“Just images, right?” No! You see, one of the reasons why so many people don’t want to make a website for their photography is because they don’t want to get all the necessary information together to do it. Crazy, right? Despite the fact that making a website is incredibly simple these days some photographers just haven’t taken that next step.
If you’re still looking to take that next step though, here are the things that every photographer should have ready and in place before they create a proper, dedicated home base for their portfolio.
Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post from Squarespace. The words, idea and content are original developments of Editor in Chief Chris Gampat.
A Domain Name
Well, let’s start with the obvious one here. You remember a couple of years back how EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER made their website with Tumblr? So you’d get stuff like thebestphotographer.tumblr.com or NYCweddingphotographer.tumblr.com or Illshootyourpuppy.tumblr.com; yeah, those didn’t go so well. What stuck though were, you know, actual domains. Typically these domains can and should reflect the name of your business; so you’ll also want to have that in place first.
So think carefully. But when you’re ready, know that Squarespace lets you purchase a domain name through them.
Now when you’re choosing a domain name and a name for your business, think long term. The biggest question that you need to ask yourself: “Do I see myself using this domain name and business name five to ten years down in the future?” If the answer is yes, then make it happen.
Your Portfolio of Photos
Believe it or not, sometimes the domain name can be the easiest thing: and other times your portfolio is the toughest. Your portfolio of work should ideally be very highly curated. The same stuff that you’re putting on your 500px profile page shouldn’t necessarily be on your website. You have to think here about things like what you want people to see. Think about what kinds of work you produce that someone would want to hire you for.
Are you a portrait photographer? Maybe you’re a landscape photographer; but then who is going to hire you to create landscapes? Instead, maybe you’re a food photographer. But do you have work that stands out from what everyone else has out there that they can’t do?
Consider what about you and your photography is sellable. Then when you’re ready to put it all together, know that Squarespace offers a lot of design templates and a pretty simple interface to create the website.
Your Bio and Artist Statement
Before you start your website up, consider what you’ll want people to know about you. Every serious photographer out there has a bio or artist statement. Sometimes the artist statements are published with each project but then the bio is another part of your website. Here’s where we will know a whole lot more about you. For example:
- What awards have you won?
- Where has your work been featured?
And remember: keep this pertinent to the industry you’re trying to get into. If you’re shooting weddings, maybe you’ve been featured in a spot like Rangefinder magazine or something far larger like The Phoblographer ;).
These awards and details are important to a number of folks. It’s not only for editors at publications and art buyers but also for clients. So when you’re ready to put this together, Squarespace’s templates will make this not only simple to do, but also very straightforward because you’ll have your bios, awards, etc all in one spot that’s ready for you.
Lastly, a headshot of you helps.
How Will I Contact You?
Photographers also need some sort of contact page; and there are a number of options available here. Most photographers put a contact form together for you to shoot them an email at. But personally, I’m really against that. The very BIG reason why is because contact forms aren’t so simple to work with on mobile and tablets. They’re much better with tablets. I’d much rather be able to call/leave a voicemail or ideally send you an email of some sort.
Luckily, Squarespace is a service that facilitates this process well. You’ve got the option of putting your contact info in your “about” page or you can create a special contact page that’s separate.
Lots of photographers have a store of some sort. Not only will they be looking to be paid for commissions they’re doing, but they’re also trying to be paid for print sales and licensing sales. So with Squarespace, you can make a print shop and let visitors know they can visit later on to license an image if they wish.
Now, you don’t NEED this; but it’s nice to have. And when you create it, you should consider what someone may want to buy and hang in their apartment or on their walls.
Lastly, what you’ll need are some solid social media pages. This includes Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I recommend separating them from your personal pages and with Squarespace, you can easily link these to your freshly made website using the service’s icons.
Start your 14-day free trial today. When you decide to subscribe be sure to use code ‘PHOBLOGRAPHER’ for 10% off your first purchase.