It only stands to reason that if you are in the photography, entertainment or a similar industry, you would require a powerful and responsive WordPress theme that is able to handle huge amounts of image rich content, contains a considerable amount of portfolio displays and was designed with one main objective ~ the ability to showcase your work in ways that captures the viewer’s attention and makes theme want to view more content and hopefully share it with others.
There are two types of themes that fit this bill and they are commonly referred to as photography and photo blogging themes.
Image type themes have a variety of different page and post layouts, numerous sliders, a considerable amount of portfolio displays along with retina ready high resolution graphics that simply captivate the imagination. Most often, they incorporate some form of integration with a third party photo service such as flickr or photobucket for importing images.
There are literally hundreds of themes that could be placed into the category of photoblogging from multi-purpose to parallax, however for a theme to have made it onto this list, it has to be picture perfect. Yes, I am going to judge a theme by its cover and continue from there. If a theme does not capture a user’s imagination or interest from the moment they arrive on the site’s front page, it will never make it to this one.
Here are the twenty best photography and/or photo blogging themes available today.
They say that an image is worth a thousand words and no truer words have been spoken when it comes to photographer and photo blogging themes, because inevitably, it is how the pictures are displayed that will make the difference between an ordinary theme and an extraordinary one. It is for this reason that I have chosen to add galleries to the theme descriptions whenever possible, so that you can judge for yourself.
For all intents and purposes, this collection may contain a whole lot more images and lot less writing, quite fitting don’t you agree?
“ I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.” – Anonymous
The very first time I laid eyes on it, King Size fullscreen background WordPress theme grabbed my attention and has never truly let go. The graphics in this theme are larger than life and the very small and unique vertical header menu that resembles a ribbon award has always been a fan favourite, even though I must admit, at first I was not sure if this feature would be well received. Clearly it has, this very fact is solidified in the 15000 downloads of this theme since it launched less than nine months ago.
King Size’s main features include ~ 5 different gallery types, custom portfolio types, support for fullscreen image and video backgrounds such as YouTube videos, Vimeo videos, MP4 Videos, Single background images, multiple image sliders and unlimited sliders, displays up to four columns and comes with extensive admin panel options including short codes, making this one of the best themes for photoblogging.
Click on the images below to see what King Size can do for you or for a full review, please visit the King Size Review Page.
What is most appealing about Lens WordPress theme is its unique vertical menus that is reminiscent of and old time film reel, it is not hard to tell that clearly, this is what the designer’s was trying to achieve and did it well. It is not hard to see the message here, “This is a photographer’s website.” There are twelve different templates, yet all are similar looking and offer the same look and feel so you never lose the “reel” look of this theme.
Lens features fullscreen slideshows and galleries, grid based photo galleries and a large content area blog that truly tells its own story.
8 different gallery styles including a host of different versions of full width page, masonry posts and carousel views along with custom page backgrounds, parallax effect and 10 custom templates, it is not hard to comprehend why Flexit WordPress theme is an awesome choice for a flexible and clean looking photoblogging website.
Fully packed with all the latest technologies, Flexit offers a great choice for photo bloggers who want a classic subtle design with all the bells and whistles that you would expect to see in a theme today. This, coupled with some really unique added options like horizontal sliders and message boxes that can be placed on a transparent image slider makes Flexit a great choice for any budding artist.
Core WordPress theme is a minimalist photography, portfolio, photo blogging and personal website template that was built with all the latest features from peerapong and is available for purchase from ThemeForest. Its ten thousand downloads solidifies the fact that while this may be a very minimalistic theme, it is still one of the best themes of this type. Core comes in both a light and dark version, each of which are stunning.
Its overall design is surprisingly sexy, especially when you use the dark theme with shadow image effects display. This particular showcase is one stunningly beautiful display that some may consider to be art all on its own.
Core is minimalist yes, lacking, hardly! It comes with all the “core” features any user or designer needs to create great websites including video display, full screen and full width views, custom widgets, shortcodes, a variety of different layouts and even offers a password protected image display features for protecting valuable images.
Mercury WordPress Photography theme is one of the few themes in this list to include the Ken Burns effect into its full screen slideshow.
This effect pans and zooms still images creating amazing moving effects and depending on how well you use this, your work can literally seem like its moving within the slides. This amazingly powerful and advanced theme also contains a drag & drop content builder, 20 gallery templates, 6 portfolio templates and an awesome 2D/3D LayerSlider plugin.
Its impressive responsiveness makes the entire theme appear seamless and its overall design comes in both a dark and light version.
There are so many features in this theme, it would take an entire page to list them all. Needless to say, this theme rounds out the top five for a very good reason, its phenomenal.
Fluxus has long been a fan favourite because of its horizontal layout, which means that Fluxus WordPress theme scrolls images sideways rather than up and down.
Its minimalistic overall design is purposely created in order to focus its efforts on the full screen images and it does this rather well. Some of the Fluxus theme main features include, a full screen slider, responsive design, shortcodes, retina ready and a large assortment of theme options such as dark and white skins, providing for a very nice well rounded photographer’s theme.
One notable feature it has, is a nifty little message screen that you can use to greet visitors to your website as seen in the images below.
The Titan WordPress theme is simply stunning.
There are almost no words to describe the awesome image definition that the Titan theme has and usually only one word comes to mind every time I chance to see it ~ “wow.”
With features like eight homepage galleries, fourteen templates, eight portfolios, a full screen slideshow and the ability to configure your own skins using Skin Manager, what is not to love about this theme? The answer to that is simply, absolutely nothing!
This theme grabs your attention from the home page and never lets go, and that is what a good photography theme is supposed to do.
Storm is one of the most elegant looking photo blogging themes available today.
The header menus, slider controls and captions areas are a very nice addition to the themes design with a translucent look that is simply captivating. There is no theme that comes remotely close to Storm WordPress photo blogging theme when it comes to an elegant and professional look. Unlike many of the newer themes, this theme looks like a website rather than a simple site for displaying images.
To be honest, because Storm looks like a website, it might just have a slight edge over the competition.
It is simply elegant, gorgeous and jammed packed with options such as full screen background images and slide show, YouTube and Vimeo video background, 25 gallery/portfolio styles and as stated earlier, transparent content areas to make the most of your backgrounds.
Lumen WordPress theme is a very unique and creative photo blog theme because of its minimal design. The background combined with your work is what provides the overall look and feel of this theme and this is all a photo blog really needs. Lumen does only one thing, but it does it well ~ showcases your work with transparent menus and content areas that do not take over, putting your work front and center and this is its true beauty.
Simplistic design coupled with responsive behavior makes Lumen a really great choice for a quick and easy design.
10. Big Gallery
Very similar looking to the popular King Size theme, Big Gallery has a vertical ribbon menu and full screen graphics. While it may be very similar looking to King Size, Big Gallery WordPress theme is anything but. In fact, it has a very unique feature putting it in a class all by itself. The logo, menu and other elements are “auto hiding,” which means that after a few seconds of your screen being idle or if you do not touch or move your mouse, you will only see the images and not the elements, and when you retouch it, the menu reappears.
Its a really neat feature and one that adds the perfect touch. I am not a big fan of menus that are in the center or at eye level in any theme and I think this solves that issue quite nicely.
Some of its main features include, full screen video background support, dark and light skin options, ten different logo designs, 7 portfolio types and a unique filterable blog.
PhotoReel oddly resembles one of its competitor themes and yet still manages to remain somewhat unique, and this is part of its charm. Similar to the Lens theme, PhotoReel is a minimalistic WordPress theme that looks like an old fashioned film reel, however each menu item hover has its own color, adding a unique splash of color to the otherwise black menu and this works very well.
Square and flat, the design is both elegant and professional.
PhotoReel is also horizontal and moves like a microfiche slide. This unique movement effect makes it seem rather chic.
For a simple photo blogging solution, PhotoReel is a great choice for a novice user.
It is not hard to tell that this theme was created by the same designers who developed another great theme that has been mentioned often in my theme collections. This theme is called Cartel and is also a great choice for photo blogging. In fact, Brooklyn looks and feels exactly the same as Cartel, but has its own unique features including, full and fixed width portfolio grids, awesome hover effects, full width sliders with HTML5 background video & touch support, fashionable captions, contact form and tons of other professional styling options.
Both themes are equally stunning and should perhaps share the stage on this one, however Brooklyn is taking center stage with its default skin mode that is exceptionally beautiful. If you want to read more about the Cartel WordPress theme, please visit the review page.
Also from the makers of Cartel and Brooklyn, Raw is yet another sensational looking WordPress photography theme created by UDthemes. I am starting to believe that UDtheme might just may have the right formula when it comes to designs created for this purpose. In any case, these three themes certainly have what it takes to be considered some of the top photography and photo blogging themes available today.
Raw needs no introduction of its own, suffice to say that with its powerful admin panel, shortcode options and unlimited skins, you can create virtually any design you want with it, including a half light and half dark version which is pretty unique all its own.
Frame is a minimalistic WordPress theme, but it is truly one of the most elegant designs of all and one of the few to place the navigation header on the bottom of the screen in order to focus all the attention on the image rather than the design. Like the Mercury theme, Frame is one of the few frames on this list to incorporate the Ken Burns effect into the theme and this is really quite a shame because its a great effect.
Zoom in and Zoom out of each frame as though you are looking at a movie story book with this total elegant theme from mad_dog.
Perhaps the most comprehensive photographer and photo blogging themes, Invictus WordPress theme offers limitless design possibilities. Its’ ease of use makes it one of the best themes by far and one that I will highly recommended time and time again.
It is one of my personal favourites because like its Latin name suggests, it is unconquered.
For designers and users like me, who like a little adventure and who want to tinker and experiment to see what a theme is capable of, Invictus offers endless options such as 2 theme formats; black and white, support for 3 different video types, a thumbnail scroll, tons of featured galleries and sort options, overlay patterns, portfolio styles, transition effects, password protected pages, background flickr stream and so much more.
This is one amazing theme!
A truly unique and colorful theme, Fuerza is quirky, cute and a great choice for the hipster photographer who is looking for a cool way to showcase his or her work. The full width images are offset by a small thumbnail image that flips from one frame to the next, offering a cool effect to the already “cool and colorful” overall design. Fully customizable, Feurza WordPress theme comes complete with the layered slider to give it an even more unique design.
I did find one thing a bit odd, I had a hard time finding the navigation menu (which is auto hidden) and I am not certain whether I like this feature, or hate it. I will have to think a little bit more about that, perhaps you can decide for me. Meanwhile, the point is, I am thinking about this theme and that is what a theme needs to do, capture a user’s imagination and make them think about it.
Well played Fuerza, well played.
Samurai WordPress themes is one of the most unique themes in the entire list. It has a really nice transparent content area in the middle of a full screen image that gives it a nice twist, however it is the stunning high definition and horizontal scrolling that had me sold from the get go.
Surprisingly different, elegant looking with a host of features, Samurai is a nicely laid out theme that has huge potential to become one of the best selling themes on ThemeForest. It is a relatively new release and it will be interesting to see how far it goes.
Photolux is one of the most powerful Photography WordPress Themes. It is powered by the advanced Pexeto Panel, which provides tons of options to manage and modify any aspect of the theme – it is well suited for both beginners with no coding knowledge as well as more advanced designers and developers. Like most themes in the genre, it has a dark skin and light skin, but Photolux has one additional skin which seems to be a crowd pleaser; a transparent skin.
Also mentioned quite often in our reviews, Photolux is an overall great theme with numerous options and displays.
Huge is one of the most creative photography themes in the market today. Its totally unique 2D and 3D effects make this one of the most interactive of all the themes in this list. Every image and post, flips and turns creating a truly unique user experience. The navigation menu seems to flip like a business card when touched and the overall look and feel of this theme is just fun, fun, fun!
Make no mistake, it may be fun, but it is still powerful and packed with a great amount of features such as parallax effects and masonry grid styling.
Huge is also relatively new, but I have no doubt that in no time it will be making a huge impact on the design world and like Samurai, it will be interesting to watch it grow and change.
I saved Fuse WordPress theme for last, not because it is the least, but because I think that many people will have a love/hate relationship with this theme because of its very loud and bold font. While some people will love the unique creative use of this, others will find it mildly intrusive, but then again Fuse was not really designed with those type of individuals in mind. It is plain to see, Fuse was created for individuals who like to get the message out loud and proud with no mistaking that fact.
Curious to know what I think?
Well, I am not a big fan of very loud and proud, but Fuse is a little bit different and I like it because it reminds me of a old fashioned photography magazine that used to add posters to give it effect.
For this reason, I think Fuse is kinda hip and kinda funky.
Larger than life images, unique features and tons of different portfolio, gallery and slideshow displays is what all of these themes have in common. The truth is, the only thing that really separates each of them is how they choose to tell their own individual story, but no matter how this is done, each does it with powerful features, responsive behavior, retina displays and a solid framework to keep it all together.
Creating a number is often difficult for me because as I get to the bottom, I often realize the ones at the lower levels might be better than at first glance. In some ways, this is life and we do the best we can at deciding which is best, but nothing is ever perfect, well except perhaps picture perfect, like these designs.
Choosing which theme is best for you will depend on what your company or personal needs are, however I am hoping that this collection will assist you in your efforts.