Before I start on how, it is important to know why you are doing something. So lets start this post with a question ‘Why do you need to create a photography website/ blog?’ Especially when you are creating a blog, it requires a constant effort to maintain it. So let’s talk about why do you need a photography website/blog? I just want to add a disclaimer that this post is for professionals as well as aspiring photographers. If photography is your hobby and you feel good creating and sharing your work on social media while having no motive to create a business model around it or sell/publish your pictures, this post is not for you.
Currently I am maintaining three websites one for my travel and one for my documentary related work and other one for my long term project. . I took the conscious decision t to mix three of them, and maintain the separate website for different kind of work. Below are the websites for reference-
Think ahead of Facebook and Instagram: We often click pictures and post it on social media, it receives appreciations from friends, likes and shares but the pictures get lost in the clutter after a while. To maintain your own body of work which is more long lasting, we need a photography website/blog. While maintain social media channels are equally important, we should target to send our audience to website which should be the soul of our work.
To showcase your work for publications: We often wonder how to get our work published in magazines and how should we send our pitch to editors. The key is to present yourself as a professional and not necessarily like the times when we used to send print pictures. It is much easier now to send an organized link of your work in an order, captioned appropriately. In fact, I would say it is a must-have now even if you are sending pictures in print or pdfs. After having a look at your pictures, the editor might be curious to see what else you have to offer and check your past work.
To make an artist statement: Like every other blog, it is very important to show your personality as an artist or photographer. Especially in photography, everyone has their own inspirations and motivations to create. In a photography blog, you would have the space to talk more about yourself, so people can relate to your work. Sometimes, your work is more interesting if people know more about you as a person. Ultimately it is about building your own brand and making a community who can relate with your personality, thought process, and the art you create. You might often reveal your perspective towards the things you photograph or your personal experiences as a photographer which would be more enriching for the viewers to know the ‘story behind’ a picture.
To define a genre for yourself: While in the beginning, we try our hands on every kind of photography but after a few years of work, it is important to find your own voice. Each genre of photography is detailed and so deep in itself. So once you choose a particular type, work towards making yourself establish as the best. It could be travel, street, fashion, documentary or anything else. Though we often tend to explore one or more field of photography to allow ourselves make a decent earning, however, choose your passion and keep working towards it while you work on other genre to make a living. There is nothing wrong if you self- evolve yourself in a different genre, but always try not to mix too many things in a single website.
To be more organized: To run a fully functional website is a humongous task, but once you have it ready, you have options to include more and more sections which interest you and you wish to talk about. One of my favorite sections is ‘photo stories’ which talk about the life of people I meet in my travels. Similarly you can have ‘tips and inspirations’, ‘regular photo posts’, ‘gallery’ and perhaps your published works and achievements listed. Its important to create a portfolio and bring forward your best 15 images or so on.
To make yourself searchable for work : Having a website would make you searchable easily and having a ‘Contact’ section allows you to provide your number/email ID and other social media handles for people to contact you easily. People often land up on my website when they search for ‘Indian Travel photographer’. How good your website ranks in Google search engine of course depends on the content of quality and how regularly you are post those content. Even if you are doing great photography but people don’t reach you or your work, you are losing potential assignments and opportunities to learn and contribute.
To build an emailing list: Building an emailing list is the key to online business, and there are lots of things to learn about email marketing which will help you in long-term to sell your products. If you decide to make photography based products like –e-books, tours and workshops, email marketing would help you immensely. So ensure that you have an email subscription option once your website is ready and connect with your users on a regular basis through newsletters and blog posts.
To create something more meaningful: Last but definitely not the least; we are artists and photographers because we love what we do. We put hours of efforts into photographing and processing our pictures. The pictures and our hard work deserve a better home. It is a platform to showcase our best work and what we have done over the years. And it is definitely a ‘feel good’ thing for you once you have a look at your perfectly organized pictures and stories on the website and get a sense of achievement as artists.
Also read why do I embrace social media as a photographer?