As a professional SEO who has worked specifically with photographers for over 7 years, I’ve seen just about every WordPress theme designed for photographers.
I also know that when you are getting started with WordPress, it can be extremely overwhelming trying to figure out what theme is right for you.
Sure, there are plenty of “roundups” of photography themes, but most of them are purely affiliate posts that point to low quality themes that will just leave you hating WordPress.
This post is a “mini review” of all of the most popular WordPress themes for photographers. Throughout the post, I’ll tell you about my experience using these themes or working with photographers who have built their websites using these themes.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product using a link on this page, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I’ve included affiliate links any time an affiliate program was available, even if I do not fully endorse the product. Hopefully, my reviews will make it exceedingly clear which themes I personally recommend.
Before we jump in, I want to mention that WordPress made a major shift at the end of 2018 by including “Gutenberg” as the default “Block Editor” in WordPress core. I strongly believe that the future of WordPress depends on theme and plugin developers embracing this direction.
While I’ve included an entire section for themes that are centered around the new Block Editor (Gutenberg), some of the other themes on this list will also work seamlessly with the new editor.
UPDATE September 2023: Jess Woodhouse and Dylan recently teamed up and released a couple of starter templates for Kadence (our favorite WordPress theme for 2023) that make it *extremely* easy to get started on WordPress and Kadence. We highly recommend checking these out FIRST if you are thinking about getting started on WordPress.
WordPress themes made specifically for photographers
There are several companies who have decided to specifically design all of their themes and products for photographers.
These companies often have much better insights about the specific needs of professional photographers.
Perhaps the main benefit is that the designs or templates that these companies release are almost always great for creating a professional photography website quickly and easily.
When it comes to WordPress themes for wedding photographers, Flothemes is by far the most popular option. Over 30,000 photographers use Flothemes to create their websites!
Unfortunately, they were bought out by a competitor in 2022 and the themes don’t look to see extensive forward development. The support team is also greatly reduced under the new ownership.
That doesn’t mean Flothemes will only work for wedding photographers, but their themes are perfect for the needs of most wedding photography businesses right out of the box.
My favorite thing about Flothemes is their modern design aesthetic. From icons and embellishments, to sliders and animations, Flothemes is all about attention to detail.
I also know many of the team members at Flothemes personally and can say that they are definitely committed to innovation and excellence for their customers.
Flothemes could really fit into the “framework” category, because they have designed an entire editor and design system from the ground up. Their intuitive “FlexBlocks” bring drag and drop editing right into your WordPress site. If you’re looking for a fully WordPress alternative to Showit, you’ll love FlexBlocks.
While Flothemes are on the expensive side of “themes” listed in this article, keep in mind that you’re getting everything you need for that one-time price. No need for templates, child themes, pagebuilders, or other add-ons that you may need with some of the other options.
- Beautiful and modern designs right out of the box
- One-time pricing available (no annual subscription)
- Dozens of pre-made sections and layouts
- Fully responsive and optimized for mobile
- Plenty of tutorials and excellent customer support
- May look similar to your competitors who use Flothemes
- Not the fastest, AMP not possible (currently)
- You’ll need to learn multiple interfaces (block editor, FlexBlock builder, settings panel)
- No full page “live editor” (FlexBlocks are edited live)
- Sometimes hard to customize outside of the options you see in the demos
Price: $49/mo hosted + $97-999 if you choose a premium design.
ProPhoto has been serving photographers for a LONG time. In fact, my first WordPress photography blog was built on ProPhoto back in 2011.
With version 6, ProPhoto redesigned its platform from the ground up to be completely responsive and use modern technology. With version 7, they took it a step further with their visual editor.
ProPhoto as a company has always been innovative, often coming up with ideas before their time that would later become very popular with other themes or frameworks.
That being said, the current ProPhoto experience is not what I would consider to be a pure WordPress experience. To edit your design, you need to use the ProPhoto Site Builder, and in my opinion, the learning curve to master the builder is pretty steep. It is also very different than the direction WordPress is going with Gutenberg (they basically invented their own “Gutenberg” before it was even a thing).
To avoid that learning curve, you can start with a pre-made design from their design store. They have many templates to choose from created by some of the most talented designers in the industry.
ProPhoto is probably the highest priced option on the list. You have the option to buy the framework for $249 one-time, or you can pay $49/mo for a fully hosted solution (currently discounted to $25/mo for the first year). Neither of these options includes a premium design, which is one of the main reasons I would consider ProPhoto in the first place.
- Awesome design library with options for more than just wedding photographers
- The new fully hosted option takes the confusion out of setup and hosting
- Excellent customer service (I’ve only ever heard and experienced great things)
- Site Builder is a completely different interface than WordPress
- Can get quite expensive if you purchase a premium design
- Free/included designs are very basic
If you’d like to take ProPhoto for a spin before fully committing, they’ve set up a free demo you can try on their website!
Theme frameworks with templates for photographers
Some themes have become so popular that there is an entire ecosystem built around them. For these themes, you will often find that designers have created child themes or pre-made designs for photographers that you can purchase separately from the theme itself.
I’m using the word “framework” loosely here, but for the purpose of this section, it means “a base theme that is intended to be used with a child theme or pre-made design.”
Price: $89/year or $249 Lifetime (for unlimited sites)
Divi is likely the most widely used WordPress theme on the internet. While Elegant Themes isn’t the first company to create a block based or visual builder, they were pioneers in making this kind of design system popular.
“Divi” is the name of both the theme AND the builder, which can theoretically be used independently (but they are designed to be used together).
It would be impossible to write a full review of Divi in a few paragraphs. It is important to know that Divi is feature rich and designed to be extremely flexible. However, this flexibility and the options available come at a cost.
While you’ll find plenty of people willing to defend Divi’s performance metrics, I am not one of them. I used Divi for my photography site (and dozens of other sites) between 2016 and 2018. Now, I’ve moved everything away from Divi.
I found the interface to be clunky and un-intuitive (just my personal experience), and had more glitches and performance issues than I could count. After I moved to a lightweight theme with Elementor, I never considered going back to Divi.
On the positive side, there are dozens of designers who have created beautiful Divi child themes for photographers. One of my favorites is Melissa Love from The Design Space.
If you speak with designers that build custom WordPress sites for photographers, you’ll likely find that many of them use Divi as their framework.
- Extremely Flexible, you can build anything you can think of with Divi
- Plenty of pre-made designs available for photographers from various designers
- Fully visual editor that many people find very easy to use
- Lots of options mean lots of code – which hinders performance
- Divi Builder doesn’t always play nice with outside themes
- Need to learn multiple non-WordPress interfaces
Divi offers a free live demo where you can try out the builder before you buy. Just head over and play around right in your browser!
Price: Starts at $59.95/year
Genesis has been around for over a decade and has always had a reputation for being lean and developer friendly. This has made it a popular theme framework for designers who also care about speed and performance.
Genesis has also started to really embrace Gutenberg, and I’d almost put Genesis in the “Gutenberg WordPress Themes” category of this post, but there are still lots of legacy designs available that aren’t fully based on Gutenberg.
Even though I appreciate Genesis, I feel like it is one of the most confusing themes to work with. First of all, the company that makes Genesis is called StudioPress (which sounds like a theme name). When you go to their website, you can look at the Genesis “framework,” Genesis “themes,” blocks, custom blocks, and a subscription solution called “Genesis Pro.” Oh, and did I mention that you can get Genesis free if you use WP Engine for hosting?
To add even more to the confusion, you can also buy themes from third party vendors that are based on the Genesis Framework, and come bundled with a license to use Genesis.
Once you get into the ecosystem, it isn’t *that* confusing, but if you aren’t a WordPress veteran, Genesis might be an unnecessarily confusing way to get started with WordPress.
If you’re looking for a WordPress template specifically for photographers and like the idea of a longstanding reputable theme/framework like Genesis, check out Restored316, who offer some beautiful designs for creative entrepreneurs.
- Long term reputation for following WordPress best practices
- Lightweight, performant, and AMP ready
- Not too hard to find child themes or designs for photographers
- Can be somewhat confusing to get started
- Many themes are very basic and it can be hard to customize outside of that basic design
Photography portfolio themes for WordPress
Sometimes photographers just want a website that will give them a way to showcase their portfolio or galleries. Maybe you don’t plan on blogging, but you know you need to show lots of photos. There are plenty of photography WordPress themes that are made specifically to be portfolios.
Price: Starts at $78/year for all themes and NextGEN Plus
Imagely could really fit into several categories on this post. It is a company that focuses specifically on photographers, but they also offer themes based on Genesis, and care about Gutenberg and WordPress best practices.
However, I decided to put Imagely in the portfolio category because the company also owns NextGEN Gallery. NextGEN is one of the most powerful and versatile gallery plugins ever made for photographers.
If you are looking for a portfolio or even a proofing solution based on WordPress, I can’t think of a better option than NextGEN, and NGG works seamlessly on the Imagely WordPress themes.
- Integrates seamlessly with NextGEN Gallery
- Simple layouts built on solid WordPress best practices
- Designs are basic and don’t feel quite as “polished” as some other starter sites
Price: $59 (prices vary, but this is a popular price point)
Themeforest is a popular marketplace for themes, not a theme itself. However, I included the entire marketplace on the list because I believe all of the popular options for photographers have very similar pros and cons.
Before Divi came onto the scene, Themeforest was the place to go if you wanted a “multipurpose” theme. There are some really big names that were extremely popular for a long time. Avada, The7, Uncode, X, BeTheme, Enfold, Jupiter. I’ve used them all, and in my mind they are just different versions of the same concept.
Most of these themes rely pretty heavily on their own builder which is often some variation of WPBakery. While these ideas were great in their time, the WordPress landscape has changed, and to me, almost all of the themes on Themeforest feel very “dated.”
The nice thing about these multipurpose themes is that they often come with dozens or even hundreds of layout options for all kinds of businesses.
The reason I put Themeforest in the “portfolio themes” category is because they do have some themes with designs that are interesting or unique when it comes to portfolio layouts and features. If you can find a pre-made layout that works perfectly for your needs, it may be an option worth considering.
In my opinion, if the theme is based mostly on WPBakery or a proprietary builder, it will make a frustrating WordPress editing experience, especially compared to some of the more modern options available.
That being said, some themes on Themeforest are starting to embrace 3rd party builders like Elementor. This could be a good option to consider if you find a design you really love.
- Plenty of pre-made templates that fit the needs of a variety of business types
- Low one-time price
- Most theme options are based on outdated builders, methods, and code
- Performance isn’t always great, especially not out of the box
- Support may be limited and may not have great English documentation
- I’ve seen more issues with WP/plugin updates breaking Themeforest sites than any other themes
- “Themes” are often a combination of several plugins or legacy solutions hacked together
Alternative WordPress themes for photographers
Sometimes the definition of “WordPress theme” gets pretty blurry. There are some options that might not fit perfectly into my definition of a WordPress theme, but are still worth mentioning in this list.
Price: $39/mo for the Advanced Blog package (their only package you should consider)
Repeat after me: “A Showit site is NOT a WordPress site.”
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, Showit does integrate with WordPress. In fact, it is possible to use Showit strictly as a WordPress theme builder. Even though this isn’t the most common way to use Showit, since it is a possibility, I’m including it on this list.
We have a full Showit SEO guide here on the Fuel Your Photos blog, so make sure to check that out to learn more about using Showit as a WordPress builder.
One nice thing about Showit is that there are SO many designers creating beautiful Showit designs for photographers. The only problem is that most of them aren’t utilizing WordPress the way I would prefer.
If you’re sure you understand how to use Showit to build for WordPress, keep it as an option on your list, otherwise know that Showit is not a true WordPress solution.
- Fully managed, you don’t have to worry about hosting or maintenance
- Beautiful designs available from professional designers
- Drag and drop design is appealing to many photographers
- A completely separate platform that integrates with WordPress, not a pure WordPress solution
- No options for self-hosting
- Some customizations will require CSS knowledge if using Showit as a WordPress builder
https://www.jonosymonds.com/ (Built entirely with WordPress pages through the Showit builder)
Price: $99-169 one-time (depending on if you need Woocommerce or Gutenberg integration)
Oxygen isn’t even really a “theme” but it acts like one. It is a page builder plugin that overrides and disables WordPress’ theme options.
Developers will love Oxygen’s approach, because it is both a visual editor and a code editor at the same time. They give you a graphical interface to edit your site, but also expose not only the HTML but the PHP behind WordPress with a few simple clicks.
Oxygen is different than any other WordPress theme or builder I’ve ever used, and you really need to check out their site to see how it works. It won’t be for everyone, but if you are going to love it, you’ll know when you see it!
- You don’t need a theme (just a default WordPress theme will work fine)
- Visual site building PLUS easy access to code
- Extremely performant (fast) compared to other page builders
- Not necessarily beginner friendly, geared more toward developers
- Overview video is 45 minutes long
- Very different than the WordPress interface
Pagebuilder themes for photographers
These days, there are dozens of page builders for creating websites with WordPress. Many of these page builders can create all of the elements of your site, including ones that would traditionally be handled by the theme (like header, footer, and widget styling).
When using a pagebuilder like Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Brizy, you may decide to start with a very basic and lightweight theme. The themes in this section are designed with pagebuilders in mind.
Keep in mind that the pricing listed here is in addition to the price of your pagebuilder.
Price: Free – Astra Pro starts at $47/year or $199 one-time
Up until a few months ago, Astra was my theme of choice for building new websites. Astra is a great blank slate theme with smart and simple default styling options, and optional header and footer editing.
I still like Astra as an option, but for too many (nitpicky) reasons to list, they’ve slipped from my top choice in lightweight starter themes.
The free version of Astra is really all you need, especially if you are building with Elementor and using their template builder. The pro version adds some great features that you may or may not need, so just check out the feature list to see if there is anything you can’t do with your page builder.
- Free version with great default options
- Pro version includes some nice starter templates for various builders
- Lightweight and gets out of the way for pagebuilders where it needs to
- There were several mishaps in 2020 causing trust issues with Brainstorm Force as a company
- If you are ONLY going to use a page builder, you could start with a lighter option (like Hello)
https://wildandfoundphoto.com/ (Astra + Elementor)
https://www.alexbucklandphotography.co.uk/ (Astra + Elementor)
Price: Free – Premium is $49.95 for the first year, then $29.97/year
GeneratePress is a no-frills light weight theme that is perfect as a base for pagebuilders or building a custom theme.
The more I learn about WordPress, the more I love GeneratePress as a base theme. They are obsessed with following WordPress best practices.
If I were basing my decision on the default/base layouts of the theme (and I’m not going to be overriding them with a pagebuilder), I think the defaults for GeneratePress are a bit bland (although the defaults with version 3.0 are much better). I prefer the defaults of Astra or Kadence. However, GP is very flexible and extendable, plus they have a Site Library you can easily import as a starting point if you buy premium.
- Strictly adheres to WordPress standards and best practices
- Extremely light weight and performant (fast)
- Developer friendly with smart hooks and filters
- Works well with Gutenberg or any popular pagebuilder
- Very basic out of the box
- Free version is fine for page builders but would want premium if using the theme without a builder
Hello is a theme made by Elementor that is specifically designed to be a blank canvas. It is meant to get out of the way so you can build your theme with the Elementor template builder.
This theme doesn’t have many default fallbacks, but if you’re planning on using exclusively Elementor (or another pagebuilder) to build everything including the header and footer, this could be a great option for you.
- Free with no premium version to worry about
- Designed for Elementor
- No defaults/fallbacks if you stop using a pagebuilder
Best Pagebuilders for Photographers
These days, I try to avoid pagebuilders when possible (you’ll find out what I do instead in the next section). That being said, sometimes page builders are a really great fit for certain website projects. If you pushed me to pick a few great page builders, this would be my short list.
Elementor is my personal favorite, perhaps because it is the one I’ve used the most. After I switched from Divi, I went straight to Elementor and loved it SO much more. I like the way they handle the interface better, I find it to be less glitchy and more performant, and it just feels more like a natural WordPress experience.
Elementor is constantly innovating and every time I read about new features on their blog, my mind is blown.
Elementor 3.0 was released this year and makes designing your entire theme easier than ever. Global fonts and colors, and a new visual theme builder that makes it really understand how the pieces of your site will come together.
I still use Elementor on quite a few sites (in fact, at the time of this writing this site still uses Elementor in some places). However, my goal is to phase out all dependency on page builders and to move more and more toward Gutenberg/Block Editor options.
Brizy is very similar to Elementor. There are some interesting reasons you might choose one over the other, but alot of it is going to come down to personal preference.
I haven’t used Brizy extensively (only in testing and on a few client sites), but every time I take a look at their videos or landing page I think “wow, why aren’t more photographers using this?”
I feel like no comparison of builders is complete without mentioning Beaver Builder. I have the least experience with this builder, and have only used it a handful of times. BB has been around for a long time, and was already well established when Elementor came onto the scene.
I can’t speak much more about BB from personal experience, but like I said, I wanted to make sure it was on the list so you could research it if you are interested!
Gutenberg WordPress themes for photographers
Gutenberg is now the WordPress Block Editor. It’s the default editor right in the core of WordPress.
Despite the fact that the block editor is the future of WordPress, many of the themes so far on this list haven’t gone “all in” on Gutenberg integration. The following themes have decided to put all of their focus on Gutenberg and the current direction of WordPress.
This category is the one that makes me most excited. I love theme developers who really see the writing on the wall and understand what the future of WordPress likely looks like. That’s why I’ve started building all of my sites with Kadence.
Price: Free – Pro is $59/year or Membership is $139/year (I suggest this option)
There are so many things I love about Kadence, and the more I use it, the more I love it. I’ll write a full review about the theme in the future, but for now, here are some highlights.
First of all, Kadence as a base theme is free. The options in the free version rival the premium versions of themes like Astra and GeneratePress. You really don’t need the premium version of the theme unless you have some specific/advanced needs that come in the pro version.
Second, I love the organization of its customizer. It is one of the most intuitive customizers I’ve used, and the universal color pallets, locally hosted Google fonts, and many other options just make Kadence a joy to use.
I REALLY start to get excited when I talk about Kadence Blocks. I’ll cover them more a little further down the post, but I really believe they are the perfect extension of the WordPress block editor.
Put the two together, and you have a beautiful integration of customizer and block options that really showcase what the WordPress experience should be.
I also love that right out of the box, the default options are smart and you could run a website or blog without any additional plugins or custom styling other than what you can do in the customizer.
If AMP (or just performance in general) is a concern, Kadence has you covered. Kadence the theme, and many of the Kadene blocks work flawlessly with AMP enabled.
I could go on and on, but you should really just give Kadence a try and see for yourself! If you love the free theme and block plugin, I highly recommend the pro version of the blocks plugin, especially if you want to create layouts with post lists.
- Performance and accessibility are at the forefront
- Header and footer builders are included in the free version
- Typography and color settings are intuitive and powerful
- Kadence Theme and Kadence Blocks work perfectly together as a Gutenberg solution
- Still works great as a base for a pagebuilder if you want to use one
- Starter template library is still pretty empty
- Company is small and Kadence itself doesn’t have a long track record
- Theme/Block/Membership purchase options can be a bit confusing
Blocksy is a relatively new addition to my list of favorite themes, and I consider it a close competitor to Kadence. The company behind Blocksy clearly values design and usability, and it shows from their landing page to the starter sites to the product itself.
The only thing that hasn’t already put Blocksy above Kadence on my list is the fact that they don’t have a similar Gutenberg Block plugin. You could use Kadence Blocks with Blocksy, but then you’d miss out on the seamless integration with the customizer. I’ve heard Blocksy is going to release a similar plugin to Kadence blocks, so I’ll update my review when that happens.
- Beautiful design makes the product a joy to use (even the customizer panels are beautiful)
- Currently free with no premium version
- Newer player without a clear (public) monetization strategy
- No block plugin like Kadence
Essential Gutenberg Block Plugins
Now that you know more about Gutenberg and the themes that support it, you may also want to check out some plugins that extend Gutenberg and make it more like a typical pagebuilder.
Any of these would work well with Kadence, Blocksy, GeneratePress, Genesis, or any other theme that embraces Gutenberg.
I’ve already talked a bit about Kadence blocks in the section about the Kadence theme. However, we’re loving using Kadnece Blocks Pro even when we aren’t using the Kadence theme.
My favorite thing about Kadence blocks is how it inherits default options from the customizer. I also love the Row Layout block, which instantly makes Gutenberg feel more like Elementor. Wish you could add padding and margins to your rows and columns easily with Gutenberg? Now you can.
I’ve enjoyed using all of the blocks in the plugin, and think the default options are very logical and intuitive. I also love the fact that I can build an AMP valid site as long as I avoid a few blocks like the carousel.
Honestly we’ve installed Kadence blocks on a few sites recently JUST for the table of contents block, it’s seriously the best one I’ve ever used.
There are plenty of other great block plugins, but when you combine Kadence Blocks and Kadence the theme, it is my favorite combination by far.
Stackable has an intuitive interface that is one of my favorites to use. The icons they use in the customizer make it extremely easy to find exactly what you are looking for. They also have a great collapsible toggle system that makes it obvious which features you are using on the current block.
I have not tested extensively to know what the responsive presets are like, or how many (if any) of the blocks are AMP valid.
You can check out a live demo that lets you use the Stackable editor with zero setup right in your browser.
Free, simple, AMP valid… there are so many things to love about Atomic Blocks. Keep in mind though that Atomic Blocks was acquired by WPEngine and is being replaced by Genesis blocks.
If you’re just getting started, it might be worth checking out Genesis blocks to start with!
Coblocks is a lightweight but robust free block plugin owned by Godaddy. They also have a companion theme called “Go.”
The main reason to check out Coblocks is that it is free and will always be free, and has a wide range of available blocks right in the free version.
Conclusion: Best WordPress Theme for Photographers
I started building photography sites with WordPress in 2009. I’ve tried almost everything.
There are so many “right ways” to build a photography website with WordPress.
Here are my top picks… the best of the best in WordPress themes for Photographers:
- My favorite theme right now is Kadence, paired with Kadence Blocks. I’m using it on all of my new website builds and I love the user experience and flexibility offered.
- If I was a wedding photographer who needed a website ASAP and wanted a modern aesthetic that clients would love, I’d choose Flothemes.
- If I were building from scratch but I needed the easiest page builder available, I’d choose GeneratePress + Elementor.
What theme do you love? Is there something missing from my list? New themes are popping up everywhere right now and I’d love to stay on top of reviewing them.
Leave a comment below with your favorite WordPress theme, and why you love it.