If you're a sole proprietor in your photography business, you may not have the technical skills to be navigating around code and complicated web interfaces. WordPress is a popular choice for photographers in this situation because they can update new photos with ease and write updates while they are on the go.
Keep in mind that you'll have some specific needs as a photographer to showcase your images in the best way possible. Some must-haves include a responsive mobile-friendly design, gallery view and sliders, and an attractive layout that can accommodate heavy visuals.
Thankfully, there are a number of WordPress themes build specifically for showcasing photos. All of the ones mentioned in this list are free to download, making it a no-brainer to get your website up and running today.
Free Photography WordPress Themes
- The Optimizer
- Bold Photography
- Photo Perfect
- VW Photography
- Timber Lite
- The Thinker Lite
Photography sites should be breath-taking and engaging, inviting users to spend time browsing the work. The Optimizer is a multi-purpose theme with tons of features and easy-to-use customization functionality.
You can create a boxed or wide layout with just a click and customize almost every aspect of the pre-built features. The powerful theme options panel comes with a number of features, and the theme is fully responsive and retina-ready, which will make your site look great on all kinds of modern devices.
The free version is good enough to help you create a modern site for your business, and there's a premium version should you need to upgrade as your needs grow.
Freedom is a clean and minimal WordPress theme with a nice layout that is best suited for a photography site. Though this is a free theme, it has a powerful theme options panel that gives you customization control over a number of features. The tiled layout provides a great visual as you scroll through the homepage, and there are multiple page layouts to choose from.
Display your photos in an attractive grid format, lacking unnecessary or cluttered design elements. The JetPack infinite scroll means you won't have to worry about slow page speed, and you have the option to customize the accent colors, header images, and gallery post format.
The front page on this website is stunning with a full-width slider for your most recent premium content and an attractive grid gallery underneath. The smooth scroll and minimized scroll bar makes the website look even more attractive, especially when paired with the minimalist hamburger icon in place of a full menu.
This theme changes up the layout of a homepage with a centered menu bar breaking up the featured hero image at the top and edge-to-edge thumbnails down below. With a modern typeface built in and elegant icons, the theme is perfect for putting your work front and center with no distractions.
Pixgraphy does something similar with the layout and menu style, putting the menu and content below the fold. It includes unique and elegant icons and supports popular plugins ranging from WooCommerce to Contact Form 7. The tiles also have a touch of animation on them as you scroll, giving some unexpected movement to the site.
Photograph is a theme that comes with all the page templates you need from the contact us page to the gallery page template. The menu alone is stunning: Once you click on that hamburger icon, the menu pops out with animation, putting an overlay across the rest of the website, and even featuring an in-menu gallery.
Need something dark? Bold Photography is designed in a way that's intense and bold to better highlight the imagery on your site. It also comes with features for your portfolio, services, testimonials, hero content, and hover animation. The content pages are also stunning, with great typography and style options, for the times that you do need to post something more text-heavy.
Speaking of hover animation, this theme ads a dark overlay over thumbnail images when you hover, which makes the text stand out just a little starker. The best part about Photo Perfect is the ability to create different categories of photos (almost like albums) for your website visitors to sort through. These categories can be displayed on the front page like a gallery. The lightbox gallery display on click also provides a touch of class to each image.
10. VW Photography
Maybe you want just a bit more pizzazz with your WordPress theme. VW Photography comes with attractive labels, hover animations, section layouts, and icons, all to suit your needs. Its testimonials page is to die for.
Gridsby is a minimal yet modern WordPress theme with a Pinterest style design that will make your photos stand out. Gridsby is a fully responsive and retina-ready WordPress theme that includes an easy method for posting photos to a front-page gallery. When you click on a thumbnail, the theme provides a tasteful animation before displaying the full image, providing a little bit of movement and class. It also comes with short codes for further customization such as lightboxes, sliders, accordions, and galleries.
12. Timber Lite
Timber Lite is a free photography WordPress theme that comes with a smart photo gallery and a unique way of showcasing your work by featuring your projects in a horizontal scroll. The portfolio archive uses a film strip design to give your website that vintage look.
Timber also comes packed with modern features like a responsive layout, easy to use customization options, and multilingual compatibility.
Fifteen is a highly customizable fully responsive WordPress theme with a number of premium quality features. It offers a beautiful 3 column grid layout for home and archive pages, and supports custom animations, widgets, full-width layout, and more.
14. The Thinker Lite
The Thinker Lite is a simple, beautiful WordPress theme for personal blogs that can be a nice design option for photobloggers as well. This theme offers you beautiful typography and a clean layout so that photos can speak for themselves.
Though Market is a free WordPress theme, it's packed with tons of premium quality features. This theme is specially designed for WooCommerce shops with many useful features, making it ideal for photographers who also sell prints.
The Market offers you a powerful theme options panel and comes with social icons, multiple menu bars, stunning animations, well-designed shopping functionality, custom widgets, full-width page layout, and many other features.
Fukasawa is an ultra simple and minimal masonry style blog theme for photographers. It's a responsive and retina-ready WordPress theme with custom widgets and different post formats
fPhotography is a fully Responsive WordPress Theme that is specially created for photography-related websites. The homepage slider offers a great way to showcase your premium content front and center.
Once you choose your WordPress theme, there's no limit to the things you can do to showcase your work, attract visitors to your site, and generate more revenue from online marketing.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.