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10 Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers in 2021

Last Updated on September 17th, 2021

Published on August 29th, 2018

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If you are a photographer and don’t already have a website to showcase your work, chances are you probably plan to build one in the future. If so, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of WordPress plugins for photographers to make that task very straightforward.

Types of WordPress Photography Plugins

You may be surprised by how many useful plugins are available to assist in the various stages of getting your images to market.

In this article, we suggest a toolbox full of such plugins covering the following:

  • Image optimization tools so your pictures are of the most appropriate size, format, and resolution for your website
  • Watermarking to protect your work
  • Photo galleries, sliders, and carousels to present your images at their best and to allow visitors to navigate around your portfolio easily
  • Digital download tools so you can sell electronic versions of the photos for customers to download and print themselves
  • Speed optimization to ensure your site isn’t frustratingly slow, as photographs are true speed-zappers
  • Social media feeds to attract the broadest possible audience
  • An appointment system for accepting booking for photography sessions, etc.
  • Proofing to streamline the customer approval process
  • Contact forms to allow people interested in your work to interact with you

So, let’s now go straight to the plugins. Please note that some will cover just one of the above bullet points, while others cover several. Furthermore, all are up to date and tested with the latest version of WordPress (5.8.1).

WPForms

WPForms WordPress plugins for photographers

It is all very well showcasing all your amazing photos on a website, but it is pointless if prospective clients have no way of contacting you.

Sure, you could display your contact details directly on the site. However, some people don’t like to do that for privacy reasons. Furthermore, capturing prospective clients directly through your website means they are more likely to convert into actual clients. That is because people often prefer the convenience of online contact forms over the hassle of emailing or telephoning.

This is where WPForms steps in. It is a plugin for quickly (thanks to drag and drop) creating online forms for virtually any application – think contact forms, order forms, payment forms, email subscription forms, etc.

The free version of WPForms provides lots of features, such as:

  • Drag and drop online form builder with custom fields
  • Wide range of form fields and features
  • Pre-made form templates
  • Device responsive
  • SEO optimized
  • Create surveys and polls, which is ideal for getting opinions on your photos
  • Forms can be made GDPR compatible
  • reCAPTCHA spam protection for forms

A myriad of Pro plans are available, ranging from ‘Basic’ at $39.50 per year for one site, all the way up to ‘Elite’ at $299.90 per year for unlimited sites. The combinations of features offered by each of these are complex and depend on the plan chosen. Expect to find things like payment gateway integrations, deeper customization options, additional templates, and more. Full details of what each plan tier offers are available here.

If you only need a basic contact form, we suggest that you start with the free version first and upgrade to a paid plan only if you need to.

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WPForms is massively popular, with more than a million active downloads from the WordPress plugin directory alone. In addition, it has an excellent user rating of 4.9/5.0 stars.

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MetaSlider

MetaSlider is a plugin that allows you to add image galleries, sliders, and carousels quickly and easily to your website. Your visitors will love the sliders and carousels as they add an element of interactivity.

Again, the emphasis here is on the paid plugin over the free version, which is a little too basic to be helpful to most people. Clearly, developers of photography-related plugins want you to pay for their premium products! However, with MetaSlider, you get good functionality at a reasonable price, as their annual plans cost just $39.50 for a single license, $49.50 for five, or $99.50 for unlimited domains. Those plans give you features such as:

  • Unlimited slideshows and carousels
  • 11 slider themes and a live theme editor
  • Smart image cropping
  • Four slideshow types, including videos and animations
  • Create slides from images loaded from external URLs
  • Dynamic post feed and featured image slides
  • Slide scheduling
  • Thumbnail navigation
  • Drag and drop gallery builder including image resizing
  • Drag and drop reordering or images in galleries, slideshows, and carousels
  • Lightbox support
  • Unsplash integration for free image imports
  • Device responsive and touch-enabled
  • Shortcodes for embedding galleries, slideshows, and carousels where you want them
  • SEO optimized
  • Slider import and export
  • Translation ready
  • Text editor to include additional CSS
  • Gutenberg ready with one block
  • Integrates with other plugins such as WooCommerce, Events Calendar, WPML, etc.
  • Access to Extendify template and pattern library
  • Updates and support
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Over 700k active downloads of MetaSlider are currently in operation. The plugin scores 4.7/5.0 with users.

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Smart Slider 3

If you want to add image sliders to your WordPress site, Smart Slider 3 would be a great option. This plugin offers a free version with good base functionality that is extendable for relatively little financial outlay.

In its free form, the plugin offers features such as:

  • 14 slider templates
  • Two slider types and six layers
  • Create slides using images, WordPress posts, or videos (YouTube or Vimeo)
  • Static overlay
  • Full-width or boxed layouts
  • Slide switching and background animations
  • Configurable autoplay timing
  • Customizable slider controls (arrow, bullet, autoplay, bar, thumbnail, shadow)
  • Layers: image, heading, text, button, YouTube, Vimeo
  • Layer snap in visual slide editor
  • Adaptive layer font sizing
  • Hide layers on specific devices
  • Slide thumbnail image
  • Custom responsive breakpoints
  • Navigation by swipe (touch devices), scroll, or keyboard
  • Import and export sliders
  • SEO optimized
  • Page builder support e.g., Elementor, Gutenberg, etc.
  • Device responsive and touch-enabled

That’s pretty impressive functionality for a free plugin. However, opting for a Pro version adds much more, for example:

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  • Over 210 slider templates
  • Four types of sliders and 26 layers
  • Layer animation builder and live animation timeline
  • Full page responsive layout
  • Over 54 background animations
  • Integral lightbox
  • Advanced controls with additional preset and customization options
  • Lifetime updates and support
  • 14-day moneyback guarantee

To see the entire library of features for both the free and Pro versions, click here. Pro costs between $43 and $218 depending on how many domains you need to cover. Best of all, those prices are for a lifetime subscription, not monthly or yearly.

Smart Slider 3 has a whopping 800k active downloads in operation and an impressive user rating of 4.9/5.0.

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Easy Digital Downloads

When it is time to sell your images, one great way is via digital downloads through your website. Easy Digital Downloads is an eCommerce solution that allows you to do just that without setting up a dedicated online store.

Easy Digital Downloads is a free plugin to which you can add extra functionality via a library of free and premium extensions. In its base form, the plugin has the following key features:

  • Accept payments via Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon Payments
  • Frontend shopping cart and ‘Buy Now’ buttons
  • Customizable checkout
  • Customer and purchase history management
  • Reports of sales, earnings, refund, etc.
  • Discount codes
  • Compatible with any theme
  • Translation ready

Available extensions include additional payment gateways, recurring payments (great if you are selling a series of images), Dropbox integration, free downloads, customer reviews, MailChimp integration, and many more.

It is possible to buy the premium extensions individually. However, if you want several, it would be more cost-effective to purchase what the developer calls a ‘Pass.’ Several options are available, but the ‘Extended Pass’ would probably suit most photographers. That adds things like all payment gateways, email marketing, Dropbox integration, and content restrictions. To see the full range of available options with a comparison of each, click here.

Easy Digital Downloads has a user rating of 4.7/5.0 stars, and it has been downloaded over 50k times from the WordPress plugin directory alone.

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EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer is a tool that helps you put your photos into the most appropriate size, format, and resolution for displaying on your site, in your social media, or for sending via emails. Not only do optimized images look neater as the sizes can be adjusted to suit where they are to be displayed, but they also need less bandwidth to load, which pleases search engines.

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Three subscription tiers of the plugin are available. ‘Standard’ costs $7 per month and can be used on only one website, plus the bandwidth is limited to 200GB. Stepping up to ‘Growth’ for $15 per month, you get up to ten sites and 400GB bandwidth. The top tier is ‘Infinite,’ which gives you 800GB bandwidth and unlimited domains. If you buy an annual plan, you get two months free.

Features included in EWWW Image Optimizer include:

  • Optimize all your existing images, including those from other plugins
  • Auto-optimization (compression, scale to fit, lazy-loading, and conversion to WebP format) of new image uploads
  • Configure any folder within your WordPress for scheduled optimization or via WP-CLI
  • Bulk optimize from a single page, e.g., your media library, theme, or pre-configured folders
  • Up to 80% compression of images
  • JS and CSS optimization
  • Image conversion to/from JPG, PNG, GIF, or WebP
  • Unlimited photos and file size, plus no speed limit
  • Free original image backups for 30 days
  • Compatible with most plugins
  • Translation ready
  • Updates and support
  • 7-day free trial available

A free version is available, but that has several limitations, particularly concerning image compression. As such, we recommend that serious photographers invest in a paid subscription to get the full range of features.

EWWW Image Optimizer is hugely popular, having almost one million active downloads from the WordPress plugin directory alone, where it has an average user rating of 4.7/5.0.

Get EWWW Image Optimizer

Modula Image Gallery, as you will probably have guessed, is a tool for neatly presenting your images in gallery format regardless of the device used to display them. However, one extra secret weapon of this plugin is that it also allows you to watermark your images, making it much more difficult for dishonest people to steal them.

Like EWWW Image Optimizer, a free version of the plugin is available through the WordPress plugin directory. However, that too is somewhat scant on features and does not include watermarking, so we strongly suggest going for a Pro version.

Four tiers of Pro are available, all of which are annual subscriptions. ‘Starter’ costs $39 per year, ‘Trio’ $69, ‘Business’ $99, and ‘Agency’ is $149 annually, and each covers 1, 3, 5, or 99 websites, respectively. Starter and Trio are somewhat limited on features, and our recommendation is the Business plan as it includes the following features:

  • Video extension to combine YouTube, Vimeo, or self-hosted videos in galleries
  • Lightbox slideshow
  • Image slider with thumbnail strip and various elements and effects
  • Convert the gallery to a slider
  • User filters for the gallery – allows for easy visitor navigation
  • Gallery sorting (date created or modified, alphabetically, etc.)
  • Albums with various options, including cover randomization, hover effect, etc.
  • Over fifty hover effects
  • Image loading effects (animations)
  • SpeedUP to optimize image sizes
  • Password protection to limit access to galleries
  • Right-click and keyboard shortcut protection to prevent unauthorized downloading of images
  • Custom watermark
  • Unique deep links for SEO
  • Defaults for creating galleries using the same settings
  • Role management
  • Updates and support
  • 14-day moneyback guarantee

That’s a lot of functionality for $99 per year.

Module Image Gallery boasts over 90k active downloads and has a very average healthy user rating of 4.7/5.0.

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Smush

Smush WordPress plugins for photographers

Like EWWW Image Optimizer, Smush is another plugin that can optimize your images without any noticeable reduction in quality. Optimizing your images not only makes them fit properly into your gallery or elsewhere on your site, but the resulting decrease in files sizes helps reduce loading times which is excellent for SEO. Furthermore, images can be lazy-loaded, meaning they are only loaded when they are about to be viewed. That speeds up your site significantly.

Unlike EWWW Image Optimizer, the free version of Smush does include several great features:

  • Optimize PNG, JPEG, and GIF files
  • Lossless image compression
  • One-click bulk optimization and compression of up to 50 images
  • Optimize images located outside of the media library
  • Lazy-loading
  • Resize images
  • Incorrect image size detection to locate images slowing down your site
  • Unlimited number of images optimizations, although the file size is limited to 5MB
  • Gutenberg block integration
  • Online tutorials

The Pro upgrade costs $6 per month for one site, rising to $29 per month for unlimited domains. Furthermore, when you choose to pay annually, you get two months free. Pro adds the following features:

  • One-click optimization of unlimited images up to 32MB in size
  • 2x compression
  • Original image backup
  • Optimize pictures of any size
  • 45-point image CDN
  • Automatic resize and scale
  • Convert to WebP
  • No branding (white label)
  • Ticket and forum support
  • 7-day free trial available

Other Pro options are available, but those just add extra tools for site speed optimization. These options cost between $9 and $99 monthly depending on the package selected, the number of domains, and whether you pay monthly or annually.

With over a million active downloads and a 4.8/5.0 star user rating, Smush is definitely a highly loved plugin.

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Social Media Share Buttons

Social media Buttons WordPress plugins for photographers

Social media is one of the best ways of promoting your works. Virtually everyone uses it, and sites like Pinterest and Instagram are image-based, making them ideal platforms for getting your photos ‘out there.’

The Social Media Share Buttons plugin enables you to add buttons and icons to your site. Not only does that allow you to redirect visitors to your social media, but it also gives them the facility to easily share your content on theirs. That is basically free advertising for you, and ‘word of mouth’ is one of the most potent forms of marketing.

The free version of this plugin gives some great features for no payment whatsoever:

  • 16 different social media share icon designs with customization options
  • Configure each icon to have several actions, e.g., the Facebook share icon can both send visitors to your Facebook page as well as allow them to like it
  • Icon animations like auto-shuffling, mouse-over effects, etc.
  • Floating or sticky icons
  • Add visitor counters to each button
  • Visitors can subscribe to your blog by email
  • Display a popup either on every page or on selected ones requesting people to follow or share
  • Display sharing buttons and icons at the end of every post

For just $29.98 per year, you can upgrade to the Pro version. This adds the following extra bells and whistles:

  • Support for over 200 social media networks
  • Additional icon design styles, including themed styles
  • Enhanced social sharing and follow features
  • Place icons on specific pages and locate them where you want them on the page
  • Mobile optimized – have separate icon selections for your mobile devices
  • Icons to share by email, contact you, link to a particular page, etc.
  • Additional popup options
  • Support
  • 14-day moneyback guarantee

Social Media Share Buttons is another popular plugin, with over 200k active downloads and an excellent 4.9/5.0 star user rating.

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Simply Schedule Appointments

Simply Schedule Appointments

As a photographer, you need some way of accepting appointments with prospective clients, managing photo shoots, etc. By doing this through the website, customers will be able to make appointments themselves without you having to respond to phone calls or garbled voice messages.

While pretty much any appointment scheduling would do this task, we like Simply Schedule Appointments as it has great features, an unbeatable 5.0/5.0 user rating, and over 10k active downloads in operation.

Installing and setting up the plugin is a breeze, while its intuitive frontend interface makes scheduling appointments super simple for your prospective clients.

The free version of this plugin has many handy features, which include:

  • Easy configuration via a setup wizard
  • Unlimited appointment types
  • Block out dates for vacations, etc.
  • Advanced scheduling options
  • Customizable notification emails
  • Customizable styles
  • Connect appointments to registered WordPress users
  • Compatible with popular page builders, e.g., Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi, etc.

More functionality is available by upgrading to ‘Plus.’ This costs $99 per year and adds extra features such as:

  • Google Calendar synchronization
  • Google Meet and MailChimp integration
  • Integrates with most popular form plugins
  • Custom fields
  • Add multiple bookings to the same time slot

The next tier plan, ‘Professional,’ which costs $199 per year, includes email/SMS notifications (such as reminders) and payment gateways. It also has conversion and goal tracking, as well as live developer support via Zoom. Finally, there is the top-tier plan, ‘Business,’ costing $299 per year. That includes additional tools to manage your team and resources.

Get Simply Schedule Appointments

Picu

Picu WordPress plugins for photographers

As a photographer, getting your client’s approval for the photos they have commissioned you to take is essential before getting paid. Picu allows you to send collections of images quickly and easily to them for approval.

The free version of Picu allows you to:

  • Create image galleries from photoshoots.
  • Email your clients a link to those galleries
  • Receive an automatic email notification once the client has approved
  • Easy retrieval of the client’s selection for use in photo administration software

For many photographers, that could be all that is needed. However, as your business scales, you may wish to upgrade to Pro ($149 per year for a single license) as it adds:

  • Ability to send collections to multiple clients and receive individual selections from each
  • Deliver final images to clients with password-protected delivery collections
  • Image theft protection via watermarks, disable right-clicks, etc.
  • Add a custom logo and customize the gallery to match your branding
  • Allow clients to mark and add comments to individual images
  • Define the number of photos the client must select to approve a collection
  • Allow clients to download collections as .zip files
  • Priority support
  • 14-day moneyback guarantee

Over 2k active downloads of Picu are in operation, and the plugin has an excellent user rating of 4.7/5.0 stars.

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What’s your favorite WordPress photography plugin? 

We have suggested ten of the best WordPress plugins for photographers to help your photography business have a head start. As we already mentioned, some of the plugins overlap with the functions of others, so you probably won’t need all of them. Our advice would be to use the free versions and free trials where available. That will allow you to judge if the plugins will be helpful to you or not before investing in premium ones.

Are you a photographer? If so, do you already have a website to showcase your works and interact with clients? What plugins have you added to your site, and which are your favorites?

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