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Web Design Essentials of a Photography Website

We come across tons of portfolios of photographers every day while blogging about photography. Photographers concentrate on showing their skills in the photos most of the times and leave the job of designing a website for their portfolio to the web designers. Even then it is seen that a lot of interesting approaches when a photographer tries to bring out his portfolio.

I have been looking around for good photographer’s portfolios for quite some time now and my research have brought me these different styles which I’m sharing with you now. These are the portfolios of known photographers and have been carefully observed and analyzed. These are the trends in photography that you will certainly want to try for your next project as they have so much to offer.

You should note here that most of these top websites have used Flash to create their websites as Flash activated websites gives enhanced visuals, better browsing experience and interactivity. The positive aspects of these photo galleries include easier navigation and accessibility. So without further ado, let’s have a look at these inspirational websites.

A Classic Twist to the Slideshow Pattern:

A Classic Twist to the Slideshow Pattern
A Classic Twist to the Slideshow Pattern

Navigation effects are the most important for a photography portfolio website because the whole beauty of a photography portfolio comes from the style and ease of navigation. Carousel and grid are two of the most popular and common navigation effects in the world of photography portfolio. These features enable users to quickly skim through the whole website instead of doing loads of clicks to browse through the website.

Slideshows may be the most common styles of presenting photos but creative photographers employ their talents in showcasing their work as well by spicing up their portfolio websites by adding effects to the slideshows. Adding featured elements in the slideshow is also a way of showing more style.

While grid type of showing a slideshow is by having all pictures in one frame in their thumbnail sizes, carousel is more innovative and stylish. It presents the photos by rotating them simply but a photographer who puts some effort in it makes it look a lot more brilliant.

Presenting Photographs in Huge Sizes:

Presenting Photographs in Huge Sizes
Presenting Photographs in Huge Sizes

It makes sense when you say that as photography website is all about presenting photos, if they are presented full screen, one at a time, it would serve the purpose of the website just well. Where on one hand some photographers like to add effects and features to their displayed photos to make them look attractive, some are of the view that the simple the better.

They like to present the photo in full size on the screen without any effects or taking up space to add a background. To make the photos look dominating on the screen, they avoid the big layout elements. One way of showing such photos is when you click on a photo; it is loaded on the full screen automatically.

Effects and Navigation That Looks Unusual:

Effects and Navigation That Looks Unusual
Effects and Navigation That Looks Unusual

There are some websites where galleries and photographs are right/left aligned. Although it is not a common trend and has been seen on some sites only, it is stylish and innovative trend nonetheless. We found a few websites which are using such a navigation style but they had their own attraction and we decided that it is worth mentioning such a type of navigation effect.

There are also other navigation techniques available to create unique and gimmicky navigation. Accordion is another technique for designing a photography website with minimal content which forms an overlapping accordion feature although only a handful of photographers use this technique.

Movement of Photos:

Movement of Photos
Movement of Photos

One of the recent trends in the navigation effects of a photography website is the slight motion of the photos. This feature can be good where there are large images and in cases where the user would be attracted to the moving website instead of static. User can always turn off the motion of the images to watch it in static to make this kind of website easily useable and favorable for users of all kinds of tastes.

Attraction with Gigantic Typography:

Attraction with Gigantic Typography
Attraction with Gigantic Typography

Big typography is the trendiest thing in designing the modern websites and a photography website is no exception. If a website has its title or the name of the photographer written in huge unique font is also an attractive feature. The typography can be any kind as long as it goes well with the basic layout of the website and the kind of photos being shown in the portfolio. The same goes for the size and color of the font which should be compatible to the whole layout of the website.

Working with Thumbnails:

Working with Thumbnails
Working with Thumbnails

According to a research, thumbnail feature is quite popular with designers and creative geniuses who like to show off their work in a usual way. It is way of adding attraction to the website and interaction with which users can easily browse through our website, without compromising the easy navigation and accessibility which is so important. There are loads and loads of ways of even presenting the thumbnails and that’s where a little effort has to be put as well as creativity. This trend is seen to be used by a good many photographers who have taken up to present their portfolios in a unique way.

Text-Rich Interface:

Text-Rich Interface
Text-Rich Interface

In a photography portfolio website, photos are usually the whole content. But the latest trend that has been seen in the photography world is the use of text to accompany the visuals and make the experience even better. This is a way of communicating with the user and adding interactivity. This includes a short description with the images, blogs or tutorials. Text on a website is also useful for SEO to make your website more available on the search engines. This is probably the reason why this trend has gained this much popularity and is a continually growing trend.

Simplicity is Always the Best:

Simplicity is Always the Best
Simplicity is Always the Best

Other features apart, simplicity stands out no matter what the design. Also, minimalism has become a classical trend and hence is regarded as eternal. A lot of big names in the photography world like to stick to minimalism and simplicity when it comes to showing their portfolio on a website. Basic layout, quick and easy access to the content available on a website and easy navigation are the features that have become crucial to this kind of personal portfolios. Moreover, following simplicity, photographers keep their lion’s share of showing off the photos without any other features eclipsing it.

Final Thoughts:

To sum it up, if you are going to keep a photography portfolio website, you should have a little knowledge of the common trends, latest techniques and the particular features to design a photography website. This is the knowledge that would come to your use to let your website stay updated and attractive. Moreover, you have to keep the features of easy navigation in mind while designing as the process of creating a good photography website requires a work that is not cluttered and looks attractive to the visitor. Your website should set the basis for highlighting your work not eclipsing it.

About Arfa Mirza

EuroPakistani and Media Studies graduate, Arfa Mirza is a whiz writer and self-taught designer, where creativity is her blood and bones. After successfully co-creating Dzineblog360 and Webblog360, she has launched her sole blog CreatiWittyBlog to claim her share in the virtual realm.

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2 comments

  1. Graphic Design Junction

    Hi Arfa,

    Really nice stuff for reading and understanding the importance of photos in web designing..

    thanks

  1. Pingback: Web Design Essentials of a Photography Website | Design News

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