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 15 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.
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 complement 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. 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.
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.
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 on.
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 photobloggers 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.
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.
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.
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 much to manage.
Getting hired as a photographer is difficult enough without having a kick-ass portfolio you can use to showcase your work. 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.
Neve is a winning pick for photographers and small business owners of all types.
When you’re building a photography website, the theme you choose plays an important role in how your work is displayed. If you want variety and flexibility, take a look at OceanWP.
This modern, multipurpose theme comes with plenty of support for popular page builder plugins such as Elementor, Divi, and Beaver Builder, making it particularly easy to use. It also includes a lot of customization options such as header styles and the ability to create custom layouts and sections.
The free photography demo provides a clean, minimalist way to showcase your work. You can make a great first impression by displaying your best photos right on the homepage in an image grid. The about section offers a space to describe your style, experience, and personality. Plus, the embedded form on the homepage makes it simple for potential customers to get in touch with you.
Overall, OceanWP is a solid way to quickly build a site that reflects your work’s unique style and purpose.
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 that 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.
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 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!
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 loves 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.
Freedom has been designed to be a simple solution for displaying your images with minimal fuss. Like many themes on this list, this is more of a photo blogging 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 is well known for 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.
The homepage is presented in a grid-based layout, with a number of featured images along the top of the screen. The design is very visual-heavy with each thumbnail greyed out until rollover and small fonts for any photo captions so this theme works best if you simply want to showcase your photos in a simple way.
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.
12. 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 the 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.
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.
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. The layout is pleasant to look at, although the theme does have a darker look. The position of each image on the home page is alternated to break up the monotony, and each image is balanced by a title and excerpt that manage to avoid detracting attention from the image. Click 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.
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.
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.