I’ve built this site by hand using the best components I could find. After somewhat lengthy research and trial and error, I’ve arrived at two primary building-blocks: the theme, GeneratePress, and Jordy Meow’s suite of photography plugins.
For most any photography site, a decent gallery scheme is going to be the key component. Meow provides two plugins that allow you to easily create dynamic galleries directly from Adobe Lightroom.
The first is really a set of two plugins that allow syncing between Lightroom and WordPress. The second allows beautiful styling of galleries. They both operate completely independently from one another; you don’t have to use Meow Gallery, but I don’t think there’s a better one around.
For the site’s theme, any WordPress theme will work, but I arrived at GeneratePress after trying several others. If you want any level of customization, GeneratePress forces you to become familiar with its Elements system that allows you a high-degree of control over placement of blocks in almost any location in WordPress. As such it’s not as easy as WYSIWYG builders. But if you need to go that route, it also works fine with Elementor, Divi, Beaver and the like.
The benefits of GeneratePress are that it is lightweight and responsive. These are two things you need for a photography site that bears the burden of having many images.