“On the internet, first impressions are everything; in fact, according to surveys, people judge whether a site is beautiful or not in less than a second. If you don’t capture their attention in this period, they can switch to another site,” says the 500px website article, which listed 8 mistakes photographers make in assembling their portfolio on websites. The text reveals several important tips. Read below and enjoy!
“Fortunately for photographers, building a beautiful website has never been easier, with smarter and more creative portfolio creators changing the market for the better. In 2021, photographers can buy and build their dream websites in minutes, literally – no coding needed.
Still, creating a successful website can be a challenge, especially for those who don’t have design experience. Below, we’ll explore some common mistakes photographers make when creating their own websites, while sharing our tips for avoiding them altogether.
1 Choosing the wrong layouts are mistakes photographers make
While you can customize your site to suit your exact layout preferences, most site builders today, especially those made for photographers, have gorgeous customizable stock templates to simplify the process. Still, the options may seem overwhelming: do you want full-screen photos or thumbnails? Horizontal or vertical scrolling? What about borders and funds?
While some generic website builders don’t have templates designed specifically for photographers, the 500px portfolios have three beautifully crafted photography-centric layouts: Moodie, Newton, and Adams. Moodie has a grid-style layout, so it’s perfect for photographers who instantly want to give visitors an idea of the variety of their work.
Newton has a horizontal layout, complete with large cover photos to catch the viewer’s attention, making it an ideal model for showing designs. Finally, Adams is designed for photographers to present full-screen photos for a vivid and engaging user experience.
2 Complicate things
A Google study revealed that users tend to find less complex sites more beautiful, so keep your site’s design clean and straightforward. Many columns, images, or details can confuse viewers, so just focus on the highlights of your portfolio and leave plenty of negative space to let your images “breathe.”
We also recommend avoiding any time-consuming image transitions; no one wants to wait for the photos to be uploaded. All three 500px models are designed with this principle in mind; for example, a template like Moodie works well because it gives visitors an overview of their work, all on a single page, without overloading them with information.
The About page and project pages should also be straightforward and easy to understand; provide any information that may be relevant to a lead (biography, career highlights, customer list, contact details) while being concise and to the point.
3 Sending many (or few) photos
These mistakes photographers make go hand in hand with overly complex website designs; a good portfolio of photography is more focused than vague and widespread. Give visitors and potential customers a clear and immediate idea of what you do best. If you are a portrait photographer, highlight your portraits; If you are a photographer of beautiful arts landscapes, show your landscapes. You are not limiting yourself; you’re just narrowing your focus and defining your niche.
At the same time, of course, sending few photos can also become a problem. The number of images on your site varies according to your specialty and portfolio, but you want to have enough variety to show customers your range of knowledge. Remember to highlight multiple projects to multiple customers to demonstrate their adaptability and the scope of their skills. If you don’t have many commissioned sessions, show some personal projects.
4 Neglect SEO
According to the research, organic research generates more than half (53%) of website traffic, much more than social media. The end result: If you’re not optimizing your site for search engines, you may be losing traffic and ultimately business. Our article How to Help Buyers Easily Find Their Commercial Photography Has Some Basic SEO Tips to Get Started.
Search engines scour the web for text because they “understand” words better than images, so photographers can increase their ratings by adding descriptive titles, keywords, and other metadata to images. Also give detailed titles to your galleries and pages. Your “About” page and your blog are also ideal for showing your SEO skills; remember to include relevant keywords in your copy. Finally, make sure that the copy of your site is localized and provided to your city; people need to know where you are before they hire you. Not doing so is one of big mistakes photographers make.
5 Providing little or no context
In an ideal world, your photos would speak for themselves, but it is never too much to give context and information to visitors. When appropriate, add an artist statement and provide captions for the images. Visitors to your site may not be familiar with your work yet, so take the time to submit your photos. Show us your favorite projects and explain the specific services you offer. As a bonus, embedding text can help boost your SEO.
Another step would be to add your social media links and an email newsletter subscription to your site. While the site itself is reserved only for your first-rate portfolio work, links to your social networks can give visitors a better understanding of who you are behind the scenes. Editors and clients often check out a photographer’s social events before they hire him; make it easier for them to learn more.
6 In accordance with the status quo
All major photography portfolios have a few things in common, such as ease of use and clean, simple layouts. But that doesn’t mean your site should be the same as everyone else’s. Stand out from the crowd building a new, modern portfolio – the 500px models go beyond the prefabricated styles you’ll find in a generic builder and will be released even more over time. You want your site to look familiar and straightforward, but you also want it to get our attention and stop us scrolling the page.
7 Letting it rest
Your site is not a static platform, so it’s important to keep you up to date, relevant, and up-to-date with your latest work. Keeping a site active, whether through blog posts or new image galleries (or both!), it’s essential to attract new visitors, get a high ranking in search results and attract the right customers to the point where you’re in your career. An editor browsing your site will search for content posted recently, not three years ago.
At the beginning of each month, set up a schedule for your site and track your progress with analytics, which will show you how and when people interact with your site. Make a plan and stick to it, but also don’t be afraid to try and try new things with your site. Your website is your showcase for the world; make it unique to you.
8 Not asking for feedback
Finally, don’t be afraid to contact colleagues, colleagues, and mentors you trust to get feedback on your site. They can detect things you’ve forgotten, such as complicated browsing or missing contact information. Ask them to put themselves in the shoes of an editor, art director, or client: what do they like most about your site and what would they change? These types of questions can result in invaluable insights to improve your site in the future.