Here is a list of 24 WordPress themes that you can use for your photography website. I’ve included multiple screenshots so you can get a better idea of the themes without having to go through each demo. They are in alphabetical order with some tips on purchasing a theme at the end of this post. This is an update from my original post on themes made for photographers way back in 2008.
WordPress Photography Themes
Anyway, here’s the list of my favs.
Elegant Themes is still in my opinion one of the best deals on themes on the market. At $69 you are allowed to download 87 themes (with unlimited site usage), many of which are perfect for a photography business website. You really have to download and install one of their themes to appreciate the value of what you’re receiving. Along with support you receive access to their unique plugins as well as being able to make a choice between designs. I talk a little more about this at the end of this post.
Photocrati WordPress Theme
The Photocrati theme is one of the most popular themes for photographers on the market. Includes 60+ homepage styles, gallery management, blogging, ecommerce and more. Simply put, Photocrati is a theme which focuses solely on your photographs and nothing more.
Central WordPress Theme
Central has some really nice features including a customizable header, parallax templates and animated page transitions. You can choose between full-width or standard boxed, grid based pages. Central includes lots of shortcodes as well as the popular Slider Revolution plugin.
CreativePearl WordPress Theme
CreativePearl offers a host of features including a responsive layout, centered logo, 4 portfolio templates, unlimited sidebars, ajax contact form and more. Social icons in the header allow visitors to quickly jump to your social sites and the comments section of the blog is multi-level meaning visitors can reply to others comments.
Deepfocus WordPress Theme
Deepfocus offers 5 different graphic styles to choose from as well as being part of the awesome Elegant Themes membership (only $69) site where you get access to 87 themes for one low price. Deepfocus is compatible with all major browsers and offers a responsive design and a plethora of theme options including shortcodes to create complex layouts as well as custom page templates.
Division WordPress Theme
Division is a fullscreen theme with some standout features including ecommerce via WooCommerce and a drag and drop page builder. Division is also responsive so it adapts to standard monitors to iPhones, iPads, etc. With options to choose between 6 different header styles and the page-builder you’re sure to build that perfect layout you desire.
Envisioned Theme for WordPress
Envisioned is a straightforward theme that you can use to display your photography. It’s another theme from Elegant Themes so you have access to download it once you’re a member. This theme is simple and elegant and is compatible with all major browsers. It also includes 5 different color styles to choose from out of the box.
Furies WordPress Theme
Furies offers a responsive design so it looks great across all browsers and devices. It includes 11 gallery templates and filterable portfolios. Furies includes 6 portfolio templates and 8 homepage gallery options for displaying your photos in different manners. This theme has support for playing music on pages if that’s something you’re looking for. Be sure to check out the other many features Furies provides.
Gleam WP Theme
Gleam is an AJAX heavy theme from Elegant Themes meaning it loads most content seamlessly. Gleam comes with a full-screen page template for showcasing your photography as well as a non fullscreen gallery with a lightbox. You can use custom background images on posts, pages and even categories.
Kingsize WordPress Theme
Kingsize offers a fullscreen layout with 5 different gallery types. It is one of the most popular photography themes on themeforest with lots of features. Full control over site background images including support for youtube and vimeo videos makes this a popular choice for anyone wishing to display their media.
Modest WordPress Theme
Modest is a theme that stands by it’s name. It is stripped down to just the elements you need and has just enough whitespace to make it elegant. Modest is part of the Elegant Themes family so it has all the features you’d expect such as short codes, perpetual updates, full browser compatibility and comes with 5 different styles that can be applied via the theme admin panel in one click.
Myfolio WordPress Theme
My/folio is a fully responsive theme which places all your photos and content into a easily digestible grid format. It offers a simple drag and drop page builder along with unlimited color schemes that can be applied via the the admin panel. My/folio has been tested across all major browsers and comes with extensive documentation.
Nero Theme for WordPress
Nero is another great theme for photographers that offers plenty of features that one would expect from Peerapong. Nero is responsive, retina ready and includes 10 different portfolio templates along with 14 gallery templates. It includes 11 skins + a skins manager with access to 300+ google web fonts and social sharing support. Nero also supports video usage from youtube, vimeo and self-hosted videos in normal aspect and full-screen.
Origin WordPress Theme
Origin is a fully responsive theme that looks great on iphones and ipads. It’s grid-based design allows your images to expand and contract accordingly. It’s another theme available from Elegant Themes so it has all the theme options one would need. It comes with 5 different color schemes out-of-the-box, but you can easily change these to any color you want. Origin is modern and displays your photos across your entire screen giving your site visitors a quick glimpse of your work.
Pitch is a grid-based theme which is fully responsive and Retina ready. It’s full HTML5 and CSS3 and includes 8 page templates and 4 portfolio styles to showcase your photos. It has full-screen image and video support along with a host of built-in shortcodes so you can custom every post or page as you see fit.
Scroller WP Theme
Scroller is a fully responsive theme with lots of features. It includes content sliders, a scrolling menu, parallax support and is probably better suited for photography studios because of it’s non-standard features such as client logo display, pricing tables and team page template. It comes with 3 homepage portfolio sections which gives you more options as well as 7 post formats including standard, video, audio, gallery, image, link and quote. It also has an author template in case your site has more than one author.
Serendipity WordPress Theme
Serendipity is a fullscreen, responsive theme with 10 readymade transparent skins. It’s cross-browser tested and includes 200+ retina ready icons and access to 500+ google fonts. It has a smooth scrolling jquery feature making scrolling through your pages quite nice. It comes with custom widgets for twitter, facebook, flickr and recent works.
Simplemag WordPress Theme
Simplemag stands out for it’s bold, retro styling that is very popular right now. Besides looking a retro though, it has a ton of features that go way beyond what other themes offer such as a full review system, full width image carousels, off-canvas navigation for mobile devices (it’s totally responsive) as well as a drag and drop page composer so you can arrange your content how you prefer. It’s sliders are also touch friendly, meaning your visitors can swipe through your images with ease. Really digging this theme.
Skylab WordPress Theme
Skylab is a fully responsive theme with an option to display your photos in both a masonry-style layout and fullscreen. It includes the popular Slider Revolution plugin that allows you to create responsive sliders easily. You can easily customize the background of this theme with custom background images as well as choose custom colors for other aspects of the theme via the custom admin panel.
Studio8 WordPress Theme
Studio8 is a minimal AJAX based theme that I think is perfect for smaller sites because of it’s focus on fullscreen imagery when you view the homepage. It has an easy to use gallery feature allowing you to upload 100’s of photos at one time if you need. It’s simple but elegant hover effects give this theme some unique styling.
Studiofolio WordPress Theme
Studiofolio is fully responsive and has a nice clean appearance due to it’s grid-based layout with customizable padding for whitespace. It includes the Slider Revolution plugin as well as the Fresco Lightbox plugin giving you powerful tools to create sliders with nice lightbox popups. You can choose between fluid or fixed-size layouts with customizable box sizes for your content. It also has 3 different menu positioning options including standard horizontal top menu as well as a fixed, lateral side menu.
Surreal WordPress Theme
Surreal is a single-page responsive theme with nice parallax scrolling. It includes a masonry style portfolio section as well as a fullscreen slider. You can create galleries via an easy drag-n-drop function. It has a bold look with it’s large typography if you’re looking for something different.
Titan WordPress Theme
Titan is fully responsive with large fullscreen display options including ecommerce functionality thanks to woocommerce support. Titan includes 14 different gallery templates and 8 portfolio templates with filterable options so you can display your photos in style. It includes a skin manager to control overall site styling with support for music playback on pages. It also features password protected galleries in case you want to show clients their private photos. Like most theme it also features a long list of shortcodes to create columns and other styling for dropcaps, buttons etc.
Tripod WordPress Theme
Tripod is responsive and offers that classic look a lot of photographers seem to love with the logo front and center in the header with menus on both sides. It also features a drag-and-drop layout builder to build custom layouts including timeline view, list view, grid view, masonry view and thumbnail view. Tripod has a built-in “Like” system so your visitors can show their appreciate of your photos easily. Ecommerce support is provided by WooCommerce which is a nice feature. It also has Facebook commenting built-in.
Vertex WordPress Theme
Vertex is a new responsive theme from Elegant Themes that has 5 pre-designed color schemes but you can customize the background and colors used to your liking. Vertex looks good on mobile devices and has a nice parallax effect which keeps your photos standing still in the background as users scroll past your content. You can choose which content you display on the homepage including testimonials, sales promotions and has a CTA (call to action) to take visitors to your portfolio or even a special promotion. With special consideration this theme could make for a very nice looking photography site.
A Few Tips on Choosing A Theme
I know how difficult it can be to choose the right WordPress theme. As a builder of websites it’s important for me to keep track of new themes coming out so I’m always have my eye on the pulse of the theme industry.
Here’s a few tips if you’re just starting out, or looking for a new theme for your site.
If you’re purchasing themes from ThemeForest it’s important to investigate the theme author a bit to make sure you’re buying a theme from someone who will keep it up to date. It’s super frustrating buying a theme and receiving zero updates or support. Remember ThemeForest does not require it’s authors to offer support. Although most theme authors support their themes, some I’ve noticed are really lacking in the support department. I’ve seen authors disappear completely and at that point you’re just out of luck.
I’ve purchased themes on themeforest to only find they’ve been removed with no notice and you’re basically stuck at that point because Themeforest does not offer refunds.
Tips for purchasing themes from Themeforest (TF)
I look at several things when I’m trying to determine if authors are legitimate or not on Themeforest… They are:
- How long has the author been on Themeforest.
- How many comments does the theme have and is the author answering customers questions or not in a timely manner.
- How many sales does the theme have compared to comments.
- I look at the demo in my browser and view it without css enabled so I can view the H tags and how the structure of the site is compiled.
- I look at how well written the description is. If a lot of work has been put into the description and the English is well written then I can defer that they’ve put the same effort into their theme.
- I often look at what country the author is from to see if they are abroad or in the US.
- I look at the overall sales of the author to see if their products are popular or not.
Just to note, there are some benefits to purchasing a theme from TF such as you never need to pay for updates. Theme updates are offered for free depending on if the author chooses to update the theme or not. Even if it’s two years later you can download and install the newly updated theme without further cost. Also, because TF is a marketplace there is a huge pool of active designers on it giving you a wider range of choices. Another great thing is that you can see how many purchases a theme has had… so you kinda get an idea of how many other people are using the theme allowing you to jump on something new which maybe not a lot of other people are using.
Some info on purchasing a membership to ElegantThemes (ET)
I’ve been a member of ElegantThemes since 2006 I believe… a long time. Nick Roach is the owner of ET and has been producing new themes on a regular basis since its inception.
It started out as a $19.95 yearly membership in the beginning and since has moved up to $69/year plan but the amount of themes has increased making the higher price worth it. You can now access 87 themes where I think when they debuted it was around 20 or so. The value for the money is unprecedented in the WordPress theme industry. The price has always been attractive for what you receive.
ET also offers a 30 day guarantee whereas TF does not. So if you’re unhappy with your ET theme membership you can get your money back if you’re not totally satisfied.
With an ET membership you can literally download any theme you want from them so you’re not stuck to paying $40 for one theme like you are on TF. That means if you download one theme and are not happy with the results you can go download another and see if that is to your liking without having to fork out more cash. It’s by far a better deal.
ET also offers a developer license (which I have) that allows you to use their themes for client sites and pretty much on unlimited sites overall… so if you, by chance have more than one website you can use multiple ET themes across your sites.
One of the best things about using a CMS like WordPress for your site is that you can easily change your theme any time you want without much hassle. Over the years you’ll find that you get tired of your design and want to update it to something you’re more fond of and WordPress makes that easy to do. Keeping your site fresh, even if it’s just a theme change can tell the search engines that someone’s home (if your site hasn’t had many updates otherwise)… calling back those spiders to re-index your site. So it can be good for SEO too.
At any rate, I do hope you found this post useful. It sure took a long time to create. If you did, please comment, subscribe, like… all that good stuff. Thanks for reading and take care!