of images you wish to share in your photography website, try to limit your selection to the stronger pieces. Too many images in your portfolio can increase load times, and provide the viewer with too many options. It can make your portfolio feel like it is dragging on and on.
5. Make it Easy for Your Users to Contact You
Regardless of how good your work is, if your viewer can’t get in touch with you, you’re not getting any work. It’s really simple for you to add contact details to your site. Whether it’s a contact page, a phone number on every page, or an email address in the footer, finding your contact information should be a breeze for your users.
You can put whatever you want for your contact details, just make sure that whatever you do put, is correct. A simple phone number will do, although if a potential client isn’t fond of the telephone, it may be better if they knew your email address as well. Remember to think about all your users before you make any final decisions.
6. Don’t Forget to Update!
It’s currently 2012, and the technology we possess is sophisticated enough for anyone, and we mean anyone, to own and maintain a dynamic portfolio. Regardless of if you manage your portfolio with WordPress, or a Flash system or still stuck in static HTML, you should be updating your content.
Users are used to seeing new content each and every time they visit a website. We’ve grown out of seeing the same old stuff on every visit. This is the same for your photography website, with a little less emphasis on how often you should be updating. It’s ideal if you update whenever you have new content. Try not to upload in batches, throwing a handful of photos up every couple months. Instead, try to maintain a consistent, yet loose, schedule.
When you do update, only update if the new content is stronger than the older content. It makes no sense to replace a strong image with a weaker one, regardless of if it’s more recent. You want to be always strengthening your skill set and your portfolio should reflect that.