It’s been a long time since professional photographers were limited to developing their own photographs and physical photo albums. It’s been quite a while since digital cameras took over the world, and the business completely changed. The new generations can’t even comprehend the struggle of old-school photographers and the non-digital world they lived in. But whether you did or did not accommodate to the digital technology, if you want to stay in business, you will have to have an online portfolio and learn how to manage the business.
Luckily, WordPress makes things easier for everyone. So, even if you have no experience on the web, you can have an online portfolio and work with clients over the Internet without a struggle.
To start with, there are some fantastic WordPress themes for photographers that will do most of the job for you. But to do your digital business with the helping hand of WordPress even better and more appealing to your customers, you will need to modify a few more things. That’s why we decided to browse through some photography-related WordPress plugins and show you the best ones among them.
Probably one of the first plugins that a photographer will look for is a gallery plugin. When it comes to showing off a vast number of pictures and videos, it is important to have a good gallery plugin that will handle them well.
NextGEN Gallery is one of the most popular plugins for the job with more than one million active installations! It offers a complete gallery management system that will let you upload, customize and manage images the way you want it. On the other hand, your visitors get to enjoy the photographs and videos through slideshows and thumbnail galleries. You can use compact and extended album styles, all of which you can control in detail (change sizes, timings, animations & effects, and much more).
Slider by Soliloquy
Having a slider is a great way to capture visitors’ attention. By having a few of the best images or videos in a slider, you can keep the visitor and turn him into a client more quickly.
Soliloquy is one the most popular slider plugins for WordPress, and it counts more than 80,000 active installations. It’s very easy to setup and use, but at the same time, it’s powerful enough to let you customize the slider and adapt it to your site. The plugin is beginner-friendly, and it lets you create a custom slider simply by dragging and dropping elements you need.
The slider will be responsive so you can relax knowing that regardless the device they’re using, your visitors will get the best image experience possible. If you want to have all the features, you will be interested in a few premium extensions available for the plugin.
Just in case your WordPress theme doesn’t allow lightboxes (popup windows), or you don’t like the ones you already have, don’t worry. Simple Lightbox is a free plugin that counts more than 100,000 active installations, and it will help you customize the whole thing.
As soon as you install Simple Lightbox, it will do the changes to your site. It will automatically activate links for you. You don’t have to worry about image sizes since the plugin will adjust the lightbox dimensions to different screen resolutions. If you style the lightbox themes and animations, you can quickly allow your users to enjoy the photographs no matter the device they used to open your site.
Simple Lightbox supports WordPress image attachment links and links in widgets, and you get to use keyboard navigation. There are much more features you get to use with this amazing plugin, so give it a chance and let your users enjoy your photographs.
As a professional photographer, you will need a platform to sell your digital products. Although there are some fantastic e-commerce solutions for WordPress that will transform a simple blog into a fully equipped store, sometimes you will want just a few photos on the shelf. In that case, take a look at Sell Media plugin.
This free plugin is easy to install and set up, and you can start selling your photographs and other digital media in a matter of minutes.
All you have to do is to upload photos, describe them, add metadata, and connect your PayPal account. After customizing your little store, the plugin will take care of the rest and allow you to start selling. Good luck with your new photo store!
Easy Digital Downloads
Just like the previously mentioned plugin, Easy Digital Downloads allows you to open your own online store. Unlike the other e-commerce systems that focus on physical product, this plugin will help you manage digitals downloads, so it’s a perfect choice for your photographs.
The plugin is very easy to install, and unlike Sell Media, it allows more payment options. After uploading your photos, you will be able to set up descriptions and prices. It will even let you manage discounts and input several pricing options. Your customers will have the chance to browse through your online store, add items to a cart, and they will get to select their favorite payment option besides PayPal.
View analytics, payment history or make your store even better by adding one of the hundreds of available extensions for Easy Digital Downloads. If you’re serious about selling photos online, this is the plugin you will have to have.
Some photographers like to expand their pictures with a written word. If you’re one of them, StoryForm is the plugin you will just have to add to your arsenal.
StoryForm allows you to create full-screen magazine-like stories with your photos and videos. You can use different templates and designs for each part of your story and thus add more value to your photos. The entire thing works perfectly on any resolution. That means that your readers can enjoy your work regardless the device they’re using.
The plugin features distraction-free editing which allows you to focus on the content. It also uses modern typography which, in combination with your images, allows you to create unique stories. Since StoryForm is perfectly integrated with WordPress, you won’t have to spend time on learning how to work with it – everything will feel familiar from the moment you install it.
After having the photographs on your camera and computer, you have to find a way of showing them to your clients. With Photography Management, you get to upload the files and create galleries. Each gallery can have its own description and password. Obviously, you don’t want the public to have access to your private photos that a client still needs to approve.
With this free plugin, it’s easy to add new clients and manage them. Your clients will be able to comment on each image you uploaded for them so you can speed up the decision-making process. After a customer selects the images he likes, you can make those available for download in full resolution.
Photography Management is the perfect plugin for wedding photographers, web designers, and artists.
Picu is a relatively new WordPress plugin that is designed to help photographers in communication with their clients. Since you’re already working with WordPress, Picu allows you to let your customers approve images that you upload to your blog.
For example, let’s say that you took one hundred photos of your client. With Picu, you can quickly upload them all to your WordPress site and then forward the collection over to your client. Instead of losing time on emails and attachments, your customers will be able to browse through the collection. Then, they get to select images that they like and approve them with a single click of a button.
Currently, this free plugin can be extended with two premium add-ons which can help you import a larger number of images and brand & customize the collections.
When you decide to put your photographs online, you must do all in your power to protect them. Just one of the possibilities is adding a watermark over your images. For that, you will want the free Image Watermark WordPress plugin.
Once you install it, you will be able to automatically apply a watermark to new images that you upload to Media Library. The plugin will let you add watermarks to all previously uploaded photos as well so you don’t have to worry about the old files.
Image Watermark makes it easy to remove the protection whenever you decide to do so. You can also customize your watermark in details, change image formats and set different image qualities. If you choose to protect your photographs even further, you can disable right mouse click and protect your images from copying via drag&drop.
Image optimization plugins
As a photographer, you’re probably uploading quite a bunch of images on your WordPress site. If those images aren’t optimized well, you are risking having a slow site that might turn off your clients. So, it’s crucial that you do everything to optimize your media files for the web.
Just one of the ways of doing that is to install an image optimization plugin. Since we have already generated a list of the most popular image optimization plugins for WordPress, we’re about to let you choose one. All of the plugins from the list will do a great job and optimize your images well. Which one do you like the best?
WordPress media management plugins
When working with a larger number of photographers, it is possible to get stuck with the WordPress Media Library. That’s why a photographer should consider using one of the WordPress media management plugins that can help with photo organization and file manipulation.
Since we already went through some fantastic plugins for the job, you just have to find one that you like the best. For example, on the list, you can find the free Media Library Assistant that lets you control your photos like never before.
As a photographer, you can relax knowing that WordPress and its themes & plugins can help you with your business. Depending on your needs, choose plugins from this list and enrich your website for free. Most of the plugins have premium versions and add-ons available, so if you want the best out of them, you will have to reach in your wallet for a few extra features.
Until recently, there weren’t that many great WordPress plugins for photographers, but it seems that the market is expanding as we’re getting more and more great ones. We are happy to see what’s around the corner as we’re sure new plugins are about to see the light of the day pretty much soon.