What are the key ingredients that make a great photography website? Above all, you want a WordPress theme that showcase your photography: the best themes draw attention to the images on the site and don't clutter everything up with superfluous features or over-complicated designs.
Not all WordPress themes are created equal. Just like picking the right camera and lens for your work, a photographer's website is a big factor in creative expression: the way you present yourself online sets the tone for how people will experience your pictures. In a discussion about photography themes over on Envato's community forum, Norris said:
My plea is this: please, please don't consider multi-purpose themes as "photography" themes. I'm seeing this happen all over the internet, but I strongly believe it hurts real photographers, and, in the long-run, the whole WordPress themes community.
13 Premium WordPress Themes for Photography Websites
With that advice in mind, we asked Envato Market's design community for their favorite WordPress photography themes. Here are their hand-picked selections:
Mentas Portfolio: Flexible Elegant Portfolio Theme
multifunctional and flexible elegant portfolio theme, with tons of
features and options which allow you to make your website unique.”
Outdoor: Creative Photography and Portfolio WordPress Theme
“This is a feature rich theme with a striking design. There are home
page variations to choose from, video support and an interesting
portfolio section with horizontal scrolling. The theme would definitely
accommodate most of the requirements a photographer may have for his
site and what’s more it doesn’t look like a cookie cutter theme in any
LENS: An Enjoyable Photography WordPress Theme
“A theme that incorporates so many important and small details into
it’s design that make it truly a photographer’s dream web site.
Interesting ideas for the navigation, as well as the layout as a whole,
makes the theme stand out. It’s approach to these makes this a
professional’s theme, rather than a hobbyist one.”
Smarty: Creative Agency and Portfolio WordPress Theme
“Smarty is an ace for showcasing portfolio and photography as its
unique trending structure is designed to bring the best out of your art.
It is highly customizable to suit your needs with its single and
multi-page versions available in both light and dark variants.”
Valerie: Photography WordPress Theme
“Valerie is a simple and easy to use theme for building your portfolio photography website.”
Photography: Responsive Photography Theme
“Great photography theme from ThemeGoods stunning design with lots of feature for professional photographers.”
Emilie: Photography Portfolio WordPress Theme
“[Emilie] has four homepage styles so photographers can choose
between different full screen or grid layouts. The theme also offers a
unique full screen menu layout.”
FULLSCREEN: Photography Portfolio WordPress Theme
“A great solution for photographers looking for a nice full screen
homepage layout. The theme also features a unique layout for the
navigation and image category sorting.”
"This one is targeted at the traveling
photographer or the photography blogger. It achieves the difficult task
of combining both a beautiful photography showcase with space for other
content, such as your journal. The name of the theme speaks for itself.
It’s a really clean design that compels you to look around the site and
see what else it has to offer."
SOHO: Fullscreen Photo and Video WordPress Theme
"This is an instant classic. A truly
immersive full-screen theme with a smooth slideshow and a variety of
options to showcase your portfolio. You can take the traditional road
with this one and let your photography speak for itself or you have the
option of adding more detailed descriptions. And the seamless
integration with social networks will have you sharing your photos on
Facebook in no time."
"This theme certainly has a premium
feel. Its ultra-modern design and attention to detail is what sets
it apart. It has thoughtful features, such as password protected
content, and striking visuals to make your work as a photographer pop.
Many features for showcasing your work are available. The only issue
you’ll have is choosing just one."
"A super modern theme that gets to the
point quickly with a beautiful horizontal slider. Showcasing your work
doesn’t get any easier than this. Captivating transitions all around the
site create an immersive experience – and that’s what a photography
site is all about, creating an experience for the customer not just
serving them with the images."
"Finally, this one I’d put under the
category of portfolio themes for photography studios. It’s great for the
freelance photographer but where it shines most is with studios. It has
a layout built to showcase project-based photography and it does this
well. It provides really versatile options for project descriptions and
comprehensive “About” pages that would fit a photography studio
perfectly, making this theme perfect for showing not only your work but
your business as well."
100 Free WordPress Photography Website Themes
Though they don't offer the same dependable quality as premium themes, free themes are great for testing different looks. Here's a selection of free WordPress themes for photographers for you to try out:
- Tography Lite: "A beautiful and minimalistic photography WordPress theme. The perfect choice for photographers who want a simple and attractive site."
- Lifestyle: "a minimalist responsive HTML5 Omega child theme for WordPress, created with simplicity in mind."
- Divina: "Divina is a fully responsive and a beautiful multipurpose theme. Designed specially for photographers, model agencies, creatives, fashion bloggers."
- RokoPhoto Lite: "RokoPhoto Lite is theme made for photographers with a stylish front-page for you to photograph some of your best work. This theme also includes 2 different types of sliders, portfolio section, as well as built-in contact form."
- Gridsby: "Gridsby is a pinterest style gallery theme which is a simple way to showcase a beautiful photo collection. Gridsby is responsive and retina ready, and includes an easy method for posting photos to a front page gallery."
- Aperture: "Aperture is a simple, responsive theme with a fullscreen slider."
- Jax Lite
- Dream Way
- Harmonic: "Harmonic makes your content sing. No matter if you are a band looking to get a record deal, a travel blogger wanting to document your trip around the world or just someone that wants to make their home on WordPress."
- Fukasawa: "Fukasawa is a minimal masonry style blog theme for photographers and collectors. It features responsive & retina-ready design, support for the image, gallery and video post formats, five custom widgets, an archive page template, a gallery slideshow, custom accent color support, custom logo support, editor styles and translation ready code. Included translations: Swedish/svenska."
- Snaps: "A portfolio theme perfect for showcasing portrait images and galleries."
- Snapshot: "Snapshot is a theme built for showing off your photography. You can dive in and start adding your photos right away and it'll look great. Snapshot also includes our powerful drag and drop page builder, so you can use it to create a complete business or company site."
- Riba Lite
- Adirondack: "Adirondack has a bright, clean layout designed to give your content the full attention it deserves. With large images and neat typography, this theme is crafted for longform writers and photographers alike."
- Boardwalk: "A minimalistic theme with horizontal scrolling."
- SKT Black: "a simple, flexible and adaptable responsive multipurpose WordPress theme which can be used for multiple purposes and industries. So photo gallery, portfolio, or any business, blogging etc can be done."
- Photo World: "SKT Photo World is suitable for photographers, business, commercial, corporates, blogging, portfolio and personal use. Images define and help one visualize more than words and that is what happens when someone uses our theme. Set your website on top of this beautiful theme displaying your primary full width images on the home page slider."
- Photo Session: "With a home page dedicated to showcase beautiful images this theme defines what the site wants to say. Simple theme options and compatibility with popular plugins like WooCommerce and Contact Form 7. Easily customize the theme and get a website in no time."
- Oren: "Minimal, simple portfolio theme with blog. Perfect for showing off awesome work. Fully responsive and easy to set up. Use the Customizer to upload your own logo and change multiple options. Clean and bloat free code. Perfect for creative folk and photographers. Visit the getting started page to learn how to use the theme."
- FotoGraphy: "The theme has beautifully designed slider, portfolio section, service section and instagram showcase. It has four gallery layout, two blog layout, three single gallery page layout to choose from. The theme has team and testimonial page to show team member and client testimonials as well. This theme is fully responsive and built on customizer which gives you power to configure/customize with live preview."
- Sentio: "[A] clean, sharp, modern design based on beautiful typography, nice micro interactions and a fully responsive layout. It looks great on all kind of screen resolutions and devices, it's fast and light. You can use Sentio to emphasize different types of content (standard posts, videos, images, quotes, links, etc.) and give your blog or site a fresh look and feel."
- Blask: "Blask is a modern portfolio theme focused on showcasing your work in a clean and minimal way."
- Luna: "Luna is a simple portfolio theme which highlights your project content in a beautiful way. Be sleek and sophisticated with a clean layout and a minimal design."
- Fullscreen Lite: "An onepage, singlepage, landing page, elegant, clean and multipurpose theme FullScreen Lite packs the features that make it the most preferred theme for photographers, creative, business and portfolio site. One Page FullScreen Lite theme entails some fine features likes full width slider, responsive design, multiple layout options and portfolio options."
- Arcade Basic
- Panorama: "Panorama is a multipurpose responsive photography WordPress theme suitable for corporate, photoblogging, portfolio, business, ecommerce, personal, interior, author, church and has five different slides spanning the whole homepage."
- Artist Theme: "The ultimate WordPress theme for artists. Includes a Jetpack-powered portfolio template to keep your content portable between other themes."
- Modern: "Modern is responsive, retina-ready blog and portfolio WordPress theme. It's perfect for personal and small business portfolios. Supports Jetpack plugin, Schema.org markup, Theme Hook Alliance action hooks, translation-ready code, header slideshow and other cool features."
- Swell Lite
- Electa: "Electa is the perfect theme to display any site from your photography portfolio, personal blog, restaurant websites, wedding sites, entertainment websites, or any site you'd like to display your beautiful images on. Along with the blocks layout, Electa has multiple page layouts which work well with SiteOrigin's simple drag and drop Page Builder, allowing you to built any type of page layout you like. Also integrated with WooCommerce, Electa can easily turn into a full online eCommerce store where you can sell products."
- Photoshoot: "Photoshoot is a clean and modern WordPress responsive theme which is mainly designed for Photographers who want to showcase their portfolio of photo shoots. But this can be suited to individual freelancers and small and mid sized companies too which want to showcase their portfolio using images."
- Blackoot: "An Elegant, Multi-purpose, Responsive WordPress Theme. Perfect for photography or music oriented blogs as well as portfolio and creative business websites. It features two widgetizable areas in the sidebar and the optional footer, two custom menu locations in the navbar and footer, optional tagline display, custom logo and favicon, custom header image and custom background."
- Puro: "A content focused minimalist theme, perfect for your blog, portfolio or small business site. We've closely integrated SiteOrigin's Page Builder for responsive layouts and Meta Slider for smooth, easy to build sliders. Puro is responsive, Retina-ready and fully compatible with Jetpack, Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms and WP PageNavi. Included is a .rtl CSS file for right to left languages."
- Stained Glass
- SG Window
- Sketch: "A clean, responsive portfolio theme with options for a custom site logo, a featured content slider, and lots of room to share your work."
- Illustratr: "A minimalist portfolio theme."
- Pictorico: "A single-column, grid-based portfolio theme with large featured images and a post slider, perfect for photoblogging or a portfolio site."
- Gridster: "Gridster is a tidy little portfolio theme for photographers and creative types. It has a grid-based homepage, left sidebar and space to show off your images in style. The theme is responsive so it will look good on every screen, from mobiles and tablets up to large desktop displays. Now upload your own logo via the theme customizer."
- Portfolio Press: "Portfolio Press is a responsive theme for showcasing your photography, art, web sites, or other projects. It also works nicely as a regular blog site. Configuration options are available in the customizer."
- fPhotography: "a fully Responsive WordPress Theme, a perfect choice for a website or blog about photography, photographer, or photo shooting. Features include Multi-Level Drop-Down Header Menu, Admin Customize Options (Slider Images and Content, Header Logo and Footer Copyright Text), Multiple Browser Compatible (IE9, IE10, IE11, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari), FontAwesome Integration, Sidebar Widget Area, W3C Markup Validated, Search Engine Optimized (SEO), Mobile-Friendly, and Translation Ready."
- Photo Perfect: "Photo Perfect is a responsive photography WordPress Theme for professional photographer, photo bloggers and creative peeps. Theme is very easy to customize, maintain and use on a daily basis."
- Silvia: "Silvia is a light, bright and beautiful photography WordPress theme. It’s ideal for website focused on photography, graphic design, fashion, art, architecture, interior design, and other creative fields! Key features are responsive, retina support, fast load and SEO friendly with Schema.org markup. The theme options are powered by easy-to-use Customizer, allows you to modify various options including colors, typography, layout, etc. It also smoothly integrated with Jetpack and Polylang plugin."
- Willow: "This theme extend default theme "Twenty Sixteen".In PC views,this theme exchange the article page columns in one column from two columns, and Photos in black and white."
- Resi: "Resi is a clean gallery theme which showcases beautiful picture collections for all photographers. Resi is responsive, retina ready, and perfect for high resolution photo collections. Easy to use, it's as simple as adding posts with Image post formats"
- Gazette: "A clean and flexible theme perfectly suited for minimalist magazine-style sites, personal blogs, or any content-rich site. It allows you to highlight specific articles on the homepage, and to balance readability with a powerful use of photography — all in a layout that works on any device."
- Argent: "Argent is a clean and modern portfolio theme, geared towards creative professionals like designers, artists, and photographers. With its simple homepage template featuring portfolio projects, Argent aims to draw viewers right at what matters most: your wonderful work."
- Kouki: "A beautiful and minimal theme for personal blogs. Kouki is meant for publishers who like to display their content in a delightful and minimal way. Ideal for food blogs, photographers, minimalists, tumble logs and everyone else who likes an unobtrusive WordPress theme. Non-mandatory theme options help you to individualize the theme. Change colors, choose fonts from the Google library and add social icons. The theme is responsive and looks good on small devices."
- GK Portfolio: "If you’re a photographer, designer or creative blogger, you know how much of an impact strong visuals can have. It’s not enough to just write about your skills, or talk about what works in design; it has to be seen to be understood. With the clean, elegant design offered by this free Portfolio WordPress theme that puts all the emphasis on your creative work, you can craft an alluring, attractive and relaxed website that echoes the qualities that you put into your writing and images. Reveal and hover animations provide a dynamic backdrop without intrusion, and the dialed-back layout keeps attention focused on your content. Provide your blog or portfolio site with the perfect foundation."
- Masonry: "Our Masonry theme is based on the popular and efficient grid library, suitable for creatives, photographers or bloggers.
- Radcliffe: "A theme for bloggers who want their content to take center stage. Radcliffe features responsive design, retina-ready assets, full width header images, beautiful design and typography, support for custom logo, support for custom accent color, three widget areas, editor style and translation-ready code. Included translations: Swedish/svenska."
- Princess Lite: "Princess is a clean, modern, resposnive and retina ready WordPress theme by ThemePrince. Features: columns, 2 blog templates, selectable sidebar position, logo and favicon uploader, RTL support, translation ready."
- Freedom: "Freedom is a simple, clean and responsive stylish photo blogging theme. The theme supports custom header, custom background, custom menu, widget areas and has built-in options panel to configure primary color, site logo, slider, site layout, sidebar layout, category layout and many more."
- Stacker Lite: "Stacker is a Grid-Based theme for showing off your photos and images. Includes a social media links menu to display icons linking to your favourite social media sites. Customize the colors and amount of columns via the Cutomizer."
- Phogra: "This is what a photography portfolio should be about: showing off your photography skills through the display of large photos. So we focused on that and we added a nice little menu to wrap things together."
- Radar: "Radar is an awesome, full of modern, flat-style, colorful, clean, responsive WordPress theme. Use it to make something cool, have fun."
- Zerif Lite: "a free one page WordPress theme. It's perfect for web agency business,corporate business,personal and parallax business portfolio, photography."
- Optimizer: "It's perfect for any types of website - Landing Pages, small business, portfolio, photography, corporate, personal & eCommerce websites."
- Planum: "Responsive full screen theme for bloggers. The choice of color, background image, custom header images and other settings using the WordPress Customizer with a live preview. Square tiles grid for the home page and blog posts. Has built-in context help. Ready Jetpack infinite scroll."
- Olevia: "Olevia is a portfolio and blogging theme with a beautiful home page to show off your work. If you're looking for something simple to set up your portfolio site, this theme is for you."
- One Paze: "Beautifully designed modern WordPress theme. It is one page Parallax layout (with ability to configure inner pages as well). It loads super fast, built on customizer and allows you to live preview your changes as you go. Highly configurable and high level of compatibility with major WP plugins."
- Zifer Child
- Touchfolio: "Free responsive portfolio WordPress theme with touch navigation."
- Tempera: "We had to follow a very strict recipe to get Tempera just right. We started with a very solid framework of over 200 settings, added a very light user interface, threw in a couple of mobiles and tablets to give it that responsive elasticity, added over 50 fonts, weren't satisfied so we poured all the Google fonts into the mix, then scattered 12 widget areas for consistency, dissolved a slider and unlimited columns into a customizable Presentation Page then mixed it in as well. We then sprinkled all post formats, 8 layouts including magazine and blog, powdered 40+ social icons and even blended in a customizable top bar for extra density. We also made it translation ready and gave it RTL language support for some cultural diversity. The secret ingredient was love and we might've spilled too much of that. But now Tempera has just the right feel and the right texture and is exactly what your empty WordPress canvas needs. NEW! Tempera now comes in 16 different flavors with preset color schemes!"
Digest: "Digest is a free WordPress theme for your personal blogs
or portfolio. Theme supports widgets and custom menus. Ideal for
photographers, designers and anyone who wishes to show off their work."
How to Make Your Online Photography Portfolio
In this lesson from the course The Photographer's Portfolio, Chamira Young takes a look at a handful of web photography portfolios and discusses the effective elements and best practices behind their assembly.
- PortfoliosWhich Type of Photography Portfolio Should You Use?Chamira Young
- Portfolios10 Steps for Building a Photography Portfolio to Be Proud OfSimon Bray
- WordPressHow to Organize Your Photos in WordPress With WP Real Media LibraryAndrew Childress
- PortfoliosHow to Create a PDF Portfolio in Adobe LightroomJeffrey Opp
- Photo EditingHow to Assess and Edit Your PhotographsAmy Touchette
- WritingHow to Write an Artist Statement and Why It’s So ImportantAmy Touchette