Guest Author: Delany Moore
Working photographers know that perfecting the art and the craft of photography is only a small part of what it takes to carve out a career as a professional photographer. This is why the best photography colleges have now added courses to their curricula to teach students about the best business practices, so that graduates have the best chance for success in their chosen field. The truth is that while some photographers may be brilliant creative artists, they may not know how to reach out to potential customers in ways that generate new business. Here, learn what you need to do to compete successfully in the world of online marketing and sales by creating a beautiful photography website.
Because a great percentage of commerce has now moved to an online setting, often a new client will encounter a website before they ever communicate face to face or over the phone with its owner. As a photography professional, if you build a successful photography website that showcases your work to your best advantage, it may not guarantee you clients, but it will guarantee you a leg up over your competition when it comes to selling your services and making a living doing what you love. There are certain elements that your website will need to have in order to communicate effectively on your behalf to prospective clients. You will need to think like a customer as well as a professional photographer in order to build the website you need to win new clients.
The Road to Creating Your Website
So here, the first step to creating an effective photography website is to ensure that it loads quickly. Photography websites will necessarily be heavy on graphics and if you do not format your photos in a way that allows them to load quickly but in a high resolution format, your website may not load properly or at all, or it may take some time to load for customers who have slower internet connection speeds. Most customers will not wait more than a few seconds for a website to load before they move on to the next one so you cannot afford to post photos that do not load immediately. You should test your new website on several different computers to be sure it displays properly and loads quickly with a variety of different systems. Once you have identified the right format for your photos, the next step will be to sit down and think through the objectives you want your website to accomplish. You will likely want your website to attract customers and generate new business, so be sure that it is easy for prospective customers to contact you in a secure fashion. You will also want your website to showcase all the different types of photography jobs you can do, so be sure you pick photos that showcase everything you can do as a photographer. You may have other objectives as well. Write these down until you have a full “wish list” of everything that needs to be included in your website.
Now it is time to browse the web to find photography websites you admire. You will want to use these websites as models for your own new website. Here it is also time to set your budget so you know whether you can afford your dream website right away or may need to work up to it. If you have the skills, you may be able to build your new website yourself, especially if you are willing to go with a simpler site format using a free or low-cost platform such as WordPress. Otherwise, you will need to hire someone to create your website for you, so you will need to find websites you admire and see which company created those sites so you can contact those designers to get quotes. You may also be able to barter your way to affording a website if you can find a web designer who needs your services and you can simply exchange services instead of cash. You will also need to register your chosen domain name, which should be either your company name or your own name, and set up your email system so that customers who find your website can contact you. Finally, it is time to launch your new website and share it with others.
About the Author
Delany Moore made all the typical beginner mistakes when she first launched her dream business of becoming a professional photographer. Luckily, she had mentors who were gutsy enough to tell her what to correct. Today, she gratefully “pays it forward” to share her knowledge with aspiring photographers.