1. Information section about your business, what your photography includes, and information about pricing. You can decide what’s best for you with regards to sharing pricing on your website or having people contact you for pricing, or even finding a happy medium.
2. Recent sessions area that can be updated frequently. Websites that are a portfolio style tend to be static. You set them up, you put in your info and images and you’re done and never mess with it again. A good way to ensure that visitors who come by several times see something new is to have a section with some of your recent photoshoots that you update once a month or once every couple weeks.
3. Video or Photo Section about “Behind the Scenes” – people love getting to know you and seeing what it would be like to work with you. Have your assistant, helper, or a friend of your client who attends the session snap some photos of you at work. Photos of you posing people with your clients laughing and having a good time will go a long way to impressing new clients with your fun and outgoing attitude. If it looks like it’s fun to work with you they’ll want their photos done with you.
4. Photo of Yourself – People want to see who you are, how you dress, and what you’re like. Of course, a photography website is all about you, but people being able to see you will help them develop a trust in you and your work.
5. About Me Section – This is one of the hardest parts to write on a website. Writing about yourself isn’t easy. If you need help writing a creative bio that will help you stand out you can read this >blog post< with a few tips. This bio section of your website is the perfect way to have potential clients feel like they can relate to you. When people can relate to you, they build trust with you and are more likely to book with you if they find you have something in common with them.
6. Share your Portfolio – so what’s the perfect amount of images? I’ve tried various setups of the portfolio and some were too complex with the wedding portfolio having different sections of the wedding and the portraits portfolio being separated into various types of portraits. This seemed to be a bit complex and took too much time for my visitors to see. Each small gallery within those sections had maybe 40-50 photos in it so there was a lot of stuff to look through. I’ve since learned it’s best to keep it simple. You don’t want to have too little photos, but you don’t want to have too many either. There’s no right way to do this, but figure out what works for you. Currently my >website< has a wedding and engagement portfolio with about 20 images and a portrait portfolio with about 20 images all mixed up with different types of portrait photography. This is a good balance for me and when people want to see more they can check the blog.
7. Way to Contact You – You can decide whether you prefer phone or email contact. I know many photographers who prefer only email, but I prefer either. I try to be reachable for any form of contact, whatever is more comfortable with my clients is fine with me so I have both a phone and an email listed.
8. A blog – I know some folks think blogs are old school and they can be. Having a blog means that your website isn’t static, it has current information being updated on a regular basis. It’s great for visitors to be able to see that you’re active recently. Blogging is also hard because writing doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but a blog can also greatly boost your search engine rank too and put you higher up in google search results, which then results in inquiries from potential clients without having to pay for advertising! If blogging is hard, write some personal posts, put up some easy short posts, and the occasional recent photo sessions too!
9. Client Section – Whether it be a gallery link you email your clients, or a place where they can login with a password having a section for your clients to view photos and order them online is a great tool. Your clients will be able to share their images with friends and family. I use www.shootproof.com because it allows me to set pricing, discounts, and order on my own from the printing lab of my choice.
10. Social Networking – I know I know, I can hear the groans now. Social networking isn’t always my favorite thing either, but it’s a great tool to add to your website if your clients can find you on popular networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
11. Websites for Clients – While not everyone has to have this feature, I’ve found it’s incredibly beneficial for getting referrals and marketing. With www.showitfast.com, the company I do my website through I have the ability to create subdomains on my website with an entire website for my clients. They can share their photos, their shoot proof gallery this way and it all links back to my website which helps bring in more traffic and more referrals.
Creating a website from scratch is difficult and there are tons of great places for you to begin. This list is intended as a list to help beginners as they start their website and figure out what type of content to have.
There are many great platforms you can use to begin your website, but it all depends on what suits your budget and we’ll save that post for another day!
If you need help working on your blog’s search engine rank check out the SEO (search engine optimization) guide in the shop. This guide has step-by-step directions on things you can do to show up higher in google search results. When I followed these same steps my website jumped from the bottom of the pile pretty close to the top and it’s been a huge help and although it takes time, it’s essentially free marketing!
If you’re one of those folks that struggles with blogging, having a plan for your blog posts and even what you share on social networking website can be a huge help. The Awesomesauce Organizing packet has several planning tools for this purpose.
As always I’m here if you have questions. Feel free to ask a question at any time about photography!