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You're a Photographer Without a Website? What are You Waiting For?!

Your a Photographer and you don't have a website…

I find it quite disappointing when individuals call themselves Photographers but don't have a website. My first question is usually why, and then I brace myself for the generic excuses that follow; I can’t afford one, I have Instagram, I don't have time to make and consistently update a website, I don't need one, and the list goes on. Having a website is basically having your own online portfolio, allowing industry professionals and potential hirers to access and view your work. It is your own personal space where you can showcase your work, experience and a bit about yourself through your Artist bio. Having a website is fundamental to your growth and professionalism as a Creative!


But I have Instagram, that’s good enough, right?

No, it's not good enough for various different reasons. The first reason is to do with your copyright and intellectual property. Instagram (and other social media platforms) has a sneaky Terms of Use Policy enabling them to sublicense your images to third party sublicensees. If you want to know more about what this means then check out the article that I wrote some time ago concerning it called, 'How Photographers Can Protect Their Work On Social Media'. The Second reason why it's not good enough is because Instagram is not professional enough. Imagine turning up to an interview where you was required to bring with you a physical portfolio with all of your images printed, but instead you turn up with your phone and tell the interviewer to check out your Instagram handle in order to see your work, sound’s ridiculous right? In some ways, that is what just simply having an Instagram account and no website is, a potential hirer or someone who may want to work with you needs more details, they need to see more images with a narrative, they need to see more of the work that you have done and they need to know more information about you. All of this is what a website should consist of! Instagram is literally a taster, the appetiser to get your taste buds ready for the main meal, the main meal being your website!


I can’t afford a website right now!

We know having a website with your own domain name can be a bit pricy but there is a bucket load of free platforms that you can use for starters until you can afford to buy your own domain name.

Wix is free and enables you to choose from a variety of different templates and then modify it. It is quite technical but once you practice you’ll find it a bit easier to navigate. The downside to this is that your site URL will end up having wixsite.com/mywebsite

Bechance.net Is also a free site to share your work on. The layout is quite simple and basic but again, gets the job done. The URL is usually bechance.net/ whatever your name is, so its a bit neater than Wix. It is good for a first website but as you grow in your practice you might want to consider moving onto a more sophisticated (and paid) platform

Tumblr is very similar to bechance and again comes with its own URL Like behance, once your practice develops, invest ion a paid platform.


Paid Websites

Maybe you have a bit of money to invest in a website but just never got round to doing so, here are some platforms you can use:

Format is not too expensive with prices starting from $6 and is great for a portfolio styled website. It is user friendly and has simple template designs that photographers can use. However, its limited number of designs can be a downside and so is the inability to upload videos (which might not be suitable for creatives that work with multimedia).

Visura.co Is quite different from other platforms because it is a community connecting photographers and industry professionals together. They also regularly post opportunities and articles for photographers to read. There have however been complaints about templates and the freedom to be creative, so that is something to be mindful of.

Wix is great for photographers who want to get creative with the layout and design. It is quite technical and time consuming so if your looking for a quick fix, I would recommend Wix.

Square Space apparently has the best designs and features, but like Wix, can be quite technical. Its is recommended for people who care alot about the design of their website and have a few technical skills under their belt.

Adobe my portfolio comes free with the Adobe Cloud Suite. It is super simple and enables you to quickly build a portfolio. It is great if you want a portfolio but do not want to put much work into it. Unfortunately the downside to this platform is the inability to sell your photos from it and there are not many templates to choose from.


Conclusion

Have a website! That is the simple conclusion.

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