Your photography website is your introduction to potential clients. It provides a glimpse of your work, your personality, and what makes you unique. Most importantly, it can be the deciding factor on whether a client chooses to book you instead of another photographer.
If your website is confusing, clunky, or lacking essential information, you’ll miss out on potential clients. People have short attention spans on the internet. If they can’t determine what services you offer and figure out how to book you, they’ll click away. Clarity is key, and if you confuse, you lose.
We’ve talked about what not to do-now let’s get to what to do. A great website can increase your bookings and your bank account! Make a positive first impression and book more clients by ensuring your photography business website features these 10 must-haves.
1. Clear Messaging That Passes the Grunt Test
The homepage of your website should quickly and clearly answer three questions:
1) What do you offer?
2) How will it make my life better?
3) What do I have to do to get it?
You’ll dive into each of these topics in-depth on your website. But on your homepage, people must be able to find this information within seconds. Marketing experts call it “the Grunt Test.” The goal is to present this information so clearly and simply that a caveman reading your website would grunt in satisfaction, having found the answers to his three most pressing questions.
The analogy is a bit ridiculous, but you get the idea. Write a few sentences explaining what services you offer, why clients should want your services, and how they can book you. Here’s an example:
Hello! My name is [Your Name]. I’m an in-home newborn photographer serving the Greater Dallas Area. I capture beautiful portraits of your baby’s first days in the safety and comfort of your home. Caring for a newborn is hard work, so I make preserving these special moments easy. Click the link below to book me, or contact me at [contact information] for more information, and I will get back to you within 24 hours.
In just a few sentences, this example explains:
Include this information as close to the top of your homepage as possible. It should be one of the first things people see when they land on your website.
2. Simple Navigation
Just like clear messaging, simple navigation is essential for your photography business website. One of the top reasons people exit websites is that it takes too many clicks to get to what they want.
Passing the Grunt Test is a great start, but if you really want to keep people on your site, you’ll need to follow these best practices for navigation:
Make it easy to browse in and out of galleries, navigate between images, and find your contact information. Have clear calls-to-action on every page. Where should visitors go next? What’s the next step you’d like them to take?
Finally, follow the two-click rule: It should take no more than two clicks to get to the most important areas on your website. The last thing you want to do is confuse or frustrate potential clients, so make sure navigating through your website is a breeze.
3. Portfolio of Your Photography
Of course, no photography business website is complete without a portfolio of your best shots.
It’s tempting to fill your website with dozens of your most beautiful photos. But too many photos can slow down your website and overwhelm site visitors. Potential clients are far more interested in quality than quantity when it comes to the photos on your website.
Choose 10-15 of your best high-resolution images to display per type of photography you offer. Keep file sizes as small as possible without making the photos look blurry. Otherwise, your site may take too long to load — another common reason people exit websites.
4. About me Page
People want to book talented photographers, but they’re also interested in working with someone they like and trust who can help them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Another must-have for your photography business website, the About page adds a personal touch. It helps you build a connection with site visitors.
With this goal in mind, write the About page in first person. Use a friendly, upbeat tone that sounds like you and showcases your personality. You want to be approachable, so avoid photographer jargon or fancy vocabulary. Use simple language (yes, there’s that word again!) and keep it to a few short paragraphs.
In general, the About page should include:
For more helpful tips, check out our guide on how to write a compelling About Me Page
5. Contact Page
Again, your contact page should be extremely easy to find. Make it one of the main pages on your navigation menu and include it in the footer of every page. Remember that if a client can’t figure out how to contact you, they have no choice but to book someone else.
Include your email address and phone number, along with your business hours. If you have a contact form, limit the number of fields to essential information only. The longer it takes to fill out the form, the more people will decide to skip it entirely.
Too often, photographers include distracting visuals on the contact page, like a slideshow or too many photos. Give the page a nice, clean look so site visitors will focus on the information you want them to see.
If you’re like many photographers, you probably groaned when you saw the word “blog.” But the good news is that your blog posts don’t have to be lengthy or complicated. They don’t need to be the best-written blog posts on the internet either.
Your blog gives you an opportunity to showcase your best work, talk about your latest projects, and market new products and offerings. Some photographers also review gear and share what they’ve learned about their craft. You can also add lead magnets to to your blog to capture emails from potential clients who you can send upcoming sessions, special events, and announcements to in the future.
Having a blog is another way to connect with site visitors and create trust in your ability as a photographer. It also builds your site authority and offers huge benefits for SEO (search engine optimization). You can include keywords in your posts that potential clients are likely to search, like “newborn photographer in Dallas” or “in-home newborn photographer.” Site authority and SEO helps your website appear closer to the top of Google searches, so more people will find you.
If you’re overwhelmed at the idea of starting a blog, consider hiring someone to write your posts or help you edit them. You can also trade services with a writer friend by offering free photography sessions for their business or personal use.
7. Helpful Resources for Clients
Another way to build connection and trust is to feature helpful client resources on your website. Include an FAQ section or have a section called “What to Expect.”
Clients will see that you care about their questions and concerns, and that you’re the type of photographer who will go above and beyond to put them at ease. They’ll feel more comfortable booking you because they already have an idea of what to expect.
If someone is deciding between you and another photographer, and you’re the one with a clearly outlined process and helpful resources, they’re more likely to book you. Plus, you may cut down on those repetitive emails that ask the same questions over and over.
8. Testimonials and Reviews
Client testimonials are a powerful form of social proof to include on your photography business website. These are quotes from previous clients that speak to your talent, professionalism, and personal characteristics.
When site visitors see that other people recommend you and enjoyed their experience with you, they’re much more likely to book. On that note, remember to always ask clients if they’re willing to provide a testimonial for your website!
If someone’s testimonial is lengthy, cut it down to a few compelling sentences. People want to know what your previous clients have to say, but they don’t want to read through massive paragraphs to find out.
9. Links to Your Social Media Accounts
Including social media links on your website makes it easier for people to follow you. Even if they don’t book you yet, keeping up with you on socials may encourage them to book you in the future. And if someone they know is looking for a photographer, your name will likely be top of mind.
10. Add Some Personality
We’ve explained that trust and connection are must-haves for your photography business website. The best way to give people a glimpse of the person behind the lens is to be yourself. Use natural language and let your personality shine through. Sprinkles of humor or insight into your life are perfectly acceptable — and even recommended.
You want site visitors to think, “This seems like a fun person to work with,” or, “I would feel comfortable being photographed by them.” So, don’t be afraid to infuse your website with personality. Your photography is a business, but it’s a personal one. Make sure your website feels like your website.
Simplicity, Connection, and Trust are Key
“Simple,” “connection,” and “trust” are words we’ve used again and again throughout this post. That’s because they’re key to creating a website that stands out and attracts new clients.
With these 10 must-haves, you’ll ensure that site visitors are able to find what they’re looking for, gain some insight into your personality, and trust your ability as a photographer.
Whether you’re just getting started or looking to improve your existing site, these 10 must-haves for photography business websites will help your business shine.