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8 Photography Website Trends to Watch Out For This Year

By Guest Contributor on March 7th 2015

It’s obvious how important a modern, beautiful website is for a photographer. You should review your website every 6 months or so and its capability to attract new clients and make them want to return. But what makes a website work these days?

The following list of 8 photography website design trends will help you find the answer you’re looking for. Read on to learn what techniques and styles will rule the Web this year. Use this information to update your online portfolio and blog so they can empower your photography marketing and brand strategy.

1. Focus on Video

Placing full-screen videos in your website background has become a popular practice since 2014. This technique will fortify its position in 2015 for a number of reasons.

Large background videos help create a more engaging experience for your site visitors. By displaying your showreel or backstage scenes on your website’s home page, you can provide a better insight into your working process, creative manner, and business values.

Web technologies have become more advanced facilitating media streaming. Internet users tend to read less and watch more. By implementing video background on your photography site, you can leverage these trends and present your brand in a way that leaves a lasting impact.

2. Flat Design is Growing Up

As you probably know, flat design is a special technique of the interface design that focuses on simplicity and minimalism.  While flat design is not a new kid in town, it’s likely to keep its popularity in 2015.

However, we will probably see it evolving and transforming into something new, for instance, material design.

The concept of material design was presented by Google not so long ago as their new direction for mobile and web design. In fact, material design is a more sophisticated version of flat design with subtle gradients, animation, and layering that are intended to induce a sense of physical space and objects.


3. Image-Centered Design

Design themes prominently displaying images have emerged a couple of years ago, and fortunately for photographers, this approach is not going anywhere. Web developers come up with more effective techniques to optimize images for better responsiveness and minimal server load, which means greater opportunities to use hi-res photography in web design.

In 2015, using images as a background will become a big trend. And with the use of CSS color filters over images and blur effects, placing information on top of the photos without compromising usability is no longer an issue.

4. Mobile Websites Will Be Faster

Mobile Internet use keeps growing at a fast-paced trajectory. This means that everyone, from global giants like Google to small businesses like yours, should adopt their online presence to mobile. Making your website work on any mobile device is a must these days, and new techniques providing faster mobile sites, better performance and an improved user experience will emerge.

5. Interactive Storytelling

The art of storytelling means a lot for photography brands, as they’re addressing our visual perception by default. Combining the principles of storytelling with some interactive elements on your website you can create a truly original, engaging experience for your audience.

In particular, such techniques as parallax scrolling, creative page transition effects and sliding interactions work well for creating a memorable impression on a user. Interactivity can be a powerful emotional trigger, so it will be a major driver of web design in the next months.

6. Minimalism

Minimalistic design is trendy, as it has been for a few years already. It means large-scale, dramatic imagery and bold typography. We’ll see more linear shapes, simple menu bars and so-called “ghost buttons” (clickable elements that are fully or almost fully transparent).

Adopting the “less is more” philosophy can be a great way to practice your storytelling skills, both in creative and marketing perspectives: whenever you go for a photo shoot or update your About Me page, imagine you have just one picture or just a paragraph of words to express your message.

7. Custom Client Galleries

When it comes to delivering photos to customers, personalized client photo galleries will continue to conquer the market. While online galleries are not a novelty, they still have a long way to come in terms of replacing DVDs and USB drives completely.

It’s quite possible that this year will bring us the next version of customizable client galleries. For instance, customizable event websites that offer more functionality besides photo galleries like Defrozo.

8. Next Wave of “Pinterest Style”

Card design, also known as Pinterest-style design, has been around for a while. It’s a great way to keep elements organized and modular on responsive websites encouraging users to scroll down and see more.

Selecting an asymmetrical grid layout for your photography website may be a great solution if you need to display a large amount of content. Cards, or tiles, can come with a brief description and the page will still retain a clean, easy-to-scan look.

Over to You

These photo website design trends can come in handy while updating your site this year. However, make sure you adapt these general styles to your own business strategy, only making changes that make sense to your own brand.

What updates would you like to make on your photo website? What things would you like web developers to bring to photographers? Share your ideas and experience with us in the comments.

About the Guest Contributor

Nancy Young is a passionate writer and blogger. She writes tons of inspirational articles on photography and web design, despite the fact that she is an economist by education. She is a part of Photodoto Team. Nancy believes in magic of written words to inspire and motivate.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

If you’re interested in becoming a guest contributor, contact us!

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Francisco Hernandez

    Those Ralph Lauren photos were perfect.

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  2. Vince Arredondo

    Nice Artile

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  3. Rafael Steffen

    Great article with the most important features layout out correctly with great examples!

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  4. Rafael Steffen

    Leave this blog please!

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  5. Kevin Liu

    Thanks for reminding me how much my website sucks. :-(

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    • Rafael Steffen

      We should always think of new ideias to improve them.

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    • Demetrio Fortman

      I’m sure many of us face this problem as websites are getting “old” very fast these days. I think it’s also critically important to correlate trends with your own performance stats and keep the features that work even if they might not be the latest fashion.

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    • Demetrio Fortman

      Thanks for mentioning Defrozo, Nancy! Indeed, we’re going to create a more versatile product based on client gallery service. Plus, expect a quite interesting solution for your senior photography business! More details will be released during our Kickstarter campaign scheduled to go live in a few days.

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  6. Peter McWade

    Minimalist flat design with some interactivity within. Always change your content on a regular basis to keep the interest up. Quality images and simplicity is always the best. It allows focus on what you want to present.

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  7. Peter Kremzar

    Just a correction.

    Flat design was introduced long ago by Microsoft. It became popular with Windows Phone 7 in 2010 and it was called a Metro design. They later renamed it to Modern design because of a trademark issues. Before that Microsoft used this type of design at their Zune HD but the beginnings where introduced by Windows Media Center.

    Material design from Google and flat design introduced by Apple iOS are just a copy of the Microsoft Metro design.

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  8. Michael Giordano

    I started building my own website through wordpress and i bought the themeco x theme. I really like it but so far I have yet to find a way have a good gallery setup, which on a photography page is pretty important. I looked into that NextGen gallery plugin but I didn’t like the look of it. Anyone have any recommendations?

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    • Ben Perrin

      You might like Royal Slider. It costs about $20 but it can do everything. I hear lightroom 6 is coming out with updated galleries so that might work as well but I can’t verify that information.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I have been using Shootproof integrated to my website and it works perfectly!

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  9. robert garfinkle

    I am a web developer, and I learned a whole bunch here… for sure… there is a big difference between development and “design” / “layout”, what works well, what impression / message do you want to deliver to your client..

    Interesting though, these are all excellent tips, seriously, yet it occurred to me, why not mesh page navigation / transitions with photographic concepts like the rule of thirds or the golden triangles where the transitions do a flip-board movement or a set of fades to the next page / topic – if you did it right, it’d be pleasing, where you can study your images, knowing how to do the transition to the next image, where the eyes gravitate in the right place… all on how you transition, I think you get my point. This would be an acceptable pattern to use along with “flat” or “story telling” design patterns…


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  10. Stephen Jennings

    Most of these are fairly old trends, they are just being refined. I’m always looking for a better client gallery service.. I currently use Smugmug, and while it was revolutionary in terms of design a few years ago .. it’s about ancient now and lacks the versatility and customization needed. I should just develop my own. :)

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