I'm looking to build a photo sharing website for a photographer (starting out) and wanted to know any known choices. I don't mind paying up. I had a look around and I find Smugmug the best yet with 500px being the second choice. However if there are any other services like that, please let me know. I'm looking for a sharing style engine (something beyond wordpress -- like Smugmug), with some descriptions/captions (write ups about the work -- some of the photos could be architectural work/portfolio) and the ability to have different sections. I'm not looking to sell the photos/have an e-cart, just a nice portfolio feel. I'm a web developer so I don't have a problem with working on any code to do custom tweaks. Please let me know if you think anything is better and if you have any personal recommendations! Thank you.
If you value sharing over everything: Flickr
If you value photography-centric community: 500px
If you value simplicity and ease of use in your online portfolio: Zenfolio
If you would like a bit of all the above, but with flexibility to custom code your own online portfolio: Smugmug
If you are a web developer, then you should definitely consider Piwigo. It's free software, you can either self-host it if you want full control on it, or use a paid-for hosting service like piwigo.com. Even with the piwigo.com solution, you still have a lot of control (you can customize your gallery with themes, plugins, and even write CSS code).
I personally found Piwigo "not so good" out of the box, but is by far the most customizable option I found. After a bit of tweaking, my gallery ends up being almost exactly the way I want it to be.