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It's not generally illegal to take photos of people in public and then post them on an ad supported website. Just as it's not illegal for those people to sue the living daylights out of you for using their likeness to promote goods or services that they find offensive. There are plenty of laws that can apply that are very fair in that regard - libel, ...
It depends on the local law, that differs among countries. For example, in my country - Poland, it is legally allowed to take and publish photo containing a person as long as the photo is not a portrait-like - the person on the photo is not the main subject of it. But still there are few exceptions from this rule.
If you are comfortable with WordPress, I'd recommend you take a look at the Keres theme. It's not free, but it's pretty powerful and only $45. It was the one I ended up settling on for my Photography site and it has some pretty nice gallery options available.
You pay people to do certain things (design / hosting etc) because you either can't do it yourself, or you don't have time. The cheapest way would be to use a self-hosted (raspberry pi - anyone?) platform such as Koken and do it that way. However, paying for a service such as photoshelter means you can spend more time shooting and less time making a ...
I've created a really simple and fast PHP photographers portfolio It's called Turbo Photo Portfolio. It is simpler than the software in other answers because there is no config per se - all you have to do is put your photos in a certain file structure as well as changing the about file and it's done! My photography website currently uses it with PHP and ...
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