In days gone by, photographers would have to pull out ‘the book’ – a bound portfolio filled with their best work. Fast forward to today, and digital portfolios rule the roost. There are numerous benefits to showcasing your work online, including ease of access and enhanced options for interactivity – all possible when you choose the right theme.
One of the first decisions you’ll make when plumping for a suitable photography theme is whether you pick a free option, or stump up for a premium offering. If your budget is tight, some free photography WordPress themes can be just as powerful as their paid counterparts.
While flexible design and navigation options are nice, the real dealmaker is the image layout choices at your disposal, such as the popular masonry and grid designs. Choosing the right one is often key in creating a unique and attractive portfolio.
If you’re looking to build your own photography website, we’ve got you covered! Below, we’ve dug through a myriad of choices to bring you over 35 of the very best free photography WordPress themes – and for those with a little cash to splash, you may also want to sift through some premium options too.
The Photo Perfect WordPress theme delivers an incredible layout for getting all of your images on a website within minutes. The design is centered around the header, which contains a consolidated menu and category navigation area. We enjoy the fact that the Photo Perfect WordPress theme has a spot for uploading imagery to the header, such as high resolution photographs or banners that are showing off your most recent promotions. What’s more is that the header has a spot for overlaying text. Some people might consider putting a logo in tagline in this area, but we also like it for more useful call to actions.
Upon scrolling down from the header you’ll notice a few grid-based photographs, all of which come together to reveal a portfolio-style layout. These lead to additional blog posts, so you have the chance to show off your most important content. For example, you may have a few portfolio items that are from your trip around the world. If so, these all show up on mobile devices, and your clients will see lightbox versions of the images to view them in the right format. Threaded comments and custom colors both come along with the Photo Perfect theme, making it a solid solution for when you need to professionally post your images online.
With the Pixgraphy WordPress theme you get a large full screen header image. This is something you don’t usually see with free WordPress themes, so it’s definitely worth looking into if you’re trying to find a platform that grabs attention right from the start. Social media buttons are located at the top, and you’ll notice that they are each branded just right for this theme. You don’t have to worry about going out to find a third party plugin for social media buttons either. In addition, the logo is situated at the top of the homepage, making it easy to brand your site and give people an idea of what website they are at.
Contact information goes at the top left corner, and you have some overlaying text on the header for implementing call to action text or to simply tell people what your site is all about. This is a completely responsive WordPress theme for photo bloggers and hobbyists. The layout looks rather impressive on the mobile interface, as all of the images and text modules snap right into place when they need to. Along with that you get threaded comments for talking to users and translation files for reaching out to the followers that don’t speak your language.
The Fotographie WordPress theme packs quite the punch as a highly visual, free theme for photographers of all skill levels. It’s a modern theme with a minimal design and numerous features to use. The whole point of the theme is to make things simple and to the point for photographers, since a photographer’s job should not be to handle a messy website. We like Fotographie for photographers, obviously, but it also works nicely for regular bloggers, freelancers, and artists. A large header image starts off the homepage, but that leads to multiple other banner images with a navigation menu and a logo area in between. The hero content is worth looking into, and the portfolio takes only a moment to configure. There’s a featured content area for showcasing your best work, along with a setting to adjust your site colors. Therefore, you can brand your photography business or blog with the colors you enjoy.
Fotographie really does allow you to build a simple and elegant website in no time. It puts your pictures in the limelight and ensures that no space is wasted on the screen. Not only that, but it’s completely free so you can download it directly from the WordPress Theme Directory. Fotographie is ready to be translated as well. So if you have foreign clients or are trying to get more readers from different places, the Fotographie theme helps you along the way. The theme has both one and two column settings, with sidebars to feature widgets and a flexible header to adjust the way you welcome users. You also receive footer widgets for placing things like contact information or maybe a contact form. Overall, the Fotographie theme looks great and doesn’t take too long to manage.
We like the Photolite WordPress theme for companies that would like to feature services on a website. It has a stunning layout for displaying a list of services with pictures and descriptions. The header module is rather large for one of your higher quality photos, and you can even implement some overlaying text and buttons on there if needed. It’s worth mentioning that the call to action buttons are customizable, so if you’d like to send someone to a landing page, that’s completely fine. However, you can also change this to navigate others to blog posts, product pages or information about your services.
The navigation panel and logo areas are right at the top, and all of these are completely customizable from the backend interface. The developer recommends the theme for photography, photo blogging, business, restaurant, corporate, consultancy and other industries. A custom header is available for changing around your branding, and this pairs well with the custom background. Along with threaded comments, translation files and some tools for changing around the layout of your sidebars, the Photolite theme has what it takes to make you shine.
The Infinite Photography WordPress theme has a darker complexion for a more modern look, but the main reason we like it so much is because of the portfolio setup. This has some camera icons which prompt users to click on the images. This way you don’t have to worry about whether or not people know where to click next. The grid-based format is a solid choice as well, considering each of the photos are constructed nicely and setup in a way that looks professional and reasonable. A logo spot is available towards the top of the homepage, and you’ll see a little search bar for guiding people throughout your website.
The Infinite Photography theme provides a header module with text on top to ensure that everyone knows what type of photographer you are. For example, you could tell them your name or talk about the services you offer, all from the convenience of your own header image. The responsive theme comes up just fine on all mobile devices, and we’re impressed by the way the blog looks for users. It has a certain elegance that is sure to intrigue your users and show the search engines that you should move up in the rankings.
If you want to showcase your photography, you need a theme that lets each picture shine. To make sure your site is much more than a glorified blog, you’ll need a theme such as AcmePhoto.
The main selling point of this theme is the clean, masonry grid style it uses to showcase your pictures. Every image gets enough room to shine. In addition, both default styles the theme uses are very understated, which means there’s almost nothing to distract visitors from your work.
As far as unique features go, AcmePhoto likes to keep things simple and direct. You can customize menu positions and modify the style of your front-page headers, but that’s pretty much it. This means it’s great for getting up and running quickly.
While getting a modern look for your galleries can be a little more work, if you’re looking for a photography theme with a clean, understated style, AcmePhoto could be a decent option. We encourage you to check it out, pronto!
Here’s yet another option for those who would like to setup a situation where the entire homescreen is filled with a large picture. It’s not exactly the most lightweight theme, but for a free option it certainly does the trick. The header provides a consolidated menu so that whenever someone scrolls over the menu and clicks on it they see all of the options. In addition, the header image is actually a slider, which rotates to reveal a collection of images that are useful in convincing customers to pay for your services. The overlaying text comes in handy when you’d like to talk about your photography, while the overlaying button sends folks to places like landing pages and portfolios.
The PhotoBook WordPress theme delivers a responsive layout that also comes with social media buttons for pushing people to places like Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to implement the buttons, but it’s recommended considering you have a much better chance of gaining clients with pages. The theme is recommended for photography, photo blogging, portfolios, and personal websites for other creative people. The built-in widgets are easy to handle, and they pretty much turn the backend of your website into a drag and drop interface. The homepage even shows the most recent posts without you having to do a thing.
Getting hired as a photographer is difficult enough without having a kick-ass portfolio you can use to showcase your work. An Instagram account alone won’t cut it either since you want to look as professional as possible. Neve is a flexible theme built with photographers in mind.
This theme includes literally dozens of ready-to-use website templates that are perfect for small businesses. Every template looks different, but they all share a commitment to a modern, clean design style. Chances are you’ll find a template that already includes all the pages you need, so you can get your website up and running faster.
As far as features go, Neve is optimized for speed. It enables you to customize every aspect of the layout you choose. Plus, it’s compatible with most modern WordPress page builders, which gives you even more control over your portfolio’s style.
In our opinion, Neve is a winning pick for photographers and small-business owners from all types. Check it out and see what it has to offer for your business.
Silvia is one of the more basic themes on the list, since it provides a beautiful white interface and some portfolio items that are to die for. As you can see from the screenshot, all of the portfolio items are organized in a professional, yet elegant manner. This way you can increase the number of clicks that go through and you ensure that all of your images look beautiful when people come to your site. What’s more is that each of the portfolio elements have titles and descriptions to make them look a little better.
The top part of the website features a wonderful logo spot, and the search bar is there for when people want to punch in a keyword to locate one of your blog posts. The navigational menu is customizable on the backend, while the descriptive text in the header is your personal introduction to the users who are new to the page. The theme is recommended for photography, graphic design, fashion, art, architecture, interior design, and other creative fields. The standout feature is the layout structure, since it lets you change around everything like colors, typography and the overall layout.
Any theme that’s bold enough to call itself Photograph needs to knock the ball out of the park when it comes to visuals. However, is this particular theme worth a thousand words?
We can sum up what makes Photograph unique much more succinctly – the pictures are the heroes when it comes to this theme. All of its default layouts feature masonry galleries with categories, which keeps navigation simple, and provides a predictable layout for you to work with.
Overall, Photograph doesn’t pack a lot of extras and frills, but this works in its favor. Its modern design speaks for itself, and it makes the theme perfect for personal portfolios, photography agencies, and even wedding parties.
11. Full Frame
Consider the Full Frame WordPress theme if you’re trying to construct a website that provides a place for people to look at your photography services or products. The theme looks just like any business website, so you’re able to talk about your services, display some of your work and give people a chance to contact you if they want. The header is the first item that people will see, as it sits right behind the top bar with social media buttons, a search bar and logo. Users will be sure to click through the social media buttons if your pages have relevant content, and the search bar is bound to bring in some folks who want to look at your blog.
A call to action button can be moved around on the homepage, but we highly recommend using it to direct people to a contact form or a portfolio. What’s interesting is that you can have a portfolio on the homepage or decide to insert it on a regular page. This is a simple, clean and creative WordPress theme for just about any type of creative, and the translation files on the backend are sure to bring in more customers who may not speak your first language. For example, Swedish people can translate from English to understand what your blog posts say.
Sometimes, you just want to let your pictures speak for themselves. This means you need a theme that doesn’t draw attention away with any fancy features or visuals. Hitchcock is about as minimalist as themes get.
Right away, you’ll notice the default style doesn’t include anything but a header and links to your social media – the rest is all about your images. This same minimalist approach applies to Hitchcock’s feature set, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The theme fully supports the Block Editor, which makes customizations easy, and it enables you to make small changes to the way your gallery displays. It also includes an infinite scroll option – a highly immersive and engaging feature.
If you’re looking for a minimalist photography theme that can be set up in a matter of minutes, you should definitely give Hitchcock a try!
The Electa WordPress theme presents a more modern take on the regular photography portfolio layout, since it has a stunning grid for presenting all of your photos and a menu on the left hand side, straying away from the tradition of placing menus towards the top. You’re sure to grab attention with your best pieces, and the social media buttons can direct users to the pages that are more likely to serve you well in marketing. The Electa WordPress theme provides a completely responsive layout for people to view your photos on a mobile interface. Not to mention, the threaded comments come into play when you post a blog and want people to respond to it.
The grid-based portfolio mainly resides on the homepage, but you do have the opportunity to expand on your past work with full blog posts. Some of the plugins that integrate with the Electa WordPress theme include WooCommerce, Site Origin’s Page Builder and more. These are awesome tools for building your website, since WooCommerce converts your page into an online store, while the Page Builder plugin gives you a drag and drop interface for keeping your hands out of the source code. Along with a few color options, featured images and translation tools, the Electa WordPress theme is ready to go.
As a photography theme, the Photomania solution takes a rather unique approach. It can be used as a general portfolio, but the default design looks similar to a photography search engine or image library, like ShutterStock. The stunning design resembles something you would generally have to pay for, with the responsive layout, modern elements, and the engaging typography and graphics. The portfolio section provides a filter for guidance, and all you have to do is upload your images to place them in a beautiful grid format.
What’s more is that the theme has a custom background, and you can even adjust items like the colors, logos, menus, and more. The featured images look wonderful on the primary blog, and the footer module is ready to provide space to place your widgets. For example, you might want to put some social media buttons or a text widget in the footer. The full width template makes your page look a little cleaner, and the sidebars are there for organizing your widgets. Along with that, you gain access to threaded comments, multiple columns, and translation settings.
Who better to turn to for a fantastic-looking photography theme than the experts: Graph Paper Press? Snaps is their solution if you’re looking for a simple, modern theme for displaying your images.
Graph Paper Press love minimalism, and it shows. Other than a header that covers three quarters of the screen, there’s little to distract from your photography. Image thumbnails are displayed in a simple grid, with no bells and whistles other than a stark rollover animation.
Snaps stands out among its competitors by virtue of its well-chosen typography, and extensive customization. It may be minimalistic, but it oozes class.
To be honest, Snaps won’t offer functionality that pleases everyone. However, given its gorgeous design and its customization options, there’s no reason to pass it by – it could be the ideal theme for you.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but strategic text placement can go a long way towards complementing your message. PhotoFocus gives you the best of both worlds with an image-forward theme supported by robust text functionality.
While this theme has been specifically designed with photography in mind, it also comes with features for anybody looking to prioritize images. PhotoFocus comes with five template pages, and is outfitted with features such as a dynamic page slider control and customizable post types.
The functional text options also compliment the variety of alignment and sizing options available for images. As such, there’s an understated look in nearly every combination. If you’re looking for a little more design substance, PhotoFocus also comes with built-in tools to help you add header and footer scripts.
The customizable templates are already fairly diverse. However, if you want to make any unique changes, PhotoFocus lets you add your own CSS to override the theme’s design. While this requires you to have some coding knowledge, it provides an opportunity to make your site unique.
A versatile website can open you up to new ways of displaying your content. If you’re interested in options for customizing down to the code or finding a diverse way to support your photographs, PhotoFocus should go on your shortlist.
We’ve mentioned Graph Paper Press elsewhere in this collection, and they’re known as photography theme experts with a keen eye for quality design. However, Mansion is really more of a neglected townhouse than an elegant palatial dwelling.
The first thing to note is that this theme is old – it was released over six years ago and is really showing its age. While we like the idea of a thumbnail grid layout, this example isn’t visually appealing. Furthermore, the blog archives are presented in a masonry-style layout, which in this guise just doesn’t work.
Mansion could be so much better. While the homepage grid layout is a novel idea, the theme is tripped up by dated font choices, a lack of white space, a murky color scheme, and unattractive page layouts.
There have been a few themes in this collection that will struggle to make your photography shine – but with Freedom, you’ll be free of those worries.
The developer, Theme Grill, has designed this theme to be a simple solution for displaying your images with minimal fuss – and on the whole they’ve succeeded. Like many themes on this list, this is more of a photoblogging theme, with each large thumbnail on the homepage taking you to a relatively standard blog page for further reading.
That being said, images are displayed prominently on the homepage – whether that’s via the aforementioned thumbnails, or the built-in header slider. There are also plenty of design options to tinker with, all accessed from the WordPress Customizer.
While it’s not perfect, Freedom has a clear focus: offering a simple yet customizable solution for blogging about photography. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s definitely worthy of your consideration.
Graph Paper Press are well known for their photography themes and minimalist design tendencies. Fullscreen is another of their offerings and it enables you to showcase your images with a stylish and modern design, and no outlay.
This theme could be thought of as an update to Graph Paper Press’ underwhelming Mansion theme. The homepage is presented in a grid-based layout, with a number of featured images along the top of the screen. Each thumbnail is greyed out until rollover, which gives the theme a murky look. We’d rather have seen a set of brighter thumbnails, but in its current guise, it’s not a dealbreaker. In addition, the choice of font size is absolutely tiny, making any text accompanying your images hard to read.
In conclusion, Fullscreen has almost everything you’d want in a grid-based photography theme. Font sizes and thumbnail overlay choices aside, this is one you’ll definitely want to take for a test drive – and because of the price tag, doing so is completely risk-free.
If we mention the phrase “minimal photography theme” again in this collection, you’d be forgiven for scrolling onto the next entry. However, Fukasawa demands that you stop and take in everything it offers.
This theme has a minimal masonry-style design, with a left-hand navigation bar similar to the Twenty Fifteen theme. The monochrome color scheme could come across as bland, but the hints of grey (especially for the background) help balance the negative space. Font choices also suit the minimal layout.
The masonry thumbnail layout looks gorgeous, and the individual image pages also do a good job of showcasing your photography. Images are displayed almost full screen, followed by any corresponding text – just as it should be.
We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for”, but in Fukasawa’s case, it’s the exception to the rule. Add it to your shortlist, regardless of your budget.
Photography themes all share one common goal: helping you build the perfect website to display your work. If you’re looking for a free theme that fulfills this criterion, Fotogenic is worth a look.
This theme comes with three different archive layouts you can use to show off your best work. You’ll notice the overall style plays second fiddle to your own work. Fotogenic’s default typography is clean, and the default Call To Action (CTA) styles stand out — perfect for a portfolio.
As for user interaction, you’re also able to include links to all your social media profiles within the main navigation menu. The theme also comes with review sections, scrolling buttons, and features to help make navigation simpler.
Overall, Fotogenic is great as a straightforward, free theme for setting up a photography portfolio. Given it’s completely without cost, this means there’s no excuse for giving it a miss.
22. RokoPhoto Lite
ThemeIsle is a purveyor of high-quality themes suitable for all manner of WordPress websites. ThemeIsle’s free photography theme, RokoPhoto Lite is a stylish offering designed for photoblogging.
At it’s heart, RokoPhoto Lite is a simple theme that serves as an introduction to the premium version. As such, customization options are limited. Fortunately, this theme looks classy out of the box, with a monochrome color scheme and condensed uppercase lettering throughout. However, there’s no way to display your portfolio on the homepage, so you’re restricted to using this theme as a photoblogging platform. That’s no bad thing, and the theme will find fans in those who just want to post their images with minimal fuss.
Although RokoPhoto Lite’s design is aesthetically pleasant, it’s hard to see past it’s true reason for being: a gateway to the full-featured premium version. As such, there are plenty of other photography themes available that aren’t hamstrung and offer relevant functionality.
23. Portfolio Press
Simply put, your photography must always be front and center. Whether you’re displaying it on your home page, or showcasing an image on a blog post, your work must always be the star of the show. Enter Portfolio Press.
Right off the bat, you may notice this theme’s color scheme and layout is similar to the WordPress.org website – that’s not a bad thing, but it is a little unoriginal. That being said, there are worse examples of design, and at least your website will have a familiar look and feel.
As for the portfolio itself, it’s a 3×3 grid of chunky thumbnails and no other distractions – it ticks all the right boxes for how a portfolio should be displayed. Individual image pages are simple, with the image itself dominating the screen. Also, while Portfolio Press can utilize a sidebar, it looks best without it – its addition will give your portfolio a lopsided appearance, and the full-width version is much easier on the eye.
Overall, Portfolio Press is another worthy addition to the list of themes suitable for showcasing your photography – if you can get over the visual similarity to WordPress.org, that is.
24. Bold Photography
If you specialize in black and white photography, a vibrant portfolio theme just won’t cut it. You need something that oozes elegance in an understated way — enter Bold Photography.
This dark theme will give your art a virtual canvas it deserves, leading the eye towards the more nuanced aspects of your work. Along with a sleek design, you get decent features in the shape of several portfolio options, services sections, and even testimonials. The theme is responsive, too, which helps your images look their best on any device.
Even though this theme was developed with photographers in mind, it is also suitable for other multipurpose websites, depending on the application. However, the customization options are limited (although the premium version offers more), so keep this in mind if you want to use this theme for other work.
All in all, Bold Photography is a beautiful, functional photography theme. Its timeless look and solid portfolio features make it a worthy contender for your personal shortlist.
In some cases, free themes can look just as stylish, if not more so, than their premium counterparts. Photoway provides a professional-level design that can make your photography website stand out.
Photoway relies mostly on masonry-style galleries to help show off your work. It includes several layouts you can use to launch a photography website, including archives, single posts, fixed headers, and many more. Each design makes excellent use of contrast, which helps non-photography sections of your site stand out too.
As for non-photographic (yet essential) sections, Photoway includes useful options such as client testimonials, About Us layouts, and more. The theme also enables you to set up custom sidebars to add a brief biography and links to your social media profiles.
We like Photoway, and it ticks all the boxes you’ll likely have when looking for a free photography theme. As such, we encourage you to download the theme and see for yourself!
Some themes specialize in photography, whereas others – such as Tracks – are suited for all types of bloggers, not just those wielding a camera. However, that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, as long as the functionality is up to snuff.
In Tracks’ case, it definitely is. While we’re not necessarily going to bat for the murky color scheme, the layout is pleasant to look at. The position of each image on the home page is alternated to break up the monotony, and we like that each image is balanced by a title and excerpt that manage to avoid detracting attention from the image. Clicking through to an individual post page and you’ll find that each featured image fills the screen, giving way to an oversized uppercase header as you scroll down.
Overall, Tracks’ design is sleek, and although it could use a bit of color, there’s plenty here to convince photobloggers to download a theme with functionality that belies its lack of a price tag.
There are hundreds of themes aimed at photographers, but not many are suitable for photobloggers. If you don’t require a typical portfolio and prefer a blogging theme with a focus on imagery, Online Photography could be ideal.
This clean theme will make your readers want to return for more, thanks to its immersive browsing experience. The simple, clutter-free features and effects are stylish nonetheless. You’ll be able to organize your posts into relevant categories, several of which you can feature in a dedicated section.
The theme makes your writing and images look great on any device. While there are only a few customization options, you can set it up quickly and start sharing your content almost immediately.
Overall, if you’re not impressed by the bells and whistles of many modern themes, you should consider Online Photography. It’s simple but effective, and it’s a perfect blend of a blogging and photography theme.
For the uninitiated, origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. Expert origamists can transform a single piece of paper into almost anything you can imagine – and it’s this concept of versatility and transformation that has inspired the Origami theme.
This theme has been created by WordPress developers SiteOrigin, who have bundled their popular drag-and-drop PageBuilder plugin with Origami. While this plugin is available for free from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, this is one of the few themes that incorporates its functionality out of the box. It means almost any layout is at your fingertips, including a stellar photography portfolio. There are a myriad of ways to display your work, such as carousels, sliders, and an impressive masonry layout perfect for showcasing your captivating work.
The appeal of Origami boils down to the bundled PageBuilder plugin. While the skinny one column layout is attractive, the ability to create almost any layout of your choosing is the real dealmaker. This theme should be at the very top of your shortlist, especially considering that its out of the box functionality belies its lack of cost.
Make is a popular multipurpose theme suited to many different applications, and will be familiar to a lot of WordPress users. That being said, it does have some functionality suitable for photographers out of the box that’s worth closer inspection.
Make is a slightly different beast than some of the other themes in this collection. It’s well-supported, the documentation is comprehensive, and because of the bundled Make Layout Engine, it’s more flexible than most. However, the free version limits this functionality somewhat, leaving behind only a smattering of features to play with.
Fortunately, you’ll still get to utilize the gallery and slider elements, and they both enable you to create a solid portfolio. Galleries are presented as simple grids, and you can link each image to a post or page, or utilize animated captions to display additional information.
While we can’t bemoan the decision when a company uses a free theme to sell their premium version, in many cases it’s little more than a teaser for its premium sibling. That’s not the case with Make – even the free version is a well-rounded theme with good support and documentation, and as such should be given a test drive.