Article about webdesign for photographers and the creation of a photographers website.
Written by Michael Kuphal
Date: 15th November 2020

Webdesign for photographers

Reading time: approx. 9 MIN

Webdesign for photographers

Define the target audience for the photographer website and check your own company profile

In the preliminary planning phase for a photographer website you should in advance consider your target audience. This should be done mainly on sociodemographic criteria such as age, sex, education, occupation and location (geographic area). Does your planned website cover all required languages (e.g. German and English) for this targeted audience?

Furthermore check before relaunching a photographer website which categories (photo categories) you wish to offer and if you want to serve all selected target groups in the long run. During this concept phase, the composition of the own profile, things are often noticed that are being overlooked during daily business concerns. Who are your desired customers and which style are you most proficient in at the moment and is this style considered in the priority of your categories?

Align your photos with your target audience! Reduce the amount of photos on your new photographer website

Convince every costumer of your work with only 10 photos!

If you can convince each of your costumer to make first contact via your website, then you don't need more than 10 photographs!
The photo selection (especially in such a small quantity) is for a professional photographer nearly impossible, especially since new work, photo sets and publications are important.

Try to choose the best photos and also cover your primary specialist field. Reduce the selection of the photographs for your new website to the essential.

Embedding HiRes photos and considering Retina Displays

It is very important that customers with large screens and Retina Displays (e.g. 4K screens) are able to view your photos in High Resolution. On he other hand it is also important to include customers on mobile devices with small screens, so they can view your photographers website on the way.

Consider photo formats for your photographers website

Each photo has a unique framing. Therefore it must be guaranteed that the photo is not clipped in the browser view. Plan in your visual concept the display on small screens and mobile devices for landscape and portrait formats.

Secure your website photographs from being downloaded

This is often desired by photographers, but since technically not achievable, impossible to implement by a webdesigner.

There are some inconvenient solutions that make downloading photos more difficult, by for example protection the source code via JavaScript. But this is easily circumvented by a programmers, since the photograph must be transported as data from the server to the browser and is here easily detected in the data request. The same method is used by offline reader tools such as HTTrack. With freely available software like this it is easy for every user to download an entire photographers website in no time.

Disabling the right click context menu for the whole browser is probably the worst solution since it servery restricts the users usability.
On a whole a webdesigner can offer some basic protection for images, e.g. disable that a photograph can be clicked with the right mouse button, which makes directly saving an image impossible. This e.g. via the CSS3 method "pointer-events" which works in all popular browsers. This trick is a very easy method to disable the image object for the mouse cursor, while it still stays visible in the browser.

Provide invisible watermarks for your photos

Let online services such as signili.de help you find who illegitimately uses your photographs. Here you upload your photographs to the web server of the service, where they will be provided with an invisible watermark. The technology is developed by the Fraunhofer SIT Institut located in Darmstadt. The institute is specialised on IT forensics and has at the moment the best and most secure algorithm for digital watermarks.

Furthermore with this service your can locate your images all over the internet. If rights violations are found, you of course have to decide for yourself if you want to pursue them. Adverse, in international rights violations litigation can take a very long time. We advise an assessment by a solicitor specialised in media law, such as Dr. Homann from Berlin, whom we gladly connect you with from our network.

Improve Google ranking with photo indexing (image SEO)

The Google Ranking for your new photographers website can be significantly improved by "photo-indexing". Here "duplicate content" is even wanted, that means the more often a single photo is displayed in other web services or on your own website, the more relevance it is given by Google. This will make the visibility index of your website rise.

attention should be paid to the following:
  • filenames of the images have to be clean and separated by dashed ("keyword-keyword-localisation.jpg")
  • the URL of the image (e.g. the image files) can be included
  • the title of the alt-tags can be infused with keywords
  • file size and load speed have to be well optimised
  • minimum size of 300px by 400px on every page ideally in 4:3 aspect ratio
  • link your images internally e.g. with cross links from other areas of the website.

Improve google ranking with backlinks to your photographers website

Use services such as Behance.net, Tumblr.com, Instagram.com, Pinterest.com and Dribbble.com to publish your selected photographs. You can publish single photos, as well as depending on the service, photo sets with 4-5 photos each. It is very important that you include a link to your website underneath the publication.
With services such as instagram.com or pinterest.com you should develop an original hash-tag concept, on the bases of your target audience and language, this can significantly improve the visibility of your photographers website in a very short span of time. This improves clicks to your photographers website which improves Google Ranking through backlinks.

Advantages of free photo stock archives

In the scope of a good marketing campaign it makes sense to place selected photographs on free stock archive websites such as pixabay.com, pexels.com or unsplash.com. These will serve as self promotion. Take your time to completely fill out your profile at the selected free stock service, so you are always available for customer requests.

Please observe here that your photos are published under a free licence, like e.g. the Creative Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence that is used by almost all free photo stock services. But this also means that users of the service can download and use your photos in commercial and noncommercial project without having to notify you or ask for permission. Giving you a credit is also not necessary.

Set backlinks for all controlled publications (magazines etc.)

When publishing your photos on third party websites always make sure you have links back to your website. If your photos are published in online magazines or other commercial websites you have to take care that apart from naming you a link to your website is always provided. On third party websites this can be done after the fact by contacting the editorial offices (contact area).

Also use thematically fitting sub-pages of your website for backlinks, so that these links are not always "link hard" to your home page. You can further improve your ranking when you make sure the thematic search words are represented in your target URLs.

Very good examples from photographers websites for the year 2020


Jeanne Degraa

The photographer website for Berlin based photographer Jeanne Degraa. Jeanne is specialised on portrait photography with her own photo studio located in the Funkhaus Berlin. We display the photographs in scaling and for mobile devices in landscape format as well as optimised for touch navigation. The load time and performance of the website is very good, benchmarked from different countries via Pingdom.com.


jeannedegraa.com/portfolio/


Unreality Check

Unreality Check is a Retouch studio from London. Their photographs are very artful and minimal, this is also represented by the website. The website's code base is clean and very high performing. The developer of the the site is unknown.


unrealitycheck.com



Shohei Takenaka

Shohei Takenaka is an independent photographer from Japan. The produced website, the display of the photographs in ratio without clipping and loading behaviour is well implemented. The developer of the the site is unknown.


shoheitakenaka.com/



Do you need initial consultation in the production of your new photographers website?

Contact us and we will send you the basic parameters via Email. We are also available for questions regarding such topic as search engine optimisation (SEO, Local SEO, Onsite and Offsite) as well as web hosting and performance for photographer websites.

Article by Michael Kuphal, Webdesign Berlin
Michael Kuphal and his team develop customized websites and consult in the areas of server solutions, security, barrier-free web design, ranking optimization and DSGVO modifications. In the network further specialists are available among other things for editorial photography, print productions, VR, 3D, APP-, Game development and Socialmedia companies, which can be used project-oriented.