Do you have a passion for photography? A great way to share your passion with others is to start a blog. Unlike other type of sites, a photography-based blog doesn’t have to overdo it with its design. The photos can lead the design of the site for the most part. It’s really the layout, structure and small accents that make the rest of the design. To help you get some ideas for the types of designs you can use for your site, here are 20 examples of well-designed photography blogs and magazines.
Creative Live is a very media heavy blog focusing on all things photography and videography. The site uses a two-column design with magazine style layouts in the main content section. They vary the size of the content boxes to help certain posts stand out while keeping the look fresh. Overall, it’s very professionally designed.
Peta Pixel is a very well designed content heavy photography blog. They site has a very clean layout that condenses the content but presents all of it well due to great use of negative space, high quality thumbnails and great iconography.
Retouchist is a cool little blog focused on helping reader learn about retouching photos. The blog uses sticky top navigation menus with a hamburger drop down menu for a minimalist look. Each blog post has beautiful examples of retouching that is paired with priceless advice for designers.
Ken Kaminesky’s blog starts out with a beautiful load out of a scrapbook page featuring photos of his travels. You are then given two choices of viewing either photos of people and place in the slider. Either choices lead to breathtaking photos from this professional photographer.
5. National Geographic
There’s nothing fancy about National Geographic’s site but you’re always in for a treat when you visit. They focus on a simple navigation paired with high quality photos featured on their main page. A two-column magazine style layout is integrated throughout the main page to add an editorial style and reminds you of the magazine’s roots.
Archive Collective has a clean design for their blog. They use multiple widgets for their two-column layout but enough space is used between them to help tell them apart. They integrate beautiful featured post into their regular layout. Thumbnails are also used in the navigation menu to create a visual guide to the latest posts.
Noice Magazine does an interesting job of integrating their actual magazine into their blog. They feature the beautiful cover on their layout and show great snap shots of photos from their magazine. They even go as far as doing a video flip through of the content inside. It’s an interesting case study of how design can be used to sell premium content.
Burn Magazine makes an effort to compile each of their photos for a project and turn it into a story. They accomplish this by accomplish the photos in unique but controlled layout. The photos are organized in an atmospheric way and laid out in a manner to show all angles of the story.
FujiFeed is the perfect example of letting the photos do the talking. This is the most minimally designed website you’ll ever see. The navigation is super simple and the two row one column layout is as basic as it gets. It’s only when you click into a post that you discover the editorial style formatting and beautiful photos that accompany it.
Yet Magazine uses a card based layout for their blog. The layout works well for many image driven blogs because it’s simple but still interesting. Yet has taken a page out of Amazon’s playbook and decided to showcase preview real pages for each of their magazine issues. This approach works really well and sells you on buying their latest issues.
Unlike most photo based sites, PHRoom Magazines sets their entire site on a black background. This works surprisingly well with the white font, color rich photos and alternating layouts. Some cool features like the temporary static side navigation and Instagram post integration add a nice touch to the already striking design.
Open Doors features work from many different artists. To help keep it interesting, they use a different overlay for each artist and follow that up with the artist’s work. They use this format to sell prints of the artists which is a genius way to arrange a blog/eCommerce layout.
Andy Mumford is a travel and landscape photographer. He uses a pattern of featuring his best photos as an overview for each section of his page. This pattern is so simple and can be used by anyone but it works brilliantly here because you’re presented with a beautiful photo that adds the context for the content.
Palani Mohan features his photography with full-page backgrounds that auto rotate. When you click into one of the pages, a few interesting things start happening. You’re presented with a photo where your mouse is changed to either a gallery icon or an arrow icon depending on where you’re hovered over. This either pulls out the gallery, zooms in on the current photo or moves to the previous/next photo.
What’s so striking about Colby Brown’s site is how much thought he’s put into the layout. He has a great mix of featured photos, content, multimedia and the latest posts on his main page. He also has four different widgets on the footer of the site that shares his bio, email newsletter, blog posts and Instagram posts. Everything is so well organized and presented that it looks effortless.
World In My Lens is a beautifully designed blog that uses parallax scrolling effects to add a wow factor the presentation. The blog takes it to another level by presenting a world map where locations that the photographer has visited are plotted. Each point takes you to the page of the photos for that country or city.
Art Wolfe uses full-page photos to segment the different parts of his page. Many photographers have used this style with success and it works when the photos are as dazzling as the ones you’ll find on his site. The layouts on his regular pages are very neat and help you really dig deep into his work.
Nomadic Vision is a minimalist site that presents their photos horizontally. When you start scrolling your mouse down to go through the site, you realize that it only moves horizontally. While this is quite a weird feeling, the design decision does work and shows you many perspectives based on the theme of the page.
Pictory uses cool graphic effects to enhance the look and feel of their blog. They use transition effects, 3D effects, slide out images and bold mouseover effects to really awe readers and create a better user experience.
The Boston Globe has a blog that shares photos from everyday news stories. They do a brilliant job in using photos and small captions to tell a story. If there was a visual storytelling guideline for news stories, this would be the holy grail.
As you can see, you don’t need to be an expert web designer torelated to photography. A strong layout, cool effects and high quality photos are all the ingredients you’ll need for a great looking site.