I love ColorLabs themes and Lensa is one of the reasons why. The most visually stunning theme on this list, it should be your first choice if you want to impress with your high-res photos. Just look at that home page.
The slider images take up practically the whole page, so your photos better be up to scratch. Visitors can either click through the slideshow at their own pace, or wait for the timer (check out the progress bar at the bottom) to kick in.
Lensa isn’t just about visuals, though. It also has a nice blog page:
It comes with a decent bunch of shortcodes too, allowing you to easily (without coding knowledge) insert buttons and lay out your content using columns (like newspapers do) and more.
Lensa cleverly integrates with popular image sharing networks like Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and others, so you don’t have to re-upload the photos you’ve already put up elsewhere.
Some free themes are let down by a lack of support; not Lensa. Just check out the theme documentation.
Let me start off by saying that Marios, the guy behind Dessign (the company behind Simple Photo) is the real deal – not only is he a talented designer but he’s super-helpful too. For each of his themes, even the free ones like Simple Photo, he records a video showing you how to use it. We all know how frustrating it can be to download a new theme only to get stuck making the most basic customisations (adding a logo etc). Well, that’s not going to happen with Simple Photo. The instructional video for Simple Photo is nearly 15 minutes long, so it goes into some depth, unlike some other theme videos I’ve seen…
Simple Photo is an apt name: the theme is indeed simple. As, arguably, it should be: you’re a photographer, so the focus should be on your work, nothing else. You’ve got a big front page slider, and underneath which a (clickable) grid.
One nice touch, which shows the thought Marios put into this theme, is the position of the secondary nav bar. At the top right-hand side of the page, it can be used to link to different post post categories, so visitors can quickly narrow down their search to the type of photo (e.g. people) they are looking for.
Should you want to share your thoughts with the world, there is a blog page.
front page slider + grid
This is about as simple as it gets. No one (unless they are easily impressed) is going to be wowed by your site design – your work is going to have to do the talking. So long as you’re happy with this, go ahead and try out Simple Photo – it’s free (like all the other themes on thist list), so if you don’t like it, you won’t have lost anything except a small bit of your (admittedly valuable) time.
Photo, by WPExplorer, has quite a lot in common with Simple Photo (above). Look at the home page – see what I mean? It’s the exact same setup: a big ol’ slider followed by a grid. How to differentiate between the two? Well, Photo comes with stacks of shortcodes, whereas Simple Photo comes with none. So if you’re not comfortable with HTML/CSS but you wan’t to make use of features like buttons, testimonials, columns and pricing tables, you may want to opt for Photo.
Personally, I prefer the look and feel (which is what all this comes to, in the end) of Photo.
There is something else to consider, though. Although Photo is a free theme, as in free to download and use, one of the key features, the slider, isn’t. It’s $19 (you can see the different buying options here). Considering that you can purchase a fully featured theme for $45 from somewhere like ThemeForest, $19 may seem a little steep – not because the slider is overpriced, but because ThemeForest themes are so cheap.
Photogram, by ColorLabs, is, as the name suggests, all about the photos. The theme integrates with both Pinterest and Picasa, enabling you to showcase all your online photos in one place: your website.
The best thing about Photogram is its use of jQuery Masonry and Infinite Scroll. Witness the Masonry effect:
Note the way the differently sized elements fit together, as in a jigsaw. The Infinite Scroll script loads posts as you scroll down the page, giving the illusion of a never ending amount of content.