After a slight decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the revenue for photographic services in the US is on the rise again and it is projected to reach $5.8 billion by 2024.
With the market getting competitive again, professional photographers and photography agencies must ward off the opposition with top-notch marketing channels – particularly websites.
Strike a pose as we list the best photography portfolio websites whose creativity, architecture, and ease of use stand out from the rest in this niche.
Clevershot is a company from North Yorkshire, UK, that provides commercial photography services to real estate, construction and lifestyle sectors. Their website is a creation of Few and Far website design agency.
As per the agency’s commentary, they designed “unique media assets that allowed them to create navigable time-lapses, embed interactive tours and annotate videos all within the CMS.” The purpose of these assets was to motivate prospective clients to interact with the website and evaluate Cleverbot’s expertise in a way that was not previously possible.
Full-screen video in the background above the fold, wide, bold font and straightforward menu navigation are the introduction into the seamless user journey. It continues with a showcase of the company’s values, work and benefits with plenty of motion effects and purple accents against a mostly white and black background.
The website’s highlight is the mega menu that opens when a top-right hamburger icon is clicked. The full-screen panel consists of images on the left that change when a visitor hovers over different sectors and a list of services on the right.
Elizaveta Porodina is a fashion photographer who worked with some of the most renowned magazines like Vogue, GQ and The Cut. Her website is a work of Evrone agency – specifically, designer Natasha Yankelevich who is an admirer of Porodina.
The photographer website has two functions: to present Porodina’s photography portfolio to future clients and business partners and depict her idea of photography that conveys her unique vision and style. Large blocks of visual content and clean layouts are this website’s most defining traits.
Elizaveta Porodina’s website borrows a typical magazine/newspaper layout which is evident as soon as the visitor lands on a homepage. The simplest of top navigation bars, with only two items and a basic “typewriter” font, and plenty of white space pave way for the display of Elizaveta’s work in a two-column layout that gets broken with a “one-three” photo display configuration near the footer.
The creative agency refers to this look as a “Swiss Style borrowed from the printed editions of the 20s”, suitable for photographs and large text blocks because it follows a simple viewing logic. The only bits of text on the entire site are the names of each artwork. At the very bottom of the page, the only two other outbound links are to Instagram and Vimeo pages.
The website for Neoluma’s Companion Pro photographic equipment is the brainchild of Goalhunter digital agency. Fully devoted to this product, the website takes a visitor on an expansive user journey that details the specs, features and benefits of Companion Pro in a striking manner.
Scrolling is the only navigational tool – there are no menus at all. Once the visitor begins to scroll from a dimly lit homepage screen with the image of a camera “lurking” in the shadows, the screen animates and stays animated for as long as the visitor scrolls.
The journey takes the visitor through the lens of a camera, depicting photoshoot sessions mixed in with the product’s UVPs and features in a highly legible bold sans serif font against a dark background. The high-quality photos of models deliver proof of the camera’s worth, while more concise messaging persuades the prospect that the camera has quite a competitive edge over most others.
The immersive UX ends with the product’s scope of delivery and a very simple checkout/purchase form.
Nick Levesque is an independent creative and branding director who designed and developed his own photographer portfolio website.
A very “busy” appearance is made easy on the eye by following a simple grid layout that displays Nick’s work in a three-column formation. The palette relies on plenty of white surrounding the photographic elements.
The interactivity aspect is introduced with images of individual matches that the visitor can “pick up” and move around the site. The main typeface is extremely straightforward, while the logo font is custom-made. The main menu is in the top-right corner and moves to the top-bar position once the visitor scrolls.
Blog and Shop pages open in a separate window and lead to Nick’s Medium and Etsy pages, respectively. The only other on-site page besides the Home/Work is the About page. A mish-mash of fonts, overlapping elements and delicate use of gifs make it an even more complex affair compared to the homepage.
Unreality Check is a photo retouch studio from the UK whose website, courtesy of Keita Takemura, is a full-on retro delight – which is not saying much because nostalgia design is all the rage at the moment. However, this is taking it to a whole new level.
Simple to the point of ridiculous (in a very good way), Unreality Check recalls the beginnings of the Internet in the early and mid-1990s and its pioneering HTML websites. Even the homepage’s gradient background looks like something from 30 years ago, while three simple, square photographs and Times New Roman font seal the deal.
The only pages – Work, Blog and Contact – follow the same, equally nostalgic look. Each page’s description is on the left and the content is arranged in rows to the right. Hovering over these rows loads a preview image. Clicking on one opens a page containing the photographs from the studio’s portfolio.
The blog articles are a very fun read, with topics ranging from personal musings on random things to pro tips and advice. The voice and style of these articles are equally offbeat and “unadjusted” as the photographer's website design itself.
Zenn’s Photo is a professional photography studio that operates in the gastronomy and hospitality industries. Created by REDNECK Media, their website’s homepage is fully above the fold, with no scrolling necessary or available.
To demonstrate the quality of the studio’s work, the website displays high-quality photography in the background, adorned by a luxurious-looking, custom font and simple main menu navigation in the top-right. The white and light gold hues in the fonts provide solid parity to the photo-centric appearance.
Hovering over the four service links in the bottom left corner will load a completely new background image with a cool blur effect.
Opening each of the four service pages reveals a layout focused on imagery and very little text explaining the benefits of each service. A mouse cursor gets bigger once the user hovers over an image before clicking on it – a recurring theme in many recently developed websites.
Tennis Club Oderzo, based in Italy’s Veneto region, isn’t a photography business per se but it relies on high-quality photos to make it more enticing for prospective patrons. Dubai-based web design agency Serena Genovese made sure to translate the power of photography to this sporty business’ bottom line.
The website opens with a crisp photo of a tennis player mid-serve. A mouse cursor in the shape and color of a tennis ball is a nice touch, adding the final piece of the puzzle to the said photo. The varied shades of a mint-colored court direct the brand colors that reappear on the rest of the site – along with the tennis ball fluorescent yellow.
The sparse textual content is aided by arty aerial photography of the facilities’ tennis courts. The main menu navigation is contained in the top right corner.
Heading to several other websites’ pages provides more consistency in visual storytelling and messaging, as the visitor moves towards the conversion points at the site’s footer – namely, an online reservation form for booking game hours.
Phase One is one of the world’s leading providers of high-end medium format cameras. Designed by Checkmate digital agency, their photography portfolio website is on the very corporate end of things, appearance-wise.
The website’s homepage isn’t packed with content and is quite “short” when compared to industry counterparts. An attractive full-screen image upon landing, some unique value propositions and capabilities down below and user reviews pretty much round up a very austere homepage.
The real fun and journey begin with the menu navigation which slides in across the entire screen from the right. The menu is divided into two layers: the left-most part points to main categories while hovering over each opens a subset of items like Stories Blog and Resources & Support.
However, the website’s centerpieces are pages dedicated to the brand’s two flagship models. With plenty of full-size images, CTA buttons, demo photos and spec details, the pages provide enough material for a prospective buyer to make an informed purchase.
Janmaat is a professional photography studio based in Switzerland. Digital Heroes, the agency behind their website, has delivered a tasteful crossover between a business-minded and entertaining design.
For the most part, the Janmaat website uses a lot of white background/negative space, mixed with images, text in large fonts and a subtle CTA button. This changes somewhat halfway through the homepage when dark green and light mint colors appear to differentiate the types of content.
Another instance of a full-screen main menu that opens from the top right's hamburger icon reveals a panel with horizontally aligned links and horizontal links to key pages. All of these follow the layout similar to the homepage’s, which helps with the visitor’s acclimatization to the site’s architecture.
The studio’s Portfolio page consists of client work photography scattered unevenly across the screen. Opening one of these reveals an in-depth story about the work, unobstructed by any excessive elements that may divert the attention.