Putting together the perfect website for your commercial photography business can be an overwhelming slog, especially if web design and content creation aren’t your jam, and browsing some of the extraordinary websites your fellow photographers display across the Internet is intimidating to say the least. But, your website is the place that will make or break that massive wedding day booking or the mountaintop destination engagement session of your dreams.
You can’t predict what your clients-to-be will find important or how they make decisions, so it’s best to be prepared for any possible scenario. By including these 8 things on your commercial photography website, you will be prepared for the most artsy, visually-motivated client, the most meticulous, detail-oriented client, and everyone in between.
ADEQUATE CONTACT INFORMATION
As a wedding journalist, I can’t even begin to count the number of wedding planners, venues, and, yes, even photographers I have passed on contacting for articles because they had insufficient contact information available on their website. I had a similar experience while planning my own wedding, passing on what seemed to be quality vendors because of a lack of accessibility. Without knowing the needs of your clients, you can’t possibly predict how they will best be able to communicate with you. It may be inconvenient managing phone calls, Facebook messages, contact form responses, and emails, but if you are looking to grow your client base, this is an invaluable step.
A PHOTO OF YOURSELF
Few things warm up a website quicker than a joyful image of the face behind the business. Don’t rob your clients of a chance to connect with you by forgetting to include a photo! For bonus points, throw in a few behind-the-scenes photos displaying the dedication you have for your craft.
THE AREAS YOU SERVE
Don’t forget to share your home base with potential clients! If locals in need of photography services can’t find you, then your business will be slow-growing at best. It’s also best to be clear about how far you are willing to travel — whether you’re a homebody or hoping to land a destination wedding in Indonesia. This level of clarity with potential clients will avoid confusion later…and it will do wonders for your SEO!
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT
It’s no secret — least of all to you — that photography is an oversaturated market. So, why should a potential client choose you? Share the lengths to which you are willing to go for that perfect shot, your lightning-fast turnaround time, or the extraordinary customer service loyal clients can’t stop raving about. What will clients experience with you that they won’t find in the other photographers they are considering? This isn’t the time to be modest. Share, in heartfelt (but not excessive) language what separates you from the competition. Bonus points if you include specific examples!
YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
If you’ve photographed 500 weddings, making you an expert on absolutely anything that could possibly happen during a wedding ceremony, share that! If you’ve received a master’s degree in photography and apprenticed under a prolific artist, tell us! If you’ve been featured in Vogue, Esquire, and Martha Stewart Weddings, don’t forget to mention it! These accolades prove that you know your stuff and inspire confidence in potential clients.
A REPRESENTATIVE PORTFOLIO
Now comes the fun part! This is where you get to wow your clients-to-be with the best images you’ve ever taken. Remember to showcase every kind of photography you offer and display variety, but photographer beware! It can be extremely tempting to go overboard here, bombarding potential clients with too many images, permitting less than the best, or too much variety in style, to creep in. Ensure that the images you choose to include are ones that you would be comfortable reimagining for a client today. If you’ve transitioned from dark-and-moody to light-and-airy, then it’s time to take down those high contrast favorites, making it clear to your clients what style to expect.
Even with all you’ve shared and the stunning images you’ve provided, some people just need that extra push before taking the leap and choosing a photographer. The avid Yelp-ers and Google review searchers love reviews to pieces, and if you can include 3-5 stellar reviews on your website from over-the-moon clients, your website has a “but don’t take my word for it” quality to it that can’t be underestimated when people are looking to spend several thousand dollars to hire you for a once in a lifetime occasion.
I know, I know. You don’t want to talk about money. You are intentionally vague with your prices online and hope to woo clients with your sweet, sweet words once they’ve already expressed interest in your services. While this might work for some, many clients see this veil of mystery surrounding price as off-putting and even sometimes as a reason for eliminating a potential photographer altogether. At the very least, share starting prices for each service you offer, and if you don’t want to scare anyone away (and are financially able to do so), express that you are willing to work with limited budgets. Being upfront about the cost of your art shows respect for yourself and for your work. If you are able to show clients through your portfolio, experience, and the unique qualities you have why your work is worth the investment, they will flock to you regardless of the cost.
Best of luck on those end-of-the-year website overhauls, and I hope these tips bring you even greater success in the coming year!