If you are already a commercial photographer, obviously you already have a flash website with a slideshow to promote your work. Maybe you don’t get a lot of traffic to your site, but you know that instead of lugging around a portfolio to people who are just window shopping; you can refer them to your website if you think they aren’t serious about hiring you. So this article is really for photographers who are just starting out.
A website is important to a commercial photographer because it does get you a certain amount of exposure that you otherwise wouldn’t get; because some people will come across it, even if you aren’t ranked very high for the search engines. This could result in a few gigs, but more importantly, a website is a place where you can refer someone that you have already met.
Whether you are currently working as a professional photographer or just starting out, you should already have a business card with a website URL printed on it that potential clients can visit. You should have a stack of these business cards that you take everywhere you go.
This is because if you ever meet someone for the first time, the primary question you are going to get asked is, “What do you do for a living?” This is where you take out your business card and tell them to go to your website and check it out. This kind of contact is the best that you can make, because at some point, everyone hires a photographer for a special occasion.
This includes weddings, parties, corporate photos, school pictures, headshots, and even glamour photos. It’s not what most photographers aspire to; but if you are new to the biz, that’s what you will get. Once you get started, referrals are the best way to get new clients for any business; so every time you shoot someone make sure you hand out your business card and make sure it has your website address on it.
Now, let’s talk about the website that you are going to build that will make you look like the professional photographer that everyone wants to hire. When having your own website became popular, you almost had to hire a web master; which was too expensive and complicated to keep up with. Then there were static web templates; which anyone could use without having a computer background. However, these templates looked amateurish.
Finally, the flash template was invented, and everyone was able to build a website that looked impressive – and was dynamic and interactive. So now everyone could build a flash website without knowing anything about computer coding. In fact, using most of these flash website templates only involve pointing, clicking, and dragging.
While most photographers are really computer savvy, building a flash website is probably the hardest to learn and keeping up with it is time consuming. It’s better to let someone else do the coding work that makes the site look really professional, and then just post your portfolio. Besides, a flash template is usually free or low-cost, is easily customized, and sometime comes with free hosting.
There are a few great features about a flash template that really help photographers. The first are the tabs where you can categorize your photography slideshows into separate categories, like weddings, food, people, etc. You can also post your rates on a separate page, as well as your list of credits.