When you're just starting out and/or you don't have loads of disposable income to really go all out with your blog, there are definitely piecemeal options that you can go with.
I work with photographers (in specific) quite a bit and many times I'm just hired to do branding (logo, colors, patterns, elements). We can then take the bits and pieces and pop them into a premade template to customize it for you. This is WAY cheaper than going full custom site. Branding is really the important part; if you've got a strong, solid brand then it should get you by with a template until you're ready to kick it up a notch in terms of functionality/internal design.
Here's one of my favorite blog template sites for wordpress:http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress
Their themes are high functioning and really easy to manipulate. They're paid, but it's oh so worth it!
Best of luck to you!