WordPress has always been an excellent platform for both amateur and professional photographers to display their work. It comes equipped with great media management tools, especially since the improvements that have been made over the last couple of releases. It’s free, and it has an abundance of themes appropriate for the elegant display of images. And for professionals, there are no end of plugins that can be used to make WordPress the ideal web presence for a photography business.
In this article, I’m going to leave aside the business aspects of photography and concentrate on plugins that beginning to intermediate photographers can use to turn WordPress into a great tool for showcasing their work.
Some photographers might balk at the idea of letting an automated tool loose on their images, but the sort of images modern DSLRs turn out are far too big for most web-based applications. People browsing your site will be thankful if you make the effort to reduce image sizes as much as possible, especially if they’re using a mobile device.
EWWW Image Optimizer has a silly name, but it’s excellent at what it does: applying both lossless and lossy image optimization to slim photos down to a more reasonable size.
As an amateur photographer I’m endlessly fascinated by the settings other photographers use when taking pictures. Exifography offers an easy way to include an image’s EXIF data on a WordPress page with a shortcode.
When you import an image into WordPress, it makes a number of smaller versions to be used as thumbnails and for display in various parts of your theme. Sometimes it doesn’t get the image scaling and cropping quite right and focuses on the wrong area of an image. My Eyes Are Up Here will help you make sure that all versions of an image are cropped correctly.
Jetpack is really a collection of plugins, and it brings many very useful features to self-hosted WordPress sites, but the two I want to highlight today are Photon and Tiled Galleries.
Photon is an “image acceleration and editing service”. It’s basically a CDN coupled with an image optimizer that will help users get your images faster while lowering the bandwidth load on your server.
Tiled Galleries offer a number of excellent gallery display options, which integrate nicely with WordPress’s media management tools. It’s the most elegant and easy-to-use gallery plugin I’ve come across, and it’s great for beginners who want to display their images in posts.
If you’re uploading a lot of images, it can be all too easy to ignore SEO best practices like including ALT and TITLE tags. This plugin eases some of the burden.
These are just a few of my favorites out of the many plugins I could have chosen. If you have a favorite photography-themed WordPress plugin you’d like to share, feel free to let us know in the comments.