Photographer Websites: What Buyers Want Now

Photoshelter has been doing their homework. They’ve also been doing your homework for you. Photoshelter conducted a survey of image buyers and figured out what they want to see from your photography site and what makes it easier for customers to buy your images.

Additionally, Photoshelter has made it easier for you to take action and give buyers what they want with their photography website templates.

Some of the survey results are eye-openers.  And others . . . well, if you are using autoplay music on your website, stop.  Seriously, stop now.

Get the lowdown on the survey and Photoshelter’s plan in the press release below.


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PhotoShelter, the leader in portfolio display, e-commerce and archiving tools for photographers, today released Photographer Websites: What Buyers Want Now, a free research report detailing the results of a recent survey of 550+ commercial and editorial image buyers. The survey explored specific website design and feature preferences – what image buyers love and hate about photographers’ websites. PhotoShelter’s report provides essential guidance (and some surprising findings) that can help photographers fine tune their websites to meet their customers’ needs, and avoid pitfalls that turn image buyers off. The report can be requested here:

The PhotoShelter research report aggregates buyer responses to advise photographers on several key website elements, including:

  • Website design. Areas explored include flash slideshows and website introductions, load time sensitivity, page layout, image size, watermarks, pagination and scrolling arrow placement, and background color.
  • Website features. Functional areas included keyword search, pricing, download capability, gallery viewing, preferred contact method, image captioning, lightboxes, music, blogs, and on-site advertising.
  • Photography licensing activity and spending trends. Explored buyers’ 2009 budgets for licensing photography, where buyers search for images today, and directional spending trends in image licensing across rights managed, royalty free and microstock categories.

“Photographers and designers generally build websites based on their artists’ intuition and a desire for uniqueness, yet leave sound business reasoning aside,” said Allen Murabayashi, PhotoShelter CEO. “With this report, we’re helping photographers access tangible business intelligence to support their website design efforts. We all work really hard to bring new customers to our websites – it’s a shame that many photographers’ websites will ultimately betray them when image buyers do visit. Now, photographers have precise guidance on what buyers like and dislike. Our report will help reconcile the desire for standout design with must-have basic features that will help generate more business.”

Sample data from the report includes:

  • 94% of buyers hate textured backgrounds. Buyers strongly preferred clean black and white backgrounds that help the photography stand out, while textured backgrounds distract from the images.
  • 82% of buyers preferred online downloads from a photographers’ website as their desired delivery method, above FTP, email, and DVD/CD.
  • 87% of buyers expect to generate an image price and have the option to complete the purchase online.
  • Major pet peeves included music on the website, disappearing next/previous arrows, and lengthy flash introductions that delay buyers from seeing the photography.

Using the data collected in the buyer survey, PhotoShelter also implemented a series of new designs and features for its own website templates ( PhotoShelter’s easily customizable portfolio websites help photographers display and sell their work online. PhotoShelter’s websites include e-commerce for selling stock photos, prints, and personal use downloads, galleries with flash slideshows, keyword search, search engine optimization, advanced security, and many more rich features – all tied to a bulletproof archive and pro-strength back-end that supports workflow for serious photographers.

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter is the leader in portfolio display, e-commerce and archiving tools for photographers.

Over 40,000 photographers worldwide use PhotoShelter to power their success online, with customizable website templates, searchable galleries, e-commerce capabilities, and bulletproof image storage. Photographers can create a professional PhotoShelter website in under five minutes, or customize PhotoShelter to power their existing website. A true solution designed to make the business of photography easier to manage – PhotoShelter offers security, global accessibility, and advanced marketing tools so photographers can make their images work harder for them. To join our community, visit

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