How to Put Together Your Online Photography Portfolio
Filed under: Film & Production
June 26, 2017
Every professional photographer should have an online photography portfolio, but building one can feel like a daunting task. Instead of stressing, take a deep breath, calm your nerves, and get going with this 8-step guide to planning and assembling a stunning online photography portfolio.
1. Define your purpose and audience.
Always keep the people viewing your online photography portfolio in mind. Think about their needs and worries, and how your website—through words and images—can address those concerns or desires, ultimately convincing those people to choose you. If you hope to grow a particular type of photography service, your online portfolio should also reflect that and draw attention to those skills.
2. Find examples you love.
Search the web for outstanding online photography portfolios, and draw inspiration from photographers working in your area of expertise. Then, stop by local competitors’ sites to see what they do well and where they’re lacking. As you do this recon, study how people organize their sites, what images they feature, and how those photos are displayed. Consider their navigation (what you like and what you don’t) for ideas for your own site.
3. Select your best images.
As you select what work to display, keep the site audience and purpose you defined earlier in mind. Review each image with a critical eye. You don’t want to include too many images, or visitors will be overwhelmed. Pick only the work that best represents your skills, mixing in some diversity in image types and subjects.
4. Choose your platform.
Your portfolio should be a constantly evolving representation of your skills and experience, so you need a platform that’s easy to set up and maintain. There are many places that offer customizable, easy-to-use templates for portfolio sites, including Wordpress, Squarespace, Format, and more.
5. Optimize images for online viewing.
The images in your online photography portfolio should be high-res and viewable at a large size. However, you’ll need to find the right balance between file size and quality. Potential clients shouldn’t have to sit waiting while your images load over the course of several minutes.
6. Organize your work.
Think back to your ideal visitor. How will they want to sort through your images? Often, you can organize your site around categories of interest to visitors—wedding, engagement, and family, for example. For commercial photography, these categories might be industries, like food, fitness, interiors, and consumer products. To start with and leave a strong impression, place your best photos at the beginning and end of each category.
7. Add contact information.
Want people to get in touch with you? Then don’t make it difficult! Your contact information and social media links should be easy to find on your online photography portfolio. It’s common to include a Contact page with email, phone, and a form users can complete, as visitors appreciate having multiple options. The footer is another smart place to add your contact details and social media links so that they’re accessible on every page
8. Ask for feedback.
Have your friends and family take a look at your site and give you feedback. For everything from typos to ease of navigation, having another pair of eyes on your site is immensely valuable. It’s often surprising what an outsider will catch that you’ve over missed.
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