5 top tips on writing a great bio for your photography website

5 top tips on writing a great bio for your photography website

Photo by Paul Volkmer

Focus Editor Philip shares his top tips on putting together a photographer bio that will work wonders for your business

A photographer’s bio, usually included in the ‘About’ or ‘Bio’ section of a store or website, is traditionally where a photographer can include information about themselves and their practice to help promote their work and give visitors key information about who they are.

Ideally, you want any visitor to your store or website to become invested in what you’re selling, and you can help them by putting a compelling bio together for them to read. You should aim to convince your visitor quickly that you are passionate about your work and great at taking pictures. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done and some bios are much better than others.

To help you put together the best bio text possible to promote yourself as a photographer, while keeping the reader engaged, here are some of my top tips:

1 Keep your bio brief & to the point

The exact time is debatable, but your average website visitor’s attention span might last something between 10 - 20 seconds. If they are going to be reading your bio - you want to get them interested immediately.

With this in mind, your bio should only be a few sentences long or a medium-sized paragraph at the most, and it should only include the necessary information about you and your practice; for example, what type of photography you do, where you’re based and a particular reason why you love taking pictures - but this should be done concisely.

Keep everything short and simple to read. If you need to include more information, you could do it in a different area of your site or invite the reader to start a conversation - which we cover in more detail below.

2 In a couple of sentences, say what makes you interesting

You want to hook your reader in as quickly as possible, so consider opening with something interesting about you or related to your photography work and genre you specialise in. For example, if you have an unusual job that allows you to create fascinating images, include this. Or, if you specialise in a specific genre, describe concisely why you love doing that type of work. Talk about what makes you unique.

If you’ve won any awards or had your work published, tell them that too. ‘Award-winning photographer’ or ‘Internationally-published photographer’ looks impressive and shows you’re recognised for your work. You could also add to your bio anything else that may be interesting to the reader too at a customer level. Such as, if you run workshops or accept commissions, this could open up more business opportunities.

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3 Avoid lengthy, hard-to-read statements for your primary bio

Writing long, eloquent pieces about your artistic practice, the type where you go into detail about the meaning behind your work and your sources of inspiration, is more suited as an accompaniment to a gallery, book or exhibition - not your website bio; you want the reader know exactly what it is you do, and what you’re offering in just a few sentences.

If you feel it’s necessary to include lots of information about your work to give it context, consider doing this on a different page or section of your website - perhaps accompanying a photo essay or gallery page.

Keep your principal bio copy short and to the point in order to hook your reader in. That doesn't mean, however, that you cannot include extended text about you and your work on other areas of your site

Top tip:

If you have a Picfair Store, you can add and update a header bio in the Header and Navigation section of your dashboard.

For longer prose about your work, you can add this in the About section of your Store dashboard.

4 Avoid cliches

I mean this in the kindest way possible; when you picked up your first camera isn't necessarily the most interesting fact for your website visitors.

Make your bio stand out by making it different, and leave out what you commonly see in other well-trodden photographer ‘about’ texts. It’s the same with quotes; the reader wants to know about you, not what someone else said - it just takes up precious space where you can talk about yourself instead!

5 Add a point of contact and invite a conversation

If your readers like what they see and want to know more, invite dialogue. If you include a point of contact at the end of your bio and give visitors the opportunity to reach out to you, you can significantly increase your chances of getting an engaged customer and, in turn, increase the chances of selling more photos. This method also makes you look friendly and approachable, and you’ll find that that’s one of the best ways to get repeat business over time.

An example of a photographer bio:

Outdoor photographer with a particular love of the cold North Sea and dusky, blue hour light - which I try to incorporate wherever can in my shots. I also write about photography and judge photography competitions.

Email me at hello@philipmowbray.com if you want to discuss any projects or simply say hi!

Here is what I’ve put together based on my own practice; it’s by no means a recipe to follow - you’ll likely find a way that works best for you, but I hope it serves as a useful example.