20 WordPress Themes For Photography Artists

This handpicked selection of free and premium WordPress photography themes is inspired by the designs of famous photographer websites.

This is the first post in my new #THEMESFOR series, in which I handpick the best free and premium WordPress themes for use in niche-specific contexts. In this post, I take a look at the world of artistic photography.

How do some of the world’s leading photographers display their work online and which WordPress photography themes can be used to create similar portfolios?

Exploring the niche

I began my research by surveying the websites of 17 influential contemporary photographers, including:

Julie Blackmon (USA)
Nick Brandt (UK)
Edward Burtynsky (Canada)
Mitch Epstein (USA)
Franco Fontana (Italy)
Tierney Gearon (USA)
George Giorgiou (UK)
Joseph Hoflehner (Austria)

Sebastian Kim (Vietnam)
Mark Neurdenburg (UK)
Erwin Olaf (Netherlands)
Martin Parr (UK)
Terry Richardson (USA)
Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japan)
Spencer Tunick (USA)
Ellen Von Unwerth (Germany)

In reviewing these sites, I noticed 3 different homepage layouts. Each layout has a significant impact on the way the artist’s work is received.
 

Layout Type 1: Single Photo + Navigation Menu

This layout style is the most popular of the three. It consists of a single image, often at the centre of the page, with a simple navigation menu either in a left hand sidebar or in the header area. This type of layout uses whitespace to pull the visitor into the main photograph, mimicking the experience of a contemporary photo gallery.

Examples of artists using this layout include Terry Richardson, Martin Parr, Josef Hoflehner and Ellen Von Unwerth.

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Layout Type 2: Fullscreen Photo

This layout type removes all whitespace and immerses the visitor in the artist’s world. It is a great way of communicating a particular vision, aesthetic or theme to an audience in the blink of an eye. This approach is used by Tierney Gearon, Spencer Tunick, Mark Neurdenburg and George Giorgiou.

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Layout Type 3: Thumbnail wall / Masonry

The final pattern, and one that is more rare, is the use of a full screen thumbnail wall (aka masonry layout). You can see this in use on Sebastian Kim and Franco Fontana‘s websites. This layout gives the visitor an immediate overview of the artist’s subject matter and style range.

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Free WordPress Themes

Let’s start with a selection of free WordPress photography themes that emulate some of the layouts highlighted above. All of these themes can be used to set up artist portfolios with minimal effort and minimal cost.

1. Expositio

Expositio
Author: WPShower
Type: Horizontal sliding portfolio with left hand navigation menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

2. Touchfolio

Simona
Author: Dmitry Semenov
Type: Horizontal scrolling portfolio with left hand navigation menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

3. Silvia

Silvia
Author: ThemeJunkie
Type: Thumbnail grid layout with top level navitaion menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

4. Tography (Lite)

Tography Lite
Author: Quema Labs
Type: Thumbnail grid layout with top level navitaion menu.
Price: Free (see premium version below at #11)
Demo and Download »

5. Blackoot Lite

Blackoot Lite
Author: Iceable Themes
Type: Dark background blog layout.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

6. SKT Photo Session

SKT Photo Session
Author: SKT Themes
Type: Fullscreen photo layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

7. Phogra

Phogra
Author: Andrei Serban
Type: Fullscreen photo layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

8. Water Lily

Water Lily
Author: Christine Rondeau
Type: Masonry style layout with left hand navigation menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

9. Snapshot

Snapshot
Author: Greg Priday
Type: Masonry style layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

10. Portfolio Press

Portfolio Press
Author: Devin Price
Type: Thumbnail grid layout with top level navigation menu and right hand sidebar.
Price: Free
Demo and Download »

Premium WordPress Themes

The second part of my list contains paid or premium WordPress photography themes. All of these themes offer at least 1 year of professional support and all come with multiple layout and customisation options.

11. Tography (Premium)

Tography Premium WordPress Photography Theme
Author: QuemaLabs
Type: Horizontal scrolling front page, with grid layout for portfolio pages.
Price: $59
Demo and Download »

12. Border

Border WordPress Photography Theme Press
Author: PixelGrade
Type: Fullscreen layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: $59
Demo and Download »

13. Trend

Trend WordPress Photography Theme
Author: Peenapo
Type: Fullscreen layout with top level navigation menu. Also contains multiple layout options (horizontal scrolling, masonry grid etc.)
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

14. Malory

Malory WordPress Photography Theme
Author: Tommus Rhodus
Type: Portfolio with fullscreen slider and magazine capability.
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

15. Uno

Uno WordPress Photography Theme
Author: CodeSymbol
Type: Horizontal scrolling portfolio with top level navigation menu.
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

16. Raw

Raw WordPress Photography Theme
Author: UDTHEMES
Type: Full screen single image and masonry grid layout options with left hand navigation menu.
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

17. Photojax

Photojax WordPress Photography Theme
Author: WPExplorer
Type: Masonry grid layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

18. Focus

Focus WordPress Photography Theme
Author: metrothemes
Type: Horizontal sliding layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

19. Dorsey

Dorsey WordPress Photography Theme
Author: minim:l
Type: Single image layout with left hand navigation menu.
Price: $100 (includes access to 4 other themes)
Demo and Download »

20. Wright

Wright WordPress Photography Theme
Author: minim:l
Type: Fullscreen layout with top level navigation menu.
Price: $100 (includes access to 4 other themes)
Demo and Download »

21. Avamia

Avamia WordPress Photography Theme
Author: meydjer
Type: Multiple layouts. This is a very simple and visually effective theme.
Price: $49
Demo and Download »

Next list? You Decide!

Do you have a suggestion for the next #THEMESFOR list? Is there are a particular niche, profession or activity you would like me to cover? If so, please either send me an email, a tweet (#themesfor), a message on Facebook or leave a comment below. Thanks.

Written by Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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2 Comments on "20 WordPress Themes For Photography Artists"

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Jay Redding
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Jay Redding
10 months 24 days ago

This is a brilliant list. I appreciate the thought you put into the selection. I see so many theme lists just thrown together as link bait, so it’s refreshing to see something that actually has some logic to it.

I think the white background single image portfolio model has been done to death. I’m studying photography in the UK and most of my classmates have set up sites like that, without really questioning why.

I’m looking for something different and some of these themes have given me some new ideas. So thanks again.

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