If only a photography business was purely about taking photos. Unfortunately, while that might be the dream for many, it is very rarely the reality. Many photographers find themselves needing to do small design jobs. Business branding, website building, even building packs for advertising and pitching. Thankfully you can get a headstart by using templates that someone else has designed, so here are my recommendations for the best design resources for photographers.
I’m not going to lie, I used to have quite a serious “Design Cuts Habit.” I couldn’t resist their regular themed bundles. However, the packs of resources that I bought have proved time and time again to be incredibly useful!
I’ve used fonts, Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, and graphic overlays. There’s so much on their site that is useful to photographers that it’s worth signing up to their mailing list. The bundles are flash sales – they are only available for a limited amount of time, but at an incredibly deep discount.
This site is a great alternative to Design Cuts. Again, they have themed bundles, although their themes tend to be a little more specific. There are plenty of bundles that would work for wedding, newborn, or children’s photographers if you’re looking to brand engagement sessions or mini sessions.
There are also plenty of free resources on their site. They could be useful if you’re just looking to update your social media with some themed content for an upcoming holiday or similar. Click here and take a look.
Another site that I have purchased quite a bit from in the past is Creative Market. They’re more geared towards corporate buyers in my experience.
However recently I used a template for a pitch that I purchased from this site to put together and submit a grant bid for my photography. If you’re looking to come across a touch more formal in your branding then Creative Market is a great collection of design resources for photographers.
Did you know that most Creative Cloud subscriptions include access to Adobe Fonts? Even the single app subscriptions? Well, you do now!
There are three great things about Adobe Fonts. The first is that they have hundreds of fonts available for you to use, and you know they’re well designed because they’re made by Adobe. The second is that the interface that you use for searching for fonts is slick, and they automatically sync to the computers that you have Creative Cloud installed on. Lastly, all the fonts on Typekit are cleared for both personal and commercial use.
I’ve built many WordPress websites over the years. The place I almost always go to buy my templates is Envato Market (it used to be called Theme Forest).
As far as I’m concerned, very few other websites can beat Envato Market for WordPress themes. The sheer volume of templates available is one thing, but it’s the way that you can filter and sort the various different styles of themes that is really a winner for me. This has to rank as one of the best design resources for photographers looking to build a website.
This is a website that I recently discovered, and I think it could come in pretty useful in my future! It’s used to generate flat cartoons of people, with infinitely interchangeable characterisation. It looks great in its diversity of bodies, which is a huge plus point for me.
I could see these kinds of images being great for all kinds of photographers, wherever you want a “human” presence on your website, branding, or social media, but you don’t want to make it a particular image of one person. They are also licensed for commercial use!
I know that Pinterest itself doesn’t offer any design tools or template, but I’m still going to include it here. Search Engines like Google are great, but if you search for design resources for photographers or inspiration, well, you get a wall of text. Pinterest, on the other hand, is a visual search engine. I love that I can see, at a glace, if what someone is offering is the right kind of style for me.
I also love to use it as a way to collect my visual inspiration for different projects I’m working on. You can make a board secret and just invite other collaborators which makes it a very powerful tool indeed.
Another Adobe product and I don’t think you even need a subscription plan for this one.
This website is great if you’re trying to pull together colour schemes for websites, branding, or even styled shoots. You can see what the colours will look like together as you play with the colour wheel. It also has the ability to analyse a photograph and provide a colour palette from the image.
But what I love most is the trends and explore sections. There you can see what people (who are better at this than you or I) have come up with and use that as a base for your colour scheme.
Hopefully, you’re all as nerdy as me about fonts. Although at this point I should admit that I gave a talk on the history of Gill Sans during my undergrad degree (we had to talk about our favourite piece of design).
Typewolf is a great blog for keeping up with trends in fonts. Yes, there are trends in fonts.
So if you’re rebranding your business, designing something new, or you just want some cool fonts to overlay onto a piece you’ve created, then take a look. The blog is excellent and well written, and the lists of the author’s favourite fonts are a brilliant way to discover something new.
The Luxe Lens
The last one in the list is particularly specific to photographers. The Luxe Lens are a company who create and sell Lightroom presets.
They’re brilliant. I use them in most of my photography processing. And if you wait for them to go on sale you’ll find that they’re very, very reasonable.
Well, that’s my roundup of the ten best design resources for photographers. I’m always surprised that so many photographers aren’t aware that they don’t have to do everything from scratch, so I like to tell people the sites that I use as often as I can! We can’t be expected to be good at everything. Excelling at photography is hard enough, let alone design too! So give yourself a helping hand when it comes to your photography business and let other people do some of the hard work for you.