Photography is a pretty popular profession in America. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), photographers accounted for 152,000 of all jobs as of 2008. Almost 50 percent of this number is self employed. Although to the uninitiated it might seem like a pretty amorphous trade with no distinct fields of specialization, it is anything but. In reality, it is highly specialized trade. For instance, some photographers specialize in commercial and industrial photography, some in portrait photography, some in news photography, and some in fine arts photography and scientific photography. The annual median salary of a photographer as of May 2008 was $29,440.
The self employed lot usually have side contracts with magazine publishers and advertising agencies while others have their own portrait studios. For all these people, creating a photography website is a very crucial undertaking especially in this age of the internet, social media and data sharing. Perhaps the most important question to answer first is why instead of how to. Every photographer ought to an online presence for the following reasons:
•To sell and promote their photos.
•To be a member of the online photo bloggers.
•To foster a sense of professionalism.
•To earn extra cash through the sale of advertising space and ebooks.
•To protect your personal intellectual property through the avoidance of copyright infringement.
Creating a site will help you connect with a lot more people throughout the world who get to access your work easily through a few clicks. Building a website doesn’t really require you to be a pro or have some deep pockets with money to splash around. Start off by surfing the web and visiting your favorite photography sites. Analyze their photo galleries, color schemes, layout and design.
Note any aspect among the websites visited that you would like to include in your new site. Once you have gone through several websites, think critically about the things that you would like to achieve with your website. These will form your website’s goals. There are photographers who want a full blown website with all the e-commerce features while others will prefer a simple website (photo blog) for display purposes and their photography tips and techniques.
Your goals for the photography website should be dictated by your needs. Adopt a simplistic view for your website so that visitors to your site can maneuver around easily. Simple websites are also easy to create and maintain. There are simple blogs which are created using WordPress.com, blogger and type pad, complex blogs which are created using WordPress, photo blogs which are created with pixel posts, simple and complex websites.
The following factors are excellent guides in creating a photography website:
•Time and expertise.
•Budget: How much money do you intend to invest in the project.
•The future in terms of regular updates.
•Features: Blog, photo galleries, newsletter subscriptions, about page et cetera.
Simple photography websites are created using WordPress or Dreamweaver. They have basic features such as a blog, about page, photo gallery and a service for newsletter subscription. Complex photography websites on the other hand have enhanced functionality in the form of download facilities which aid in the sale of photos to interested parties.
A CMS system on the other hand will help you have your website up and running within no time. Creating a photography website through CMS has one major advantage. Once the set up is complete, updating the photography website is rather quick and easy.
Here is a great little fast track guide to getting your photography business on the right track online. It has some detailed techniques so you don’t waste to much time on silly mistakes that could have been avoided.