Your photography portfolio is a professional showcase of your work, organized sections of your photos, including both printed and online portfolio copies of your work, a place for new clients or artists to communicate with you, and a source where visitors can see all of your photos.
You adore every picture you post on social media. However, trying to acquire engagement on your posts is easier said than done. You have to worry about the algorithm, views, and if it even shows up on your follower’s feed.
Using social media to promote your photography might help put your work out online but it might not receive the frequent engagement you want if this is your business. Being a professional photographer requires you to have a portfolio to have one place to showcase your work.
But to some, and maybe to you, the task of creating a portfolio for your photography can be an intimidating task to complete. There are many factors to consider, such as photos to use, if you want to have either a print or a website to display work, or how to create one.
Having trouble figuring out where to start in creating your photography portfolio? Don’t worry! Here we will go over how to create a portfolio website, the types of portfolios you can produce, and how to show only your best work to potential clients.
How a Portfolio for Photography Works
A portfolio for your photography business consists of having a collection of either your favorite photos or prints that you want to sell. Photography portfolios can also be a helpful tool that can attract potential clients to hire you for a specific piece of work.
Creating a portfolio can determine your specified theme, qualifications, personality, and your level of experience in your field. It is essential to have one because it gives you an opportunity to share your work with others and a place where it focuses only on your photos.
The best part about having your own portfolio is choosing what type you can display your work. You can have an online, digital, or print; sometimes, you don’t have to choose between the three; you can even do all of them! This can give your client more options to view your photos.
Types of Portfolio for a Photography Portfolio
Generally, when you think of a portfolio, you probably think of a portfolio website, but there are more options than having an online portfolio. There are also digital and print portfolios, as well.
Online Photo album
An online photo album is one of the types of portfolios that can serve as a professional display of your work on the internet. This can be either a website or a blog, and for professional photographers, it can be seen as a public online photo album visitors can access on their own.
Usually, having an photo album is beneficial if your photography genre is travel, food, or, most definitely, wedding-themed. This can broaden your advertising by allowing you to use email marketing, SEO optimization, and social media sharing to your advantage.
Of course, creating an online portfolio requires a bit more work than just uploading your photos. There is web hosting, finding your target audience, and more. We will go over how to set up your online portfolio later on.
Although they are similar, both a digital portfolio and an online photo album differ from each other. A digital portfolio is a gallery of your work that your visitors have access to via mobile device or laptop. This gives your visitors instant contact for any questions, comments, or concerns.
A printed portfolio is like having a physical copy of the photo itself or a collection of your work. Your visitor can view your work online and have a physical version. This live version of a portfolio can either be in the form of a single photo print or a booklet of all of your photos.
Although this is the ideal route for professional photographers, to some, it does require more work, and it can be time-consuming. This is due to finding a publisher, ordering prints, and other tasks to acquire them to sell. It is recommended to have this and a digital and online photo album, further strengthening your chances of receiving engagement with your photos.
Why Is It Important to Make a Portfolio for Photography?
A portfolio for photography is essential as it allows you to show your work and strengthen your professional photographer identity. It’s crucial in helping with the following:
- An opportunity to showcase your photos publically.
- Establishes a source where prints are available to purchase online.
- Provides a physical or online gallery for potential clients and customers.
- Shows off your skills as a professional photographer.
How to Create A Digital Portfolio for Photography
One of the most popular portfolios that most photographers use is a digital portfolio. Below, we will go over how to set up your digital portfolio and what to consider when building one.
Choose a Website Builder
A website builder for your portfolio will provide a strong foundation for your work. A website builder will allow you to customize your digital portfolio by design and how you want your website to look. You can display all of your photos in a slideshow or an album so the visitors can view your photos easily.
Figure Out Your Photography Portfolio’s Target Audience
The public will view your digital portfolio, so it’s crucial that you specifically cater to your target audience. This will be if your type of photography is a particular type of niche. For instance, if you do food photography, a food blogger or restauranteur might be interested in your work.
Determine Your Domain Name and Hosting
Aside from acquiring a website builder to help with your photo portfolio, you will also have to have a domain name and hosting. Acquiring a domain name can determine your presence online, and hosting can enhance your user-friendly ability and design for your visitors.
Choose a Theme For Your Photography Portfolio
Once you have established your website, now you can customize your photography portfolio based on a theme. What helps is that some website builders have themes based on subject so that you can choose photography, and it will show templates specifically for that.
Research for Inspiration and Reference
Sometimes it can be challenging to figure out what your portfolio would look like. In that case, viewing other photographers’ portfolios can help give you an idea of how it should look or spark inspiration for the aesthetic of your portfolio website. You can also use references to strengthen and improve your portfolio.
Organize and Curate Your Photos
When creating your digital portfolio, make sure that you decide what photos you’re including and if they are ready to be viewed by the public. Determine which set of images best represents your brand, and just in case it might be rough around the edges, perfect and edit them.
Add More Pages and Elements to Your Portfolio
Whether you’re an experienced or a new photographer, aside from having an online gallery of your photos, there are other pages to add to your portfolio. One of the pages to include would be having a “shop” section for visitors to buy your prints. This is optional but recommended.
Include in your digital portfolio an “about me” and a contact page. For an “about me” section, write a summary of your work and how you got into photography. For the contact information section, include your professional contact information such as phone number, email, social media, and the address of your business building, if applicable.
Formatting Your Photography Portfolio
Especially if your photography portfolio is digital, it is crucial that the formatting is well structured and user-friendly. The font of the website text has to be big enough so visitors can see and that they can easily navigate through your portfolio. Another factor to consider would to organize by specific type of photo, like landscape or portrait.
Seek Feedback and Critique
So once you have set up, formatted, and organized your digital portfolio, it’s beneficial to show others your portfolio for a second opinion. These can be peers that are photographers as well as friends and family. Take note of what feedback you’re receiving. What works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be improved.
Frequent upkeep and updating are essential when maintaining your digital portfolio. This pertains to your business contact information changing, revising photo edits, and if you need to change a section or two. Every six months, you have to update your digital portfolio to keep it fresh and new.
What to Include in Your Photography Portfolio
There are a couple of factors to include when building your photography portfolio. Some of those factors include the following:
- User-friendly web design
- Contact Us Page
- Organize your photos by section or subsections
- About Me Page
What Not to Include in Your Photography Portfolio
Even though there are several factors you have to include in your photography portfolio, there are a couple of things you do not need. Some of those features you don’t need to include are:
- Unrelated photos or content
- Unedited or incomplete images
- Outdated content or images
- Overly small or large images
Tips on Creating Your Photography Portfolio
It can be challenging to build your photography portfolio, so here are a few tips to get you started.
Take More Photos for Your Portfolio
What’s important to consider is the number of photos your portfolio has. The suggested amount for your digital portfolio is about 15-20 photos. However, if you have below 15 or 20 images, you might want to take more photos to flesh out your portfolio. However, your number of photos should never go over 20; it would be excessive.
Show Your Range
Even though it’s essential to keep your theme minimum to one or two, it would be beneficial if you showed your range of photography skills in your portfolio. Increasing your range will help add more variety by including various angles, colors, and types of shots. Spice it up with different kinds of photos to prevent repetition.
Specify Your Subject
When you create your portfolio, something to keep in mind is to specify what kind of subject your photos relate to. Choose one or two types that you regularly do, and that can be what represents your work. Having more than one subject can steer away from the primary focus of your portfolio, discouraging potential clients and customers.
Create Separate Portfolios for Specific Subject Photography
If you have more than one subject for your photography, you can create separate portfolios. However, having more than one portfolio might be challenging to handle. This way, you can organize your target audience by each portfolio.
Make Sure Not to Repeat Similar Images
Sometimes when choosing your photos, you can come across those that might be similar to each other. When this happens, you mustn’t have any repeats or similar style photos that would take up space in your digital photo gallery.
Keep SEO in Mind for Your Portfolio
If you want more activity on your portfolio, implement URLs that are search engine friendly, distinctive meta tags, and crawlable content such as picture names, alt tags, and descriptions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about building your professional photography portfolio.
How can I take professional photos for my portfolio?
You can take professional photos by simply taking photos and using a high-quality photo editing software
How many photos do I need to include in my portfolio?
You have to include at least 15-20 photos in your portfolios.
Creating your photography portfolio takes precision and hard work to achieve a professional look. Overall, it requires a balance of personal and business material. We hope this guide helped you out with building your portfolio. Leave a comment if you have any questions or comments for us.