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What Makes Good Photography Website Design?

Sunday 12th September 2010

Photography has really boomed over the past decade or so. With cameras becoming more affordable and ubiquitous, and technology for printing and editing digital photography becoming more mainstream, there are a greater numbers of people involved in the world of photography. 
 
It goes without saying that many people take to photography for the enjoyment of capturing a great moment, or the lasting pleasure of making a great picture, but there are also many people who make a living from being a good photographer. The market for photographers is a tough one, with lots of competition, so it's important that you make every effort to stand out and showcase your work in the best way possible. 
 
As many consumers of photography look online to find existing images that they like, or for photographers that they can commission to document an event or create a family portrait and so on, it's important not only for photographers to have their own photography website, but to be aware of, and make use of good photography website design. 
 
We thought it would be useful to have a quick run down of what makes or breaks a photography website, and how subtle design points can be the difference between a winning photography website and one that gains little attention.
 
1) Strong, clean design is key. The website design should be solid and not too fussy. People visiting the website are interested in the merits of the photographs shown, not how fancy the logo on the website is or how many different image transitions there are. Keep it simple and keep people interested in what matters - the photographs themselves.
 
2) The site should be bold. Don't be afraid to make a statement. Have a bold typeface for your menu so that people can navigate to areas of interest easily and work with strong colours. Depending on your photographs you may be able to identify a strong colour that really works for you. Otherwise, it's well documented that a solid black background works very well for photographs, making bright colours pop and allowing the visitors eye to be drawn directly to the images. 
 
3) Have a structured layout. There's nothing worse that looking at a seriously disorganised portfolio of images. Aim to keep your images the same size when visitors are looking at them in a catalogue or list view. You can always go all out when the photograph is viewed in more detail, but for the sake of having a polished and professional look - keep your portfolio page design structured and cohesive. 
 
4) High quality, focused images. Regardless of the overall photography website design, you have to make sure that your images are as clear as they can be, and a good size for anybody viewing the site. Your images are the central focus of the site, and will be integral to your success. People expect high quality, and will move on to other websites if they don't find it on yours.
 
5) Be organised. It's a well known fact that people can only absorb a certain amount of information in one go and online that amount is very very small. People tend to browse and skim pages, rather than taking a really in-depth look. Only when they come across something that stands out or interests them will they investigate further. Make things easier for site visitors by keeping your photography website well organised. If you specialise in a few different areas - maybe you do portraits and wedding photography  - have these categorised and separated so that anyone browsing the site can quickly filter down to just the things that they are interested in. 
 
No matter what the subject of the photography, it pays to take notice of photography website design and consider the impact that it has on the viewer. If you want your website to do well and perform the function of helping you to sell your work then it is definitely worth spending that little extra time to get it right. 

Posted on September 12th 2010 on 12:19pm
Labels: photography

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