Professional photographers will use every means they can to publicise their work, but even as amateurs it is a good idea to have your own website. In this post I put forward 9 reasons why you should have a photography website as an amateur photographer.
#1 Showcase Your Work
A photography website provides you with a platform on which to show your images. Having your own platform means that you can decide which images you want to show and how you want to present those images, as well as allowing you to include other features that enhance and promote your photography work.
#2 Tell Your Story
Having your own website gives you the opportunity to share your own story and outline your goals for your readers. Your About Me page, blog posts, comments and communications with your readers provide opportunities to share some of your own views and opinions and allow readers to get to know you.
#3 Discuss Your Photography
You get to talk about your photography in as much detail as you want to. You can also delve into other photography topics and as you build your online profile and begin to have a returning group of readers, you will find which topics are the most popular.
#4 Reflect Your Own Personal Style
You can reflect your own personal style on your photography website. Your writing, choice of images to include, your gallery and the websites you link to, all say something about your style and preferences in photography. For example, you can tell from my website that I like landscape photography and street photography. You can discover that I value photography as a gateway to wellbeing and that mindful photography is something I practise. From some of my posts you might deduce that I like to experiment, discover new ways to photograph familiar things, and that I am drawn to other photographers who do the same.
#5 Control Your Content
Unlike relying on a social media platform, with your own website you control your content and how you present that content. If you are writing a blog post you can choose your own title, layout, font size and colour scheme. You decide which photos to include, what captions to add, how best to organise your images and what links to other websites or other photographers’ work you want to include. You have a lot of creative freedom by having your own website rather than being constrained by social media platforms or by being part of larger websites. If you want to use social media platforms in conjunction with a website, you also have the option to link all your social media accounts together through your website.
#6 Provide Another Outlet for Your Creativity
Building, developing and maintaining a website adds another creative outlet to your photography journey. It will involve planning, organising, making creative choices and decisions, curating your work and presenting your photography to suit your own style.
#7 Build Community
Through your website you can build a community, engage with your readers through a comments section or through email, reach out to other creators, and make connections with likeminded people. You can promote events, other websites, or YouTube channels that your readers might be interested in. You can have an informative website that links to the work of others providing resources and giving value to your readers outside of your own work.
#8 Increase Your Motivation
By creating your own photography website to showcase your images, share personal thoughts, reach out to others in the photography community and document your journey as a photographer, you are likely to increase your interest in what you do, provide incentive and keep motivation alive.
#9 Make Some Money
While I am directing my comments primarily to amateur photographers whose primary aim is not to make money from photography, with a website there is potential to grow a photography business and an opportunity to make some extra money if that is something you wish to do. It is possible to sell prints, calendars, eBooks, courses or other merchandise through your website, or even have affiliate links.
POPULAR WEBSITE BUILDERS
If you would like to create your own website, there are many website providers to choose from.
Wordpress is a popular website builder, though not the easiest to use. Easier to use options include Squarespace, Ionos and Wix, the three most popular website builders in 2023.
I built my website using Wix as it provides an easy-to-use format on which to build your platform. Wix allows you a lot of creative scope while being intuitive to use, and there are accompanying tutorials at all stages. I had very little experience in creating a website prior to starting, and I was not interested in a steep learning curve, so I can vouch for the ease of use of the Wix website builder.
If you decide to go down the road of a photography website checkout this website for a comprehensive assessment of each platform.
You might like to check out these photography websites from photographers working in different genres:
Although most of these websites are complementary to YouTube channels, they do give an idea of what a photography website can look like and how it can be used.
Not every photographer will want their own website, and many are happy to share images on social media or dedicated photography platforms. But for those who would like to add another dimension to their photography work, a website can provide incentive, motivation, interest and challenge and allow you to present your own unique slant on your photography journey.